Buying a gun is taking longer and longer these days, here in the Old Dominion. What’s the hold up? It seems that gun sales are up in Virginia. However, there are fewer state and federal employees to do that background checks. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch:
The Virginia State Police, the agency that administers the checks, acknowledges that there has been an increase in processing time.
Officials say it is tied to increased demand for firearms at the same time that budget and funding constraints have reduced the number of staffers available to handle the transactions.
Spokeswoman Corinne Geller said that since May 2009, the agency has lost 11 people from its 28-person staff at the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center, including two federally funded full-time workers who used to attend gun shows and conduct the computerized checks on-site.
She said the delays during peak periods can take four to six hours, with a few that require research into out-of-state records taking overnight.
So how many of the people who are grousing and grumbling were also those same people who advocated for smaller government and to cut back state spending?
Apparently some people find the state of the state unacceptable:
“This is not acceptable,” said Philip Van Cleave, president of the pro-gun nonprofit group, Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Van Cleave had more to say:
Van Cleave said the delays are costing dealers money and keeping firearms out of the hands of people who need them.
“It is a safety issue,” Van Cleave said. “A person experiencing a death threat and who is denied a lawful gun purchase overnight would be left helpless at the hands of an assailant.”
He said he has received reports of dealers at gun shows losing up to half their business because purchasers’ background checks have not been completed by the time the show closes.
“We cannot afford to have our dealers weakened by artificially sagging sales and purchasers unreasonably inconvenienced,” he added.
Everyone seems to think their issue is more important than someone else’s. We need more cops, more library staff, more teachers, more magistrates, judges, clerical workers in the Bureau of Vital Statistics, more DMV employees. Too many people are hollering less government but are not willing to make the sacrifices needed. Cutting spending involves us all. Government waste is never in the area of our favorite thing to do. It is always in someone else’s camp.
I would prefer to pay more taxes and have restrooms and shorter lines. Throw in a sunset clause to 2 to get us over the hurdle. When those screaming less taxes and less government wake up to the realization that goods and services cost money and that government employees aren’t the ugly step children of private industry, then perhaps we can stop looking like an underpaid third world nation.
Meanwhile, the gun buyers will just have to suck it up and wait in line longer like everyone else is having to do. I hope they will be right out there leading the charge to raise taxes to pay for the goods and services we need to operate as a state. Should I be holding my breath?