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Mark Bruscke writes: I anticipate an insidious threat from so-called Universal Background Check (UBC) laws requiring that all firearms sales and transfers be subject to an FBI background check. UBC’s generate ATF 4473 forms for each transfer. These paper forms remain in an Federal Firearms Licensee’s (FFL or legal gun dealer’s) possession and as entries in the FFL’s “Bound-Book.” That’s the only way they’re available to law enforcement in the course of an investigation.

Set aside the much-touted, unproven proposition that UBC’s prevent firearms sales and transfers to prohibited persons. Consider the fact that the new laws does nothing to aid criminal investigations and everything to pave the way for greater infringement on Americans’ gun rights.

That’s because the current Form 4473-based system is entirely ineffective for tracing a “crime-gun” to the last buyer in the secondary, legal market. Yes, the feds know which dealer sold a given gun initially. But, by law, the feds can’t maintain an electronic record of FBI NICS checks information. Any and all records of any and all secondary transfers are in paper form only, stored at the gun dealers’ premises and recorded in their “Bound-Book.”

Even if a “crime gun” was the subject of a secondary “universal background check,” law enforcement looking to track-down the transferee would have to know which FFL last officiated in the last secondary-market transfer. Again, under the current system, they can’t know this information without searching the dealers Bound-Book and/or countless Form 4473’s.

A couple of years after Congress mandates a federal UBC, gun control advocates will be shocked – SHOCKED I tell you – to discover that tracing secondary market firearms transfers is impossible without ONE MORE change: a new law requiring FFLs to computerize their Bound-Book records. Much like the legislation that now compels medical doctors to computerize their patient records.

Once that new legislation is implemented the ATF could skirt the law prohibiting a national gun registry by firing-off trace inquiries to thousands of FFLs searching for a firearm’s make, model and serial number. Until they find an FFL who responds with a report of a recent transfer.

This change will create a “federated” national gun registry. That is, there will be no SINGLE database of all the legal owners in the US. Instead, there will be 100,000 databases distributed throughout the local guns store in the nation. All accessible from Washington, DC. at the push of a button.

Should there be a federal prohibition on a particular type of weapon (e.g. an “assault weapon ban”) or a change to the laws concerning qualifications for firearms ownership (e.g.disqualifying Americans taking anti-depressants from possessing firearms), Uncle Sam will be able to know who owns what where. Enforcement to follow.

I do not believe for a moment that the vast majority of “crime guns” fall into criminals hands via FFL transfers. The existence of the “black market” for millions of stolen firearms means that “Universal Background Checks” will only identify the infinitesimal percentage of gun-seeking criminals stupid enough to agree to an FBI background check.

Nor will UBCs “dry up” the supply of stolen or “straw purchased” firearms available to criminals. Nor will UBC’s aid law enforcement in the pursuit of criminals. But they will lead America down the slippery slope to national gun registration, an infringement that threatens the rights and liberty of all Americans.

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37 Responses to The Hidden Danger of Universal Background Checks

    • You do realize that Progressives are aware of this approach (which they affectionately call “ghost guns”) and are trying to ban the sale/possession of 80% lowers, correct?

      The long term answer is aluminum billets and milling machines that can manufacture the lower receiver from a solid block of aluminum. There is no way that government can ban the sale of solid aluminum blocks and milling machines. The only option left for government in that situation would be bans on the sale of stocks, buffer tubes, bolt carrier groups, grips, and barrels. Oh, and government could ban the machining process without an FFL!

      • The solution to this nonsense is not milling machines. Realistically, only a fraction of 1% of gun owners would be able to create a firearm on a milling machine. The same tiny number of prospective owners would seek out firearms created by the folks able to mill these firearms. The solution to this nonsense is to not give one more inch.

      • Didn’t we read here that the ATF was posing a regulation that any material that could be used in the manufacture of firearms or ammunition would be required to carry a serial number, along with record-keeping of the sale?

        • Exactly. Prohibition of un-serialized firearms are the responding chess-move for the gun grabbers. Don’t play chess with gun grabbers!!

      • Government bans the sale of a plant…. they can ban the sale of a block of metal or a machine to shape it into something.

  1. “But, by law, the feds can’t maintain an electronic record of FBI NICS checks information.”

    Hah! Does anyone really believe that such a law actually stops a government employee in some basement of some government building from recording such information?

    • Anyone with an interest in firearms that did NOT recently receive a recall postcard from Remington regarding their rifle triggers? Lists of gun owners already exist. The Feds would NEVER use such.

      • I bought a Remington 700 new from an FFL about 2.5 years ago. And I have no received one of the postcards in the mail that commenters have been talking about. I even filled out the warranty card with my address(if I am remembering correctly).

