Numerous members of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia chimed-in on the CapArms Question of the Day: What’s Wrong With Universal Background Checks? My turn . . .

There are three major concerns regarding UBCs. First and foremost is, of course, the fact that the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility.

The freedom to own must necessarily include the right to purchase. There is no other fundamental right in the Constitution which any court in the country would allow to be subjected to background checks. Think about it:

• Want to sell a book at a yard sale? Please undergo the UBC (and for those who say “but books don’t kill” I would direct your attention towards Mein Kampf, Manifesto of the Communist Party (aka The Communist Manifesto), The Turner Diaries, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Guerrilla Warfare (the murderous sociopath Che Guevara’s epistle), and so on).
• Want to buy a book at a garage sale? Please undergo the UBC.
• Want to go to church? Please undergo the UBC.
• Want to preach at church? Please undergo the UBC.
• Want to publish a blog? Please undergo the UBC.
• Want to read a blog or buy a newspaper? Please undergo the UBC.
• Want to speak in public, buy birth control, travel across state lines, join the Fraternal Order of Button Collectors? Please undergo the UBC.

My second major reason for opposing UBCs: the antis are never satisfied. Whatever “common sense” restrictions on Second Amendment rights they manage to pass, it’s just a “good first step.” Their job is never finished (and won’t be) until they achieve full and complete civilian disarmament.

Lest someone out there accuse me of slippery slope-ism, let me remind you what happened in New York State back in 2011 (complete story here) a decade after New York State passed their UBC law.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office conducted an eight-month gun show investigation, uncovering “serious violations,” leading to ten arrests. This inevitably led the AG’s office to call for “a stronger law to hold show operators liable and increase penalties.”

That may sound reasonable, unless you dig into the meat of the story and discover that those “unlawful sellers” were actually show attendees, not dealers, and that the gun show operators had meticulously followed New York’s UBC law. They had signs posted at all entrances, at all ticket sale locations and at least four places within the show to make sure that everyone knew the law.

This is what I mean by never satisfied; even though show operators complied with every jot and tittle of the law, the AG’s office wanted to be able to criminally prosecute show operators for the unlawful conduct of their attendees. Think about that for a minute; this would be like criminally charging the Lipizzan Horse Show because a couple of their customers were caught violating the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act by sneaking a cigarette in the restrooms during a performance.

My third major reason for opposing UBCs: I am utterly opposed to the idea that there’s any subset of people (aside from those locked up in prison or in treatment) who should not be allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights. As David Codrea says, “anyone who can’t be trusted with a weapon can’t be trusted without a custodian.”

Once you accept the antis’ argument that some people are just too dangerous to have guns, you’ve lost. You’ve lost the Lautenberg amendment argument (which ignores the fact that ‘domestic violence’ restraining orders are a common tool in many divorces). You’ve lost the drug user argument (anyone who has ever used illegal drugs shouldn’t be allowed to have guns (and I know very few people of my generation who did not at least try weed in their youth). And you’ve lost the mental health argument (the last figures I saw showed that almost 17% of the population takes antidepressants and 60% over 40 years old had, at one time or another).

So if you grant that there’s anyone who should be a prohibited person, the camel’s nose is well inside the tent. As for this, posed by cjstl in the Question of the Day . . .

… I realize that you can kill someone with a knife that anyone can buy at Walmart. But let’s not pretend that firearms aren’t the most lethal and effective weapons available to us.

I guess we aren’t counting box cutters and airplanes (2,996 dead and over 6,000 injured), or the homemade flamethrower, lance and mace as used in the Cologne school massacre (10 dead, 22 injured, some with burns over 90% of their bodies), or the Pyrotol and dynamite as used in the Bath School massacre (44 dead, 58 injured), or the truck as used in the Nice, France massacre (84 dead, 202 injured), or the commuter bus as used in the Jerusalem bus 405 attack (16 dead, 27 injured), or the eight ounces of gasoline used to kill 87 and injure six in the Happy Land social club.

Universal background checks are a bad idea that leads to even worse ideas. They should be opposed and repealed.

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128 Responses to THIS is What’s Wrong with Universal Background Checks

  1. Guilty till proven innocent. Thats whats wrong with UBC. There has been no crime commited but you are treated like there has been. And there is an agenda its knot like all these people are that stupid most are but there those who control the (useful idiots).

    • Says the guy who has never been charged with a serious crime before. Now, I’m no fan of UBC, either, and would never support them. I would add more and better reasons to the list above.

      However, as experienced by your typical gun buyer, background checks are not at all like being treated as though a crime has been committed.

      If you think that strolling around the sporting goods department for a few minutes, chatting it up other OFWGs and pondering what other toys to buy, while the gun counter guy runs the NICS check, is anything like being treated as a real criminal suspect, then you’re in for quite a sharp surprise should you ever actually be investigated for a serious crime.

      It’s that hyperbole that turns off onlookers and contributes to caricatures of gun owners being taken as representative.

      • Consider how the UBC law in Washington is set up. Simply handing your firearm to a life-long friend (or sister-in-law) to try shooting out in the field, requires TWO checks (which must be done by a licensed dealer). One check to hand it to him/her, the second check for him/her to hand it back to you. With extremely limited exceptions, allowing another person to have possession of your firearm — no matter how short the period is, and even if you are present the entire time — requires a UBC. Failure to comply is criminal, more than one instance is a felony IIRC. THAT’S the problem with UBCs. Requiring them for dealer-sales, or even for personal sales, is bad enough. But it does not stop there. Interestingly, the WA law allows temporary transfer w/o UBC in an emergency, but the return must be immediate when the emergency passes. So, if you and I are attacked, I can let you use one of my firearms as long as (a) I am there with you, and (b) you give it back after the smoke clears.

      • Except in the cases where the check is not, in fact, “instant” or the state has an unconstitutional “cooling off period”. If I can find a great sushi place in a random city in under 60 seconds, there’s no reason why it should take more time to run an NICS check than to run your credit card.

        • I had a false denial in CO. It took 31 days to clear up, but it means that I was fully investigated. My checks now come back immediately, even on Black Friday, and my CHP took 3 weeks instead of the 7 week lead they were running at the time. Not sure if I like that or not…

      • Johnathan I am always happy to strengthen my arguments; if you would be so kind as to send some of those ‘more and better reasons’ to me at bruce-dot-krafft -at- gmail-dot-com (please note that there are two Fs in my last name) I would greatly appreciate it.
        I thank you in advance for your assistance.

        • I’d like to hear them too. What is the problem with him writing them in this comment section? I actually don’t think he has any better reasons, it was just him using a “figure of speech”!

      • NICS denials are overturned at a rate over 50% on appeal. Also, a simple driver’s license is all of the ID needed and what “professional criminal” does not have at least one “clean” driver’s license? So, before any extensions to BC, the system has to be fixed, maybe via a “on-line” token issued via ATF to potential gun buyers and that token is check by the seller but without the ability to get the ID of the token owner.
        Second, there needs to be standard process where voting and gun rights are restored automatically after some period of time with no infractions. Non-Violent felons (Martha Stewart) should not loose rights. People not convicted of a felony should not loose rights.

        • Variations on the BIDS proposal include just this. Background checking is decoupled from the gun purchase process and all one needs to do is show up with the “token” and you are good to go. The token is logged in the bound book after verification and there’s no further transactional log about the gun purchase. Background checks are performed for other things besides guns, so it could very well be for a job interview or whatever. The Feds would have to get a search warrant on the ISPs logs to see if it was a gun store or something else.

          You could shut down NICS and just have the data being run through CJIS, III, etc … which is all NICS does anyways.

