This month, senators blocked a compromise that would have compelled unlicensed sellers at gun shows and online gun sellers to conduct background checks, despite polls that showed that 90 percent of the public supported the idea.
I’m a libertarian who played a role in reducing handgun restrictions in the nation’s capital. In 2008, in a case I helped initiate — Heller v. District of Columbia — the Supreme Court declared that the Second Amendment protected an individual’s right to bear arms. But the stonewalling of the background check proposal was a mistake, politically and substantively.
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Robert A. Levy is chairman of the board of the Cato Institute. He wrote this for The New York Times.