TTAG commentator cjstl (not shown above) wrote this underneath our post Tough Going for Bloomberg’s Nevada Gun Control Push:

I hate complicated, confusing laws. I believe every law should be plainly written, easy to understand, and to the point. Our ancestors erred, and we have continued to err, by handing the power in this country – be it federal, state, or local – to a bunch of attorneys. Lawyers gotta lawyer, and what do we expect but for them to make the legal code as complicated as possible to provide continued job security for themselves and their ilk?

You should be able to own and carry ANY gun in any state without having to worry whether you are in violation of a myriad of federal, state, or local ordinances. You should be able to fight a $100 red light camera ticket in court without spending hundreds on a lawyer.

These are the things I believe, yet as a conscientious libertarian I believe we still need some regulations. It is important to protect the innocent from harm at the hands of those who have more money and power and just don’t care.

It is important to keep corporations from poisoning our air and water just to make a few extra bucks. It is important not to allow farmers to use a pesticide that is proven to cause severe neurological damage in children just so they can sell a few more almonds.

I believe the free market will work out most things if left alone, but it would be naive to assume that it will work out everything. Some things need to be protected, or it will be too late by the time we realize what damage has been done.

That said, I know UBC is a bad word around here, but I don’t understand why. Yes, I suppose not prohibiting the private sale of private property that is enumerated in the BoR is a valid argument. And 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.

If someone pulls a knife on me and I am unarmed, I still trust my ability to defend myself in that situation better than I trust my ability to draw my own gun and defend myself if someone pulls a gun on me first. There is no guarantee in either situation, and I 100% believe that I have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of myself and others. And I certainly exercise that right in the event I’m ever thrust into such a situation.

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?

As I said earlier, lawyers gotta lawyer. Moral obligations aside, I wouldn’t want to open myself up to the liability if I sold a gun to someone who used it in a crime. If that means I can’t sell a gun to someone I do know without going through an FFL, I’m OK with that. NICS checks for EVERY gun sale.

Seems like a no-brainer to me. And with a UBC, it would weed out those complicated, confusing local ordinances and Bloomy would have to find something else to waste his $20 million on. And just to clarify, I’m talking about background checks for all gun purchases.

I am not talking about registration, federal or otherwise. I am completely opposed to registration and all of the potential tracking, profiling, blacklisting, and other invasions of privacy it implies.

Am I wrong here? If so, tell me why.

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176 Responses to CapArms Question of the Day: What’s Wrong With Universal Background Checks?

      • Always remember that the Constitution doesn’t give you any rights. The Creator does. (You atheists can substitute Nature if you like) The Constitution recognizes and attempts to protect our God given rights.

      • Oh yes he did. Succinctly. Whether or not the (government) SCOTUS has made a ruling on the subject, NICS checks are UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

        “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

        “If you concede that the same government the Second Amendment was intended to allow you to protect yourself from has the authority to create, maintain and enforce lists (NICS) of persons who, in the opinion of that same government, in violation of the Second Amendment, may not exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, how will you prevent them from adding your name to one of those lists of prohibited persons?” – Cliff H

  1. “You should be able to fight a $100 red light camera ticket in court without spending hundreds on a lawyer. . .”

    Well Dayaaam Robert—are you sure you’re from Rhode Island? 🙂

    • In Texas I’ve run a number of red lights and never received a ticket in the mail. Not recently but no ticket, go figure.

      • I ultimately didn’t pay my ticket either. But that was after going to court three times and finally settling because the assistant prosecutor promised they would make me sit in court all damn day before my case would be heard. The ordinance was subsequently overturned by someone who did have an attorney. St. Louis County issued an unenforceable warrant for my arrest and referred me to collections. When the collections agent called, I told them I had no intention whatsoever of paying a fine from an unconstitutional ordinance, especially since the prosecutor had lied to me about there not being any court costs if I settled.

        That was the end of it, although there was a delay of two days on the last gun I purchased, and I still wonder if that warrant was the issue.

  2. I suspect the paperwork involved with a background check by an FFL is defacto registration no matter what the feds say. There is a paper record and maybe more.

    • No suspecting about it. The feds have a way of having private companies or foreign countries do things for them that they are prohibited from doing themselves. If government can trace a gun to the owner, its a registry. The statists are just pissed their de facto registry isn’t complete yet.

    • Actually, there are ways to make sure that this doesn’t happen:

      1) As anyone working at an FFL can tell you, no firearms information is transmitted as part of the current NICS system. So, a registry of probable gun owners could be compiled. However, today that would be a direct violation of federal law.

      2) This risk can be mitigated with a provision that makes it a federal felony to retain information on approved checks past the 72 hour limit. This was in the final version of the 2012 bill. I would add a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and empower any state AG to investigate and prosecute.

      There are some very good reasons why firearms specific data is retained by the FFL and may only be accessed in the course of an active investigation. FFLs can, and have, refused to, allow the ATF to copy bound books and 4473 forms en masse. If you are worried about a registry being compiled, this is the data in need of protection.

      • The government has proven itself to not deserve the amount of trust that you bestowed upon it in your response.

        There are far too many staw purchasers and known gang bangers walking the streets free that need to be attended to.

      • “As anyone working at an FFL can tell you, no firearms information is transmitted as part of the current NICS system.”

        As someone who has bought guns from FFLs, I can tell you without reservation that the gun model and serial number are indeed transmitted during the NICS check.

  3. Ok… let me simple it up for you. What I do with my private property is nobody’s business. More so, I believe that background checks in general are an unconstitutional restriction on the right to keep and bear arms. There is no “felon” exception in the 2nd amendment. Just as a convicted felon has the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent, they similarly still have a right to keep and bear arms. Quite frankly, background checks are addressing the wrong problem. It’s not that we have felons buying guns. It’s that we have dangerous people released from prison despite still being dangerous.

    • I believe those convicted of a violent crime should lose their RKBA for a period of time, that at least includes incarceration and probation. I also believe there should be a path to redeem those rights, at least for most. If we believe people can be rehabilitated, then we should believe they deserve their natural and civil rights restored once that rehabilitation is complete. And yeah, we definitely should not be letting dangerous felons out of jail until there’s very good reason to believe they’re ready for the next step in their rehabilitation.

      Also, no one who is in this country illegally should be able to buy a weapon. Do we all agree on that?

    • Bingo

      If a person is too dangerous to own a gun, they are too dangerous to walk amongst us.

      I also take exception to the author’s suggestion that firearms are the most dangerous weapon out there. Look at the Batman movie shooter, he had lots and lots of explosives in his home when the police raided it after the shooting, let’s pretend for a second that he could not have obtained a firearm, what do you think would have been his next choice? How much more life do you figure would have been taken if he set off explosives instead of shooting? What about 9/11? Those people hijacked planes with simple box cutters and killed thousands.

      Furthermore, background checks have never been proven to do anything, I live near Chicago, we have UBCs in IL, Chicago had less murders before that law was passed. The difference is that between cops essentially backing off because of fear of becoming the next BLM target, liberal judges who let criminals off with a slap on the wrist, and the fact that the OG gang leaders were the only ones locked up and are no longer around to keep their young members from settling everything with violence, we have a real issue and Chicago “leaders” only answer is more gun laws that don’t work.

      • I said that firearms are the most lethal and effective weapons available to us. As in available to buy and legal to own and use. Sure, you can buy materials to make explosives, but it isn’t legal to make and possess them for general purposes. I realize that something being legal is irrelevant when bad intentions are involved, but I was talking about the level of personal responsibility in regards to selling a legal weapon.

        • Yep UBC in ILLannoyed and NOTHING. Just more BS to deal with. If I want to sell a gun to my own brother(which I have done) LEGALLY I have to check on the BS State Po-leece website. I hate Illinois😡

        • ” As in available to buy and legal to own and use.”

          There’s your problem, right there.
          The UBC system is fatally flawed in that it has no way to track illegal transfers.
          Zip guns are easily made. Otherwise legal guns are easily stolen. Illegal guns are easily imported. Guns made registerable by government fiat are easily not registered (see New York).
          UBC is so easily bypassed that it is meaningless.
          We can refine the language easily (as you just did) eternally, but the problem will still exist simply because we can’t follow every act by every person. Not to mention that there are tens of millions of guns out there that the government simply doesn’t know about, and thus can’t track.
          UBC is fatally flawed. The very premise is based on a lie, that gun registration or owner registration will somehow reduce criminal action.

      • Try, If a person is too dangerous to own a gun, he should be under court supervision. It almost impossible to tell if someone is going to commit a crime in the future, but for someone who is already convicted of a violet crime, there is always a higher chance future re-occurrence. So are you saying that every violent criminal should be locked up forever. How are you ever going to get past the high level of recidivism after the first year of release?

        • Okaaaaayyyyy. Now we got something. Always liked the idea of turning warehoused criminals into an endless supply of transplant organs.

        • Pwrserge, that would tickle the police state lovers to death — the death of any parolee who pisses off their parole officer. Every place I know of, the word of a P.O. is taken as true and it’s up to the parolee to prove it wrong. Yes, when you’re on parole, you’re guilty until proven innocent the moment your P.O. decides to make an accusation. So your idea would be handing the power of execution to the whims of bureaucrats.

    • “There is no “felon” exception in the 2nd amendment”

      There is the term “..the People” as a qualifier though, which was not all-encompassing when it was written. Clearly, it didn’t apply to indians and slaves. It also didn’t seem to apply to felons, whom the founders considered to be ‘civilly dead’, with their rights and property forfeit. It doesn’t apply to an illegal immigrant today.

    • This.

      I can understand both sides of the argument and, in my opinion, whichever side of the argument you land on, anyone should be able to do a NICS check. Why do FFL’s only have access? Why not reverse it to where instead of filling out a paper trail you can log on to the FBI site and do a check. You get a simple yes or no and print it if you want to keep a copy because you’re worried about liability and go on your way. If you don’t want to do it or don’t think its anyone’s business then fine, don’t do it but I think the option should be there to do it without an FFL for people who want to have it done prior to a sale.

