Canada to US: Universal Background Checks? Don’t Do It!

Universal background checks is gun control speak for gun registration. The NRA waffles on the subject—as you’d expect. They have a hard time arguing against an extension of the current FBI background check system because they supported its creation. “We need to fix the current system first” may be a politically palatable prevarication, but it masks the truth: the current background check system is the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent for federal firearms registration. (Which already exists through the ATF’s log book requirement). In fact, “below the radar” private gun sales are how ALL gun sales should be. Below the government radar. Because if they’re not, Canada. And worse. ‘Nuff said?

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

21 Responses to Canada to US: Universal Background Checks? Don’t Do It!

  1. avatarLance says:

    I also fin it funny that fascist like Obama like AR-15s and all semi autos banned. BUT in Canada you can own a AR-15 and other semi-auto firearms, mag limit yes (5rd allowed for hunting) But Canada goes against some of the antigunners logic.

    You can own a Norinco AR copy called the CQ in Canada.

    • avatarMichael B. says:

      You can own shotguns of any barrel length without onerous paperwork requirements and tax stamps too.

    • avatarAnon in CT says:

      You cannot hunt with an AR or any other Restricted Weapon (pistols and most patrol rifles (with a few quirky exceptions like the Tavor). You can only lock them up at hom and transport them to the range (assuming you have the proper transport permit). 10 rd limit for pistols and 5 for rifles. No baby pistols – Glock 26 et al have barrels too short and are banned.

  2. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Yes, What is needed is no restriction gun sales. With many people packin then, help is just seconds & a bullet away, Randy

  3. avatarWilliam says:

    All in due time.

  4. avatarADub from TTAC says:

    Look at how long those Canadians had their rights trampled before fixing things at the ballot box. The message is you can either lay down and take it, and play the long game and try to fix things, or you can fight. One guy fought, on paper, and lost, and now he is losing everything.

  5. avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    The Canadian long gun registry was one of the most expensive policy mistakes the Canadian government ever made.

    The only people who still support it are the provincial government of Quebec, which believes in a good many goofy, expensive policies that don’t pan out.

  6. avatarMike says:

    The AR15 is a “Restricted Weapon” in Canada. This means the only place it can be used is at the range. Can’t be taken into the field for hunting.
    There’s not really much good about Canada’s gun laws. The really draconian stuff started back in ’78 and each law made the situation for gun owners worse. That bill proposed in WA state (now withdrawn) to allow law enforcement to ‘inspect’ your gun storage… that has been law in Canada for many years.
    The present federal gov’t is run by the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). But the leader appears not so conservative. He rejected his own committee’s recommendation to ease the gun laws. See http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/harper-rejects-committees-advice-to-relax-gun-laws/article6033474/
    Take what Brian Lilley says very seriously. Because once you lose your freedoms, you will never get them back. It’s the primary reason I left Canada. For good.

  7. avatarGS650G says:

    It’s very telling when Canada teaches the US about gun laws. We also have the UK and Australia as examples of emotional legislating gone amok.

  8. avatarGC says:

    They should simply make the background check system like the E-verify system. Anyone who wants to sell a gun gets on the web site, enters the buyers info and it says eligible or not eligible and thats that.

    • avatarDean Weingarten says:

      Unfortunately, it does not work that way, and was never intended to work that way. It was always intended to morph into universal gun registration over time. It should be eliminated as costly and ineffective.

      If the time and money spent on background checks was spent insuring that violent criminals were really disarmed, we and our rights would be much safer.

  9. avatarWLCE says:

    Can we drop the “universal background check” bullshit already?

    It already infringes upon the 4th and 5 th amendment rights.

  10. avatarandarm16 says:

    The only nice thing about Canadian firearms laws is that they aren’t so paranoid about foreigners owning guns. To bring a gun into Canada (Other than prohibited guns) all one has to do is fill out a simple form, at the border. (According to this) For the United States, you need an advance permit, which requires one to have a hunting license, or a registration for a shooting event, and must be filed with the ATF in advance. (see here) Other than that, it sounds like a slightly eviler version of California.

  11. avatarBlaxsun says:

    Yes, while the AR15 is restricted in Canada and limited to range-only use, we don’t have to go through the NFA and $200 tax stamp hassles for anything under a 16″ barrel. In addition, we have quite a few black rifles that are non-restricted which makes them eligible for hunting, shooting or transporting anywhere: Tavor, FS2000, XCR-L, ACR, PS90, Swiss Arms just to name a few.

    Make no mistake: Any firearms registration leads to reclassification and confiscation. It’s not a question of “if”, but “when”.

    • avatarMike says:

      Absolutely, registration will lead to confiscation and the very best one can hope for is to be grandfathered. But even then, the gov’t will screw you. I had a Norinco AK47 clone (semi-auto only of course) and a nice FN L1A1 that overnight, became Restricted Weapons, then a couple years later, Prohibited Weapons, then a short time later, a prohib with NO permission to take it to the range. All by Order in Council, because some statist in the (in)Justice Dept decided they are too scary looking. IOW, my two rifles became nothing more than a paperweight or doorstop. You are not permitted to take those firearms (and others they classified as ‘prohibited long guns’) to the range. Period. So while the gov’t didn’t “confiscate” them, they are absolutely useless because they cannot be used anywhere (full autos started down that path in ’78 with law C51 by the Liberal Gov’t).
      I have been involved with the FED-UP I and II rallies, tens of thousands of gun owners marching on the Hill in Ottawa to protest law C68 but it was all a waste of time. And now Harper rejects his own committee recommendations to ease the draconian laws. Canada does not have a 2nd Amendment (in fact, NO property rights enshrined) so it was/is doomed to go the same way as England and Australia (not quite there just yet but the writing is on the wall). The USA must never, ever allow gov’t thugs to take away the RKBA. If RKBA falls, other rights will follow. I sure didn’t move here to see the US go down the Canadian path. I’ve already joined the NRA and am doing everything I can. Every gun owner should be!