          The Swiss purchase process includes an analog version of this system – you contact the post office to get a “good citizen” certificate, and bring it with you to the gun shop. They hang on to it after you purchase whatever guns you want that day. Of course the Swiss have registration so it sucks from our perspective, but they do have the “token” system. The certificate is used for many things over there, by the way.

      • “…background checks are not at all like being treated as though a crime has been committed.”

        You are incorrect.

        The presumption is guilty and you can’t have this firearm until we check to see if you aren’t actually guilty and then we can discuss the rest of your rights.

        The entire system is a violation of your Fourth and Fifth Amendment Rights.

        You aren’t ‘treated’ like a criminal as in you aren’t held at gun point or ‘cuffed and stuffed’ pending the outcome. But you are still treated like a criminal until you ‘pass’ your background check and prove yourself innocent.

        • And your constitutional right is held up (violated) while someone is checking into you.

        • It is not quite guilty until proven innocent.

          What it is is much more round about. The Constitution gives the Union an interest in inter State commerce. It also gives an interest in Taxing.
          So what they did was create the situation where all interstate transportation of a particular product.. ;^) was only between licenced federal tax collectors.
          It was also assumed that all such and even later transfers were touched by such authority since they might. So if you sold a gun to the collector, the collectors regulations where in full force, this assumption was so strong that even. Guns.. Err.. Product made in the State where required to go through the tax collectors tax records and process just in case it had or would need to change States.

          All to prove those tiddly little taxes were properly paid. SEE it is all to help you.
          …. And your grand daughter explains why SHE couldn’t have taken the candy.. while you are looking at the chocolate on the corner of her lips as she talks to you.

      • “If you think that strolling around the sporting goods department for a few minutes, chatting it up other OFWGs and pondering what other toys to buy, while the gun counter guy runs the NICS check, is anything like being treated as a real criminal suspect, then you’re in for quite a sharp surprise should you ever actually be investigated for a serious crime.”

        False dichotomy.
        “If you haven’t eaten *this*, you haven’t tried French cuisine.”
        “If you haven’t driven *this* course, you haven’t driven off-road.”
        “If you haven’t done *this*, then you haven’t really done *that*.”
        All false dichotomies.
        If you have to wait for the government to prove you innocent, then, indeed, you have been treated as “guilty until proven innocent.” Whether you can chat it up with others, or must wait in handcuffs, makes no difference in the end. You’ve been treated as “guilty until proven innocent.”

  2. I don’t think it should be mandatory but I think it should be available to reduce liability for businesses just like companies use the E-verify system for immigrants. Call me a traitor but I think that’s reasonable. If I owned​ a gun shop and I don’t wanna get sued by the family of some murderous asshole.

    • The problem isn’t the lack of background checks, the problem was that douche bags were allowed to sue you for something some murderous asshole did.

      • So you think someone who supplies firearms to someone they know will use it for murder is not responsible? So all the BATFE selling to drug cartels must be OK.

        • Apples and oranges. There’s criminal law for that, it’s called conspiracy and criminal facilitation.

          I think 90% of civil law is bullshit that violates due process.

        • That’s a non sequitur. Background checks are supposed to enable a seller who does not know whether a potential buyer is a prohibited possessor, to determine their legal status before proceeding with the lawful sale.

          What you just described is someone conspiring someone else, regardless of their possessor status, in murder. Not only are these two scenarios completely unrelated, but anyone that would conspire to commit murder isn’t going to background check their accomplice before handing over the firearm.

        • But Pwrserge thinks that you should NOT check the status of the individual you are selling to. If people are not required to check, how can you prove conspiracy? If you make they checks very easy and free to do, should they be required?

        • If you’re relying on a failure to perform a background check to prove conspiracy, you need to get laughed out of court.

        • Being immoral and being liable for someone else’s actions are two different things. I personally would not, as a morally decent person. However, I don’t feel that if you did, that you should be liable because someone else acts against the law. Just because you shouldn’t do something doesn’t mean it should be against the law. You shouldn’t be a complete dick to people, but it shouldn’t be unlawful to do so.

        • Jonathan-Houston, you seem to be missing, or dismissing, the most important point in this discussion – background checks and the NICS system are a violation of the Second Amendment protection of the right of the people to keep and bear arms. They are nothing more than a government infringement of that natural right.

          As such, the government has absolutely ZERO Constitutional authority to determine who may or may not exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. UBCs and NICS are both, first and foremost, unconstitutional and need to be opposed on that basis.

          If this means that people who really shouldn’t have guns will have guns, what is the difference except the ease with which they obtained them? Those people have guns anyway. The solution is not a futile attempt to prevent them from getting guns, but to prosecute them for the criminal use of those guns, or better yet the intended victim(s) with their own weapons administering immediate and permanent pro-gun education.

        • The problem is that the Federal government has made it a felony to call the “check number” to find out if it is permissable to sell to this person today.
          If they don’t think it is important that I know this why should any one else.

          Fair is Fair.

    • The fact that you even worry about being sued shows the real problem. The want and desire to blame everything except those responsible for the crime or act. Its pathetic.

      • Your basic murderer usually has no money. That’s especially common of spree shooters.

        I’m not saying that people don’t try to shift blame; they do. I’m just saying that people who have suffered a loss also have a tendency to grab at anyone with money, like a gun dealer or manufacturer, regardless how tenuous their relationship to the events.

        There can be many pathetic human reactions to tragedies. The entire Democrat Party is built on that platform! He’s just saying that given that, which isn’t going to change any time soon, pre-emptive legal defense should be considered.

        • Better yet, we just need drastic tort reform. No civil action without a criminal conviction on the record.

        • “No civil action without a criminal conviction on the record.” OK, so if a company is all buddy buddy with the DA, they can do anything they want. What about if someone smashes into your car. Unless there is a criminal prosecution, they don’t need to pay you? Oh, that is really going to work out.

        • Better than the lawfare legal system we have now. Oh, and corruption is not a valid argument.

        • Actually your basic murderer; is in a super majority of cases well known to the LEO records due to a history of criminally violent temper.

          And if you create magically average groups of twenty all the rest but the last in the group, murderers remaining come from households containing such a person as afore mentioned.

    • Businesses (aka gun dealers) already are required to do background checks. Most affected by universal background checks will be relatives who wish to gift (or loan) firearms and individuals forced to liquidate collections.

      • “Businesses”, actually more correctly known as Federal gun tax collectors.
        Which is why they can be so heavily regulated.. since they are assumed to sorta kinda, work for the government.

        • By that logic, every retail organization in the country works for the government…

    • “Call me a traitor but I think that’s reasonable. . . .”

      When government gets involved in the exercise of a right, it ceases to be a right and becomes a permission. Trading a rights for permissions, regardless of how “reasonable” they sound, is fundamentally an abandonment of the concepts of freedom and liberty which define our nation. Doing something like that for a convenience is a very bad choice.

  3. The only way a UBC would work is if you have a UBC registry. How do they KNOW you went through a UBC unless you had a registry? Otherwise its security theater.

  4. As a citizen of a state with UBC’s, I can assure you they do nothing except cost private sales more money. If I sell my friend a gun, the only way they’re going to know about it is if it’s purchased by me after date of effect, transferred to him after date of effect, and the gun is run through a database to determine where it came from, usually after crime is committed. Even then, we can play the “borrowed game”

  5. What about people out on parole, court supervision, probation, or bail for a violent crime? Should there be a system in place to make it easy to identify if a person is prohibited before you sell them a firearm?
    I don’t think most people here think it should be legal to sell knowingly to the person out on parole for a violent crime, but what if it is very easy to find out if the person is prohibited should it be criminal not to check?
    Most UBC are take time and money to do, but if you can check a person’s state ID on a website and see what comes back, should it be a legal requirement for a sale?
    Here is another question, if you loan your car to a friend who doesn’t have a driver’s license and they kill someone, should you be liable? Checking for a driver’s license is very easy, but how many of us would do it?

