Democrats: Universal Background Checks = Federal Firearms Registration

 (courtesy holgerawakens.blogspot.com)

“A bipartisan group of senators is on the verge of a deal that would expand background checks to all private firearms sales with limited exemptions,” washingtonpost.com reports, “but significant disagreements remain on the issue of keeping records of private gun sales.” Yes there is that. Under the Firearm Owners Protection Act, the feds must destroy any information gathered during mandatory background checks (by licensed gun dealers) within 24 hours. Congress designed the provision to stop Uncle Sam from creating a national firearm database. In reality, the ATF maintains several national firearms databases including one that contains all the customer and firearm data from ex-gun dealers’ log books. The Democrats have no problem “closing the gun show loophole” by keeping private firearms sales records into perpetuity . . .

Democrats say that keeping records of private sales is necessary to enforce any new law and because current federal law requires licensed firearm dealers to keep records. Records of private sales also would help law enforcement trace back the history of a gun used in a crime, according to Democratic aides. Republicans, however, believe that records of private sales could put an undue burden on gun owners or could be perceived by gun rights advocates as a precursor to a national gun registry.

And there you have it: two definitions of “universal background check.”

1. A system private sellers could use to make sure that people who purchase firearms privately are not prohibited persons; where the information on the sale remains private.

[NB: This version of universal background check could include a stipulation requiring the seller to maintain a receipt for the transaction for a given length of time (e.g., Illinois' regulations re: private sales). That would open the door to laws that punish the seller if the buyer commits a crime with the gun.]

2. A system to make sure that people who purchase firearms privately are not prohibited persons, where the information remains in government hands.

This would certainly create the possibility of confiscation (i.e., the ATF, DHS, etc. would know where to collect banned “assault weapons” should a new federal AWB arise). And it would enable laws that punish gun owners should thieves steal their firearms and use them in a crime.

The first option is certainly the least bad of the two. But given government’s tendency to drive a herd of camels through the small tent opening created by any new regulation (see: ATF abuses above), I can’t see this ending well.

Or working well. Or being cost efficient. Or saving lives. But it does add a financial burden on gun owners/tax payers and increases the difficulty of completing any private sale, thereby infringing upon Americans’ Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.

In case you didn’t know.

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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.

35 Responses to Democrats: Universal Background Checks = Federal Firearms Registration

  1. avatarNazgul says:

    No! This cannot be! TTAG is starting to depress me. What happened to the product reviews and supermodel web links?

    • avatarOK S. says:

      No offense meant, but the Supermodel meme doesn’t really sit well with some of our strongest supporters–especially the mothers: NRA Womens’ Network

      • avatarSammy says:

        Get over it. Jeez, can’t anybody admire beauty? We have far more dangerous threats to deal with.
        Robert, give the women equal time. Post a beefcake ever so often with a heads up for the homophobic. And ladies, you don’t have to click on the link to the models that are engaging in their chosen profession ifn ya don’t wanna.

        • avatarDan says:

          Fuck the Homophobic. Just post some nice pictures of Beefcakes with guns.

          Give both sides of the gender isle equal time, and nobody can really complain.

        • avatarRon Jones says:

          Yeah holy smokes. Sex sells. Where the heck are all the hotties? If ladies are offended by a pretty girl with a gun its most likely because they are overweight themselves and are jealous.

        • avatarOK S. says:

          Nothing to get over, friend. The Supermodel/Beefcake meme has nothing to do with “beauty.” It has everything to do with attracting a little more ad traffic–which is ad revenue. Does it attract some? Sure. Does it drive away some? Sure.

          Sometimes, however, the gratuitous driving away of those you may need is not always the wisest thing to do.

        • avatarSGC says:

          I’ve never understood why its “ok” to depict people getting thier heads blown off in movies, or to transmit graphic violence in the name of the first ammendment on the news, yet some people get so wound up about the human body in a less than fully clothed state. Why are people so uptight about that?