      • I think that Alan Korwin (and somebody) suggested a fix NICS idea that would give a “no” rather than a “yes”. It would be accessible via Internet or a hard disc option (for small LGSs). Anyone could access it, so private sellers could have some sort of “official” OK. Easy peasy. So, of course it went nowhere in the legislature. 8>)

        When I sell a firearm privately, I get a copy of their CC permit or DL. That way, I have some record of who I sold it to, in the event that said gun turns up where it shouldn’t have been.

      • The problem of allowing just anyone to access the NICS system is just that: Anyone can access it.
        But just who is that person callig in? With an FFL, there is a verification process. If I can just call in, how does the FBI know who I am? How do they know I own the gun being transferred? How do they know who the gun is being transferred to?
        These questions are why the UBC systems always require the check to be done by an FFL or equivalent.
        And, please, for those who are naive enough to think that false ID, and false transfers of “real” property isn’t a problem, a reality check is in order.

        • If bad data and fake credentials are a problem, why does an FFL improve the situation? Would they not be subject to the same impenetrable fraud?

          If all BGCs were voluntary (not required), a person can find a bit of assurance regarding NOT selling to a prohibited person. A person could also just fore go the checks and sell to whomever, risking whatever consequence of a bad decision. Point would be that the NICS becomes a tool serving the people, not a flimsy feel good piece of gun control.

    • Oddly enough, you can in CT, which has UBC. It’s state-based, but basically just a portal for NICS. But of course they are keeping a list of everyone checked, I am sure.

      • And there is the problem. Always assume that a list is being kept. Period. Even if it is proven it is somehow self-erasing, I’ll assume there is another command line that squirts the data somewhere else before deletion.

  4. I’d be totally fine with this if the NICS was fully opened to the public for either free, or an actually nominal fee. For example, Virginia requires a $2 fee. Not something where the “nominal” fee is deliberately designed to price out most people.

  5. “That said, I know UBC is a bad word around here, but I don’t understand why.”

    Simple. The way they are currently structured, a uniform background check is *GUN REGISTRATION*.

    If the government has a list of every gun and who has it, they can knock on your door and take it.

    That’s the reason they are so adamant about it…

      • Until said FFL ceases to be, then records are sent to atf. Also, paperwork is open to audit at any time. The only hope you could have, is if the records are destroyed by fire, flood, etc prior to audit or surrender/revocation of license.

        • Oh that gun? I lost that in a tragic boating accident a few years ago. Just sayin’.

      • Wrong social is optional.

        While there is no “database” of 4473s. A gun sold with UBCs in place would, theoretically, be traceable to the current owner, regardless of how many times it’s been sold. That’s assuming that everyone followed the law. To top it off. There’d be no way to know where the 100s of millions of pre UBC guns were at the time the law was enacted, so now you’d have a black market of “pre UBC” guns that could be traded/sold indefinitely.

        • Agreed. Without some form of permanent record-keeping there would be no way to determine if it had happened.

          Record=registration… 😉

      • The only way you could possibly enforce such a law is by gun registration. Otherwise the buyer or seller can claim that the illegal transaction was either made legally (I sold it to some guy and we definitely did a check but I don’t know his name) or transfer was made before the law changed. The ONLY way to check is by registration, like they do with NFA items. You can’t legally do any transfers without telling the gov’t.

        • Here’s an off-the-wall concept, could the background check be generated as an encrypted hash or as a blockchain ledger entry?

          Can any crypto-geeks opine on this?

        • Geoff PR,

          The major problem in my opinion is that there is no truly anonymous, untraceable way to acquire the encrypted hash in the first place. Do you use a phone to call in a buyer’s name and get an encrypted hash? Big Brother has (at a minimum) your phone number, location, and date of call … and even a voice recording if Big Brother is willing to invest some serious cash. Do you use a smart phone, tablet, or personal computer to get an encrypted hash from a website? Big Brother has your Internet address, your physical address linked to your Internet address and Internet provider, date of query, and specific identifiers that tell EXACTLY which computing device you used to access the website.

          In other words, when you query the “bad actors” database through technology, you are traceable.

        • For a gun that’s fresh from the factory and never been on a 4473, that gets sold after a UBC law goes into affect, you “should” be able to trace that gun to it’s current owner by playing phone tag from the manufacturer through the distributors, FFLs, buyers etc. Again, that’s assuming everyone follows the law. While not equivalent to the TV “type in SN, owner’s name pops up” database, it would still be a way to track that firearm.

          For any gun sold before the law goes into affect. There’s no way to know where they were so you could say you had it transferred before the new law. JoeLiberty, I’d say you’re correct. The only way to get this law to work would be COMPLETE registration of all firearms. That’s not going to happen.

      • “wrong. the paperwork is in the ffls hands, they just call and run your social.”

        I have no idea where this comes from. I have listened as my LGS has done the NICS check, and far more than just the social is sent. Social Security numbers are so easily and so often compromised that such a notion that only the social is checked is beyond fantasy.
        I would suggest that a listen to just what information is sent will dispel any notions that enough information to identify the buyer and what is being bought is not sent.

  6. look at it like this; basically we are proving we are not criminals therefore the defualt position is you ARE a criminal unless this piece of paper says otherwise. thats not how its supposed to work

  7. When has the government ever kept it’s word on anything? They promised the armor piercing ban would not affect rifle rounds, but it does. They said the income tax would never apply to anyone other than the richest of the rich. It does. They said no one is trying to take your guns. Bullshit.

    On it’s face, the UBC is fine, but if you don’t understand with 100% certainty that they will corrupt it and use it as a weapon within 1 generation then you are a genuine fool and I have no further business with you.

    • “On it’s face, the UBC is fine…”
      No, not really. UBC is fatally flawed, in that those actions it pretends it will control are, by definition, uncontrollable.
      No UBC system is “universal,” as has been pointed out already.
      There are, quite simply, too many ways to bypass a UBC to make it a workable system, unless the system is actually just another way to enact a backdoor registry of legally owned guns.

  8. Seems like a no-brainer to me. And with a UBC, it would weed out those complicated, confusing local ordinances and Bloomy would have to find something else to waste his $20 million on. And just to clarify, I’m talking about background checks for all gun purchases.

    Except that it will accomplish nothing toward the alleged goal of keeping firearms out of the hands of violent criminals.

    Are criminals going to submit background checks for the 40% of firearms that they acquire through theft? Are criminals going to submit background checks for the 40% of firearms that they acquire through private transfers?

    Will their status as lawbreakers, whether for theft, or failure to complete a background check, prevent said violent criminals from committing violent crimes using the firearms that background check laws utterly failed to keep them from acquiring?

    Background checks accomplish absolutely nothing to prevent violent criminals from committing violent crimes with firearms.

    On the other hand, background checks, in intent and in implementation, are a gross violation of the constitutionally protected rights and liberties of the law-abiding.

  9. How about we just make anyone who is NOT permitted to have a firearm have an indicator on their state ID. Provide a website so you can check their current ID number is valid. No need for a FFL. No need for the goverment to know what the ID check was for. Oh and your sate issued ID is now a valid CCW permit for the whole USA.

    • binder,

      While that gets us closer, it still comes up short. At the very least, your method does not address the potential for government to declare anyone, for any reason, to be a “prohibited person”. But even if that were not a danger, there is no way to prove that you checked someone before selling a firearm unless there is a registry … and registries can always be traced back to the participants.

      I do not see any possible answer without a significant down side. Remember, process control requires auditing, and auditing requires traceable records. Without traceable records, you cannot possibly have process control.

  10. I don’t have a problem with Universal Background Checks. There is nothing in the Constitution that includes an unrestricted right to trade in lethal weapons, and there ARE people who shouldn’t have guns, and won’t pass a background check. Will they find a way to get them anyway, probably, but we don’t need to make it easy for them.

    I would gladly support the Trump administration if they made a deal that included universal background checks as part of national reciprocity or universal “Shall Issue” concealed carry.

      • These cops were made in to criminals by bad laws passed by bad lawyers. No excuse, but if the system wasn’t put in place by a bunch of leftists, the corruption would not have happened.

    • UBC bills have all been written to require a background check for any transfer of a firearm. Not sale, not change of ownership, transfer. Which means if you let your buddy try out your pistol at the range without going up to the counter and having a background check done, you’ve committed a felony. If he hands it back to you without one, now he’s a felon too. Go out of town and have someone house-sit? Unless you take all your guns with you or have background checks done you’ve committed a felony.

      Yeah, that’s perfectly reasonable.

      • I would not support a law that would apply to either of those scenarios. I’m vehemently opposed to laws that criminalize innocent behavior. If you’re with a friend or family member at the range or out hunting, the gun is still in your vicinity, and thus no transfer has occurred. If your friend takes your gun and intentionally shoots the person next to him, there would be a burden on the court to prove you had any inkling that he was about to do so. If someone finds your gun, whether in your car, home, or wherever, that does not mean you gave them permission to take or use it.

        I see a transfer as being handing over possession permanently, whether through sale or gift, and also granting non-immediate family members the right to possess your weapon for any length of time without you being present. Unfortunately, lawyers gotta lawyer, so I’m sure you’re absolutely right that they would try and twist the wording.

        • Actually, UBC bills handle transfers at the range, while hunting, between family members. The writers of such bills recognized this flaw years ago.
          However, UBC is fatally flawed from the git-go, no matter how it is worded. As long as criminal transfers happen, there is no such thing as a UBC. And there is no practical way to end or control criminal gun transfers.

    • There is nothing in the Constitution that includes an unrestricted right to trade in lethal weapons…

      The ability to acquire arms is inherent in exercising the right to keep and bear arms – just as the right to keep and bear ammunition is inherent in exercising the right to keep and bear arms.

      Infringing upon the ability to acquire firearms is, therefore, an infringement upon the right to keep and bear arms.