    • I’m sorry, I must have missed the “felon” exception in the 2nd amendment. Should we also deny them their right to legal counsel? Their right to a speedy trial?

      • No, but do you think it is OK for a court to limit someones access to firearms if they are under the court’s supervision. What about if they are out on parole? House arrest? Probation? My view is once the court supervision ends ALL rights are restored. While you are under said supervision, there can be limits put on your rights. Or should they not just jail anyone until they are convicted?

        • There is no “right” to bail. If someone is too dangerous to have a gun, they should stay locked up.

        • Because you can’t release them until they are safe. So how do you figure that out? Once you know, please tell the rest of us.

        • You relay need to stop and think, your option is that if you fall under court supervision, and the government thinks you are not “safe” to have a gun for any reason, you should be locked up. My opinion is that if you are under court supervision, where your freedom can be restricted, the court has the ability to release you with some restrictions to you rights, such as movement and access to firearms. Under your view, the court should not release anyone ever is there is any chance of violence. If that is the case, I hope you never charged with anything evolving the use of force.

        • That’s where the right to a speedy trial comes in. If the prosecution can’t begin jury selection in 48 hours with opening arguments to immediately follow, ROR.

        • The statue is 70 days, not 2. So if you want to stay in jail of that long, knock yourself out. Looks like you have way more important things to work on than background checks.

        • Which is why said statute is unconstitutional. If you have the evidence for an arrest warrant, you should be able to proceed to trial.

        • Then get it declared unconstitutional. If your argument against UBC is that they should not be necessary if all the other laws were better, then fix them first and we can get back to UBC.

          I personally think there is a status between incarcerated and fully free with all of you rights. Buy not providing those steps, the chances of recidivism increase. You want the issue to be black and white, and it is not. I do think that gun rights should be restored on full completion of a sentence, but the sentence should not include ONLY incarceration or total freedom. I also think it is you personal responsibility to not assist people in braking the law if there is no real cost to you.

        • How about we fix those laws first and then talk about passing new ones? That seems like a better idea.

          As for “responsibility”… I don’t have any obligation to do jack shit. There is no such thing as “criminal inaction” when no duty to act exists.

        • If the person is Released, then they are free.
          The Court has the option to keep the person in custody if they may be a problem?

          What more is needed?

      • No worries, because you also apparently missed that whole “deprived of life, liberty or property” unless afforded due process thing.

        2A Absolutiststs: they’re so smitten with the Second Amendment, that their faithful eyes have never even snuck a peek at the Fifth Amendment.

        • So… again… what other rights do we deny people with “due process of law” how about the right not to be subject to cruel and unusual punishment? I personally like denying people the right to counsel with due process of law. Get convicted for a misdemeanor? No lawyer or speedy trial for you in the future.

        • “I personally like denying people the right to counsel with due process of law. Get convicted for a misdemeanor? No lawyer or speedy trial for you in the future.”

          Shit, and this guy is worried about background checks. If our government had that power, may as well just throw the constitution into a trash bin and start learning how to goose step.

        • That’s sorta my point. How is denying the right to keep and bear arms via “due process” fundamentally different from denying the right to counsel via “due process”?

        • OK, so for any previous convictions the government can basically take away all of you rights any time they want. Lovely. That should really crackdown on civil disobedience or basically anyone the government doesn’t like.

  6. I agree with Stacy in that UBC could only be effective and enforced if there was total gun registration at the federal level. Proponents of UBC know that but won’t say that until after UBC have been made law at federal level and then press for registration of all guns. Registration is the ultimate short term goal as it is needed to enforce gun bans that would come further down the road.

    • That is a load of crap, you can easily do undercover stings, and the fact that they can trace back to the original purchaser, puts them in jeopardy when they sell the gun on. Crimes are impossible to stop, the point of the law is to punish them AFTER they are committed. Example was the gun show arrests. Looks like they caught someone.

  7. I agree with the OP’s commentary. However, I think we are all neglecting to make the argument that’s apt to be most favorably received by the non-gun-owning public.

    Implicit in every UBC scheme proposed so far is that it criminalizes benign behavior by law-abiding borrowers & lenders of guns. The lender may very well know that the borrower is fully enabled to exercise his 2A rights. Nevertheless, if he lends his gun to the borrower he is committing a crime unless he endures the expense and inconvenience of doing the UBC. Why? Why do the gun controllers insist upon making this a crime? Why should we – the peaceable users of guns – subject ourselves to this tyranny?

    The only answer to this question is an illusion. Borrowing/lending guns between lawful users has nothing whatsoever to do with guns falling into the hands of prohibited-persons. This is by definition. Borrower and lender are both able to exercise their 2A rights. Prohibited persons are prohibited.

    Prohibited persons will always acquire guns. They will steal them; buy them from straw purchasers; make them or buy them from smugglers. None of these channels of leakage from the legal to the black-market will be impeded by UBC.

    The only measure that might be marginally successful in inhibiting prohibited-persons from acquiring guns is to enforce the felon-in-possession laws. Yet, there is no appetite for incarcerating dangerous criminals on gun-charges.

    If we don’t have prison cells for dangerous criminals who acquire guns, how can we spare prison cells for peaceable gun-users who borrow guns?

    This line of reasoning – concerning lending/borrowing – is entirely complementary to all the other arguments. What is different about it is that it is an argument that the non-gun-owner ought to have difficulty rationalizing-his-way-out-of in the argument over UBC. There are too many scenarios where it makes all-the-sense-in-the-world for a lending/borrowing transfer where UBC would stand in the way of the “right thing” to be done. E.g., one gun owner notices his friend is distraught; he suggests the friend leave his guys with him just in case he might feel really down some dark night.

  8. Not to mention you have all this paperwork with people’s complete names addresses and Social Security numbers or unique personal identification numbers on a form stored in a gun shop in a filing cabinet. Most gun stores including the one I work at have very good security systems and a bolt that we lock up every gun in the shop at night before we close. But the filing cabinet that holds everybody’s information in it is locked in an office behind an inch and a half wood door. My point being that if somebody breaks in and steals this information they have all the things they would need to create a fake ID or open up a line of credit in your name without you even knowing. Even police officers have to put down their home address and all their info and some of these officers are Narcotics undercover officers and undercover officers and other departments they don’t really feel safe putting that type of information down on the form. We were able for a while to use the police stations address but later ATF came back and told us that was not the right way to do it and we had to write the customer’s name address and information on the form 4473 period that made a lot of police officers awfully worried so we went ahead and started storing all that useless paperwork now in the vault which is absolutely ridiculous that we had to keep that stuff for 20 years until the law changed or is in the process of where we don’t have to retain that information for that long. It’s almost like you have to rent a storage facility just to hold your paperwork which is absolutely ridiculous.

      • Better yet, abolish 4473s. The federal government has no authority to enact such a restriction on a constitutional right.

        • OK, when that happens, I will be just as happy as you are, but I not going to hold my breath. For now, people need to stop putting their SSNs on the forms.

        • My problem with background checks is that I feel like I am having to get permission from the government that is licensing the second amendment to whomever it sees fit to approve. I understand the argument that the background checks are to prevent felons from purchasing firearms but is a felon actually going to go buy a firearm at retail price when he can purchase one that is stolen for like $ 50 or $ 100 on the street. How many laws actually prevent crime. I’m sure that some statistics are around that show that they do, but how far do we infringe on constitutional rights to make a safe society. Since people get into arguments and get into fights, should we require that we wear duct tape over our mouths when in public to avoid arguments and be safer ? I have passed background checks for employment, for doing work in sensitive areas on military bases and gun purchases. I guess my gripe is being ” investigated” when I have done nothing wrong and do not intend to. End of rant, chalk it up to insomnia !

