BUTTE – Police routinely train for what to do when an active shooting occurs at a school.

Butte’s undersheriff says last week’s school shooting in Florida shows how inadequate background checks can be for firearm purchases and believes the checks can be improved.

“We’re changing our techniques all the time,” said Butte-Silver Bow Undersheriff George Skuletich. “What’s failed to happen, I believe, is for the government to change its reaction to active shooters.”

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Undersheriff Skuletich believes background checks for firearms purchases in this country is inadequate.

“The background checks have to be changed, they have to become stiffer, they have to have more information inside those background checks,” said Skuletich. “The instant background checks we’re doing now for firearms does not work.”

One of the duties that the undersheriff performs is to vet people who want a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Along conducting a background check on a national register, the undersheriff looks up the person’s local police record.

“To see if we have dealt with them if there are any mental health issues associated with our dealings with these individuals, so it helps us to make an informed decision and the national check that they do for firearms doesn’t have that information,” said Undersheriff Skuletich.

The undersheriff believes if background checks went deeper, perhaps the person accused in the Parkland shooting would not have been able to purchase a gun. However, there are still too many loopholes when it comes to firearms purchases.

“You go to a sporting goods store to purchase a firearm, maybe they get turned down at the sporting goods store, they could find themselves a gun show or somebody else that’s willing to sell them a handgun and they could buy it that way,” said Undersheriff Skuletich.

He added that he’s not in favor of banning all firearms, just improving background checks to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals or those with mental health problems.

Undersheriff Skuletich says if people need to contact their congressional representatives and demand more in-depth background checks.

Reporting by John Emeigh for MTN News

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