Universal-Background-Checks-courtesy-DrVino-for-The-Truth-About-Guns

By BlinkyPete

In the highly unlikely event I win one of the P320’s in this contest, I won’t be able to accept it. I’d probably ask them to donate it to the NRA or 2nd Amendment Foundation for an auction or raffle, but despite the fact that I am not a prohibited person, the gun cannot be legally transferred to me. Why, you ask? Well, the problem started in June of 1992, about two weeks shy of my 10 birthday . . .

I have no recollection of what I was doing in late June, 1992 – probably taking in the staggering payload of summer freedom I’d recently acquired the way most 9-year-olds would be. That’s not important though – what is important is that across the state a twenty-something year old man I’ve never met was doing something he’d done dozens of times in his life – he was being arraigned for a violent crime, which he would plead guilty to shortly thereafter. As it happens, he has the same first and last name as I do.

Some time in 2009 a clerk in a district court in central Massachusetts shoved the other me’s record from 1992 into a file containing my own lurid history with the court – one dismissed count of public drunkenness – and sent it off to the FBI for inclusion in NCIS. I had passed several background checks already by that point and I passed another in 2010 for two rifles, another in 2012 for my concealed carry permit in New Hampshire, and then once again in January 2013 for a neat tactitool pistol.

March of 2013 was another story. We were all still wondering if a new Assault Weapons Ban would slither its way through, and when I found a gun I had wanted for a long time – a SCAR – at a reasonable price, I jumped on it. I was stunned when, after a three-day delay, I failed the background check.

My journey through trying — and to this day still failing — to fix the issue for over a year could fill a book. In short, it has involved four rounds of correspondence with the FBI – requesting my history, going to my local police department to be finger printed, sending those prints off, being told that they don’t have the other me’s prints to compare them to, sending court documents off, being told they aren’t acceptable because they didn’t come from the court, etc, etc, etc. My take away – the FBI doesn’t have great customer service.

Eventually I lost heart. Work and family took over and I temporarily gave up, having spent my SCAR money on something else and not having more for a new gun anyway. Some day I’ll hire a lawyer to fix this mess for me, but at the time of this writing, it’s not in my best interest to attempt a transfer, even if NH does run its own background checks for pistols, and I could potentially pass it.

The process has been massively frustrating, but the worst part — the very worst part — is that it hasn’t done a damn thing to make one person safer. The crime the other me committed, which is currently on my record at NICS, was a violent battery. The person who committed it should not have guns. Yet, when the FBI finds out ‘I’ tried to acquire one, they declined the transfer…and that’s it. No investigation, no nothing. Not them, not the local police, not the staties. If I hadn’t reached out to NICS, I never would have spoken to the FBI. And if I were a violent maniac, I’d have gone on to find another way to get a gun, and probably used it.

But you read the title right – after all this, there’s a background check bill, a ‘universal’ background check bill that I do support, and I wrote it.

I’m no Dick Metcalf. I don’t support the 2nd Amendment, but…. I support the 2nd Amendment. Period. I’ve also written a “universal” background check bill, and I support it. Will all of you be happy with it? No. If you think civil war is imminent, and that you and your friends are going to win and begin a new republic, hit the back button, read something else and have fun with all that. If, however, you passionately, feverishly support the 2nd Amendment and gun rights for all, and want to preserve them for generations to come the way I do, read on.

Due to a clerical error, the FBI has suspended my right to legally buy guns. Going around NICS would be my only saving grace, so why the hell would I want to expand a system I know for a fact doesn’t work, and more importantly, does not save lives?

It’s simple. I want to take away the most powerful weapon our opponents have, minimize any damage it causes us, and ensure it brings with it more benefit than harm. Make no mistake about it – it could cause massive damage. Someday soon Washington will vote on an initiative for ‘universal’ background checks, and sure as you’re born, it’s going to pass. I don’t want it to; it was written by antis and serves their purpose, but there is almost zero chance that we will win.

What does happen in the unlikely event that we win? We will have spent millions fighting to keep a right we already had, and they will continue trying to take it away, both in Washington and the states with and without voter initiatives. In the highly likely event that we lose, however, they will try it in every state with voter initiatives. We may win in Alaska and Wyoming; you can count losses almost everywhere else. When the dominos begin to fall, they tend to keep on falling until all of them are down.

My solution: write our own universal background check bill and pass it at the federal level. One that is written for us, by us, and specifically overrides all state-mandated background check bills, while restoring many rights that have been taken away previously. With NRA support it would pass the house, and it would satisfy the senate’s need to do something! It could probably even pass with enough majority to override Barry’s potential veto, too.

Here is a rough outline of my bill:

“It is a violation of [this law] to transfer a firearm to a prohibited person, either knowingly or through failure to reasonably ascertain that said person is not prohibited, either through a NICS background check conducted by a FFL or verification that said person holds a state issued license or permit to carry or own a firearm. Any person who abides by this law shall be immune to criminal and civil penalties in perpetuity for actions by said transferee.”

Read that carefully, because this law does not criminalize individual transactions, trades or lending. None of the NRA’s concerns with Manchin-Toomey would be relevant here. You can trade, sell or give a firearm to any person who is personally known to you. You can trade, sell, or give a firearm to a stranger and if they aren’t prohibited, you haven’t broken a law. However, if you want to ensure said stranger is not prohibited and also immunize yourself from any prosecution for that person’s actions, you can conduct a background check at a dealer on a standard form 4473, to be maintained by said dealer, or by verifying that they have a CCL issued by any state.

“Holders of valid, state issued concealed carry or other gun licenses who have submitted to, and passed instant criminal background checks shall hereby be exempt from said checks for subsequent firearms purchases, as well as use of form 4473, either in dealer or individual transactions, except at the discretion of the transferor.”

Using the justification of reducing workload, and therefore increasing the accuracy, of the FBI by removing needless, redundant background checks, we say that CCL holders no longer need to take background checks at dealers either.

“A person who is denied a license or firearm by criminal background check shall have the right to appeal the decision through a court in the judicial district in which they reside. In cases of errors the court, and the FBI, is required to provide legal remedy or overturn said erroneous denial within 30 days of initial filing by the person denied.”

I can’t stress how important this is. I’m not simply being selfish here – I’m restoring due process for everyone. Furthermore:

“Any genuinely prohibited person shall no longer be prohibited for life, but instead has the option to petition a court in his or her judicial district to consider genuine reform, lack of danger to society or likelihood of recidivism. If said individual has been reformed and is no longer a danger to society, his or her rights shall be restored.”

This may need to specifically exclude certain people, but if you have a marijuana conviction, congrats, you’re no longer prohibited for life.

Obviously, the bill will also need to contain law enforcement provisions to fund gang suppression activities, metal health treatment and other things that, you know, might actually make a difference. At the same time, this is an opportunity to ‘clean up’ existing gun law. Here are a few ideas:

Pursuant to the National Firearms Act:

  • Silencers, or suppressors, shall no longer be considered an NFA item, but instead a separate firearm to be serialed and sold to end users as such.
  • Short barreled rifles and shotguns pose no unique threat, and are hereby stricken from NFA.

Pursuant to the Gun Control Act:

  • Transactions between individuals and individuals or dealers and individuals who reside in different states but are able to conduct face to face transactions are now permitted to do so, given that they follow all laws set forth in [this law], and all other Federal, local and state gun laws.
  • All import restrictions are hereby struck from the GCA.

What’s missing? Two obvious things, and I’ll explain why I didn’t include them. Striking down the Hughes Amendment to GOPA would be great. I want toys with giggle switches as much as anyone, and gun controllers would probably not fight it that much, provided machine guns ended up back on the NFA. The real fight would come from anyone who currently owns or sells any of the 180,000 prohibition-inflated pre-’86 guns would rather fight our rights than see that $20,000, 30 year old M16 drop to scrap value.

What about universal reciprocity? I’d love to see that too, but either this passes without it, or it dies with it. California and New York have 80 representatives between them, and every single one of them would vote against it, along with many others from Illinois, Taxachusetts and other permission states. If it somehow survived the house, Barry would veto it.

