In a rare instance of bipartisan agreement, the Pennsylvania State Senate has overwhelmingly agreed to revamp the background check application process to own a firearm in the Commonwealth. In addition to a review of an applicant’s criminal record and mental health status, potential candidates will now be required to complete an in-depth IQ test.
Senator Scott Wagner (R) of York, explained why he cast one of the 48 out of 50 possible YES votes for the legislation.
“I am all in favor of gun ownership for the majority of Pennsylvanians, but I am a realist. Even most Republicans recognize that there are limitations to the second amendment. We already keep the guns away from the felons and the crazies. I think it is just a natural extension of the law to also keep them away from the dummies.”
The proposed IQ test will be completed online or at any of the state’s Dick’s Sporting Good’s Stores. Applicants will be required to complete simple cognitive tasks such as solve math word problems, alphabetize a list of word, and various memory probes. In addition, test takes can earn bonus points for completing tasks such as citing the last book read, naming their local congressman or successful discerning if printed material is fact or fiction.
Senator Shirley M. Kitchen (D) of Philadelphia is the sponsor of the bill. She thinks that the new law, which will take effect in January of 2016 is a good start, but she feels that there is room to grow.
“Ideally, I would like to attach appropriate IQ minimums with various weapons. For example, those with 130 and above would be eligible to carry an automatic weapon, 100 for hand guns, and 70 for hunting rifles. Nevertheless, the current law is a step in the right direction. If it keeps one dullard from using a pistol as a back scratcher, then I will consider it a success.