H-ATASCADERO

Jan 18, 2013 8:35 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

Checking out the background check process to buy a gun

The second amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms, but not everyone can walk out of a store with a gun. KSBY wanted to see what the process was for an average person with a clean record to walk into a store and purchase a firearm.

Background checks are a recent controversial topic. It is a process meant to screen and scan a person, to make sure they are capable of owning a firearm.

"Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" asked Atascadero's Uncle Ed's Outfitters Co-owner and Operator Jacob Zaluksy.

That question, along with dozens more, get asked out loud, everything a customer walks into his store with interest to buy a gun.

Zalusky said, "you have to go through this process, do your waiting period in the state of California, and allow us to double check and make sure you haven't done anything."

That process is a lengthy and multi-step one. To begin, one has to show proof of U.S. Citizenship via identification. They also require proof of California residency for over 90 days. After that, Zalusky puts you through a state mandated written test.

"This shows you understand the basic safety and handling capabilities of a weapon," he said.

The gun which the customer would like to purchase, will then get checked off of the California Certified List.

After that, the paperwork begins. An extensive federal and state document must be filled out, which checks one's background. It asks if someone has been convicted of a felony, if they are a drug-user, or if they have ever been deemed mentally unstable.

Zalusky said, "if you have any types of misdemeanors, felonies, drug possessions, anything that would basically have a stipulation through the court order that says you are not allowed to possess, own, or be on the premises of a gun, then that would deny you."

But some, like President Obama say this process may still not be enough. As it now stands, the National Instant Criminal Background Check database in which all the information one provides during the gun purchase, is missing millions of names of people who can't legally own guns.\

After 240 hours, or approxiamtely 10 days, the federal and state government will either delay, deny, or approve one's request to buy a gun. Even after that, Zalusky said, if a customer gets cleared to purchase a gun, they have to go through another test to prove that they know how to safely handle and lock up a gun.

Despite what some may say is a flawed background check system, Zalusky said he does what he can to comb out the bad apples.

"90-percent to 100-percent of my customers are law abiding citizens. The people that can fall into that 10-percent, are those that are denied, and who we do not allow to purchase weapons," said Zalusky.

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