    • Oh.. but those papers are ALL federal tax records, very important you know. Record keeping for federal taxes is very strict, some they have to be checked that they are being done correctly.
      I mean really how horrible would it be that you wouldn’t have proof that all those interstate gun taxes were paid.
      Very embarasrseing for eeveryone.

  9. All of the above notwithstanding, the problem with universal background check is they’re never universal. They only apply to those who obtain firearms through lawful channels.

    The criminals don’t care about your stupid UBCs. They get their guns anyway.

  10. An additional problem that some laws are so broadly worded that temporarily handing a gun to someone may qualify as a “transfer”, thus severely restricting one’s ability to use a gun with friends & family.

  11. What’s wrong with UBCs?? What about the fact that THEY DON’T WORK? Went through this exercise last year with a UBC proponent. This is the data I could come up with then:
    Report Title: Enforcement of the Brady Act, 2010: Federal and State Investigations and Prosecutions of Firearms Applicants Denied by a NICS Check in 2010.
    Author: Ronald J. Frandsen

    In 2010 there were 6,037,394 NICS checks. Of those, there were 76,142 initial denials, of which 71,410 were eventually overturned, cancelled or found to not meet referral guidelines. Which leaves 4,732 that were referred to ATF Field Offices. Only 62 cases were referred by field offices for consideration by prosecutors. As of 12/13/2011, prosecutors had declined to prosecute 18 cases, there were 13 guilty pleas by defendants, 10 cases dismissed per a plea agreement, and 12 pending actions. Also, 5 charges were dismissed prior to or after indictment. Guilty pleas + plea agreements = 0.00038% of total NICS checks for the year.

    • A better question is how many TRIAL CONVICTIONS occurred in these cases where the additional charge wasn’t just used to extort a plea agreement?

      • Both NICS and DHS are Security Theater. Try Googling the failure rate of Uncle Stupid airport security at detecting “weapons” in surprise inspections.

  12. Hello Mr. Krafft,

    As the one who posited the question about UBC’s, I appreciate your feedback. I do want to point out a few things, however.

    First, in regards to the Second Amendment being somehow immune to any form of regulation or legal interpretation, I must point out that all other Constitutional rights are subject to some restrictions. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press do not grant one immunity from slander or libel. Right to Due Process does not prevent one from being held without bail in some circumstances. And many forms of commerce and property ownership are regulated through licensing, taxation, and other restrictions. To me, 2A means that the government cannot take my guns away or tell me what kind of weapons I can own. It does not expressly prohibit them from regulating how I acquire and use those weapons.

    That said, your second and third points were very well-written. Regulation is definitely a slippery slope. That is why I believe that if some regulation is unavoidable, we should strive to get the right laws in place while we have a favorable climate. Once on the books, a law is much more difficult to modify, whether it be simple, effective, and well-written or a giant, steaming pile of crap. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer the former (though the latter is more likely to be stricken down by a good court).

    Your third point is spot on. I definitely fear the government’s ability to determine who falls under the prohibited person category. The Libertarian in me says they do not have the right to do so. I have smoked my share of weed, and I have struggled with depression, though it was mostly centered around untreated A.D.D. I have also taken a variety of anti-depressants, and currently take one, which in my case is necessary to counter the anxiety and anger caused by the stimulant I must take so that the receptors in my brain fire correctly. None of this makes me a risk to society (it actually makes me a more productive member of society and a better father and husband), but it would be very easy for the government to determine that it does. Especially if they have access to my medical records. And I already elaborated on my view of felons as prohibited persons. But like “binder” so eloquently pointed out in his many posts on this topic, there are some people that shouldn’t have guns and great legal risk to selling those people guns. We should at least have the option to conduct BGC’s on private sales to protect ourselves from liability.

    Your diatribe on other forms of murder is where you started to lose me. The left ignores facts and statistics that don’t suit their narrative. The right finds obscure examples and tries desperately to relate them to the situation being discussed. Neither method makes the arguer or the argument look good. I openly admitted that there are other ways to kill someone. Your examples, while certainly gruesome and lethal, do not come close to approaching the body count from firearms. If you can show me statistics that illustrate MURDER rates from knives, gasoline, improvised explosives, poison, or weaponized vehicles that exceed the 20,000 per year who are murdered by firearms, I’ll change my mind. If not, we’re comparing apples to pears here.

    • CJSTL,

      based on your first point argument; it isn’t the acquisition that is being controlled as much as the action committed. What part of the 2nd Amendment grants the government the right to regulate how I acquire those weapons?

      An example; I have the right to purchase an Underwood typewriter. I have the right to paper and ribbons. I have a right to type letters. However; should I commit libel or slander with those items, I am subject to criminal or civil consequences. This is the only time that the government will have any involvement in my First Amendment right.

      So, I have the right to bear arms, an uninfringed right to buy guns and ammunition. The government involvement is unconstitutional until I commit an act that creates harm to others, i.e., murder or injury.

      The acquisition of any item, be it a typewriter, gun or dynamite, is our right. It is what we do with those items that is subject to government control.

      Also, please provide the source of your “the 20,000 per year who are murdered by firearms, ‘

      • I’m ballparking the 20,000 murders based off of the well-known statistic of 33,000, of which roughly 11,000 are suicides and another 2,000 are accidental deaths and self-defense.

        • FAKE NEWS ALERT

          CJSTL says; “I’m ballparking the 20,000 murders based off of the well-known statistic of 33,000, of which roughly 11,000 are suicides and another 2,000 are accidental deaths and self-defense.”

          Latest recorded government data available has firearm deaths at:
          Firearm Homicides – Number of deaths: 10,945
          Firearm Suicides – Number of deaths: 21,334

          https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm and https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm

          These numbers are a few years old, because government bureaucracy. However, the ratio has not changed over the last few years. 2/3 of all firearm related deaths are people that committed suicide. Your numbers are inaccurate, but I think you already knew that.

        • You know what, I did know that. I had my numbers backwards. As you pointed out, it’s almost 2/3 of firearms deaths that are suicides, not the 1/3 in my example. I can’t believe I said that, but it was an honest mistake on my part. We were quoting the same statistics, but I just F’d it up. I certainly didn’t mean to propagate “fake news”. Thank you for correcting me.

    • CJSTL,

      Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press do not grant one immunity from slander or libel.

      Correct, you are subject to criminal prosecution AFTER you use a right to ATTACK someone and cause INJURY (such as harming someone’s reputation and future ability to earn money through libel or slander). Government has no legitimate authority to require a background check BEFORE someone purchases a firearm, has NOT ATTACKED anyone, and has not caused any INJURY.

      Right to Due Process does not prevent one from being held without bail in some circumstances.

      Government holds someone without bail AFTER the accused has allegedly ATTACKED someone and caused INJURY … and AFTER government presents EVIDENCE that indicates the accused ACTUALLY ATTACKED someone. Government has no legitimate authority to interfere with someone’s right (require a background check) WITHOUT COMPELLING EVIDENCE that he/she is CERTAIN to harm someone in the FUTURE. (And how could anyone know for “certain” what will happen if it has not actually happened yet?)

      And many forms of commerce and property ownership are regulated through licensing, taxation, and other restrictions.