Many won’t agree with this. Robert, in his steadfast absolutism probably won’t, but if your mentality is all or none, history generally indicates you’re going to end up with none. I don’t know if I count as a 2nd Amendment absolutist, but I care deeply about our gun rights. This bill would pull the carpet out from the anti’s, make their most popular proposals unsustainable for ballot initiatives in any state that has them, improve our (and the NRA’s) public image and restore many of our fallen rights.

I call that a big fat win, and just remember, I’m still stuck in the belly of the beast.

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200 Responses to P320 Entry: My Background Check Bill

  1. Your premise, or premises, are absurd. The dominoes are falling to the right, not the left, and I’m not taking a step back because you are too lazy to fight the Feds.

    Step up, be a man and get your record straightened out.

    • You kinda just buzzed through that straight to the “reply” button, huh? Sounds pretty lazy to me, since your response has nothing to do with the context of the proposed bill above.

      Also, don’t you live in MA? You are indeed taking a step back, and it’s got nothing to do with anything above.

      • Well, I read it and I agree with Ralph. I don’t give ground to keep ground I already have. There are a lot of opportunities in this proposal, as written, for disconnects between State and Federal databases – lags and overlaps in statuses. If the government can’t even stick your paperwork in the correct file, how do you expect multiple agencies with no common infrastructure to coordinate files and statuses correctly. Have you ever heard of the no-fly list? No thanks, I’ll pass. Chains of my own choosing are still chains.

        • ” There are a lot of opportunities in this proposal, as written, for disconnects between State and Federal databases – lags and overlaps in statuses.”

          You don’t need to convince me that the government is incompetent, but where in this proposal do these disconnects and data bases come in to play? It’s simply a duplicate of the 4473 system we have now, but it exempts CCL’s from all additional background checks and gives denied persons genuine due process rather than begging the FBI to get around to fix errors.

        • I read the whole thing and I actually kind of agree with Blinky.

          Then again, part of what I do for a living is write policy in legal-ese and quite a few of the finer points of this post will probably be lost in the ensuing flame wars.

        • There are no “finer points” to gun control, even when all it is is appeasement in hopes of getting them to lighten up. It won’t work, and it will undermine us.

          We need to man up and be absolutists here! Shall Not Be Infringed means Shall Not Be Infringed!

        • I’m with Rich. Exploring and entertaining Constitutional nuances is how we arrived at this predicament of infringement in the first place. To win this war we need fewer finer points and but one blunt pronouncement: the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed!

        • A healthy dose of reality is a good way to avoid getting ambushed while blinded by zealotry.

      • “Also, don’t you live in MA? You are indeed taking a step back, and it’s got nothing to do with anything above.” – BlinkyPete

        Wow, hitting below the belt, huh? I guess that’s the only way you can win fights.

        • How is mentioning impending gun control legislation that’s almost certain to pass hitting below the belt?

  2. What an expert piece of comedy.

    He should get the P320 for that aspect alone . It’s hilarious, because the ISP (that’s Illinois State Police) testified that they had a five year backlog on warrants which had yet to be entered into the NICS system. Theoretically, I’d have half a decade if I broke the law in Illinois and decided to purchase a gun at an FFL.

    It’s all very possible that I, a man with a clear record, could commit several violent crimes today and still pass an FBI check at point of sale next Tuesday despite having active warrants for my arrest.

    Next, the law has already gone too far. A Universal BG check law would be used the same way it is in CA, where parking tickets from the Nixon administration would be grounds for an FBI denial , followed by a 90 day appeal which is legally only supposed to take 30 -but hey, children need protectin’ right.

    • ST’s response is irrational. Consider slicing and dicing the errors and omissions in NICS into two classes: those that hurt people who deserve relief; and, those that help criminals and crazies. BlinkyPete’s proposal augers for compelling governments to fix the first. He says nothing whatsoever about forcing governments to fix the second.
      It should be an easy political sell to get voters to support that governments fix errors and omissions that hurt people who deserve relief. To push for such change is a genuine good.
      The Anti’s will continue to push for the second; to get more criminal and crazy records into NICS. Gradually, they will succeed to some extent. Do we really want to stop them? Do we really want criminals and crazies to have access to the legitimate gun market? A few readers probably do want this; but, for the rest of us, we certainly don’t want to advertise to the general public that we want more guns sold to criminals and crazies.
      We should be telling the public that the background-check system probably won’t do much to reduce criminals and crazies access to guns. Might do a little, but not much. The background-check system probably won’t be cost-effective in reducing criminal and crazy access to guns. Yet, we PoTG are nearly-all law-abiding gun users. Go ahead, check our backgrounds. Just do it in an efficient way with a very low error rate. Don’t make us out to be criminals when we are not-criminals. Don’t impede innocent activities such as private sales and loans.
      We should bear in mind that we NOW HAVE a background check system. It might: stay the same; get worse; or, get better. We all agree that it MIGHT get worse. We should all agree that we need to reduce the risk of letting the background check political debate to slip out of our control and get WORSE. We may not agree whether we are satisfied with what we NOW HAVE or whether we would like a revised system which might be somewhat better than the one we have now.
      BlinkyPete is inviting us to consider the possibility that – by seizing the initiative – we are likely to: 1) head-off changes leading to a WORSE system; and, 2) improve the background-check environment within which we live. We would be foolish to summarily dismiss BlinkyPete’s invitation to consider these possibilities. It’s not absolutely obvious to me that the best strategy is to hold-out for the maintenance of the status quo.

      • Agreed. Acting like stubborn little girls won’t get us anywhere. Blows my mind that people here wouldn’t support the idea of getting a background check on someone who they didn’t know but were selling a weapon to anyway. Especially when we get easy access to suppressors and boomsticks.

      • The whole problem is that you cannot guess who WILL be the crazy guy, no matter what. It’s always the quiet neighbor guy who was always nice to everybody, not the rowdy guy who’s loud and obnoxious. I agree with the OP though, there are too many lifetime bans, and they add up to disarming as many people as they can. Instead of a 3 day option, it should be expanded up to 30 days, but a final determination is required. No more asleep at the wheel or indefinite delays. If the records have the person being a violent criminal, deny the transaction, otherwise, a proceed is required by law.

  3. They don’t have the other guys prints to compare them to?
    I can tell you with certainty, they do.
    For whatever reason, they just didn’t want to compare them.

    • Massachusetts presumably does; the FBI does not, nor did either record sent to the FBI (by the MA court that submitted them and again by me with the correction).

      • Blinky Pete,

        And that is the ginormous weakness with your proposal: you are counting on bureaucrats and government agents to be honorable, ethical, moral, motivated, competent, and properly resourced to do the right thing. If we could absolutely count on that 99.99% of the time, I can see some merit to your proposal. But we cannot count on that.

        That is why we must not rely on government employees to exercise our rights. Government is absolutely, positively in the wrong when it comes to firearm rights. I want to keep rolling back the current laws before we resort to “compromises”. (At least your proposal is truly a compromise versus proposals from gun grabbers whose idea of a compromise is that we give up a little instead of a lot.)

        • But it isn’t even really a compromise – it’s exactly an example of your last sentence, except it basically gives up nothing.

          I certainly agree on your first point, but I’ve added as much accountability and due process as possible.

        • Even the word “compromise,” in any other context, means “breached,” as in “security has been compromised.” I think in this case it’s just being used as a euphemism for just that. There has already been way too much compromise – there never should have been any kind of gun control enacted in the first place!

          Shall Not Be Infringed, remember?

        • Seems to me that the sort of relief BlinkyPete contemplates puts the burden-of-proof to the government. To illustrate, suppose Joe Schmoe has a NICS record that indicates that he has been indicted for burglary. That makes him a prohibited person. Joe protests that the indictment was dismissed. NICS says that they have no record to that effect. Joe tells NICS that he compels them to produce the proof from the court of record that the indicted is still pending or that he has been convicted. The court of record has 90 days to supply the proof; failing to do so results in the expungement of the record of indictment.
          Let’s suppose that government employees are incompetent. The 90 days expire and NICS is obliged to expunge the record. If NICS fails to do so Joe is entitled to a summary injunction from a judge to expunge the record. The path of least resistance is for NICS to expunge the record. NICS doesn’t really care whether Joe’s record is accurate or not. They just want to avoid having to fight with a judge.
          Will NICS get better in having more legitimate disabling records and fewer erroneous disabling records? Probably so. Governments will work on getting more disabling records (whether legitimate or erroneous). Governments will do NOTHING to reduce erroneous disabling records unless WE FORCE them to do so.
          The public should be expected to support the removal of erroneous disabling records. We are a just and fair people.

