Foresight Blog

Should Background Checks Be Limited?

Background checks have been thrust into the public spotlight in recent months. Thousands of Americans have petitioned their representatives to enact stricter regulation when it comes to the sale of firearms. They demand that all buyers be subjected to an instant federal background check, no matter what type of weapon they intend to purchase.

On the heels of so many violent ┬átragedies, and specifically as we approach the anniversary of the Aurora shooting, many have stated their desire for more thorough investigation into fellow citizens who wish to pursue their Second Amendment rights. In fact, the instant background check system employed by firearms dealers has prevented the sale of over 2 million firearmssince it has been active – these are sales that would have put dangerous weapons into the hands of individuals with a criminal record.

On the other hand, background checks have come under fire by groups who claim that they unfairly discriminate against citizens who are seeking employment. Recently, one particular employment case involving Dollar General and BMW has gained momentum. Both companies are being charged by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging they used background checks as a means of racial discrimination, having denied employment to two African-American candidates with criminal records.

Those who oppose these two companies see background checks as a weapon that is used to oppress and unfairly discriminate. They call for the government to step in with more regulation around the application of background checks, especially in the context of employment.

Knowledge is Power

Two very different stories in the news today – two opposing opinions. Should background checks be regulated and limited? Or should they be applied more liberally throughout a variety of industries?

Whichever side of the fence you fall on, one thing is certain: criminal record information, and the learnings derived from it are powerful. They force attention from opponents and supporters alike. The question is, will you be using it to mitigate risk for your organization or will you be fighting to suppress the application of this information?