    • You, like the original poster, are a fool. Nothing the government does comes without strings attached. UBCs will not work without either making NICS available to citizens and not just FFLs or instituting a registry. If I sell my gun without the check and the guy commits murder with it, the obvious response is that it was stolen from my house/shed/car/whatever. How does the government prove I’m lieing? A registry and a law to report all thefts. Now we’re descending the slippery slope. When the reporting law fails because I didn’t know it had been stolen, we get a mandatory safe storage law forcing everybody to have a safe. When that fails to force people to lock their guns, we get mandatory inspections. Meanwhile the gun-grabbers are a SCOTUS majority away from confiscation, aided and abetted by the registry. Right now, if they went and pulled every 4473 in America, they don’t have a registry. They have a list of maybe this guy had this gun once upon a time. I don’t want UBCs ever, and there’s no trade that can convince me to accept them:

      • Look at Illinois UBC law and use peoples drivers licence numbers instead of FOIDs.

        That pretty much kills any argument other than I don’t think there should be background checks.

    • It’s already easy for them, they get their girlfriend, or some other unsuspecting fool without a record to buy it for them, they simply don’t care that it could make that person a felon after it is found out what happened. There was a case recently in Chicago where the straw purchasing girlfriend of a gang banger who used the straw purchased gun to inadvertently kill an innocent bystander while trying to settle a gang score was given probation instead of a jail term for straw purchasing that gun. Tell me, what good are UBCs again?

      • So wait, are you for them if the punishment is harsher. Yikes, we need you on Blumberg’s side. Also do you really think she was a unsuspecting fool. UBC are not going to keep criminals from being criminals, but it will help average people from helping them.

        • ” UBC are not going to keep criminals from being criminals, but it will help average people from helping them.”

          That’s a theory.
          But the average person doesn’t just sell a gun to a man in the street.
          Surveys of criminals already behind bars tell us that criminals usually get their guns in ways that are already illegal. The idea of making these transfers even more illegal smacks of “double secret probation.” A ridiculous law does not inspire people to obey said ridiculous law. See New York’s SAFE law.

    • Who decides which people are not supposed to be armed? And how do you make sure your name is not on the list?

      The 2A is there to protect our ability to get rid of a government should it ever become necessary. Now you want the same government decide if we can keep this ability? How does that make any sense?
      (Cliff H says it better above.)

  11. Even with your UBC you have no idea the guy you sold your gun too wont go shoot someone. You hear it every single day how a guy lawfully purchases a firearm then goes and shoots up his coworkers. A criminal will do as a criminal will do no amount of vetting will help the problem.

  12. 1) Background checks do not keep guns out of the hands of people who want to use them. There are some 3rd world countries that couldn’t sh_t a bottle-opener, that are cranking out full-auto weapons regularly. “Ghost-gunning” is just a product of an informed state of mind. Once you know what a gun is, the informed person can go about the means of making one. The process just continues to get easier.

    2) it is WRONGFUL, not just wrong for anyone to claim that a background check (or anything else) can protect you on an individual level, as it is impossible. People have been shot in prison. Only an idiot walks around thinking that those who might wish to do others harm are disarmed by gun-control laws. WEAKNESS IS PROVOCATIVE, Disarmament, even by cattle-gate verifications and foot-snares and waiting periods IS A TARGET ON YOUR FOREHEAD SIGN OF WEAKNESS. Don’t let your ahole neighbors who needed a job (your government) hand-cuff your wrist to your ankle just because they are scared, so some douche can come along and kick you in your junk.

    3) gun-grabbers would be hunted and their pelts stretched on the side of a barn if they just grabbed-guns. So they do “control”, which is step 3 to grabbing guns (it is also strike three).

    4) guns (in the U.S.) are for prosecuting your rights under the 2nd Paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. Government ought to steer far clear of even pulling the rope taught in that tug-of-war. Keep your guns for the end of America. Why? Because I trust you.

  13. The unenforceability? The cost? How does everyone in the country get access to the NICs system? How do you make them use it? How do you hire enough staff to support background checks for every firearms transaction in the country?

    No one is arguing against what proponents of UBCs WISH they would fix, they’re arguing against the fact that nothing about the implementation is rooted in actual fucking reality.

    • Check Illinois system for private to private sales, substitute driver licence numbers or state IDs for FOID cards. I works (I don’t like it) and it kills every objection other than I don’t want to do a background check.

      • …and it kills every objection other than I don’t want to do a background check.

        Let me know when the Illinois UBC law stops violent criminals in Chicago from acquiring firearms.

        Oh, oops: there’s the other, much more pertinent argument: background check laws don’t compel or constrain the firearm-acquiring actions of the lawless.

        • No it will not. But allows me to sell my firearm to someone I know is not a prohibited person without going to a FFL and providing me with the paper trail necessarily to limit liability. BGC will not stop people form getting firearms. But it will allow people to have some level of chain of ownership. Why else do a lot of people only sell threw a FFL.

          I also know that the FOID system in Illinois probably actually assists in the straw purchase of firearms as a gang member can apply for a FOID and check to see if he or she is good to go to buy a gun. In fact, I would not be surprised if gang leaders have clean members apply for them. The only up side of is, is it keeps people from being coerced into buying guns for gangs.

        • …and providing me with the paper trail necessarily to limit liability.

          You already have no liability, unless the state can prove that you knowingly sold a firearm to a prohibited person. Using the onerous and rights-infringing UBC system to provide superfluous liability protection is a terrible idea.

          BGC will not stop people form getting firearms.

          And that is why UBC fail every standard of constitutional scrutiny.

        • So you say that we should not knowing sell a firearm to a prohibited person? But then we have no responsibility to determine if they are, even with no cost to find out. Nice.

          Also laws to stop murder don’t work either. All they do is punish people after the fact.

        • So you say that we should not knowing sell a firearm to a prohibited person?

          No. I stated that the legal requirement is not to knowingly sell a firearm to a prohibited person.

          Whether one should or should not is another matter, and potentially an entirely different conversation. (Just for example, there are many “prohibited persons” who pose no threat of violence to anyone.)

          But then we have no responsibility to determine if they are, even with no cost to find out. Nice

          Responsibility to determine? The existing BGC systems already prove themselves to be ineffective toward that end. (Need I list the number of high-profile people who passed a background check, but who should not have? Need I list the absurdly high percentage of false-positive responses from NICS?)

          You said you merely wanted to use the BGC system as a way to limit your own personal liability. (Side note: you don’t need UBC laws to do that. You always have the option of using an FFL for your private transaction.)

          As a counter-argument: the state bears the responsibility to keep violent criminals away from me in free society. It is only because the state keeps unleashing them back upon society that this is even a question.

      • Teenagers in Illinois haven’t figured out how to fake an ID yet?
        I feel sad for America’s youth.

      • Illinois system allows you to check if particular FOID card is valid. Nothing more. All us FOID card holders are automatically run through BGC on regular basis. (Some say as often as every night.) When I’m flagged, the system marks my card as invalid and will not issue a transaction number if checked. How is this supposed to work with DL or ID card?

  14. I think that if anyone could lawfully carry anywhere at anytime then that would solve everything. After all, the good guys will always outnumber the bad guys at least 10 to 1 and more likely 50 to 1. Evil fears one thing and one thing only, swift justice.

  15. Also, if an adult is too deranged to own a gun, then they should either be in an institution or have a legal guardian appointed over them, much like a child. They shouldn’t have the right to vote or permitted to drive a car either.

    • It’s called parole or correctional officer. Anyone without gun rights should be under court supervision. Once the supervision ends, the rights are resorted automatically. And I don’t think DL should be pulled unless DUI or other impairment.

  16. All the liberty/infringement/privacy/NWO junk aside UBC’s are pointless time and money wasting bureaucratic nonsense.

    That it costs money and doesn’t work should be more than enough to keep it from becoming law but we live in bizarro world where pointless, obsolete and impossible laws get implemented and supported year after year decade after decade and generation after generation.

  17. Whereas the Government may well have the power and authority to regulate commercial activities, where does it get such for private activities? Does one need government permission to sell their car or X-Box? True, cars have to get government registration, but only if they’re going to be used on public roadways. Buy a Jeep that’s going to stay on your farm and never touch a public roadway? No registration, license plate or insurance needed.

    Second, the State of Washington recently enacted such. As written, nail guns powered by .22-caliber blanks technically are firearms. There’s no carve-out for places such as Lowe’s or Home Depot on selling such items, but nobody’s been prosecuted for violating the law.

  18. So you mention Lawyers got to lawyer, and to me that is exactly the problem. Any UBC bill that I have seen has multiple problems in the implementation.

    You state: “I cannot personally imagine selling one of my guns to someone I didn’t know without going through an FFL.” My question to you, how do you define “know”? Is it direct relative, a close friend, some one you met 30 seconds ago? How do you legislate “knowing” someone?

    Secondly, how do you define sale? Can I loan a fellow hunter a rifle when deer hunting, or does that transfer need to go through a FFL, additionally when that hunter returns that rifle, do we again need to visit our local FFL before he can “transfer” it back?

    The third issue I’ll raise is the need to visit a LGS to process the transfer. The LGS is going to charge me a fee for processing the transfer. The NICS system is only open to FFL holders. If there was a way to remove the necessity of involving a 3rd party in the process then some, not all, of my personal objections would be removed.

    Deviant Ollam gave a talk at NotACon where he proposed a solution to this, while not perfect I think he had some good ideas for a potentially workable solution. Here is a link to the talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE-1Aqp9VkY

    • Illinois FOID check for private to private sales if free. Substitute FOID for state ID. There is not paperwork on file with the state, but the bill of sale is nice if goverment manages to trance the chain of ownership to you. Also the Illinois system overrides any civil claims that someone may try to file against you.

  19. Get rid of all 4473 forms. Current and future. Open NICS up to anybody able to call in. MAYBE I support UBC at that point. OF course, without 4473 UBC totally unenforceable. Any law that extends 4473 (which is a form of registration) I’m against.