        • avatarWill says:

          I wouldn’t say that those that are anti-babe image linking/posting are “ugly” or overweight, at least not all. But, I would dare say that they are conditioned against it as it is “sexist” and NOT PC…

          Just as there are those who tout “pro-choice” but only want ONE choice: abortion. Just as there are those who’s real goals of “gun control” are to increase their own power and elitist positions while controlling the population. Just as there are those who tout “Equal Rights” but really want a complete power reversal. All others supporting their “cause” are just convenient tools who’ll “never get it” or “don’t want to know” their real end-goals. Not that they’ll “correct” those tools unless they get in the way.

      • avatarWilliam says:

        I’m telling the NRA Women’s Network (It’s “women’s” not “womens’”, as “women” is already plural!) to SOIAR!!

        Also, FEITCTAJ.

    • avatarWilliam says:

      Welcome to reality. If you want it to go away, go ostrich yourself. It won’t help you, or anyone else, one bit.

    • avatarWiebelhaus says:

      Honestly we have more important things going on right now. LIKE THIS. You want soft core porn while they chip away at your Constitutional rights? YOU depress me. Some of us out here working our asses off at rally’s, talking to media, writing and calling, passing out and talking to people and TTAG being smart and relevant about political currents and keeping folks who are too busy to read the news up to date on the daily attacks against us so kindly Sir, STFU, if you don’t like it GTFO.

  2. avatarThomas Paine says:

    yes, but 40% of some statistic that doesn’t compute sounds dangerous. right?

  3. avatarDavid says:

    Well, at least they are finally admitting that it is registration for the purposes of future confiscation… Under the guise of new laws.

    Can’t let the subjects enjoy the same plausible deniability our king loves.

    • avatarpsmcd says:

      After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.
      William S. Burroughs (1914-1997)
      “The War Universe”
      Taped conversation published in
      Grand Street, Number 37

  4. avatarBlehtastic says:

    It’s my understanding that 4473′s are kept indefinitely by every ffl. So most guns are “registered” already. Yes/No?

    • avatarThomas Paine says:

      technically, yes, the ones that go thru an FFL.

    • avatarRambeast says:

      Yes. The 4473s are kept until the FFL’s either go out of business or have their licenses revoked. Then the ATF gets them.

      • avatarHerb says:

        There’s a saying from the early days of the current gun control era (November 22, 1963 to the present): “In order to have a registration law there must be a deregistration law”; meaning of course that any gun transfer must be reported & the gun registered with the new owner.

        A Form 4473 does not wed one’s name to a gun forever. Under current law, anyway. If the Feds attempt to cobble together a Frankenbase of gun owners based upon expired FFLs, it will be porous & highly inaccurate.

        Maintain vigilance but remember the enemies of liberty however determined, are not omnipotent. Are the Feds going to show up at your doorstep & demand, “You bought a Colt M1911 in 1971. Where is it?”

        • avatarBill in IL says:

          They have the information, at least on me. When we called the paramedics for my elderly father back in 1998, the cops came along of course. They knew every single firearm I had that I purchased from a licensed dealer. The BATFE keeps the records and they share them with all law enforcement, don’t let them try and tell you different.

        • avatarWilliam says:

          (November 22, 1963 to the present)

          How distressing how the Military/Industrial/Intelligence community can order a patsy to order a mail-order decrepit rifle (called by Italian troops the “humanitarian rifle”), isn’t it?

    • avatarDavis Thompson says:

      20 years.

  5. avatarDrifter says:

    So we’re abandoning the AWB/Mag ban/frivolous crap in favor of incredibly ludicrous and ever increasing hassle and red tape to eventually dissuade people from owning firearms because it’s “not worth the headache”? if someone breaks in and steals a pistol from my safe and THEN uses it, it’s somehow my fault because the safe wasn’t(wait for it!)…”SAFE” enough? So rather than punish the criminal for unlawfully entering my domicile, stealing a firearm and THEN using said stolen firearm in the commission of ANOTHER felony, somehow it’s my fault?