      And government has no legitimate authority to license, tax, and/or restrict hardly any commerce or property ownership. Consider plumbing work: it is almost universally “illegal” if someone works on your plumbing without a state issued plumbing license. And the state justifies this claiming that the licensing process prevents bumbling idiots from causing homes to flood with botched plumbing. Whether or not that is true is irrelevant. I am not a ward of the state. I am free to engage in commerce with anyone I want under any terms or conditions that I want. If I want to pay someone to fix my plumbing, that is my business. If I offer to fix someone’s plumbing for money, that is my business. The solution to stopping bumbling idiots from destroying people’s homes is to prosecute them AFTER they have acted with NEGLIGENCE and caused DAMAGE to someone’s home.

      And if a state government wants to try to prevent damage from bumbling idiots, they can educate the public, create standards, and provide for more severe punishments when bumbling idiots fail to follow standards and cause DAMAGE.

      Do you see the common theme here? Government has no legitimate authority to treat us all as bumbling idiots and/or wards of the state and require all manner of actions from us before we do anything. Government’s legitimate authority is to hold evil-doers accountable for their ACTIONS AFTER said evil-doers ATTACK and HARM someone. That is why universal background checks are a no-go for government.

    • The problem it not the number of deaths that do but the number that would.
      If those kinds of possiblities were dragged in front of Blood Predators like Anti Gun activists drag gun free zones in front of such predators like a bloody steak. We have already gone to a popular High score game among some due to that.

  13. As a resident of Chicago, I consider UBC to be a PRO-GUN position. The more legal tools we have to put illegal gun possessers and their enablers in jail, the better guns look.

    The status quo is that if you’re a felon, sure, you can’t possess the gun. But if you’re the felon’s baby-momma’s sister, and you claim that you didn’t know that the person was a felon, and you have an army of SJWs screeching about “over-prosecution” or “the cycle of criminality” or “she’s a single mother with 3 kids at home (by 3 different fathers) putting her in jail would be the same as Hitler!”, then you can sell the felon a gun without consequences. UBC would eliminate that weakness. Every person who transfers a gun to a felon is an instant criminal.

    Make it a good system. Have a nice website that anyone is allowed to use to run the background checks, for a very small fee, instantly.

    My 2 cents from living in an anti state.

    • I have a counter proposal. Take those criminal thugs and their SJW enablers out into the street and shoot them. Problem solved

    • Until that is no longer a felony it won’t happen. And they don’t want it to happen without the full required tax collectors records.

  14. While I wholeheartedly agree with these oppositions to UBCs, we are not in a perfect world and not thinking pragmatically. The “rights” we claim , by the current case law, simply do not exist. Heller v DC made it clear, Felons do not have rights to keep and bear arms, neither do the mentally ill. (And while “mentally ill” has yet to be cleanly defined, no where does it include simply taking anti-depressants).

    So while at one time we may have these rights, they have been taken away from us, and now is the time to try to get them back. We just need to prioritize. In my state, I still don’t have the right to “bear” arms.
    I hope we can all focus our energy on writing and calling every Senator and Congressman, (especially the Democrats), and tell them to support Universal Reciprocity, and the Safe Hearing Act.

    No need for explanations in your call, e-mail or letter, no one reads them. They DO KEEP COUNT of the way their constituents want them to vote, and if enough of us call and even leave a simple voice-mail, we can have influence.

    regards,

    • “…And while “mentally ill” has yet to be cleanly defined”

      It has been cleanly defined. But very much like the simple, plain english words used in the Second Amendment the Anti-Gunners keep trying to make words mean something else.

      Mentally ill, mentally incompetent, and mentally deficient all require adjudication by a Judge:

      “…A person who is diagnosed as being mentally ill, senile, or suffering from some other debility that prevents them from managing his own affairs may be declared mentally incompetent by a court of law. When a person is judged to be incompetent, a guardian is appointed to handle the person’s property and personal affairs.
      The legal procedure for declaring a person incompetent consists of three steps: (1) a motion for a competency hearing, (2) a psychiatric or psychological evaluation, and (3) a competency hearing. Probate courts usually handle competency proceedings, which guarantee the allegedly incompetent person Due Process of Law.”

      From here…. http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Incompetency

  15. … I realize that you can kill someone with a knife that anyone can buy at Walmart. But let’s not pretend that firearms aren’t the most lethal and effective weapons available to us.

    Disagree. Firearms (believe it or not) work best at targeting specific objects one at a time. A bomb, a flamethrower, A large fire, mass poison, mass asphyxiation, etc, are better in the lethality department. The human mind is the most dangerous weapon, not firearms.

    Example: Tim McVey (virtually alone) struck a match and 168 people died, many more injured, and a great deal of property damage occurred. He was not a chemist. Was not exceptionally educated or intelligent. Yet he designed the bomb himself. Mixed everything himself. Prepared everything himself. A gun makes a great personal defense weapon or a weapon to target specific objects. It is certainly not the most dangerous weapon available. For those looking to perform mass murder, it is the weapon of the creative deficient.

  16. I’m not naive enough to think that bad guys won’t get guns if they want them, but I don’t want to be the one who helps a bad guy get a gun. I cannot personally imagine selling one of my guns to someone I didn’t know without going through an FFL. I wouldn’t want to. Why would anyone want to?

    I wouldn’t mind. Because it doesn’t matter. I am not the controller of their actions or decisions. I am not responsible for their actions or their life. Even if you sold your gun to an individual that passed a background check, there is no guarantee they wouldn’t hurt someone in the future with it or perform a straw purchase. Regardless, all this will soon be moot. In another 10 years people will be printing steel guns right off their desktops from their tablets. (Laser sintering)

  17. Part of being against the war on drugs, guns, buttons, etc. and the prohibitionist mentality in general is being a student of history. There was a time in America’s very recent past where there were no background checks and no prohibited persons. Go father back and there was no legal requirements for fully automatic weapons, sbrs/sbs, suppressors, or explosives. Go farther back still and you could go to a drugstore and legally without a script get a few grams of cocaine and heroine. Your drug dealer wore a bowtie and called you sir.

    America was not hurling head long into the sun like it is now. Note all these ills that take away freedom came about AFTER a personal, ongoing, and individual income tax was passed.

  18. in Wisconsin there are CCW’s.
    I am one.
    For a personal sale, I would probably take advantage of that ask to see their CCW permit. Beyond that, the state could allow you to call and verify that CCW number was still active. It would not actually have to imply a sale. If someone is willing to show their permit, they are willing to be checked.

    I actually agree with the anti non voluntary BC but I would prefer to have a screening mechanism for a sale that I would make,
    In Wisconsin the CCW’s are large in number and could easily be a large enough market to sell ones firearms.

  19. The fact to the matter is: there ARE people who should not be trusted with guns. That’s not on me, i also wouldn’t trust them with freedom, but some idiot judges who love the attackers more than the victims set them free way to often or give them ridiculously short sentences.
    In a perfect world we wouldn’t need UBCs, but in a perfect world there wouldn’t be anti-gun people…
    These people should not have guns. They are dangerous without them, but potentially even more dangerous with them.
    And as long as we don’t use hot irons to brandish those people with a “do not give him a gun” there is no way a person who isn’t allowed to buy guns will identify as such at the gun shop.
    So yes, having background checks or some kind of allowed-to-buy licenses (like a ccw-license) is the only way to differentiate between good and bad people.
    I agree that a verification process isn’t ideal, but i don’t think that if done correctly the verification if you have a right does violate that right.
    Ideally we would get a SCOTUS ruling that allows for UBCs but denies any further restrictions (preferrably ending on the words “if your legislator tries to do otherwise, just shoot him”).
    UBCs aren’t a problem because of the right restriction if the right can’t be denied.
    If the antis couldn’t use it for a confiscation and couldn’t loose the data on a bad protected server there wouldn’t even be a argument against gun registration. Of you could trust the government, there wouldn’t be any issue. Sadly you can’t and the 2nd amendment is the last barrier between tyranny.
    So of course i’m against all registration. But with the right ‘once and forever’ scotus ruling UBCs could work. Only issue at that point would be cost and data security, and not if it is a constitutional right violation.

