Should the feds go after gun buyers who fail background checks?

In 2010, nearly 80,000 Americans were denied guns after providing false information about their criminal histories during the background check. Technically, it’s a felony to lie during this process. Yet only 44 would-be buyers were ever charged with a crime, according to the New York Times. …

But there was an explanation, or at least an attempt at one. After a heated back and forth, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn argued that these specific types of prosecutions were largely a distraction. “It’s a paper thing. I want to stop the 76,000 people who are buying guns illegally,” he said. “If you think we’re going to do paperwork prosecutions, we’re wrong.”

In a later exchange with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Walsh agreed, arguing that there was little point in going after people who had already failed background checks — since they were unable to buy guns anyway. “There’s no way the Department of Justice could have prosecuted all 1.5 million people who were rejected over that 15 year period.”