        • Or, suppose Blinky Pete writes legislation that abolishes the NICS and background checks completely, thus reinstating the Constitution’s prohibition on infringement of the right to keep and bear arms?

        • If you’re so gung-ho for it Rich, why don’t you write it? I’ve heard an awful lot of complaints from you and few solutions. If you do, please also take the time to explain how you’re going to get it passed, since your definition of infringement differs from most peoples, as well as every ruling on the 2nd amendment ever issued by SCOTUS. If it’s as easy as you seem to think it is, by all means, I’ll happily retract my own.

        • BlinkyPete seems to be getting to the root of the debate among us PoTG. We have proposals A, B and C. The absolutists object to each of these proposals on grounds of “shall not be infringed”. We understand this so far as these words go. And yet, we continue to live under laws that DO INFRINGE. We chafe under these laws. We live under unrelenting attempts by the Anti’s for still harsher laws.
          The absolutists urge – whether by express proposal or by implication – that the only bills we should support are bills that roll-back existing infringement(s). We probably would mostly agree to support any such roll-back; but how shall we get Congress to pass such a bill? A bill containing only roll-back(s) of infringements but zero other alterations. I haven’t seen political explanations as to why we think Congress will act in our favor on any such bill. How do we persuade a legislator that he should pass our bill that reads: ‘One for us, none for them; another for us, none for them; . . . ” Is this politically realistic?
          For it to be politically realistic we would need to convert a large number of legislators – including especially the leadership in the controlling caucus in each chamber – to an adamant pro-gun position. It would help to control the Oval Office as well. How long will that take? How many elections for Representatives? How many elections for President? How many elections for Senators? I’d like to see the absolutists lay out a detailed plan – election by election, district by district, State by State – showing when outright victories will be in our grasp.
          I’d also like to see the absolutists enumerate the rights we ought to strive to have restored, in the desired sequence. Should we go for repeal of the Hughes Amendment first? Last? What are the arguments to be used to persuade the uncommitted voters that NICS should be dismantled entirely; that the Feds should not have a database of the public records available for inspection in every county courthouse?
          As soon as we can see the proposals of the absolutists: X, Y and Z, then we can compare the political viability of A, B and C to X, Y and Z. I’m eager to debate this full array of proposals. With no detailed X, Y and Z proposals from the absolutists, my preference is to examine the A, BlinkyPete, and C proposals that strive to make politically-viable incremental restoration of our rights together with preferable re-configurations of laws that are arguably infringements.

      • The only way the NICS/NCIC could turn you down is because the other you is in their system. If he is in the system, his prints are on file. I would bet money on it.
        Most times it’s two letters or a letter and a number for each finger.
        Rahm Emanuel only has 9 identifiers…

        • I’m sure the other me is indeed in the system, but unfortunately that doesn’t matter. The FBI needs prints pertaining to the erroneous file. The file that was sent is just from his arraignment, not the arrest. It does have all his identifying information on it, so that should help clear it up, but they won’t accept it from me and the court won’t send it directly to them.

  4. Your situation does suck and as someone who has been a victim of mistaken identity I feel your pain. I was able to get it straightened out in time and with great pain, though it does occasionally rear its ugly head. Once you get into a mess like that there is no guarantee it won’t continue to haunt you later. Fortunately, it has not hampered my ability to acquire firearms but I did nearly miss out on an excellent job because of it.

    That said, I don’t see the inevitability of a Universal Background Check. Federal Gun Control has become a non-starter. While the Lame Duck in Chief can blather on all he wants, those that have to face re-election are running from new gun control bills. Only the deepest of deep blue states would dare pass a gun control bill now, especially after what happened in Colorado. Gun control bills are political suicide in most parts of the country.

    Also, background checks don’t work and the current system is expensive and pointless. While not widely covered by the media, Adam Lanza was stopped from buying a firearm earlier because he didn’t want to wait for the background check to clear. Apparently the very idea made him too nervous. The system worked! Well, at least until he killed his mother and stole her guns. The Washington Naval Yard Shooter had a history of violence, but no convictions. That still should have shown up in the investigation to give him Secret clearance. They still granted him clearance and base access. Background checks as they exist today do not work. Expanding an ineffective system won’t work and it seems people realize that.

    Keeping in mind. I say this as someone who used to be very much for background checks, but the evidence tells me they are pointless. Trying to compromise on this issue is like any other. We are better off holding the line. The antis can’t help but put something in the legislation that will require registration, which will kill the bill.

    • I initially asked if they would be willing to publish this as a two parter, since it is incredibly long in it’s current format. If I did it again I’d simply leave out my personal situation to just get to the meat of what I’m proposing, and more importantly –

      I said in the piece that I know for a fact that background checks do nothing. That’s not why I’m proposing it. I’m proposing it to A) Disarm the opposition, B)Nullify any impact the bill would have on us, but not prohibiting individual transfers, and C) Getting back other rights that have been taken away, like interstate sales and short barrel rifles being taken off NFA.

      • I wasn’t really focusing on that, I was just empathizing.

        I think your conclusion that a UBC is inevitable is flawed. That is like saying another AWB is inevitable or magazine limits are inevitable. I remember post-Sandy Hook a lot of gun rights folks were ready to compromise on magazine limits because they felt some gun control measure was “inevitable”, so many were willing to give in on ammunition capacity if it meant keeping their AK’s and AR’s. Except all of the Federal legislation was defeated. Viciously.

        It is only inevitable if we stop fighting. Gun control has been losing ground since the 90’s. It is a slow grind and sometimes offset by defeats. (NY, CA, MD, CO, etc.) but for the most part gun rights are far better today than they were 20 years ago and we can’t cede any ground. If we lose ground it should be because we fought our fight every step of the way.

        • I understand your point, but I think when the vote comes up in Washington in November it’s going to pass, either by a landslide or a single vote. If it does we can expect similar initiatives in every other state that allows them, if not, we’ll still have spent millions fighting to keep a right we already had. I’d prefer to have my cake and eat it too.

    • @Rob
      If anything we can say the CT 14 day waiting period stopped him not the prospect of a background check.

  5. Just remember that the only way to get them to actually vote for a bill we had a hand in writing is to agree that it’s a “good first step.”

    • It’s all about spin. There are enough Democrats in both houses who would happy enough to report they “did something” back to their constituents, possibly enough to override Barry’s veto (if he even bothered at this point). This also steps their efforts back a whole hell of a lot more than it does ours (if it even does at all – I don’t feel it does).

  6. My opposition of Background checks is very simple. It gives the government an opportunity to track gun owernership for later confiscation. The mere fact of making it illegal for government to maintain a list of gun-owners is of no consequence to government agencies who feel they have godly powers.

    I am completely oppose all forms of government background checks. Even with this current system at least people have deniability should it ever come down to confiscation. People can not say they legally sold their longguns, or they can purchase long-guns without govt knowledge. Take that away and govt gains more control over people.

    • My opposition of Background checks is very simple. It gives the government an opportunity to track gun owernership for later confiscation.

      Sigh. I feel like people are just reading the title and scrolling down to comment. Once again, this “Universal Background Check” bill does not criminalize individual transactions, it just further criminalizes transfers to prohibited persons. Furthermore, it excempts concealed carry holders from all additional background checks, either at FFL’s or with individuals. It gives the government no opportunity to track firearms purchases beyond people who choose to continue to use form 4473. I see no logical way someone could regard this as worse than what we have now.

      • Who is a prohibited person??? In NYC if you have too many traffic tickets they use that as an excuse to deny you your gun rights.