  20. The argument against universal background checks is not so much arguing against having the check, but rather it is that a UBC is unenforceable without having a universal registry of firearms. There is no way to ensure one is compliant unless the authority knows exactly what one is supposed to be in possession of. An alternative idea to directly address your concern regarding selling a gun to someone you don’t know would be to have a service similar to NICS that you can call to verify the potential purchaser is a federally prohibited person or not. There are other issues with that system in regards to privacy, but it sidesteps having a registry of arms and only keeps track of those who are prohibited. Ideally only those that have already been denied their rights through due process of law upon conviction of violent crime. It does not create a universal background check requirement, or registry, and is completely voluntary. As you already mentioned, criminals would likely not comply with registration or background checks anyway so this system would serve more to help protect honest people from being taken advantage of by prohibited buyers. Still won’t affect straw man purchasers though.

    • OMG we should not enforce underage drinking as we can’t register every bottle of alcohol. Try for a better argument

      • binder,

        You are actually arguing against yourself with your underage drinking comparison (which is quite appropriate in my opinion).

        Let’s look at underage drinking in depth:
        Does requiring identification to purchase alcohol from stores stop minors from purchasing alcohol at stores? For the most part, I’ll say yes. Do untold thousands of minors acquire alcohol anyway? Absolutely. Why is that so widespread? Because there is no audit trail. Even if police catch the minor with alcohol, there is no way to prove which adult acquired it for them. Thus there is no way to enforce the law and determined teenagers acquire alcohol at will. The same would happen with firearm purchases.

        The best we can claim about an “authorized purchaser” identification scheme is that it would stop a few exceedingly lazy criminals from acquiring a firearm. If the cost to implement that identification scheme was less than $5 annually, someone could argue, “Well why not since it costs basically nothing?” And that would be a valid and extremely compelling argument … except for the fact that absolutely nothing stops government from declaring anyone and everyone to be a prohibited purchaser for any reason or no reason.

        So, if the benefit is negligible and the risk is huge (as is the case with an “authorized purchaser” identification scheme), we should NOT implement that scheme.

  21. One thing that doesn’t get mentioned a lot on this subject: Minors can legally own guns. Even with the illegal GCA in place, they just can’t purchase them from FFLs. Under “universal background checks” they can’t. So yes, it IS a total violation of the rights of almost a quarter of the population.

    • You are going to actually try and argue that a person under the age of 18 has a right to a firearm. Good luck with that. Show me a court case to support your argument.

      • So… there is no record anywhere of a person under the age of 18 being mugged, robbed or murdered? They somehow don’t need to defend themselves?

        What is magic about the chronological age limit? And it is different in different places, for different things.

        Those who demonstrate (to their parents and others) that they are responsible for themselves, and capable of safe use of a gun or other weapon, should not have any barriers to self defense – and certainly not for a legalistic chronological age.

        Anyone, of any age, who can’t be trusted with a gun needs a keeper or guardian. Treating young people like infants until the magic moment of “legal” age is insane.

  22. When criminals want to buy guns will they get a UBC? No, they will send someone else to get it, steal it, or buy it from some who stole it and won’t perform a UBC. UBC should be renamed to “good guy background check”. Those are the only people that currently get them and will get them.

    Under this utopian UBC idea what happens when I want to give a gun as a gift to family or friends? What happens when firearms are passed down from the death of a family member?

    Instead of focusing on something that sounds scary and isn’t why don’t we focus our attention on putting bad guys behind bars and keeping them there.

  23. One of the big problems with UBCs is that they tend to be written to cover changes in possession, as opposed to changes in title. They’re sold to the public as if they’re just a minor inconvenience on the occasional private sale of a firearm, but the laws can actually be construed to cover much more. Let someone try out your gun at the range? That’s a transfer. Teaching something to shoot, handing the gun back and forth between you? Transfer, transfer, transfer. You leave for work and your girlfriend knows the combination to your gun safe? That’s a transfer. You come home and she goes out to walk the dog? Another transfer.

    Now, you might be thinking “well sure, the wording could be interpreted that way, but surely the state will restrict itself to a more restrained interpretation?” I have three words for you: Interstate Commerce Clause.

    • Mark prohibited people’s state IDs. I know most people will not check if someone have a valid drivers licence before they lend a car, but I don’t think that whould be much of a burden. Why do you think that you need to use a FFL for a background check. Illinois has them for FOIDs that anyone can access. Just switch it to the Sate ID number.

      • FYI, if you lend someone you car who lacks a driver’s licence and they kill someone, you better have really good insurance.

  24. See: “…shall not be infringed.” Until we grow some sense and actually go back to the way things are supposed to be, I’ll compromise.

    I’ll trade UBC’s for full NFA and Hughes removal. ID to establish who you are will also be sufficient in carrying said weapon(s). No AWB, no mag limits, no “evil features” at any federal or state or local level. Any obvious massive crime committed with said weapons will be subject to harsh penalty.

    Side note: TTAG, what the hell is going on with all these hippy gun grabber postings lately? Taser girl, now we are actually entertaining UBC’s because someone claims to be a Libertarian? Come on…

    • “Side note: TTAG, what the hell is going on with all these hippy gun grabber postings lately? Taser girl, now we are actually entertaining UBC’s because someone claims to be a Libertarian? Come on…”

      Because I sometimes take a contrarian position on political matters, my question becomes, “Are we all to be in lockstep, myopic and offended by being presented with alternative thinking beyond “shall not be infringed, never, nohow, no way, not at all, absolute”?

      Living in an echo chamber is boring, mind-numbing, uninformative, unimaginative, cowardly (yes, cowardly). A person who refuses to entertain an alternative or even opposing idea becomes a marginalized citizen. Thinking that stridently and continuously demanding the impossible (“absolute” individual rights) will sway anti-gunners, or even move the undecided, takes one completely out of the game; relegated to the fringe, discounted as serious adults, doomed to fruitless frustration. You cannot be persuasive if you cannot meet your audience at their point of need, a requirement to be able to find something on which you agree so that you can speak to the other in terms that can engage their thinking.

      I welcome reasoned commentary that causes me to re-evaluate my fossilized thinking. Because I can be wrong, I leave room for critique.

      • Daaaaang! Nice written beatdown there. I was going to ignore him, because I don’t particularly care if he calls me a hippy gun grabber, but it’s nice to see someone defend open discourse. I asked the question about UBC’s because I have legitimate questions concerning why they are/aren’t a good idea, and the majority of answers have contained some very good content and a few things I hadn’t really thought of.

        • “…and the majority of answers have contained some very good content and a few things I hadn’t really thought of.”

          That’s how it should work.

          Ooohhh…didn’t mean my comments as a “beatdown”, but a plea to “open mind; open discussion”.

        • I apologize for being rash, see my comment response to Sam. The hippy remark wasn’t meant a personal attack, just more of a generalization of how the other side genuinely is. I understand that people can be mixed in their political and social beliefs, so being a bit of an asshole, I apologize. It was not necessary in the least.

        • No worries. I don’t take much personally. You can call me whatever you like, as long as you don’t try to tell me I have no right to my opinion. That’ll get me mad. I know what it is to feel strongly about something and want to defend your beliefs.

          But anyhow, I appreciate the apology 🙂

      • My comment towards TTAG wasn’t meant as a “don’t ever discuss opposing views”, though I see now how it looks that way. Throughout my time visiting this website, that has always been the position of RF. No ground given to the anti’s. It seems of late that his position is changing and it’s a bit odd. I do see that I probably shouldn’t have been such a smartass about it, and I do apologize.

        I suppose ultimately in my mind we’ve given enough up, despite the strides that have been made over the last 20-30 years, most of which have been with concealed carry. Do I feel that anyone should be able to walk into a 7-11 and walk out with a 240B? Maybe. I feel that we should be having a discussion about widening the freedom spectrum and the consequences of doing so, vs. taking away freedoms and the consequences of doing so.

        • Hi, Jon

          Talking about expanding or ending erosion of rights is an interesting idea, but the major politicians are rarely interested in increasing personal freedom (unless they can immediately gain at the polls before they revert to type). One of the serious impediments to improving our condition is the fractured 2A defense groups. They seem to mostly be uninterested in cooperation, each seeking to embellish their resume. Many voices, with many messages do not facilitate the power of mass effort at a singe weak point. Indeed, even the pro-gun blogs are rife with jihadis who would destroy anyone who does not believe precisely as they do.

          We have given up too much (or squandered it, or had it forcefully removed), but refusing to learn from the opposition is not going to restore anything. I get tired of seeing the same old tired tripe of the anti-gun, anti-freedom crowd presented here. That is not to say I find no value in it, but moronic speech is simply tiresome. However, not only do I periodically need to review my thinking, I need to learn if a new weakness in the anti-gun mob is developing. So, I read junk anyway. On the positive side, as already posted by others, sometimes I even find a nugget overlooked earlier. Not being a gun guy, there is still much to learn about the why/why not of a specific claim or law regarding gun ownership.

          It would be foolish to fail to understand that the idea of individual, personal sovereignty regarding important issues makes it too easy to divide and conquer us.

    • OH no, not a national FOID! How about just issuing everyone an FOID (Its called a State ID, can use for voting too) and revoking them as needed. You can also set up a website to check them so no FFL needed for private sales. Just put the authorization on the bill of sale and keep it.

      Might as well move to Illinois (but here it will cost you $1 a year)

  25. “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 cannot personally imagine selling one of my guns.
    but buying privately feels perfectly normal and… free. why would i want to involve a third party, let alone a government entity?
    beat it, nerd.

  26. UBCs cannot be enforced without registration of firearms. Simply because there’s nearly 400 million privately-owned firearms in this country, most of which are not tracked in any meaningful way aside from bound book records at FFLs.

