Northwest Ohio newspaper shows up Pulitzer-winning Plain Dealer on gun coverage

Defiance Crescent gets facts by looking past unreliable Brady Campaign anti-gun propaganda

By Chad D. Baus

On Wednesday, April 18, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published an article entitled “In Ohio its really easy to buy a gun.” It was immediately apparent that the writer, Plain Dealer reporter Terry Oblander, relied on incorrect information from the Brady Campaign.

(I highly encourage readers to consult the original Plain Dealer "In Ohio, it's really easy to buy a gun" article before continuing)

After contacting the author of the story and publishing a rebuttal on this website that same day, Buckeye Firearms Association issued a press release to caution other Ohio journalists to avoid trusting the Brady bunch’s “report cards”, which are chocked with information that is just plain false in many cases, severely misleading in others.

Two days after the Plain Dealer's Brady drivel rewrite, the Defiance Crescent published a story entitled "Purchasing a gun is not that easy in Ohio", and proved that when a journalist actually bothers to investigate the facts about gun laws, a much different story will be told.

Click 'Read More' for complete details.

From the Defiance Crescent:

    Just how easy is it to buy a gun?

    Many people may be asking that question in recent days. In Ohio, law enforcement officials and local businesses say it's not that simple.

    "You just don't walk in and out with a gun quick," said John Caperton of J&J Guns & Ammo, Bryan.

    State and federal laws require individuals purchasing guns to fill out a form, present a form of federally approved photo identification, such as a driver's license and submit to a background check.

    There are also other rules, including age and residency requirements.

The gun store owners went on to explain who may purchase a handgun in Ohio, and detailed the background check process.

    After the form is filled out, all the information is validated."

    Firearms businesses then call the federal government's National Instant Criminal Background Check System to determine if the individual can purchase the gun. Shops are usually given one of three answers: proceed, delay or denied. If delayed, shops may have to wait up to 72 hours to learn if the sale can go through.

    "We have had some that were denied. Most of the time it was domestic violence charges (that's why their denied)," said Maag. "Delays are sometimes caused by someone else having the same name and the FBI wants to make sure who they are giving approval to. It's very strict."

    Caperton said he's had just two people denied so far and about 10 percent of the firearm purchases have had delays.

"It's pretty extensive for a background check and Ohio is one of the states that requires a complete background check," Caperton is quoted as saying. "It's a lot of information. You're in pretty deep trouble if you answer a question false. That's a federal crime."

    In addition to personal information, the 4407 form to purchase a firearm asks 12 questions. Among these are if the individual has ever been under indictment, convicted of a crime, a fugitive, on drugs, been put in a mental institution, convicted of domestic violence, is an illegal resident and has ever renounced U.S. citizenship.

    Individuals also have to be at least 21 years old to purchase a handgun and 18 to purchase a long-gun.

    The same age requirement goes for ammunition purchases.

    Person-to-person sale of firearms do not need to have background checks according to state law, however, it is illegal to sell a gun to someone who cannot legally have one.

"I just think that the system we have is a good system," Maag told the Crescent News, adding that sometimes incidents do occur. "Sometimes guns land in the wrong hands at times and bad things happen."

    Maag also said permits and classes for individuals to carry a concealed weapon are strict.

    "The classes are 12-14 hour classes," she said.

    Defiance County Sheriff Dave Westrick said his office is very attentive to individuals applying for concealed carry weapon (CCW) permits.

    "It is not a 15-minute check," he said. "We check to see if someone's record was cleared or expunged when they apply to get a CCW. We check that personally. When another county calls us we check those again."

    Westrick said that even if someone's record was cleared or expunged of charges, those crimes would still be examined for a CCW permit.

    "It still prohibits you from getting a CCW," he said.

Crescent News reporter Lisa Nicely has done the job that Terry Oblander, reporter at the Pulizer Prize-winning Cleveland Plain Dealer, should have done. Nicely called law enforcement officials and business owners who conduct background checks. Oblander consulted a gun ban lobby's misleading, unreliable propaganda, and called one of the group's attorneys.

In the end, as we have repeatedly sought to inform the media, the reporter who did her job well was able to report a much more accureate, true-to-life set of facts.

Those wishing to thank Lisa Nicely may contact her at [email protected].

Related Story:
WARNING: False information in Plain Dealer story on Ohio campus victim zones

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