  12. avatarGreg Camp says:

    Note that the idea of universal background checks isn’t presented as an attempt at compromise. If a system were set up whereby buyers enter their information and an answer–yes or no–pops up on the screen with no record made, I’d have no major objection to this, but in response to such a waste of time, I want something in return. Eliminating the ATF form and bound books, for example.

    Whenever gun control freaks yammer about compromise, ask what they’re willing to give in return. The answer is invariably nothing.

  13. avatarBlaxsun says:

    Universal background checks aren’t the solution, either. Criminals will simply get what they need on the black market, steal it or utilize a straw buyer (as we saw recently in NY). And until we start marking the mentally insane with a scarlet “I”, it’s going to be pretty hard to detect or deter them (especially if they lift firearms from legitimate owners).

    Take it from your Northern neighbours: Firearms owners threw “assault weapon” owners under the bus in the vain hope that they’d be spared. We say AR15s restricted en-masse, a magazine limit of 5 rounds and numerous other firearms prohibited and seized without compensation.

    Lo and behold, within a few short years they came for the turncoats as well in the form of a national firearms registry. It’s taken us 2 decades to even begin to start repealing and undoing the damage (which did substantial damage to our firearms industry).

    Give an inch, and they’ll be back tomorrow for another inch. It’s death by 1,000 cuts.

  14. avatarMy Name Is Bob says:

    I got a better idea still-Don’t do *ANY* new gun laws, we have enough BS to put up with as is!

  15. “Our rights trampled on”?
    “Freedoms taken away?”
    “Oppression?”

    You all seem to have no clue what the situation here in Canada is. We work to change the things we feel need changing. Transport permits for restricted guns. Random storage checks. Wrongful classification of firearms. Making the AR-15 a viable hunting rifle.

    What we DON’T fight for is your nonsense of civilian militias, concealed carry and zero gun control. In case you haven’t noticed, Canada is not America. We don’t have a gun violence epidemic. We don’t have mass shootings (one in the last 20 years, 2006 which took 3 lives including the shooter) and the vast majority of gun owners here don’t buy into the paranoia of “(insert Canadian official) gonna take our guns”.

    The fact is, here in Canada, the typical gun owner is either a hunter, a skeet shooter, a competitive marksman, a collector or just a guy who likes to take his buddies to the range. You’ll find few people who think introducing concealed carry here is a good idea. You’ll find few people here who think going lax on the storage regulations is a good idea. You’ll find few people who think it’s a good idea to have people owning guns without taking a basic safety and knowledge course and getting checked out by the RCMP.

    Why? Because gun owners in Canada know that background checks are not about “taking away our God given freedoms”, they’re about keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. It means that if Adam Lansa was Canadian, it would be highly likely that he would be denied a PAL and the rifles he used would have been locked and inaccessible to him anyway. It means that in Canada, the answer to gun violence on the street is not more guns but less. And it’s worked so far. It means that you will never hear of a child accidentally killing themselves or their sibling because daddy thought a gun under the pillow was a good idea. Does our system always work? Heck no. But judging by our track record, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Not saying that’s the answer for you but it’s the answer for us.

    So coming from a “gun slingin’ Alberta boy” (that’s the Texas of Canada if you didn’t know) Most of us are pretty happy with the laws in place right now. Is it inconvenient that we have little breathing room when dealing with restricted weapons? Yes. Is it inconvenient that our mag capacity is 5 rounds for a rifle? Yes (10 rounds for a pistol is not inconvenient). But if the day comes when the “SHTF” as you say down there, it will take me less than a half an hour with a set of pliers for all my mags to all the sudden be the good ‘ol 30′s that you love so much. And is it inconvenient that we must be a paying member of a gun club to own and use restricted firearms? Slightly. But in Canada, the only legitimate reason you can list on your RPAL application for the ownership of restricted weapons is target shooting anyway, so it’s not far out to expect people to actually go to the place they said they’re interested in.

    But when it comes down to it, those ‘inconveniences’ are part of a response to crime that has proven itself in my country. So if I want to call myself a responsible gun owner, that not only means being safe at the range and in the handling and storage of my firearms, but also in knowing that the policies and laws I choose to promote, oppose or change in the name of “freedom” or “convenience” have an impact on more people than myself and more people than gun owners.

    So since your country’s problems are yours and my country’s problems are mine, I’m going to offer you no advice on how to solve your problems and I expect you do the same, without using the state of my country as a pawn in your political battle. All I will say is this; more people will understand and sympathize with what you’re trying to accomplish when you start treating the gun control debate as a great big group of relationships between human beings rather than who has what right in what document laid down hundreds of years ago.

    /Endrant

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