        How do you feel about filesharing? Ever buy a bootleg CD? In NYC that can land you a Felony charge too if you have a big enough collection.

        A guy like Bloomberg could determine that the act of breathing and holding a gun at the same time is a felony. Oh wait… he already did. Gun possession without Government approval in NYC makes you a felon.

        There is not one bit of “gun control” legislation that is every going to be in favor of gun rights.

      • I suspect you missed this part too:

        “Any genuinely prohibited person shall no longer be prohibited for life, but instead has the option to petition a court in his or her judicial district to consider genuine reform, lack of danger to society or likelihood of recidivism. If said individual has been reformed and is no longer a danger to society, his or her rights shall be restored.”

        I may have forgotten, but I also meant to put a time limit, meaning the court is compelled to hear and respond to your case in a given period of time or your rights are automatically restored.

        • My thought is that if a person is too dangerous to own a gun, they are too dangerous to be on the street.

          Once a person serves their sentence they should have all their rights restored.

          I am not naive enough to believe that the current penal system actually reforms anybody, but that is a different issue all together. The current system brands people so that it make it difficult for them to reenter society. The system in reality encourages “repeat business” for the cops, courts, lawyers and judges.

          Anybody getting labeled with a felony today can not expect to ever get a decent job, since almost all companies now automatically do background checks. Even if they don’t… the the internet make it simple enough for co-workers to do a search and start the gossip-mill. This is not specifically a gun-rights issue but it is part of the problem.

          The main part of the criminal problem today is that they have criminalized recreational drugs and created a very lucrative market where there would otherwise be none. 80% of crimes today are drug related… even when it is gang on gang violence they are usually battling over drug-turf. Legalizing all drugs would cause crime to drop by 80%. Of course the govt really does not want that because all the those cops, lawyers, judges, jailers would lose their jobs and have to resort to having to do real and productive work.

        • “My thought is that if a person is too dangerous to own a gun, they are too dangerous to be on the street. ”

          To some degree I agree with you, but it probably makes sense to accept that most people will not. I think restoration of rights does make sense, but that’s me.

          I also need to say you’re wrong on the felon thing. I happened to meet some guy at a wedding just last weekend. He’s a felon, and he’s a registered nurse. Whether or not he got his record expunged, I’m not aware. I also have a friend that got a serious misdemeanor expunged, so his record will not show up on employment screenings. Only the FBI can see it, and as it happens, only the FBI does NICS checks.

          I also agree for the most part on drugs.

        • I agree, Pocono. In that same vein, it’s time that convicted child molesters, who’ve served their prison time, no longer be barred from certain employment upon their release. You’re cool with them working at your kid’s school, aren’t you? After all, they’ve paid their debt to society.

        • Your proposal serves to illuminate the political viability of relief for felons; or lack thereof. The arguments for relief are compelling; yet, they will be given short-shrift by the public. We should advocate for relief beginning with Vets who have been summarily disabled without any adjudication by an impartial magistrate; simply by Executive action. The “Martha Stewart” case is worthy of illustration. The mother with a case of postpartum depression who now has been treated and has children to protect is worthy of illustration. A provision exists in the law for relief; it’s simply that the Anti’s have defunded it. It should not seem radical to restore funding to the relief process already in the law.
          It is COUNTER-productive to raise in the debate those individual cases where a murderer, armed robber, or drug dealer MIGHT have led a peaceful law abiding life for decades and deserves relief. If we want to guarantee that he never gets a hearing on his merits, then the thing to do is to raise the specter of Charlie Manson getting such a hearing.

      • BlinkyPete, how you can prove that you did the BC if later that person turns out to do something bad? How you know a firearm was transferred before the law took effect? How you know how many hands that gun changed. The only way a UBC will work is through registration. I have yet to hear a way to avoid registration but still be able to enforce the law.
        That is way the anti-gunners want to push UBC even though it does nothing to protect anybody.
        If I’m mistaken, and can be done without registration, please describe how.

        • I did describe how in the body above. You can use a form 4473 the way many of us do now, or you check their CCL. The “proof” thing is a good point; obviously the law would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not check, but you could always photocopy their CCL. Either way, the choice is entirely on the transfer-er/seller.

        • What if you lose the form? Should I have that form all my life?
          If you claim you did check, without form how can you prove? The onus will be on the owner to prove that he did check (with a piece of paper), not on the prosecutor to show that he did not check.
          Unless certainly a registry exists that can verify your claim and the owner is updated accordingly. 🙂

        • “The onus will be on the owner to prove that he did check (with a piece of paper), not on the prosecutor to show that he did not check.”

          Um, no, that’s not how it works. In order to be convicted of a crime the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you did not check. It’s not the other way around. There is no scenario I know of in the criminal justice system where the burden of proof is on the defense.

          I understand that, like anything, this proposal is not perfect, but I respectfully feel that you’re grasping at straws here and using any potential flaw as an outright dismissal.

        • Blinky Pete,

          “In order to be convicted of a crime the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you did not check.”

          It is impossible to prove a negative. I cannot imagine the Establishment would agree to a law that requires prosecutors to prove a negative for enforcement purposes.

          “There is no scenario I know of in the criminal justice system where the burden of proof is on the defense.”

          If you use deadly force to defend yourself in a “duty to retreat” jurisdiction, the burden of proof is indeed on you to establish that you were truly and reasonably in fear for your life and retreat was not possible. That is why “duty to retreat” is an abomination.

        • That’s a good point – I think in the case that it’s an affirmative defense that the defendant does need to provide evidence that their contention is true.

          That said, I still don’t think it’s a reason to dismiss the proposal. Similar laws are in place in NH (for handguns) and elsewhere and seem to work well.

    • Agreed. The ONLY way I would ever be willing to compromise and accept a UBC system–even one like this that provides an appeal system and neuters the NFA–is if all data regarding what firearms were purchased is removed from the 4473 and all existing records are destroyed, and ‘prohibited’ persons are limited to those with violent felony convictions or have been professionally diagnosed and adjudicated as mentally defective. Personally I agree with RF that felons should not have their rights removed: either they can be trusted without a custodian, or they can’t be. But realistically, we are not going to ever see that happen, so I’m grudgingly willing to flex some on that. Still, the possibility of a registration is not a point I will ever concede. If the anti’s want broader background checks to make it more difficult for dangerous persons to purchase guns, then they need to put their money where their mouth is regarding “nobody wants to take your guns.” Either there is no record of what was sold, or there is no deal.

      • Again, under this proposal the buyer and seller are free to keep or not keep records. CCH’s are exempt from form 4473’s.

        • Aaaaaand, you are missing the point. Partial records are still records, which can then be used to generate a registration, especially when the only PotG who aren’t in the record are the people with a carry license. I.e. – the government would be able to determine every single person that owns firearms. Your version of the UBC still gives the anti’s exactly what they want. It is, in fact, WORSE than the current situation. At least now I can sell and/or trade any guns I have to obfuscate what I may or may not own from government scrutiny. Last I checked, I am supposed to be entitled to privacy from that kind of crap, barring due process of law.

          The another major problem with your version of UBC is that it puts the onus of maintaining proof of legitimate sales on the sellers, unless they wish to be liable–criminally AND civilly–for misdeeds by buyers down the line. This is something that others have noted already, but it bears repeating, especially seeing as your draft provides no timeframe on how long records would need to be held. Five years? Ten? Forever? What happens in the case of natural disaster or fire resulting in destruction of the records?

          And what happens when criminals simply start forging CCW/CHCL’s as a quick and easy bypass of the 4473 requirement? For that matter, what would there be to stop FFL’s from selling guns under the table? After all, all they would have to do is claim that a valid license was displayed at the time of the sale, so they didn’t write up a 4473 for it.