    • I spoke with the owner of one of the largest Federally Licensed firearms store in my state. He told me that ATF agents remove records from his shop and audit them in motels nearby (it takes several days). He said he does not know if they scan the hard copy records or not. He also said that mom and pop operations were not so much of a concern to them as the large gun retailers. FYI.

  2. ~But, but we have to do Something!!

    -Uhm, this will not stop criminals, only inconvenience the law abiding…..

    ~yeah, but feelz.

    • Colorado implemented UBCs a couple of years ago when the Ds got full control of both houses and the governor’s chair. We also got mag limits in the same session.

      The first full year’s figures showed that there were only between 13-14,000 private transfers subject to UBC. The law’s proponents had claimed it would be significantly higher. As it worked out the actual number was 7% of what the grabbers projected.

      What they’ve succeeded in doing is creating a large number of otherwise law-abiding scofflaws.

      They also succeeded in stimulating a couple of successful recalls and a resignation. At present, the Ds still hold the governor’s seat and the house by a narrow margin. The Rs have the senate by one seat, and you’d better believe the pro 2A incumbent in that seat (who came in after the prior occupant resigned when she saw the writing on the wall) is being targeted by the grabbers with out of state money.

  3. You do realize that a lot of times if a gun shop is being investigated or being inspected, the atf make a record of all 4473s and that the gun shop is required to maintain the records until they close at which point have to send them to the atf.

  4. I post it here ad nauseam, but y’all really should read the UN’s 42 page document called “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (adopted 2015) and built upon the “Agenda 21” (adopted 1992 [Clinton’s Term]).
    https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/21252030%20Agenda%20for%20Sustainable%20Development%20web.pdf.
    It’s purpose is to sweep all countries under it, and to have them [also] follow its UNODA laws, cause you can’t do one-world globalist communism without getting rid of Nationalism (seen any POS take a knee lately?) or RTKABA.

    All of this sh_t will make a lot more sense to see which of your representatives have totally sold out America so that it can be one of the UN’s ‘united states’.

    But yes, you can’t claim that UBCs aren’t ‘in-the-works’.

    • I can predict that anyone in a blue helmet headed for my door will not live to reach it. What the UN dictates makes no difference to me, or to anyone else on the planet, if you haven’t noticed. Organization is a joke.

      • Yeah, but no blue-helmet is going to tax you into world-wide single payer health care, or tax you into paying for (satan’s chode) global warming activism.

        The UN WILL accomplish it through your current representatives. Their 2030 Agenda was piggy-backed off of the UN’s Agenda 21 (Passed in 1992 [Clinton’s term]) and if you read that, they are AHEAD OF SCHEDULE ON ALL THE CRAP THEY WANT TO PULL.

        It is already happening.

        Even after the election, you will still have a cr_p-ton of liberal_progressive_communist_globalist (D) out there to conterract. If you read the 2030 Agenda, all the stupid feet-dragging on immigration, and all of the acceleration on gun-control and Obamacare comes into light.

        GET THE UN OUT OF THE US NOW

        • Yeah, we keep talking wishfully about seceding, I think even better would be a process for expulsion. For a wet dream, try imagining expelling NYC, including UN, from the US.

  5. Government cannot stop a criminal act, the only reason for UBC is to help trace an investigation and employ more people in government.

  6. Even if they could cut off the secondary market the demand would simply shift to the black market. Stealing guns would become that much more profitable, and if they can walk right across our border with 70 pound packs of pot do you really think they couldn’t illegally import guns? Or illegally manufacture them? The gov should just admit the reality that the gun can’t be uninvented and criminals will find a way to get them no matter what the government does to try and stop them.

  7. The feared unorganized gun owner database already exists; no new law needed. essentially, each FFL is its own data repository. The combined repositories are called a “data warehouse”. ATF (or any government agency) can send an email demanding FFLs research their records and report back findings as to transfers. Doesn’t currently include the private sales, but that is where UBCs fill the gap. Even without UBCs, the original owner could be required to disclose to whom the firearm was sold, and so on. If any owner in the chain could not present proof of sale to an eligible person would probably be charged with selling to a prohibited person.

    All that is needed is the will of the government to get started.

  8. The big box outdoors stores already do their stuff “electronically”. If it’s in a computer the Feds can access it.

  9. I’m unclear what they need the background check for. If you want a gun, you’re disqualified from having one, (being deplorable, irredeemable, bitterly clinging & similar.)

    Why is this hard?

  10. What would happen to the system if a few million people a year went in, went through the background check, and then said they’d decided not to buy. Does that form have to be kept, even though there wasn’t actually a sale?

    Or what if millions of us bought guns, then a few days later returned them, and the stores resold the same gun? That would generate a huge pile of forms.

    I think the system could be flooded to the point of being more useless than it would be anyway.

  11. Fine, and good to repeat for those who don’t already know it.

    Duh-level obvious, however, for the majority of us who already do.

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