    • Or… here’s my counter. Just tell the antis to go smoke a pole. If they persist. Shoot them.

  20. The Fourteenth Amendment includes this provision…
    ” No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States”
    Thus and particularly since HELLER and McDonald, the gun laws such as UBC, California purchase and carry, Illinois denial of even the ability of a citizen to apply for a carry license, NJ, NY, NYC, a whole host of laws should have never been passed and cannot be legally enforced.

  21. I want to agree. In ways I do agree. But at the same time…I have a friend. He’s a great guy, good to his wife, and he works hard. But I know him well enough to know that he has mental health issues. He’s actively wanted to hurt people. He’s seen someone about it. But it’s not on any record and wouldn’t come up on any check. He owns two firearms. An AR and a O/U shotgun, both of which he inherited. I’m cool with him having those. Here lately though he has been looking for a handgun. Not for carry but for home defense, especially for his wife. Which is great, I’m good with that. But he offered to buy my handgun here awhile back. I made an excuse about not wanting to sell it right now and this and that and another. I’m not okay with selling him my firearms. I’m not sure I’d be okay with him having a handgun. Much easier to conceal. His wife needs something I agree, but she’d never not trust him enough to not leave him access to it, until it was too late. I told her later that I wouldn’t sell it to him based on his mental state. She couldn’t believe it. She trust him absolutely. And he may be fine with it. But another one of her husband’s friends was sitting across the table while we discussed it. He knows him even better than I do and while he wouldn’t state his opinion on the matter, he didn’t really need to as I could see on his face that he fully agreed. Maybe someday I’ll take it up with the guy and we can discuss it and come to some kind of solution. But even then it won’t be mine he buys. And if he gets one in the meantime from a shop or someone else then I suppose so be it. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
    So yeah. In a way I want to agree, but at the same time I don’t mind UBCs as they currently are. A minor inconvenience for a slightly better peace of mind. But if they were gotten rid of and data showed no negative change, then I’d be okay without them.

    • “…I don’t mind UBCs as they currently are.”

      Say you and a buddy go to the range. You are both gun owners. You take your S&W N frame .44 Mag, and he brings his 1911 in .45ACP. When you arrive at the range he buys a box of .44 Mag, and you buy a box of .45 ACP.

      You shoot a box of ammo with your own guns, then swap guns and shoot up the ammo you bought at the range. Then you swap guns again and go home.

      In Washington state the first swap was a misdemeanor. The second swap was a felony, punishable by jail time.

      Still “don’t mind UBCs as they currently are”?

      • That’s a Washington State thing doesn’t happen in my neck of the woods. That’s a stupid law. But I really meant at the federal level. Goes back to the thing that’s been mentioned here a lot lately which is “move to friendlier places”. Sorry.
        I will say though that I agree it sounds like the words of a tyrant when I say that I don’t think he shouldn’t be in possession of a handgun. And I understand that I also said in my post that a background check wouldn’t stop him from getting one because his mental health isn’t on file in this state.
        I myself have gone around background checks when selling guns to family and when receiving a gun from a stranger (granted I did show my permit, but wasn’t required by this state). So I get they’re not an end all. But I think that for the bit of inconvenience they portray, they’re worth what little they do stop or temporarily deter.

        • The point is that they don’t deter, they don’t prevent.

          They simply shift where criminals get guns. Instead of buying them from stores, they buy/trade them from family or friends/other criminals, or steal them.

          It’s easier to get a gun illegally than it is to buy one legitimately. No background checks, no cameras, no shopkeepers telling you to pull your stupid pants up.

        • That’s the thing for me as well. I understand that determined criminals will still find a way to get guns. And I realize that BC’s are largely security theatre, and may not have a huge impact on deterring crime. I am a strong believer in personal responsibility. But part of what that means for me is that I have a responsibility to do my best for society. Shrugging my shoulders and saying it isn’t my responsibility if someone breaks the law just isn’t acceptable to me as a human being if I could have done some simple thing to prevent it. That’s why people hate conservatives, and why the liberals continue to win converts among the young and impressionable. If you claim to be a Christian and fail to show an ounce of compassion or empathy for your fellow man, you just come off as being a disgusting hypocrite and a major a-hole. The sad thing is that those people never seem to realize they are doing a huge disservice to every cause they claim to support.

          Bringing this back to BC’s, there are law-abiding citizens who are just in a bad place. And there are potential criminals who will think twice about committing a violent crime if the means to do so isn’t easily available. Will it stop all violent crime? Hell no. But how many jilted lovers might stop short of purchasing a firearm if they had to go through a BC? Even if there was a good chance they’d pass? How many would-be [repeat] criminals have the wherewithal to find a black market gun if they know they can’t just buy one via a private sale?

          If marijuana was legal in MO, I would smoke it a lot more than I do now. There is undeniably something to be said for the ease of acquiring the object of your desire. I’m generally a lazy person, and I’m especially unlikely to conciously break the law, even if it is a stupid law. Do I think requiring BC’s for both commercial and private sales, as well as for permanent or long-term (longer than a hunting trip or day at the range) transfers will stop gun-related crimes? No. But I do think it will reduce them. I don’t know by how much, but even if it saves a hundred lives per year, I’m willing to undergo the slight inconvenience. I don’t feel like I’m being treated like a criminal when I undergo a background check. I don’t feel it’s unconstitutional. And I would really like to have the option to conduct one if I’m doing a private sale without having to go through an FFL and pay that fee.

          The responses to my OP and to Bruce’s post have given me a lot to think about. I agree that there are challenges to designing a system that wouldn’t be a de facto gun registration, and I agree that the antis’ aim is more neferious than they claim. But I do believe there are ways we could implement a system that would work for everyone and that would save lives. Maybe not a ton of lives, but if we can save just a few without causing massive inconvenience and grief to everyone else, I just feel that it’s our responsibility to do so.

  22. My biggest issue is if the government of the Union thinks that any call made to the “Check” can only be done by tax-collectors who collect certain federal taxes [gun tax] or be guilty of a felony.

    Then I’ll take their word I don’t have any real need to make the call if I am selling to someone I don’t know.

  23. It may be very instructive to go to the Crime Prevention Research Center’s website and read Dr. John Lott’s recent research on background checks (BCs) in general. Even when they’re not universal, they just don’t work effectively. He looked at the NICS system’s BCs on an annual basis and found that they had a greater than 96 percent false positive rate. No one in any other field would even CONSIDER using such a poor test. Imagine going to your doctor to get a cancer check. If the test he used was WRONG more than 96 percent of the time when it said you had cancer, would you trust it? Would you stand for it? Would the medical community at large? No, of course not. Aside from the fact that BCs have failed miserably in their alleged purpose of “keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them,” they HAVE caused immense trouble, and personal expense, and even injury or death to those who SHOULD have been able to get guns, but couldn’t get them because of this false positive rate. In fact, the ONLY thing BCs HAVE been effective at doing is making it more difficult for ordinary law-abiding citizens to acquire guns. It was obvious from the outset that this would be the case (everyone already knew criminals would circumvent the system), so I’m inclined to say that this was their real intent from the very beginning. So, it isn’t like they are harmless, if inefficient, and have no downside – they have a HUGE downside, and one that primarily impacts honest citizens rather than criminals or psychotics. We would be safer, as a society, if we simply did away with them altogether, let alone making them Universal! The whole idea of BCs is, after all, a pretty new idea, becoming a requirement only in the last few decades. Prior to the “Hippy Era” of the late 1960s, any American could buy a gun whenever he wanted, without a BC or a waiting period, and we suffered no ill effects as a society – indeed, we were probably better off in terms of the criminal use of guns back then.