        • A number of interesting issues to thrash out. I don’t see BlinkyPete speaking to any record keeping by non-FFLs. Suppose the following scenario: FFL F sells a gun to some guy G and all the paperwork is done as now. Guy G sells the gun to H. Now it turns out that H was a disabled person. H commits a crime and is caught with the gun. ATF traces the gun from the manufacturer to F to G. Now, G is in the hot-seat. The DA asks G how it is that H came to have a gun purchased by G. G has to come up with a story. If G admits he sold the gun to H then G has to pray that H became disabled after the date F sold the gun to G. G should be so lucky. G can say that his gun was stolen by persons unknown. Now, the DA tells H that he will be charged with burglary; so H loosens his tung and tells the DA he bought the gun from G.
          Is this scenario iron-clad? No, I don’t think BlinkyPete said he expected his scheme to create an iron-clad system for guaranteeing against any loophole. Does it make for a system that strongly encourages honorable gun owners to sell guns only to background-checked buyers? I think so. Does it make for a system that makes it easier for DAs to prosecute guys like G who can’t keep their stories straight? I think so.
          Suppose we added a record-keeping requirement. No way would I concede to a non-FFL keeping a record for 20 years. One year; two years at the most. I don’t see a record as contributing much to helping a DA close a case. Only if H was able to clear a background check for some days/weeks/months after F sold to G but became dis-abled some days/weeks/months following the sale and the crime where he was caught with the gun. Then, the DA could insist that G produce the record of the sale with the date. That would pin-down G to a date before/after the date when H became disabled. It could do some good in a few cases; but not many I suspect. Would it do us any harm? A little. If G innocently sold a gun to H and H cleared the background check, then G didn’t violate the law. If G wasn’t a very good record-keeper and lost the record of the sale between the date of the sale and the DA demanding that he produce the record, then G would be in the hot-seat. G would have to argue that the sale occurred on a date after the F to G date but before the date 1 (2) years before the date of the demand.
          I don’t like the idea of making a felon of G. A stiff misdemeanor is as far as I’d be willing to go. A mild misdemeanor for a failure to keep a record is as far as I’d be willing to go.
          Forging a CCP is a problem that is easily solved. So, I have a CCP from the State of XY. My CCP has a serial number on it. I want to buy a gun from you. So, I show you my CCP and you type in my name, birth date and serial number on a web-site from the State of XY. The State of XY returns that that is a valid name, birthdate and serial number and that I am currently clean; or, that there is a misspelling of my name, wrong birth date for that serial number. Or, that my card is OK but I’m disabled.
          You may complain that the State now has a background-check inquiry that implies that I just bought a gun. Apparently so; however, there are ways to cure this objection. As I’ve stated elsewhere, a contractor can be appointed to field such inquires who is NOT appointed by the government. Instead, the contractor is appointed by an industry organization such as the NRA or a State’s FFL dealer association. Thus, no government agency would have direct access to the records of inquiries to validate CCP cards.
          I do NOT like BlinkyPete’s proposal that non-FFLs complete 4473 forms. I don’t like the idea of non-FFLs keeping any records at all; but, would be willing to concede a record of the name and date and serial number proved it needed to be retained for just a year or two.
          On the other hand, I think BlinkyPete is overly optimistic that the showing of a CCP at an FFL will be accepted as a waiver of the completion of a 4473 form. The public is going to insist on some level of trace-ability. From manufacturer to FFL to the guy G who bought the gun from the FFL is already in place; I don’t think it’s going away. Without the 4473 form there would be little means of enforcing the law that FFLs background-check each customer. Instead, I would advocate rolling back the 20 year FFL retention period for 4473 forms from 20 years to 7 – 5 years. Just long enough to cover 97% of all traces. Because FFLs would voluntarily keep 4473 forms for an extra couple of years, the actual coverage would probably be 99%.
          This is a constructive exercise. We poke at the proposal and tweak it to see if we can make it better. See if it seems to hold enough water to be salable to the general public. I could be mistaken in my assumptions; maybe BlinkyPete really does plan on 4473’s being retained for 10 or 20 years on private sales. Maybe people will opine that the public would not accept any change that didn’t include a record retention for private sales.

        • I feel that many of your criticisms are hypotheticals around what could go wrong. There are flaws, but there are solutions too. Take your issue with FFL’s taking CCL’s in place of 4473’s – you need look no further than Texas, where that’s the case. If they can do it, there’s no reason everyone can’t do it.

        • I was not aware Texas had the authority to ignore the Federal requirement for a 4473 on all firearm and NFA item sales. To the best of my knowledge, while having a CCW/CHCL may negate the requirement for a NICS check at the time of sale, you still have to fill out the 4473 on all dealer purchases and transfers no matter what state you live in.

          As far as my complaints being hypothetical, your entire premise is a hypothetical, so OF COURSE any disagreements will be, as well. What matters is if a particular opposing argument is rational and plausible.

          If the law changes from all dealer sales requiring a 4473 to only some requiring it, it creates a loophole that it is wide open to exploitation. If you believe that unsavory types WON’T take advantage of such an opportunity, then you need to re-examine pretty much all of human history. Seriously, all you have to do is look at the existing market for fake ID. If minors will go out of their way to get them for something as minor as alcohol, can you honestly tell me that firearms would not generate a similar demand?! How is that not a plausible, nah, PROBABLE, scenario?

        • I should have been more clear – I feel that you and others are using hypothetical issues with the proposal (which isn’t really hypothetical – I wrote it as if I expected it to pass) to dismiss it outright. I’m not saying you aren’t being analytical or that you aren’t making rational arguments, I’m saying I disagree with your approach.

          Regardless, if Texas doesn’t do background checks but does do form 4473’s I stand corrected, but I still don’t see that as a way to disprove the potential effectiveness or benefits of the entire thing. For example, 4473’s could be replaced with forms that only include the users ID number and name or something – no list of guns. Or, it could be electronically checked against a list of revoked CCL’s, meaning you aren’t checking the holder’s background, you’re just confirming that it’s valid. Those are just off the cuff ideas, too. I was honestly hoping more people would have additional ideas/criticisms/changes that weren’t “all background checks are registries – compromise = death!” I’m not quoting you there, I’m just generalizing some of the backlash this seems to have generated.

          I totally see what you’re saying on stolen/faked ID’s, but we don’t use that as an excuse to not have ID’s, we just treat people who break the law as criminals. I don’t see any reason not to take the same approach here.

        • The reason that so many of us are absolutely against a UBC that has ANY purchasing data is because we are looking long term. While you may see your bill as a win, even if the issues that we are pointing out were to be fixed, it is at BEST a short-sighted, short term ‘win’. We can’t look only at how laws that erode our constitutional protections effect us within our lifetimes, or even our childrens’ lifetimes. We must consider the impact they will have 100 years, even 200 years from now. These erosions are invariably incremental and once the foundation is worn away, it is gone, period. Think of it like the Grand Canyon. It started out as just another riverbed, yet now it is an insurmountable gulf. There is no patching or filling-in that will return it to it’s original condition at this point. Governments do not give up power voluntarily. Which means we must hold the line here, now. Because the only other way is to take them back by force of arms. I greatly prefer to do the former so as to avoid the necessity of another Revolutionary or Civil War down the road.

        • I just don’t see it that way. If a photocopy of your LTC is a record, so is the withdrawal slip for the $400 bucks you took out for the gun itself.

          If your goal is reducing the government’s ability to collect data on gun owners, let’s add that too. Let’s reduce the amount of information on 4473’s. Let’s require a warrant to inspect them. The river bed to grand canyon analogy goes both ways, and I think what we both want is a yawning chasm of individual liberty.

        • Now, with regard to the hypothetical arguments poking holes in your proposal, seeing as there isn’t really a feedback system where you can update your proposal to resolve the stated problems, all we can do is reject the original as it stands.

          Also, if you go back to my initial post, you may notice that your fix for the ID loophole–to remove the purchasing data from the 4473–is remarkably similar to what I said already.

          Further, I never once argued against ID in general. I merely pointed out a very realistic potential problem. Considering that the anti’s already scream bloody murder about private party and gun show sales being a ‘loophole’ to avoid background checks, creating an actual, easily exploitable loophole would be ammo the anti’s could then use to further restrict 2A rights later. Which would be a very bad thing after conceding ground to them with a bill like this one.

      • “Also, if you go back to my initial post, you may notice that your fix for the ID loophole–to remove the purchasing data from the 4473–is remarkably similar to what I said already.”

        In your initial post, yes. I missed that, but good work – I think that’s a good idea.

