What does a SAFE Act background check really entail?

Posted at: 04/12/2013 5:27 PM
Updated at: 04/12/2013 5:41 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion

Second Amendment advocates may not agree on much when it comes to the new gun law. But they do agree guns don't belong in the wrong hands.

The New York State SAFE Act hopes to prevent that from happening by conducting mandatory background checks. Every person who wants to buy a gun has to go through the process.

Bob Liberatore, gun owner, said, “To a degree it weeds out some of the element that could become negative in society.”

Liberatore is talking about background checks. Fred Calcango owns American Sportsman. He sees only one problem.

Calcagno said, “It's not as easy as people think. It does take a bit of work and a little bit of time.”

News10NBC wanted to know just how much time. So News10NBC's Joangel Concepcion went ahead and filled out the form. All she had to have was an ID. At first, she had to answer basic questions like name and address, but then she answered some serious questions like, “Are you subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking or threatening your child or intimate partner.”

“Next one, have you ever been convicted in court of a misdemeanor crime, of domestic violence. Next one, have you ever renounced your U.S. Citizenship.”

“Next one, are you an alien illegally in the United States and the next one are you an alien admitted to the United States under a non immigrant visa?”

Calcagno then called it in to the national registry where they checked Joangel's mental health background and criminal history. She filled out a customer safety awareness form and Calcagno forever logged it in his books. The whole process takes about 20 minutes. It is a lot, but it puts gun sellers at ease.

Calcagno said, “It's a tool that helps and it stops some people who are ineligible from buying guns in stores.”

Joangel did pass her background check, but changed her mind about getting a gun and that ultimately stopped the authorization. These background checks are only performed at gun shops for serious gun buyers.

When it comes to private sales, many gun shop owners have declined to do them so it may be harder to get a check for that kind of sale. To read more on that, click here.

Even if you pass the check, it is still up to the seller where they want to sell you a gun. They can refuse to sell if they suspect the gun won't be put to good use. For instance, if someone says they want a gun to go hunting and they are looking at handguns. They have the right to say no.