  24. Just throwing this out there as a thought experiment.

    If a clause was written into the UBC, stating something to the effect of “If any further restrictions are placed on the purchase, ownership, transfer, and transportation of firearms after this date, then this law becomes immediately nullified.” Would any of them bite? Is the UBC good enough for them to stop there or are additional infringements inevitable?

  25. OK, first of all, my Pro-2nd Amendment credentials are solid. I post Pro-2nd Amendment material every weekday. I run the Facebook page for “Clergy in Support of the 2nd Amendment”. I moved from California to Idaho partially to get away from that state’s draconian gun laws. I am not a troll.

    That said, there are holes in this arguement big enough to drive a Mac truck through.

    First of all, like it or not, SCOTUS tells us what the Constitution protects. Unless you are prepared to fight a civil war, that is not going to change. SO ALL OF US SHOULD THANK GOD FOR HELLER/MCDONALD!

    So let’s look at each of Bruce’s three points:

    1) “The freedom to own must necessarily include the right to purchase. There is no other fundamental right in the Constitution which any court in the country would allow to be subjected to background checks.”

    Yes, the freedom must include the freedom to purchase. However, you will search in vain for a 2nd Amendment attorney who believes that the NICS restricts the right to purchase sufficiently to constitute infringement. Are there “background check” systems that are unconstitutional? Absolutely!

    In constitutional law, there are three levels of protection. Let’s assume that we succeed in getting the highest level of protection: Strict scrutiny. At this level of protection, regulation must pass a two fold test:

    Compelling purpose: The regulation must address a need that is so important that government has no choice but to act. Given Heller’s clear statement that felons and the severely mentally ill may be prevented from owning guns this test will not be a problem.

    Least intrusive regulation: Passing the above test is not a blank check to trample all over a civil right. Government must use the least intrusive method of regulation possible. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY MOST BACKGROUND CHECK LAWS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL. They involve waiting periods and other features designed to make buying a gun difficult. NICS is the only system I am aware of that can potentially pass this test.

    So, sorry – background check laws per se are not unconstitutional – but most of those on the books likely are because they do not use the least intrusive method.

    2) “My second major reason for opposing UBCs: the antis are never satisfied”

    AMEN BROTHER – I AGREE COMPLETELY. However, the problem we face with background checks is that there is massive support outside the anti-gun rights movement, support that just is not there for any other measure. That’s why Bloomberg uses the label background checks to push his other crap.

    If NICS checks were ever to be expanded to private sales, it would not be a victory for Bloomberg and his gun grabbing friends – it would be a defeat. NICS checks are simply too easy and don’t have the “flypaper provisions” in his laws. Furthermore, he would not longer be able to push state background check measures because people would react by saying – we already have that. In fact, if they ever would pass, we should fight for a provision preempting all state background check and registration laws. The public is overwhelmingly opposed to registration and state background check laws would be a waste of money and time, as well as a violation of the “least intrusive” principle.

    3) “My third major reason for opposing UBCs: I am utterly opposed to the idea that there’s any subset of people (aside from those locked up in prison or in treatment) who should not be allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

    Good luck selling this one politically! Speaking hypothetically, given that people on parole are, in fact, legally in custody, they can be prohibited arms even if state and federal laws did not prohibit it. While I do think that felons should be able to petition to have their rights restored, I agree with SCOTUS that felons and the severely mentally ill can and should be prohibited from possessing firearms.

    Here’s why this is not a problem. THESE RIGHTS ARE ONLY FORFEITED AFTER THE PERSON HAS HAD DUE PROCESS OF LAW. Loss of gun rights is part of the felon’s sentence. As for the mentally ill, although they too have had due process, a strong argument can and should be made that when the person has recovered (as evidenced by a significant period of health without relapses) their rights should be restored.

    4) No, background checks do not require registration to be “effective”. That is an argument made by the gun grabbers, in an attempt to leverage support for background checks into support for registration. At most, all background checks can do is force prohibited persons into the illegal market. If required, law abiding gun owners will, by definition, background check people when required by law.

    5) No, I do not think that background checks will do much, if anything – but this really doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the vast majority of people want them and NICS checks likely are constitutional. This includes tens of millions of people who are in favor of CCW reciprocity, the right to carry, are opposed to registration and just about every other gun control idea.

    That said, we might be able to convince the public after they see that it does nothing. We’ve done this before when we removed the ammo logging requirement from GCA 1968.

    SO, IF WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE REAL WORLD, A SIMPLE EXPANSION OF NICS CHECKS TO PRIVATE SALES IS CONSTITUTIONAL AND A MAJORITY OF THE PUBLIC WANTS IT.

    • Reverend, I am not a religious man, but I just wanted to tell you that you’re doing good work. And that post was very well-written and spot on. I’m glad you found a home in Idaho. My company is headquartered there, so I travel there at least several times a year. Great state!

  26. Universal Background Checks are long overdue in the lawless blood soaked U.S. of Hey. Every Civilized Nation in the world has them and yes many people own guns in European Countries, its just that they do a much better job of keeping guns out of the hands of nut cases and criminals than we do. Stats on Europe even with the occasional Nut case Terrorism prove they have way lower gun homicide rates than the U.S. does. Body counts do not lie no matter how much Right Wing Paranoid Nut Cases try to ignore them.

    We have had background checks on new guns since the Brady Bill and Gun registration on new guns since he Gun Control Act of 1968 and no neither of those bills in and of themselves ever took anyone’s rights away as long as you were not a nut case or a criminal. Right Wing Nut Cases predicted gun ownership would end back in 1968 and they said the same about the Brady Bill and now are saying the same about Universal Back Ground Checks. History has proven them all wrong. Those bills in and of themselves were never designed to take law abiding citizens rights away and they never have and their history has proven it.

    Background checks like we have with the Brady Bill should be extended to all gun purchases as they are only designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and nut cases.

    Universal back ground checks would drastically decrease the tremendous flow of second hand guns from States with lax laws to States with more stringent laws. Police tracings prove that there is indeed a black market of second hand guns being funneled into other States and big Cities like Chicago and New York. It is unconscionable that anyone in the U.S. that is a crook or a nut case can buy a second hand gun anywhere faster many times than you get buy a burger. Universal Background checks would cut this down substantially and literally overnight when tough penalties were levied on people selling second hand guns without a background check.

    Mandatory use of gun safes is another method long used by most Civilized Countries that have vastly reduced children’s accidental deaths from guns left lying around the house loaded and drastically cut down on gun thefts which again funnel tens of thousands of illegal guns into the high crime areas of the U.S.

    Mandatory use of Security Alarm Systems along with the above mention Gun Safes would make it much more difficult for the crooks who today simply break a window and walk out of persons house with an arm load of weapons which are funneled right into the world of crime, death and mass murder. How much more insane could this be. Yep only in America does such mayhem and insanity with guns exist.

    If we ever once and for all want to bring American into the 21st Century and turn America into a Civilized Country we need to adopt what other Nations have done decades ago and that is Universal Background Checks. Mandatory use of Gun Safes and Mandatory Security alarm Systems, NONE OF WHICH BY THEMSELVES HAVE ANYTHING WHATSOVER TO DO WITH KEEPING PEOPLE FROM BUYING GUNS THAT ARE NOT CROOKS AND NUT CASES. THE BRADY BILL and GCA of 1968 ALREADY PROVED THIS YEARS AGO. NOW WE MUST EXTEND IT TO ALL GUN SALES.