        Just for the record, I didn’t say you were arguing against ID’s in general, I was simply saying we do indeed have the problem that you outlined, and that no one suggests we should just do away with ID’s.

        No matter what happens we can expect the base core of the Anti movement to continue whining, but as I’ve said a few times, I’m not doing this for them. I’m doing this to disarm them of their most popular talking point. It isn’t gun show or internet loopholes, it’s the concept of a universal background system. Once that’s gone they’ll make up some other bullshit Bogey man to go after, but there will be a whole lot fewer people listening.

    • That a background-check is a way of tracking gun purchases is a legitimate objection. However, that is NOT NECESSARILY an argument to try to eliminate background checks. It IS an argument to try to NEUTRALIZE the ability to use background-checks as a proxy for gun purchases. We have to think outside the box here.
      The major issue is that the FFL (or any other source such as a State) makes an inquiry to NICS. Is Joe Schmo clean? To process the inquiry the system contractor must create a record of the inquiry and then hit the database of “priors” to see if it gets a hit. If it gets a hit then the system contractor maintains the record of the inquiry for a very long time. (Maybe the ATF should investigate Joe to see if he is a felon trying to buy a gun.) So far, so good. If there is no hit on Joe then the system contractor returns a “go-ahead” to the inquirer. The system contractor may maintain a record of that inquiry for 24 hours; not longer. It MUST erase the record of the inquiry within 24 hours.
      Has the system contractor: always erased these records; erases them today; will always erase them in the future? There is no way for the government to prove that they never took a copy of these records from the contractor and never would do so in the future. I don’t think they did so; but, I would be a fool to have confidence that they would never do so in the future and didn’t do so at some time in the past. We PoTG should PRESUME that they did violate the law in the past and will certainly do so in the future. It is the only prudent conclusion.
      This would lead the casual PoTG to be opposed to any background-check system altogether. But, this is NOT the only solution to the problem. More than a decade ago some thoughtful people conceived of a system they dubbed “BIDS” (Blind Identification System I think). They broke any possibility of the system contractor ever having the ability to give the government a copy of the inquiries. That is, they SOLVED this problem we ought to be worried about.
      The problem is that the DoJ appoints the system contractor who fields the inquiries from FFLs, States, Sheriffs, etc. All the DoJ has to do is tell the system contractor that if they want to be awarded the contract again next year they had better leak a copy of the file of inquiries to the DoJ. Who can guarantee that wouldn’t happen?
      BIDS solved this problem by distributing the database of priors from NICS to computers outside DoJ’s direct/indirect control. BIDS’ idea was to give a copy of this database to every FFL, etc. BIDS was 99.9% effective. (I can’t imagine more than one or two FFLs turning in their file of inquiries to DoJ.) However, it was probably objectionable for a variety of reasons. A much less radical solution would be for DoJ to give the contract to operate the system to an industry organization such as NRA. Then, the NRA would appoint some system company to operate the system. The NRA would not (in my opinion) be likely to ask the system company to give it a copy of the inquiry file and then turn it over to the DoJ.
      Now, we don’t all have 100% confidence in the NRA; tragic, but true. So, let’s suppose that this idea of the NRA having control over the system company would reduce the effectiveness from 99.9% to just 90%. That’s not quite good enough; a 10% risk of one agent – the NRA – selling us out is unacceptable.
      So, suppose that the FFL dealers association in each of the 50 States could sub-contract from NRA to run its own system. Suppose 25 of the States’ dealers associations did undertake to sub-contract from NRA an appointed their respective system company to run the inquiry system for their State’s FFLs etc. Now, then, there would be 1 point-of-failure – the NRA – serving 25 States’ FFLs; and, 25 additional points-of-failure servicing the other 25 States’ FFLs. Even if the NRA sold-us-out, they would have only the inquiries from half of the States’ background check inquiries. That would not be enough to build a useful database to support confiscation.
      There is another way to make the background-check inquiry data useless. One of the States (KY if memory serves) continually combs through its file of CCP holders looking for anyone with a current permit who might have become disabled since being background-checked. These inquiries distort the statistics of background checks from this State. We can take this practice to its logical conclusion. If every FFL programmed its store system to randomly generate a background-check on it’s customer file then the system company operating the system that fields inquiries would have lots of checks on lots of people that didn’t represent gun purchases. (It would be essential to remove from the inquiry the make/model/serial number of the pending purchase). Jack Schmo would appear to have purchased 12 guns in a year; Jill Schmo 123 guns; and Joe Schmo 1,234 guns. The file of inquiries – even if turned over to the Gestapo – would be useless.
      BlinkyPete’s plan to shift the background-checks on frequent buyers to reliance on the simple showing of a CCP (or the like) would be the simplest way to eliminate most of the risk of leakage of inquiry files to the government. Even so, I’d also like to see the DoJ granting the NRA (or some other industry organization) the contract which the NRA would then farm-out to 1+ sub-contractors. It should be clear that there would be a zero-change in cost if the contract were let by DoJ to NRA and then NRA let the contract to a system company. There should be no objection in principle to an industry organization such as NRA introducing a layer of insulation between the DoJ and the system company.

  7. No. Shall Not Be Infringed means Shall Not Be Infringed. I should be able to walk into the gun store and walk out with a gun as easily as I can walk into Home Depot and walk out with a chainsaw.

    Appeasement is death.

    • Yes, you should. But you can’t. If your choice is what we have now and simply flashing your CCL and walking out with the gun, I don’t understand why you’d choose the former.

    • Rich,

      Your chainsaw scenario is a powerful illustration. A maniac with a chainsaw could wreak havoc and kill countless people. Even worse, the maniac with that chainsaw could use that chainsaw to breach many/most homes and businesses virtually guaranteeing that the maniac could access and kill victims. And yet there is no cry for chainsaw control or background checks.

        • Rich,

          Statists will claim that the Constitutionally enumerated power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce means that Congress can ban the sale of something. However, for reasons that absolutely baffle me, no one seems to apply the historical meaning of the word “regulate” — which means to make sure something functions well just like its use in the Second Amendment. In other words our Constitution did NOT empower Congress to control interstate commerce at its whim; rather our Constitution empowered Congress to guarantee the free flow of goods and services between states.

          Statists will also claim that the Constitutionally enumerated power of Congress to “provide for the general welfare” empowers Congress to ban the sale of firearms.

          I do not agree that Congress has those powers as statists claim and that is why I am not an elected politician.

      • It is a good example, but no one is trying to ban chainsaws. You also don’t need to convince me that restricting the right of the people to keep and bear arms is unconstitutional. It’s clear that Rich doesn’t agree with me on my proposal, but that’s really all we’re arguing about.

        Again – the goal of my proposal is to disarm the anti’s of their most powerful weapon, reduce it’s negative effect on us to almost imperceptible levels and restore other rights that have been taken away.

        • “Again – the goal of my proposal is to disarm the anti’s of their most powerful weapon, reduce it’s negative effect on us to almost imperceptible levels and restore other rights that have been taken away.”

          I get that and it is very much worth discussing … as is happening.

    • i want to be able to walk into sportmart and walk out with a set of jarts. yarddarts. but i can’t. i can get a paslode nail gun though. goes right through a rat.

  8. I like the part about being able to question the NICS system, with a 30-day remedy window, the bit about taking some people off the prohibited list (should Martha Stewart really be a prohibited person?), and especially removing items from the NFA.

    However, the gun grabbers wouldn’t go for it; not even the first part prohibiting transfer to a prohibited person. The point of background checks isn’t to prevent criminals from having guns. It’s to create a list of gun owners and guns, while making legal gun ownership more difficult and expensive.

    • Brilliantly put, but remember, it’s not about what the anti’s want, it’s about what will go through Congress. Republicans handily outnumber Democrats in the house, and there are enough Democrats in the Senate who feel the need to “do something” but also need to save face with their gun owning contingency to get this passed, potentially veto proof. Even if Barry did have the opportunity, it’s unlikely he would if there was any way for him to call it a win.