    Here’s a hypothetical. Your UBC idea passes, and a week after it, I give one of my guns to a cousin of mine. The gun was made in 2005 way before any of this UBC nonsense came about. Later, he’s tooling around town, minding his own business, and blows a traffic light. The gun I gave him is in the trunk. The cops search for whatever reason is fashionable this week, and find the gun. Now, despite the fact that I gave him the gun after the UBC law went into effect, there’s no proof that I did. My cousin is a really nice guy, and since blood is thicker than water, he’ll tell the cops he got the gun from me a year ago or something.

    They run the serial and the only thing they know is that the gun was made in 2002, transferred to a gun shop in Florida in 2003, and the FFL, if he’s still in business, tells them I bought it in 2004.

    But they don’t know when I gave to my cousin. Since guns aren’t registered in this country in any major fashion.

    So, guess what – the next thing the “gun sense” folk will ask for is registration. That’s how it works – a little here, a little there.

    Anyways, I’m not going to be naïve and pretend background checks are going away any time soon. That being said, if we must have them, alternatives need to be considered. I’m a big fan of BIDS, personally.

    http://www.gunlaws.com/BIDSvNICS.htm

    The article is a bit dated so I guess substitute references to CDs and such for network connectivity.

    Basically, what BIDS does is takes the “gun” out of the background check equation. The Feds just distribute a list of hardcore felons to anyone who is interested. What happens with the data is up to the end user. Most of this data is public anyways. The NICS division is shut down, of course, since the existing data set is just pulled from the existing data sources and distributed.

    Oddly enough, the Swiss operate their gun purchase process in a similar manner. Yes, they require registration and there’s onerous restrictions like you can only buy ammo for guns you own, etc, but their background check system process is interesting. I may miss some of the particulars, but the essence of it is that you go to the Swiss postal service’s website and you request a background check certificate. About two weeks later, you get one in the mail that declares you are a Swiss citizen in good standing. You take said certificate to the gun dealer, and shop to your heart’s content. If there weren’t registration, the Swiss government would have no real idea that you bought a gun, or ten guns, unless they asked the gun dealer.

    My idea, even if it’s just to shut people up, would be to:

    • Shut down NICS.

    • Make the federal database of hardcore felons easier to access. Searching would be anonymous and open to all. Gun shops would do the check as a matter of routine and just attach the results to the 4473. Private sellers could just save the results if they want. Also, the system would be available for other uses such as employment vetting, etc. There’d be millions of inquiries a day and it’d take a lot of work to figure out which ones were for people purchasing guns.

    • Since it’s “blind”, the only names in there would be felons.

    Yes, there’s something fundamentally wrong with background checks, but if we must have them, this is a workable idea.

  27. It is already against the law for any retailer to sell any firearm to any person without a background check (or equivalent).

    It is already against the law for any person to knowingly sell, trade, give, or otherwise transfer any firearm to any prohibited person (felon, wife beater, nut-job, fugitive, dishonorably discharged vet, etc.)

    It is already illegal to smuggle guns across state lines to the criminal black market to be sold on street corners of urban slums. It is already illegal for any private party to transfer any firearm across state lines.

    It is already against the law for any prohibited person to acquire, attempt to acquire, or even touch a firearm.

    UBC isn’t about public safety or keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. There are MANY existing laws on the books to provide for and promote public safety – if enforced. It is about creating government record of private transactions and criminalizing otherwise lawful trade of legal products between law-abiding citizens. It is a way for government to make felons out of otherwise lawful gun owners and thereby empower the government to strip the citizen of their right to arms and their right to vote.

    • “It is already against the law for any person to knowingly sell, trade, give, or otherwise transfer any firearm to any prohibited person”

      So how do you KNOW? Really, tell me.

  28. The entire premise of background checks is flawed. UBCs are based in the idea that future behavior can be predicted by info in a government database somewhere. While it’s true that a former criminal is more likely to commit another crime, there are plenty of examples of people with no criminal record who passed a background check and committed a crime anyway. I’m sure there are also examples of former criminals who owned firearms, but never used them to commit a crime. The entire exercise is a futile effort at determining “pre-crime” and resembles something one would read about in some dystopian novel. The entire idea is a silly, pointless way to try to predict the future.

  29. “Haha, if I become ultra left-wing and enact all of the laws the gun grabbers want, what will they spend their money on then?”

    I can see you’re only publishing the cream of the crop nowadays, TTAG…

  30. “I hate complicated, confusing laws. I believe every law should be plainly written, easy to understand, and to the point.”

    You’re right, the 2nd seems to be just that, I must have missed the UBC part in among the Shall not be Infringed part.

    To your other comments. If you’ve never been trained in knife fighting or experienced it you’d change that tune quick, you’d get just as lit up if the attacker has any idea what he’s doing. And on the other side and with all due respect you have a very decent chance as a trained shooter against a untrained thug who draws on you first assuming you keep your head and perform as trained. Since your opinion is just that please don’t assume all of us share your lack of developed defensive capability.

    To answer your last question more succinctly. Yes, you are wrong and my rights are not subject to any social utility or a moral conundrum which is what your position appears to rest on.

    • Yes, I was definitely referring to my own experience. I have some practice in self-defense, which makes me think I could deal with the average, untrained knife-wielder. If the attacker really knew what he was doing, I’m sure I’d have issues. I don’t feel as confident in my self-defense with a gun, although I’m working it. I wasn’t insinuating that circumstances are the same for everyone – just where I feel my chances are best. Obviously, they’re best with a gun in any scenario, and I’m training to make them even better.

  31. Conscientious Libertarian? What the actual F. Lets rewind a second here and define what a RIGHT is, first and foremost. A right is the sovereignty to act without the permission of others. The concept of a right carries with it an implicit, unstated footnote: you may exercise your rights as long as you do not violate the same rights of another—within this context, rights are an absolute.

    Our rights are not beholden to regulations and or “security theater.” Security Theater is precisely what UBC is. Even NICS today is pure theater. Criminal background ONLY across the board. One does not have to research far to locate the holes in that so called check. Mental health? Sure, if states are willing and able to provide. Lets wave a magic wand and these holes in process and procedure are filled and addressed. You now have ….full on registration of both weapons and people. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I do NOT support UBC in any way shape or form.

    • So you think that someone out on parole should be able to purchase a firearm. Or do you think people should be denied? Do you have no responsibility regarding who you sell a gun to?

      Yes we have rights, but we also have responsibilities. Shaking you head an saying that your rights absolve you of all responsibilities for your actions is BS. So now comes the question of what exactly are your responsibilities.

      • So you think that someone out on parole should be able to purchase a firearm.

        Parole? Or Probation?

        I believe that it is unconstitutional to continue to deny rights and equal protection of the law (including RKBA and the right to vote) to anyone who has completed due-process sentencing, including incarceration and probation.

        Anyone whom society cannot trust to exercise rights in a lawful manner should not be unleashed upon free, law-abiding society. Otherwise, they should not be relegated to “unpersons” upon completion of their sentencing.

  32. UBC criminalizes the wrong person. A prohibited person (that list on the form 4473 you answered no to when purchasing a firearm at an FFL) is already prohibited. They can’t legally buy, own, possess, carry, or use firearms. UBC just makes it illegaler and puts the responsibility, cost, and risk on me, the non-prohibited person who might want to sell, trade, or lend a firearm. Usually with unintended… rather, quite intended consequences buried in the law, have to pay FFL transfer to let friend mount a scope, or borrow gun to hunt, etc.

    There are already laws preventing both straw buyers vouching for known prohibited people and generous legal pathways to charge or at least civilly punish someone who helps a criminal get a gun. After a mass shooting you see the “where did they get the gun from” and usually either some interrogations or even arrests of those related to it.

    So UBC adds nothing but hassle for the law abiding and charges if you run afoul of it, while saying that a criminal already breaking the law is…. News flash! Breaking the law!

    There isn’t a tool at the moment for a law abiding private person to check out a potential buyer, other than using your eyes, ears, and walking away from something fishy. I wouldn’t be opposed to an optional private, free NICs option where I could screen a potential buyer, maybe they would have to initiate it and send me a link, or maybe I could do it. They could roll that out today, no laws needed. Key word is optional. All existing laws are already in place, this is just a service where I could verify a buyer was legit without having to go get an uninvolved FFL to run a private transfer transaction for me.

    • Come to Illinois. We have exactly what you want. Just have to deal with the pesky FOID. But if they were issued automatically for everyone, you would be all set

  33. The answer lies in evaluating a trade-off. Suppose we impose this law X. How many dangerous violators will we deter; or, at least punish? How many non-dangerous violators will we inconvenience; or, at worst, prosecute maliciously?

    Will we maliciously prosecute one non-dangerous violator to deter one dangerous violator? Or, will the ratio be 1:10; or 100:1? Can we understand the consequences to society for any such ratio?

    The technology of craftsmanship or industry is rapidly advancing. The horizon is clearly visible today. The number of guns in circulation will be a multiple of 2 guns per resident; then 3; etc. Any consumer so inclined will be able to fabricate the barrel, frame, and gun-specific parts in his basement. Clandestine factories will operate with impunity. Thereupon, doing a background check at the moment of transfer will be recognized as silly by all.

    You can see what this looks like in gun-control paradises such as Brazil, the Philippines and elsewhere. The only reason it’s not yet conspicuous here in the US is because the black-market in stolen and straw-bought guns more than satisfies the market with the highest quality of merchandise.

    If you have any interest whatsoever in keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, then begin a serious effort to enforce the laws on felon-in-possession.

    As to non-dangerous violators, “UBC” is a tyranny. Non-dangerous persons routinely “transfer” cars, gasoline, toxic chemicals, cutlery and guns. A neighbor needs to borrow a car to run an errand; lawnmower gas; drain-cleaner; a fish-knife; a gun. UBC promises to incarcerate borrower and lender ONLY for the last of these.

    How many non-dangerous violators do you want to imprison in your hope that you might deter one vicious criminal from acquiring a tool of his violent trade?

    There is no apparent scheme to balance-off this ratio of deterrence of dangerous violators vs. persecution of non-dangerous violators. The whole exercise is futile; unless, of course, the sole objective is to persecute non-dangerous violators.