    Well done, government. Keep it classy.

    • avatarRambeast says:

      Just as it is society’s fault for failing the criminal. /sarc

      WTH happened to personal responsibility?

      • avatarWill says:

        Personal responsibility went the way of the Bengal Tiger as it was too much work and the consequences were despised when wrong deeds delivered a punishment instead of a reward by those in positions of power. Fortunately, like the tiger still survives, there are a few that still not only believe in it, but they still practice it. Too bad many leaders and role-models don’t.

        It’s a de-facto ban they want since they know they cant get one outright. The best way, they found out, is to put so many hoops to jump through with high costs involved to discourage anyone from exercising their rights. (Gotta watch what you say lest you offend someone and they cry “hate speech” now punishable by law… Can’t OWN a weapon lest you go postal ya freaks, etc. They call for tolerance and discussions, but it can only be from their point of view, or they end discussion and become intolerant. )

    • avatarWilliam says:

      You got it. Crooks are upstanding citizens veered astray. We are terrorists.

  6. avatarThomas Paine says:

    11am Sunday – Democrats say “close to a deal on Universal Checks”
    1pm Sunday – Coburn says “no deal”

    i would think that Coburn’s team isn’t even discussing Univ BG checks, and the democrats who leaked the info were just playing the game.

    “I don’t think we are that close to a deal,” Coburn said on “Fox News Sunday.” “There absolutely will not be recordkeeping on legitimate, law abiding gun owners in this country.” he said. “And if they want to eliminate the benefits of actually trying to prevent the sales to people who are mentally ill and to criminals, all they have to do is create a record keeping. And that will kill this bill.”

    Unless they don’t get it either.

  7. avatarPro Gun Brit says:

    From what I can tell from the various media pages that are coming out now it seems that the negotiations have ground to a halt. Never the less, keep fighting this. Registration and confiscation happened in my country so don’t let it happen there.

  8. avatarKat says:

    I know what the position is of my Texas Senators – both will say “no, hell no”
    Need to email your own State Senators and enlighten them to the ramification to voting for this, if it comes to the floor.

    John McCain, not my senator but did vote for him in 2008 presidential election, so will be emailing him to request he vote “no” to any and all new gun lame a** laws.
    There are not enough money to enforce the existing gun laws now. Adding new ones will only effect the low lying fruit, legal, responsible, gun owners. Criminals & crazy do not buy guns at gun shows. They steal them, trade for drugs, get from like minded family/friends. Very few new gun owners buy at a gun show anyway.

  9. avatarChris McLain says:

    THE HORROR!! am I the only one that felt pain when I looked at that picture!

  10. avatarBurrow Owl says:

    Repeat after me:

    “I WILL NOT COMPLY!”

  11. avatarPatrick says:

    Political use of the word “universal” means something’s wrong. Technically, if something is universal then even Martians would have to comply, as they are in the universe. “universal” health care does not ensure health care for everyone in the universe, or even everyone in the country.

    Rather than use the word “universal”, one should be specific and say what one actually means. Universal background checks would mean that everyone gets a background check, buying a gun, not buying a gun, buying a baseball, etc. They should say what they mean.

  12. avatarSixpack70 says:

    I wonder if this were to pass, if the cost to the government would be the final straw in bankrupting the country? Oh no, I forgot, we as responsible gun owners will bear the burden of exercising our rights by paying a fee to buy any gun. A very high fee! I wonder when we will have to pay a fee to exercise our fist amendment rights, our fourth and fifth amendment rights.

    Officer: Sir, you may not exercise the right to remain silent until you pay your $200 dollar fee and display your fifth amendment permit.

  13. If anybody needs proof that background checks lead to gun registries just look at PA where it is illegal to have a gun registry… yet one exists !!!

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