      With that in place, the anti’s no longer can whine about the gun show loophole and background checks, and Billionaires are much less likely to spend their money on initiates that, for all people know, duplicate laws already in place. Californians will stilled be f*cked, but that state is going sink under seawater or debt soon anyway.

  9. sorry….you are dead wrong. The ONLY way for universal background checks to work is by registration and knowing who has the gun and when it’s transferred. Without that, there’s no real way to prove a check has been done. The antigun folk will gladly accept your bill. A year later they’ll be screaming about the loophole that allows guns to still be sold like they used to and demand registeration. And it will be even easier since they have their foot in the door. Be clear about this. . the disarmament crowd will NEVER stop.. they want confiscation and destruction of the gun culture. There is no such thing as compromise.

    • Well of course they’ll never stop. I don’t care what they do – I just care about how strong they are. The background check thing is the only issue they have strong enough support for to ensure victory in a voter initiative. Once that’s gone they can keep on doing what they’ve always been doing, and you’re right, they’ll probably start talking about how there’s some new loophole, but there will be a whole hell of lot fewer people listening.

      • That is false. It will be harder to prevent them from doing that because we were agreeing to this law. They will argue that otherwise the law doesn’t work. And they will be right. Guys, understand, universal background check is the the backdoor confiscation. Once you conceded that, there is nothing you can do. I’m unwilling to trade this for anything, including the giggle switch.

        • I’m going to ask again how this proposal equals backdoor registration/confiscation. It actually reduces the government’s ability to gather information on gun owners.

        • Because without registration the law is unenforceable. Your alternate solution, the requirement to keep records of all your firearm sales is is really a large burden. If you lose it or it gets damaged somehow (flood, fire, etc) you are in a world of hurt.
          Even if you use your alternate solution to avoid registration, registration will be required at least at a specific moment in time so they can track the guns from there. To give you an example of a firearm serial number look-up: manufacturer -> ffl -> first owner. All is good and dandy, a record exists. Now that firearms through the years changed hands many times. The law that you propose kicks in. Now the first customer have to explain to whom and when he sold the rifle, in the event his rifle turns out at some murder scene. How the lawman can know if he sold it today or 10 years ago. He can’t and as such any UBC will not work without registration. Play it in a little through few scenarios and you will realize it too.

  10. I can’t abide this… Unlike you, I don’t think UBCs will pass, so I’m not doing the the foot work for anti-folks.

    And, yes, I did read it.

    “Silencers, or suppressors, shall no longer be considered an NFA item, but instead a separate firearm to be serialed and sold to end users as such.
    Short barreled rifles and shotguns pose no unique threat, and are hereby stricken from NFA.”

    I like this though, except the serial number part.

  11. sorry…they wont be “gone”.. just like they weren’t “gone” after the GCA of 1968…or the AWB..or any other gun bill they pass. You are naive to believe so. We must fight like Churchill.. every step of the way. Make every little inch cost them. We must never give any ground without a bloody and brutal fight!

  12. This is why we can’t get any headway. They want gun control. This bill gives them “gun control”. It literally doesn’t actually extend background checks. In fact, it limits them even further. It’s a good piece of subterfuge, and I can get behind it. It’s time for us to play politics too. Honesty is great, but doublespeak wins elections and passes bills. Why do you think gun control laws always include the word “Safety”? We all know that none of them are about safety. They’re about control. Yet you rarely see the word “control” in the title of said bills…

    • I think that you should think harder about how the UCB can be enforced. You will see that is not this simple at it seems.

      • The only way it can be is if someone transfers a gun to a prohibited person, either knowingly or by failing to reasonably verify that they aren’t prohibited.

  13. Actually, there is a very good way to get rid of the universal background checks. On most honest web sites about face-to-face transactions, the sellers require either CCW license or military id. None of those methods were introduced as background check replacements, but once they were available people began to use them.

    How about having an online NCIS system, where you enter your personal information (same as the form at the dealer) and you get back an “Allow” or “Deny” page together with a unique identifier, valid for a number of days or weeks.
    Anybody going to the NCIS site that know your last name and the unique identifier will be able to get the same report so they can verify if you’re a prohibited person or not.
    If such a system was available, I can bet most people would use it to check the transfers even if it wasn’t required by law.

    • The first part is in this proposal – CCL holders would no longer need to take background checks at FFL’s either.

      The second part was part of some Representative’s proposal as an alternative to Manchion Toomey. I don’t have an issue with it, I just think this is more workable since it doesn’t require the development of a new system.

  14. I like the effort here.
    I am however not convinced that UBC is a certainty but that does not mean we cannot propose changes to the current laws.
    I am not DC insider or expert, so I will refrain from commenting on what rolling NFA changes into it will or will not do to your proposal.
    One layman’s thought is however that we all know the last minutes changes that get voted for because nobody reads the final draft, which makes adding too many nuances seem dangerous. Not saying it shouldn’t be done, just a thought that came to mind.

    What I have personally proposed here, elsewhere and to pro/anti reporters and politicians is that the NICS system should not be restricted to FFLs. That as a private person, I have the CHOICE, to utilize the system when selling/buying a gun. I have done countless F2F deals and every single time, we make do with what little means we have to ensure we don’t hand a felon a firearm. Not that anyone would be guaranteed to find out about it but just because most of us don’t like selling to guns to violent felons.
    So we deal with Bills of Sale, asking for local IDs, DLs or even restrict sales to people with local CWPs. I doubt anyone does that because they long for mandated universal background checks.

    No they do it because they don’t want to enable a criminal to commit another crime.

    Open up NICS to the public, for free, for ten years, and then come back with a study to see how many transactions were done voluntarily. I suspect adoption would much higher than any anti could dream of. It would shut up the anyone claiming gun owners are radical gun nuts, or whatever other stereo type we get painted with. And remove the need for expensive mandated UBS.

    Obviously the system would need to get some features added to protect privacy and not turn it into some free-for-all background check system rife for abuse. However all those details have been proposed at length from multiple sources.

    What do you think about that, Pete?

    • I agree with your first point – I approached this with some cockeyed optimism, both in how readers here would take it and how DC would actually approach it. Most of us know the Hughes Amendment was sneakily dropped into the 86 Gun Owners Protection Act. Reagan actually considered vetoing it based on that, but the NRA told him to sign it, and that the loss of machine guns was worth getting rid of huge parts of the GCA.

      Obviously, protections would need to be put in place to prevent anything like that from happening here. What I more hoped I could do was demonstrate that three birds could indeed be killed with one stone.

      On the study front, I actually thought about that, but then I looked at how much the Department of Justice Study on the AWB did for us. It certainly didn’t stop DiFi from constantly misquoting some initial assessment in the study 6 months after the bill passed.

      Overall I do like your idea of opening NICS for all. My only concern is it means the government has to create a new infrastructure for us to use, and we all know how good they are at that. My thinking is that once concealed carry holders were exempt everyone would just go that route anyway.

  15. I’m going bold here and state the whole background check is a complete waste of time & resources. If criminals are not concerned, and less than 1/2 % are prosecuted, what’s the point? Just another layer of bureaucratic nonsense draining the peoples coin. The opportunity to make the cost of being a criminal death via lawful self defense, will do more to deter crime than any program current envision by our legislators. And our criminal friends throwing the dice, the opportunity to exit the gene pool…bypassing the judicial legal castle coin collection, will make lawful citizen happy, increase property values, lower the amount of police, prosecutors, judges, probation officers, prisons and improve the balance sheets of our communities.

  16. You know, there might have been a time when I considered it. But, having seen a bunch of crap passed in Maryland passed on the back of outright lies that the same experts then disavowed under oath, have just seen CNN catch Everytown in two blatant lies in two days, I am not really feeling very generous. CNN mind you, not Fox.

    This is not about background checks. Drug dealers employ their addicts to steal and buy guns. Correctional Officers – two dozen – were on the gang payroll at the Baltimore City jail. Even with fingerprinting, someone like that on the payroll of a gang can get guns for the dealers. We have an absurdly ridiculous shell casing law that the MSP does not even have the machine for anymore, yet the legislature refuses to repeal the law. Spent shell casings for revolvers!!!