    We, the non-dangerous users – lenders – borrowers and sellers of guns – will not submit to persecution. We have the votes to defend our positions in well-over 1/2 of the States. So long as that situation prevails, there is no practical means of imposing control over the domestic market in guns. (Prescinding entirely from smuggling). Imposing UBC in America is not politically practical under present and foreseeable circumstances. Imposition by force comes with its own consequences far more terrible to contemplate.

    Those of you – people of good will – who are intrigued by the false promise of UBC would accomplish far more by redirecting your attention to reform of our judicial system’s neglect of enforcing felon-in-possession laws.

  34. If a former criminal is too dangerous to possess firearms he/she is too dangerous to be outside a prison.

    If you aren’t in prison, you have the right to bear arms.

    So says our constitution.

  35. There is absolutely no way to enforce universal background checks without complete firearm registration. Registration = confiscation and that is why universal background checks will forever be opposed by pro rights activists.

    • We have no registration in Illinois of firearms. Sell to a undercover cop who fails to show a FOID and see what happens. Just mark people’s state IDs if they are prohibited and then check them at time a sale.

  36. Problem is, UBC’s are and always have been about registration, not blocking sales to prohibited persons. If it wasn’t, they’d prosecute more than the few percent of denied sales that they do and they’d be handing down more that wrist slaps to people found illegally possessing weapons. Just like the war on drugs, they have no interest in winning because the ‘problem’ justifies more power, more money, and more control.

    Everything else aside, UBC’s are registration. Accept one and you accept the other, complete with tracking, invasions of privacy, and profiling.

  37. Why inconvenience and infringe on everyone’s constitutional rights when this is clearly a felon specific issue?

  38. Several states deny felons the right to vote and there are a myriad of other voting restrictions by states. Is this Constitutional ?

  39. “…Am I wrong here? If so, tell me why.”

    Yes. You are wrong. And here is why….

    You claim you wouldn’t want to open yourself to the liability of selling a gun to someone who then used it in a crime. You even added a disclaimer about setting aside any moral implications in the example.

    You aren’t the one who committed the crime with the firearm so what liability are you concerned with? Unless the criminal ran up to you waving cash screaming I need a gun, quick! how would you in any way be responsible for what happens after you have completed your transaction with the other person?

    You got quite a few other things wrong, the second worst wrongness was when you said “…I am not talking about registration, federal or otherwise. I am completely opposed to registration and all of the potential tracking, profiling, blacklisting, and other invasions of privacy it implies.” while simultaneously supporting UBC. Universal checks are not possible without a supporting registry because how else do you prove Jimmy here just sold Johhny there a firearm?

  40. I got into a big long argument about this in a comment thread a few days ago. I hate the idea of background checks (as others have pointed out, it assumes that everyone is a criminal until proven otherwise), but the reality is that they have overwhelming support everywhere except among hardcore gun nuts.

    And since the reality is that if enough people want something, they’ll get it (18th amendment/prohibition, anyone?) I figure we ought to work with reality and try to implement UBCs that don’t completely suck before the pendulum swings and the authoritarian leftists get another crack at it.

    We need to make background checks available to EVERYONE. We have the technology to turn background checks into a simple yes/no database check (using the existing NICS info) done on any digital device. Each party to a transaction puts his own personal ID into an app — there’s no info about what’s being sold or transferred, just a yes or no flag on each person’s background. That’s all you really need to know, anyway.

    It would free up a lot of time and money for firearm dealers, and would stop the threat of registration-enabled confiscation in its tracks. And everyone who wants to sell or transfer a gun could be sure that the other party to the transaction is legally okay in a matter of seconds.

    As it stands, UBCs are basically the progressives’ way of sneaking universal registration and onerous restrictions through the back door. Even if this goes nowhere in the end, it would at least make their true intentions painfully clear.

      • Not the way I’m proposing, it doesn’t. FOID cards can FOAD.

        All I’m proposing is a simple electronic check performed by two parties to a transaction. If either one of them is in the NICS database as a prohibited person, there’s a “no” result. If neither have disqualifying criminal records, there’s a “yes.” And that’s it.

        It wouldn’t require serial numbers or any information whatsoever on what was sold, or even whether anything was sold in the end. All the .gov would know is that a transaction was flagged as “go” or “no” based on NICS records.

        If you want to cover your behind, each transaction check would have a unique identifier, which you could keep for your records.

    • “..We need to make background checks available to EVERYONE.”

      Who pays for it? When do they pay? And what are the mechanisms to keep the information current? And what mechanisms exist to correct incorrect information?

      • The same people who pay for the background checks we have now (i.e., everybody, through taxes) would pay for the new system. Probably pay less too, because it’d be cheaper in time and $ over time. And it would use the existing NICS data, so nothing new there.

        Even if background checks were legally mandated and as universal as possible (given that criminals will do whatever they want regardless), wouldn’t this be far less painful and less liable to gov’t abuse than what we currently have?

      • “Who pays for it? When do they pay? And what are the mechanisms to keep the information current? And what mechanisms exist to correct incorrect information?”

        Chris is asking how will the flaws of the current system be eliminated by having private citizens able to access the BUC data bases.

        Not expecting any effective answers, here.

        • Well, they won’t, really.

          Except for the part where (unlike with the crappy Form 4473) the gov never knows what was sold by whom, or even if anything was sold due to the check, so it defuses the gun registry problem. Heck, if checks were available like this, you could even do away with FFLs altogether. Eliminating that choke point would do wonders for freeing up legal, unfettered commerce in firearms.

          Background checks would be no more effective than they already are, but at least they’d be a heck of a lot easier and less burdensome for everyone involved (including the government), and that would be an improvement.

        • “Well, they won’t, really.”

          Exactly.

          @Chip Bennett….apologies for identifying you as “Chris”. Think I fell asleep on the keyboard and pressed the wrong keys with my nose.

    • “…but the reality is that they have overwhelming support everywhere except among hardcore gun nuts…”

      Not in Maine where the voters defeated Bloomberg’s 2016 Universal Background Check referendum.

      Not in New Mexico where the state legislature recently sent Bloomberg’s UBC proposal packing.

      Bloomberg’s UBC proposals are readily defeated when patriots rise up and shine the harsh light of truth on them.

  41. “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?”

    Here’s where you went wrong. I think you need to study up more on libertarianism.

    Just because you wouldn’t want to sell someone you didn’t know a gun doesn’t mean everyone else SHOULD have that same consternation. And so you descend into the well known tyranny in order to enforce – note the use of the letters “f-o-r-c-e” here – a stupid “law”. But that would make you feel better wouldn’t it? Just like it makes gun grabbers feel better when they think about a world full of confiscated guns.

    I would also point out that you should also need to have a background check then, based on your feelings, to sell someone you don’t know a hammer or a baseball bat or a car. What you are wrongly implying is that the person who sold the item is culpable for the action of the buyer if they then use that item to commit a crime. That is a fallacy. If the buyer tells me that he wants to play baseball with the bat how do I really know in reality he’s going to go home and beat his wife’s head in? If I sell a person a car and they say it’s to commute to work how do I know in reality they’re really going to go drive it into a group of people? So likewise if I sell someone a gun and they say it’s for protection, a collection, hunting, target practice whatever, and then they go murder someone how is that my fault? And furthermore, even if they “passed” said background check, went through an FFL, etc. that doesn’t mean that they aren’t planning their first and last murder/suicide plot…

    So, in short, UBCs be damned.

    • Should you sell a car to someone without a valid driver licence? I know cars and guns are not the same thing, but we all have social responsibilities.

      • “..Should you sell a car to someone without a valid driver licence? ”

        Why not?

        “.. but we all have social responsibilities.”

        Yes, but my responsibility does not extend to checking the driving credentials of people to whom I am selling a vehicle. Having a license. valid or otherwise, is their responsibility and not mine.

      • You may have that social responsibility I don’t.

        And have you been on American roadways recently? I’m sure 99% are .gov approved with a “license” but that doesn’t mean they can drive or are at all safe.

        In short any sort of .gov approved vetting means pretty much less than nothing to me.

        Let’s put the blame where it belongs – on the person who commits the crime.

  42. It’s called The Long Game.
    UBC today, gun a month in a few years, capacity limits a few years later, universal registration in a few more…
    You starting to understand it?

  43. I understand the no infringement view, but even before the constitution was ratified, we had the concept that certain crimes resulted in temporary or permanent deprivation of rights. When a person is convicted and still subject to the conviction, many of their rights (including the right to vote, bear arms, and even travel) are curtailed. Because some crimes result in that, it seems reasonable for two reasons to have background checks for all sales.

    First, it makes sure that a felon does not purchase a firearm while still under sentence (meaning if they’re on probation as well as in jail/prison).

    Second, it protects the seller from civil liability. I’m not sure if it’s happened (and frankly I’m surprised if it hasn’t) but the victim of a crime could try and sue a person who sold it to the gun in a private sale. (If the federal law covers this, my mistake but my reading a while ago always left me questioning whether it would cover Joe Schmo selling his dads shotgun as a one time deal). Then you could point to the background check and say “he passed”.

    Like the author says, I’m against a registration scheme. But a background check that does not keep a record, that the government has to return quickly (and allow for an appeal process if there’s a mistake) I have trouble arguing against it.

    But the silliest line was the one about needing a lawyer to challenge a red light ticket. I see those cases regularly and they’re contested by people without lawyers successfully.

    • “First, it makes sure that a felon does not purchase a firearm while still under sentence (meaning if they’re on probation as well as in jail/prison).”

      Now you’re just asking for it.

      Sound collision alarm!

  44. Hello, TTAG. I typed a bunch of individual replies on my laptop, and it appears that none of them posted. So I just wanted to thank everyone for your constructive comments. There were the expected keyboard warriors and replies of “Shall not be infringed. Period.” But there was also a lot of really good feedback. I asked the question about UBC’s because I have only purchased a few handguns. The rest were passed down from my grandpa or given to me in my youth. There is a lot of conflicting information out there, as well as propaganda from the left, and I honestly haven’t done the mountain of research required to know what is legal in each state. As I mentioned, complicated legal codes are among the things I really hate, so I wanted to know what would be so bad about having a simple law on the federal level.