    And remember it was President Busch who recommended Universal Background Checks, something the Far Right Nut cases sweep under the rug and totally ignore. It was one of the very few times Busch tried to do something right for the American people.

  27. I had a false denial in Texas. It took over one year of dealing with NICS to clear it up.
    Prior to this incredibly frustrating event, I had always owned three or four guns. After clearing it up, I bought guns like there was no tomorrow, and became a total gun nut.

  28. Is this what passes for intelligent discourse here?
    First off, the constitution IS subject to the democratic process. It actually spells out the mechanism explicitly, so it doesn’t belong in your list.
    Starting your argument off by declaring it to be true by fiat also isn’t much of an argument (…is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right). There’s nowhere to go from there, really. It’s also simply untrue that “the right to carry the weapon of your choice” is a natural, civil, or human right. I’ll admit that I don’t know exactly what you mean by fundamental, but it certainly IS a constitutional right. We possess some “fundamental” right to self defense, but to arbitrary weaponry? I could maybe see where you were coming from if you argued any means of self defense you made yourself, but you’d really argue that an arms manufacturer was obligated to sell you a particular weapon you want else they’d be violating your natural or human rights? That’s absurd.
    Books don’t kill, my attention to your examples notwithstanding. It’s facile to think that Mein Kampf was in any way responsible for the holocaust.
    I’m also accusing you of slippery slope-ism. You’re not absolved of employing a slippery slope argument simply because you can point to a law being abused to harass people. That’s not an inevitability and it can be guarded against. I agree, your example is atrocious and shouldn’t have happened, but that doesn’t actually mean anything as far as your argument goes.
    That there exists some subset of people who are too dangerous to have guns does in no way imply that you can’t argue that a specific subset simply isn’t too dangerous. Former illegal drug users aren’t any more dangerous than non-users barring demonstrable permanent damage, not to mention that the illegality of a drug says nothing about it’s capacity to affect your ability to safely own and use firearms. Also, you can’t (logically, anyway) be opposed to the idea that there are NO SUBSETS of people who should not be allowed to exercise rights and then name two subsets of people that you feel are exceptions. Perhaps you’ve named the only two subsets for which that’s appropriate, but then surely there’s a reasoning why it is appropriates for those. The implication is that you must consider subsets of people and conclude that it IS appropriate to deprive them of those rights, at least in the two cases you just named. At the very least, you cannot reasonably use the argument that there exist no subsets of people anymore.

  29. You forgot the La Mon House restaurant bombing:
    Gasoline, sugar, dynamite.
    12 dead
    30 wounded
    One driven to suicide from their burn injuries.

  30. Seriously no background check? Having worked with the mentally ill and criminally insane you are up shit creek if you think there aren’t people who are missing the humanity part of their consciousness. Get off your soap box and grab some common sense.

    • Of course there are dangerous people out there. And if they are determined by a lawful court to be a danger to society, they shouldn’t be in society. They should be locked away from society. Why? Because there are more ways to cause harm than just guns. The people that haven’t done anything wrong shouldn’t be assumed as a danger to society, though. You’re suggesting that the mad men make the rules.

      • You live in either a fantasy world or want a police state. It is illegal to lock up people who have committed no threats or violent acts but just may have been undergoing mental treatments or counseling and even if we did lock everyone up no matter how minor the treatments, it was your God Reagan who was so cheap he shut down most of the old time Mental Institutions. Reagan needed more tax money for more wars of rape, pillage and conquest and that is how the Government gets this money by cutting back or annihilating social programs. Herr Trump is doing the same thing as we speak.

        Background checks for all purchases of guns old and new would flag records of peoples mental health treatments and if it was considered that they might be a risk then they would be denied a gun purchase. Of course provisions could be written into the law for an appeal. The problem has always been how severe would the restrictions be because if they were too severe many people who hesitate to get help. Also many people who do have mental problems often have had run ins with the law for other crimes which again the background check would pick up regardless of whether any mental issues were even on his record. This would result in a denial as well.

        There is no way around it background checks for all gun sales are long overdue and would indeed save thousands of lives a year. Its proven fact as its been on the books in other countries for years and yes people in those countries still own guns its just that they weed out many of the nut cases and the criminals while we let them buy all the second hand weapons they want. This is total insanity.

        • “Reagan who was so cheap he shut down most of the old time Mental Institutions”

          Apparently, he did it retroactively.

          –The process of “de-institutonalization,” or shutting the doors of psychiatric hospitals, started in the 1950s, and was expedited in the 1960s and 1970s with the passage of new healthcare laws that introduced peer-facilitated community treatment, as well as some highly publicized cases of patient abuse.–
          https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/01/should-the-us-bring-back-psychiatric-asylums/384838/

          Not all that much savings for the large segment of the former clientele who end up in prison instead.

        • In response to Serpent.

          Today Herr Paul Ryan announced in his new Health Care Destruction Plan that States would have the choice of “Opting out” of providing for “Mental Health Care”. This is exactly what the Republicans have been doing since Reagan and that is trying to cut Health Care to the working people of America at every opportunity. When it comes to being the worst enemy of Gun Owners he and the Republicans certainly prove they are at the top of the list because it is lack of Mental Health Care that was responsible for so many dramatic mass murders in the U.S. and the corresponding call for more and more gun ban laws. Think about this before you aromatically blame Democrat’s as the primary enemy of gun ownership in the U.S.

        • Having seen who was in charge of the Legislature and Presidency in 2005 when the government sat by while federal troops were disarming American citizens at gunpoint, I don’t think I have any illusions of how much to trust Republicans to defend our gun rights when it truly matters.

  31. Not really a UBC fan (who is?) but comparing buying a gun to buying a book is dumb. The book wasnt made to kill, gun was. Even if its a competition model designed and used only for matches, still defined as a weapon of sorts. And in truth that argument can be applied to anything. Hell a truck could be a weapon despite its intended use for transport. How we define these “weapons” is key in cases pertaining to 2nd amendmant rights. Again though to say that UBC is bad because it requires peering into your criminal record and buying a book doesnt, is dumb. You arent going to use a compy of mein kampf to kill someome and even if you did, I dont think Hitlers opinions on paper cut through the air at hundreds/thousands of feet per second carrying a few hundred/thousand foot pounds of energy along with it. Side note, I would definitely hope that people run background checks on preachers because there are definitely people i dont want preaching to my community (ie aggressively alt right douchebags, pedophiles, and racists)

  32. You forgot another, extremely important, reason to oppose universal background checks: the very purpose of the second amendment. It wasn’t written for hunting or for 3-gun competition. The only purpose delineated within the second amendment is “the security of a free State”. This means that we are to have guns to protect ourselves and others from the threat of tyranny. Asking potential tyrants permission to arm against their future threat is comedically nonsensical.

  33. Irony alert: The left opposes absolutely any attempt to to pass ‘common sense safety regulations” of the abortion industry. They argue that any regulation is an unreasonable infringement on the nonexistent right to abortion. Not even when those such safety regulations save the lives of women.
    Gosslin was allowed to operate as a serial killer for decades in filthy, unsafe, and unsanitary conditions because no regulations were allowed to stand. No liberal judge ever allowed safety regulations to stand.
    Yet they claim ‘public safety’ as a valid reason to infringe an actual written constitutional right which specifies it cannot be infringed.

    • Gosnell continued his atrocities because the existing regulations were not enforced, rather than because the regulations did not exist. As with gun laws, enforcing the existing laws would solve more problems than passing new ones, and unenforced regulations only hamper the law-abiding, not the criminals.

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