    The de facto gun registration point was perhaps the best one raised by multiple people, and there were some great suggestions such as allowing individuals to run NICS checks or noting ineligibility on one’s state ID.

    The point about felons was spot on as well. If we believe that people can be rehabilitated, then we should believe that they should have their natural and civil rights restored once that rehabilitation is complete. If they can’t be rehabilitated, then they should stay locked up.

    I also had an entire post regarding what a transfer actually entails. No, you should not have to perform a background check when you loan a gun to a friend at the range or while hunting, etc. Longer-term or permanent transfers are a larger grey area, and would need to be clearly defined or the lawyers will do their lawyering.

    I am a staunch believer in freedom and personal responsibility. I love my guns, and I certainly don’t want to take yours away either. But I do believe that as gun owners, we bear some additional responsibility. Yes, if I sell someone a gun I have no real way of knowing whether that person will commit a crime (unless he’s wearing a “Death to All” t-shirt or something like that). But there is a mechanism to at least determine whether someone is a violent felon, illegal immigrant, or a terrorist on the watch list. We can argue whether we should still be able to sell guns to those people, but the current legal interpretation says we should not. Nor do I want to, and the current system forces me to go through an FFL if I want to make sure I’m protecting myself from liability. Some of you had some great suggestions for simplifying that process and removing the cost and complexity.

    I know that I tend to be more liberal than many of you. And some of my beliefs are unpopular to the purists, such as my support for carry permits and basic training requirements. But I am by no means a progressive, nor do I have a secret agenda. I just want to learn what works and does not work, better understand the things I have little knowledge of, and see a simple legal code that protects our individual rights. I know many of you believe that 2A should be enough by itself, but the sad and simple truth is that it is not. Our legal victories are too few and too far between. And even when we get a big win, it is never a complete win. Just look at Heller, which only states that the Militia Clause does not impact the right to keep and bear arms in defense of the home. The justices expressly avoided applying that ruling to carry outside of the home.

    There is validity to the belief that we should never have to compromise on an enumerated civil right. But the reality, whether you want to accept it or not, is that we will not win by refusing to compromise. If we do not, the enemy and their lawyers will continue to gain support. Their small wins will outpace ours, and eventually our rights will become so eroded that they will not be even remotely recognizable. Our best chance is to be smarter than our enemies and win the compromises. All of them. But in order to do that, we have to determine what winning means.

    Your responses have given me a good idea of what “winning” on UBC would look like to me. Thanks for the homest feedback, and thanks to RF and TTAG for publishing my post.

    • To be completely honest with you I’m a bit annoyed with how absolutist the firearms world is on things, I’m a political centrist so I tend to look at things for what they are and end there. When somebody says, “no, no background checks, that’s stupid,” it completely kicks the ball in the other end of the court with all the cavalier attitude of an oblivious moron unaware of what he’s done. There isn’t a discussion about it, there isn’t some gradual understanding or perhaps a solution that meets both sides, and there certainly isn’t forcing the “enemy” to achieve a pyrrhic victory.

      What I mean by that is if the goal is “no registry, no restrictions, go away and get off my lawn,” then gun owners should be finding some political neutral (or even better, a well-meaning Democrat) to introduce legislation that accomplishes just that. This “Universal Background Check Act” could be anything, it could be some meaningless trash on the books that’s stillborn the moment the president signs it, but we don’t get that because gun owners, as a whole, are paranoid. I hate to admit it but I’ve hopped on the lunatic bandwagon a few times, I participated in panic buys, but I got tired of it really fast.

      Now? Now I’m wondering why we, the firearms community, are living up to the idiotic stereotype and not what we style ourselves to be.

      Frankly I’d love a UBC law that satisfies three requirements: it’s open to the public, it’s instant and hassle free, and it’s anonymous. A law that says I have to conduct a check for an actual transfer, but I don’t have to wait around long and I don’t have to submit my own information.

      “That won’t stop criminals though! They’ll just ignore it!” some might say, but to that I would counter with, “they would just sell a stolen handgun like they do right now. A law doesn’t physically prevent one person from giving another person a physical thing.”

      There’s no potential for a registry, there isn’t even proof that a firearm was traded in the first place, just that person A was curious about person B and B consented to it. Furthermore this would mean private sales would simply be better, you can’t make a case that it’s bad that you’re aware that the guy you’re selling to is apt to rob you in a Best Buy parking lot. Not without sounding like a lunatic.

      Best of all is the simple argument that, “well we did what you wanted, we passed sensible gun control,” would be able to be invoked in the national debate. I guarantee you that “sensible gun control” would fall out of fashion, that would go a long way to paint gun grabbers as greedy tyrants and effectively reduce the platform to absurdity.

      Certainly better than grunting, “shall not be infringed!” and wondering why it fails to resonate with a public that largely doesn’t care.

      • A free, totally voluntary BGC system that requires no information about the inquirer would be a good step for those wishing to ensure (as best is possible with unverifiable data) one does not personally sell to an obviously prohibited person. Dealers could also be included in the “voluntary” usage. Guess I would pay $10/$15 for access.

        However….

        The BGC was never designed to prevent a bad transaction. It was always designed as a cog in the system of gun control, the system to frustrate gun owners, the system to reduce the number of sales, and a feel-good measure to make the gullible believe that no criminal can ever buy a gun. Trying to sell a voluntary BGC would fail almost every one of the intentions. Gun-grabbers learning that the system would actually make gun ownership easier, more reliable, more safe (for a limited number of persons) would just stroke-out. Politicians would run for cover and refuse to ever again do anything to protect our rights.

  45. As with any law, here’s the proper test:

    Imagine the worst possible thing the people you most despise could do with this law if they were in power. Is that result acceptable to you? If not, it’s a bad law.

    • Excellent question. For me the litmus test would be if the worst possible thing they could do to me was punish me or allow me to be sued because I could not supply proof that I ran the required check before I sold a gun. That would mean the law was working the way I envision.

  46. Here in NC it’s easy to CYA. If the person has a concealed carry you know they’re good to go. It is a crime to keep it if it is ever revoked so if you see their CHP and match it with their ID youre in the clear. That’s always been my rule if I don’t know the individual

  47. “Seems like a no-brainer to me. And with a UBC, it would weed out those complicated, confusing local ordinances and Bloomy would have to find something else to waste his $20 million on”

    This is a feature, not a bug. Let’s take a trip back to January 2013. Absolute height of the panic and push for gun control. Let’s look at the playing field at the time. At that time, there was a very real chance that not only were we going to get UBC’s, but a very hardcore Assault Weapons Ban that included confiscation orders for anyone who did not register any semi auto rifle they had with the NFA. It further banned the sale and possession of nearly all semi auto guns. In fact, it created a California style list in which only “approved” weapons would be allowed, which could be arbritarily changed by the Feds st any point. It was actually a blanket federal gun ban of all firearms. It was Diane Fienstines wet dream come true. What does this have to do with UBCs? Well, the GOP, a few pro gun Democrats, the NRA, and all the dues we all payed to the NRA up until then payed off “Big League” that year because that bill died in committee. It would’ve garunteed a kick off to civil war. The UBC bill failed, as well, in the Dem controlled senate at the time, sealing and real gun control efforts fate at the national level. This was an extraordinary victory that people of the gun under appreciate. Now, this caused all these gun control freaks to slug it out for state victories. Since then they have gone and spent millions off dollars and political effort on UBCs, with minimal gain. The point is UBCs are a quagmire for the gun controllers. We’ve forced them to fight a long, expensive battle for what is really small potatoes compared to what they really want. Meanwhile, we’ve been able to rack up victories and are now poised to go on offense. Now isn’t the time for bargaining, but to really bring the hurt down.

  48. “That said, I know UBC is a bad word around here, but I don’t understand why…”.

    Get yourself educated on Bloomberg’s version of UBC.

    We spent a solid 10 months fighting this — and with God’s grace — defeated this in Maine.

    Do a search on Bangor Daily News and Portland Press Herald articles related to the 2016 Maine Universal Background Check referendum.

    Most importantly, review the reader comments opposed to the referendum, and you will get all the education on UBC’s you will ever need.

    We were outspent 6 to 1 by Bloomberg, but took full advantage of the “poor man’s media” by fighting this every day in the reader comment sections.

  49. The question should be what is right with it? Besides being totally infringing upon our constitutional rights I can’t think of much more why we shouldn’t all have Universal background checks. What a stupid question. Yeah we believe in the 2nd Amendment but we all should have Universal background checks that’s like saying We Believe in president Trump but not his policies. Bunch of malarkey and crapolla all smeared into a big anti-gun sandwich they want to jam down your fricking throat as you’re puking it back up between their fingers period I think that sums it up.

  50. “I’m talking about background checks for all gun purchases”

    In 2014 Washington State passed I-594 mandating universal background checks. This meant not being able to loan a gun to someone. The “exceptions” are so narrowly written that very few of then can be applied. The law also isn’t about “purchases.” It’s about “transfers.”
    The first year supporters bragged how almost 4,000 denials were made in Washington State and 50 were due to the law. There was then the question: “If there were 50 denials, were there 50 prosecutions? No, no there wasn’t any prosecutions. In fact only one person has been charged under the law. Worse, the police needed the persons confession to bring charges. In other words they had to be told of the violation. One reason is that the gun is gone. Since charges were brought, the person is gone too. Go beck to the 50 persecution question. In 2010 the frederal NICS background checks obtained 13 guilty pleas. Almost all the denials had no action taken.

    http://www.king5.com/news/local/investigations/background-check-law-blocks-50-gun-purchases/102563695
    https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/2014-nics-ops-report-050115.pdf
    https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bjs/grants/239272.pdf

  51. Plain ans simple the gun control freaks want to track every weapon in the nation. They hate private gun sales and trades. The infamous gun show loophole is simply private sales and they need to stay away. Universal background checks are simply a registration wrapped in fake safety garbage.

  52. Robert Farago you are a moron of the highest order. UBCs have ZERO effect on crime and once the progressive left succeeds at obtaining them, they will simply move on to the next form of control (like banning semi auto rifles, standard capacity magainzes, etc.). They don’t deserve any victories. You call for government regulation and you consider yourself a libertarian? You should rethink that….

  53. If you’d rather be in a knife fight than a gunfight, you’re insane. Gunfights are relatively clean, handgun wounds are usually survivable, and it’s rare for even the loser to have more than 4-5 holes in him. Knife fights are brutal, bloody, and desperate. The human body can survive a LOT of stabbing (plenty of stories of prisoners being shanked 50+ times and surviving), and if you are in a knife fight, you WILL bleed. Probably from quite a few wounds, whether you win or lose.

  54. too many comments but just in case.. are you ok with BGC for selling your car? kitchen knives? a baseball bat? buying bleach? rat poison? putting in a swimming pool? How about to teach BJJ or Krav Maga? Heavy ashtray? Lead pipe? Axe handle?

    where does it end?

  55. Generally, gun control schemes/laws do not affect crime rates. So implementing Universal Background Checks is just another false panacea, which will further limit our liberties, but gain us nothing in terms of decreasing our crime rates.

    In the graph below, which shows the US murder rate and gun laws for the past 55 years, you can see that no law significantly altered the direction or magnitude of the existing trend in the murder rate. In every instance when a gun-control law was implemented, the murder rate continued to rise or decline at the same rate previous to the law’s implementation. These are the facts on the ground. To reiterate: Gun Control Doesn’t Work.

    US Murder Rate 1960-2014 (Graph):
    http://i63.tinypic.com/2ceq9zd.jpg

    Murder Data Source:
    http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/

    Further evidence that Background Checks are ineffective is the following study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Surveys were taken of criminals in 1991 and 1997, respectively, three years before and three years after the 1994 background check law was implemented. One of the questions in the survey was, what was the source of the criminal’s gun. There were four major categories of sources: Retail Outlets, Family or Friend, Street/Illegal Source, and Other. Of the two largest categories: Family or Friend, Street/Illegal Source, only Family or Friend changed by any significant amount – it increased by 6% in 1997. Sourcing guns from Retail Outlets decreased by 7%. What this shows is that after the background check law was in place, criminals shifted sourcing their guns more from Friends and Family.

    There is no reason to believe that the friends or family of a convicted felon will force them to undergo background check if that were the law. Particularly, since it’s is already illegal to provide a firearm to a convicted felon, and yet they are doing so. In short, any friend/family of a felon, that’s willing to illegally provide them with a firearm, isn’t going to obey a law designed to prevent that very thing. Background checks are not going to stop, nor impede criminals from getting guns.

    Sources of Crime Guns 1991/1997 (Table):
    http://i66.tinypic.com/15dlv8y.png

    Crime Gun Data Source (pg 6):
    https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/fuo.pdf

        • Afraid you give me too much credit. I was/am appreciative that you put all that detail into a single submission (which I saved). Have no opinion on whether your commentary was good, bad or indifferent (mainly because I did not do you the honor of actually reading the narrative. The data capture indicates heroic effort.

  56. “That said, I know UBC is a bad word around here, but I don’t understand why.”

    UBC is a Trojan Horse for universal gun registration. Just ask Charles Schumer. Time magazine 3/29/2013.

    “We got nine tenths of the way with Coburn,” says one senior Democratic Senate staffer. But the Oklahoma Republican argued that conservatives simply wouldn’t support a bill that expanded record keeping, even one that merely extended the existing system for commercial sales to private sales. Schumer said gun control groups felt strongly that expanded background checks without record keeping would be meaningless. The two sides amicably agreed to test the support for those positions on both sides.

  57. Well,

    Let’s check the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Second Amendment……
    In Heller v. DC, we have Anton Scalia’s decision, which now encapsulates into settled law: “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited”…. “The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill”…”or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the .. sale of arms”. “a constitutional right to carry firearms openly”

    So, to the Constitutional fundamentalists that would argue that UBC would be an infringement, no, even Scalia did not see it that way. The is no right to acquire or sell firearms without restriction, there is no rights of felons have have firearms, and there is no right to keep from the government, (or anyone else), from seeing that you have a firearm.

    UBC may not accomplish much at all in terms of lowering crime, but we already have it in several states and it is hardly a restriction. In my home state which has it, firearm transactions proceed unfettered.
    It is, however, a bargaining chip. And if it can be used to pave the way to Universal Reciprocity, or universal “Shall Issue”, then I would not be opposed.

  58. One of the things that drives me nuts is that so many of my fellow gun rights activists take the position that, “We should never give an inch, even if we gain a mile by doing so.”

    Here are some realities that anyone is free to check.

    1) I have never seen a single gun rights attorney offer the opinion that NICS background checks are unconstitutional and an infringement of our 2nd Amendment rights. Heller was a great victory for us – but let’s not forget that Heller specifically said that current law regarding prohibited persons is constitutional. Logically, this also means that government can take reasonable measures to prevent said persons from obtaining firearms.

    2) This DOES NOT mean that any and every background check law is constitutional – FAR FROM IT! Let me explain:

    The next big decision about the 2nd Amendment is the level of protection, or scrutiny the 2nd Amendment right should be accorded. No one thinks that it will be any less than the two top levels: Intermediate or strict. While we have won many cases where both side agreed to have the court use intermediate scrutiny, what we really want is strict scrutiny.

    Let’s assume we get strict scrutiny. Under this level of protection, in order for the government to justify a regulation they must prove two things.

    a) That the regulation serves a compelling purpose. This is a very high bar. Basically, the government must prove that they have no choice but to act, they must be COMPELLED. Does the need to prevent felons and the severely mentally ill from obtaining firearms constitute a compelling purpose? Given Heller, the answer to that question is almost certainly, “yes”.

    b) Now we come to the second test required by strict scrutiny: Is the regulatory method used the least intrusive that will accomplish the compelling purpose? This is why, under strict scrutiny, background checks could not be used as a “blank check” by the gun grabbers. In fact, most, if not all, state background check laws would fail this test. What would be likely to meet this requirement? The Federal NICS

    The bottom line is simple: A simple expansion of NICS checks is quite unlikely to be found unconstitutional.

    How does this bear on the issue at hand? Simple: IMHO we should hold expanded background checks as an “ace in the hole” ready to be played at an opportune time. That time could very well be coming very soon.

    The CCW reciprocity bill and the Hearing Protection Act will almost certainly pass the House, but will fall short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in the Senate. That estimate includes the votes of the Dems who are coming up for reelection in 2018 and are from pro-gun states. The estimates I have seen is that we would still be at 58-59 votes. If we were to combine our two acts with an expansion of NICS background checks (with at least exemptions for transfers – and preemption of all state background check laws as redundant) – we likely could get the 2-3 votes we need.

    These votes definitely would not come from hard core gun control advocates – but from senators in states where they want to be able to tell gun rights folks, “I voted for CCW reciprocity and suppressor reform”, and gun control advocates, “I voted for expanded background checks”.

    The reality in Washington is that usually when one side wins, the other side gets something – because a few more votes are needed in the Senate.

    So , it really comes down to this: Are you willing to give up CCW reciprocity and/or suppressor reform in order to block and expansion of NICS checks?

  59. no victim, no property damage, no crime.

    selling a gun without a background check should not alone be grounds for prosecution.

    actual common sense reform would be this: If you get a BC for a private sale, you have statutory immunity from prosecution if the buyer ends up being a knucklehead. If you skip the B and your buyer does something, a prosecutor and jury can decide if you were negligent (if it comes to that)

    i don’t like the idea of holding people responsible for the actions of others, but i’m a realist.

  60. A background check infringes through time, money, and right to privacy. My son is a certified peace officer, my nephew a recent SEAL, my good friend a CCW holder (as am I). There is no valid reason…except ‘registration’…to have background chcks done between us when transferring a firearm.

  61. Sorry, but whenever someone makes the argument for anything by talking of ‘protecting the innocents’ in the beginning, he clearly is out of touch with reality or suffers from some messianic delusions, which you’ve proven later on. Who’s ‘innocent’? Everyone is guilty of something. ‘The children’? Either you grew up in some idyllic place or have a very dim memory because I can recall very vividly experiencing and witnessing some of the nastiest things perpetrated by 5-8 year olds. 🙂
    Have you ever been attacked by someone armed with a knife or at least a broken bottle? I guess not considering the bullshit you wrote about having more confidence in confronting such attack than ‘the man with a gun’. It takes time to aim and fire a pistol, the bullet needs to hit you too, even if it does you can still fight unless your brain is blown out. Knife moves swiftly in the hand, left and right, top to bottom, it cuts and stabs, each move is a wound, you will be slashed to pieces in the time it takes to fire one shot from a handgun. Most people survive wounds sustained from a pistol, not so much when attecked with a blade. It’s also ‘a bit’ more difficult to take away a knife from an attacker than a handgun. Watch this to get some idea of knife vs gun scenario in close combat. Knife vs Gun The 21 Foot Rule : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=js0haocH4-o
    ‘NICS checks for EVERY gun sale.’ So concealed carry license possessors also should pay the fee for a check each time? What about gifts? If a guy buys his son a gun for birthday he should come later to an FFL with him to make the transfer and pay again? You’re retarded. 🙂

  62. Because laws do not prevent crime.

    DaQuan: “DeSean, I need a gun to rob a liquor store.”
    DeSean: “Here you go, man. Two hunnert and I’ll throw in 4 bullets.”
    DaQuan: “Word. Can I pay you after the job?”
    DeSean: “Sure, man. Hey, just fill out this 4473…”

    Sarc OFF.

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