    You are a fool if for even 1 second you think this is about actual, um, background checks. Drug dealers will always be able to find someone to get them a gun, no matter how many hurdles you put up. That is what they do – smuggle illegal stuff. Worst case scenario, they’ll have them imported with the drugs.

    So, No.

    The good news is that we significantly reduced auto fatalities – without making it harder for people to get a license, or making it harder for unsafe drivers to buy a car. Once we get past the debate about whether people own firearms, and accept them, I see a bright future for real gun safety.

    Maybe there is an NRA lawyer around who will help you cure your firearm disability.

    • “You are a fool if for even 1 second you think this is about actual, um, background checks. ”

      I specifically said it’s not. Up in the proposal and in several upon several comments here.

      • A victory no matter how small will merely enable them and bring them back thirsty for more. No No No. Democrats will lose a bunch of seats in Nov. Nothing will get through the house even if the Dems manage to retain Senate control. And, whatever passes in Congress is air cover for state level action anyway. Maybe a decent attorney will take your case pro bono if they want a test case for the law.

        • A victory is what they’re almost certain to get in Washington in November, and it will be a real one, not the victory in name only my proposal would give them.

          There’s unfortunately no case law to test in my case. I just need someone who can navigate the MA court system and the FBI to clear up a dumb error on their part.

        • No. The most accurate forecast is for the GOP to pick up enough seats. Another scandal, the GOP may run the table.

        • How many seats the GOP grabs this election cycle has nothing to do with the voter initiative in Washington state, and it has nothing to do with a long term strategy for success.

  17. My first gun purchase was declined because someone in the town with the same name had a criminal record. This was in CT about 20 years ago and firearms applications were approved or denied by the town. As this was a small town this was soon rectified.
    What was more amusing was when I visited a Urologist. They brought out a thick file, I took a brief look at it. I know it was not mine. I never had any of the diseases that the other Mike had thank god, or thank latex!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Stopped reading at:

    “What does happen in the unlikely event that we win?”

    Not interested in the drivel of a defeatist. We will win, we are winning against all odds, we are gaining more ground and more support, even when we shoot ourselves in the foot.

    I enjoyed your opening story and sympathize, but I don’t need to read on past your negativity to know I disagree. There should be no background checks. If we don’t want someone owning guns they should be in prison, where they lose all rights. If they get out and we still don’t trust them with all their natural, civil and constitutional rights they are born with then why are they out?

    Good luck to you, hope you can regain the rights they have taken from you. I also hope you won’t continue on this way, we can’t win if people do.

    • I’m sorry you didn’t bother to read the bill, and I certainly hope when November comes around you’re right and I’m wrong. I don’t think I’m being negative though – I think I’m being realistic.

      • BlinkyPete, if you want to write a bill, then write one that actually conforms to the Constitution, don’t give the farm away in some symbolic sop to the grabbers that does nothing but hand them our rights on a silver fracking platter!

        • I keep reading your comments about what you feel should be and how my proposal apparently tramples the constitution but you haven’t told me how beyond repeatedly saying shall not be infringed. What am I handing to the anti’s on a platter? How is what I’ve offered more of an infringement than what we have now, or, alternatively, how is it not infinitely better than what we have now?

          In short, I agree with you in principal. I just think a clear strategy with a definitive win-plan is better than repeating the mantra of the second amendment over and an over again like a nun clutching a rosary.

        • “clear strategy with a definitive win-plan”

          Your plan to hand the antis a “universal background check” on a silver platter is definitely NOT a win-plan. It’s appeasement. They’ll take any inch they can grab, and inexorably keep grabbing for more. It is time for those of us who love Freedom to stand our ground and stop pandering to the grabbers, thinking that if you give them a little, that they’ll ever be satisfied. They won’t. Do you understand that? They will NEVER be satisfied until they have reached their goal of total confiscation, and they won’t stop there – then they’ll start dictating what kind of soft drinks you can buy, or what schools you can send your kid to – the mind boggles.

          Any appeasement is too much.

          The bulwark of the 2nd Amendment has already been breached, and we need to redouble our efforts to repair the rift, or it will inexorably be eroded completely, and the grabbers will have won.

  19. Reading the comments section on this one is a bit depressing… either the majority of TTAG commentators are illiterate, anti-literate, or just unable to form rational thoughts. Disagreeing is great, but at least disagree for a valid reason… As for those who somehow managed to read the article and form a defensible conclusion, it seems the biggest divisions in our ranks exists between the absolutists, and (for lack of a better term), the realists…

  20. Ahhhh no. Not a single damn milimeter, we are winning, and we are fighting harder than ever, you can see it in the increase of gun control advocacy groups. Not a single damn inch

  21. Reading the comments section on this one is a bit depressing… either the majority of TTAG commentators are illiterate, anti-literate, or just unable to form rational thoughts. Disagreeing is great, but at least disagree for a valid reason… As for those who somehow managed to read the article and form a defensible conclusion, it seems the biggest divisions in our ranks exists between the absolutists, and (for lack of a better term), the realists…

    • I think that were some valid explanation on why people disagree. Not sure why you agree. I can say few things also about your ability to see beyond the first layer of consequences of the proposal. But I won’t. 🙂

    • “Reading the comments section on this one is a bit depressing…”

      This, although the genuine discussion, even with people who disagree with me, has made this exercise worth it for me.

  22. Sorry to hear of your problems. Yeah I waded through the whole article. I think your story makes an important point. I’m glad only one person in the United States has my name( but not my middle name.) And I have to agree with Ralph. And almost everyone else who commented.

    • In hindsight I shouldn’t have included the whole background check fiasco. It was intended to demonstrate that A) I don’t like background checks because they’re prone to error and B) I know first hand and as a fact that they don’t prevent crime. Instead it seems to be coming off as I somehow support background checks, which I do not. I support a strategy that disarms our opponents, has little to no negative effect on us and restores many, many rights that have been taken away over the past century.

  23. @BlinkyPete,
    First the FBI does not and can not repair this situation for you [by law]
    All action must be done through the initiating agency [the district court in central Massachusetts] they and they alone can fix this for you. Once they have been assured that they have made a mistake [omg this is not going to be easy I know] they will send a letter to the FBI and your records will be corrected! That’s all there is to it.

    Background info~

    In 92 I was charged in the army [Ft Sill OK] gen court martial, all charges drop after art 32 hearing, CID was pissed that I got off [due to their negligence and the fact they did not what the hell they were doing lol] so they sent a guilty notice to the FBI. In 2002 I wanted to purchase a pistol and failed the background check. [the local pd was gracious enough to inform me of the cause of which they were forbidden by law to do, but she left to go to the bathroom with the failed check on the table in front of me. nice lady at the pd!] So I sent a [very nice but detailed] letter to my Congressman who then sent a letter to the Pentagon who sent a letter to Commander of Ft Sill who sent a letter to JAG who sent a letter to FBI and all is good now. this process took about 6-8 weeks.

    BTW I produced the decision letter of dropped charges to the local pd the same day and the pistol sale continued with out problems.

    • “First the FBI does not and can not repair this situation for you [by law]
      All action must be done through the initiating agency [the district court in central Massachusetts] they and they alone can fix this for you. Once they have been assured that they have made a mistake [omg this is not going to be easy I know] they will send a letter to the FBI and your records will be corrected! That’s all there is to it.”

      Only the FBI can remove the error from my record, but my understanding right now is that you’re right. The issue is the court would not send the erroneous document or a letter correcting it, but instead gave the document to me to send to them. The last time I spoke with an inspector at the FBI she said she’d never seen anything like this, but they couldn’t accept something sent by me, even if it’s from the court. Again, it’s something I’ll likely hire a lawyer for next time I have a couple grand to blow on a lawyer, and a couple more to blow on a SCAR.

  24. I’m not going to go off on you Blinky, because unlike a lot of posts on pro-gun sites, you put a lot of thought in this one and made some reasonable points. Being in RI, where they basically already have a registration system, though not as bad on gun rights as MA, I’m not deluded to believe the crap about “Shall not be infringed”. Our right is already infringed and will continue to get infringed regardless of what the NRA and gun owners say. We are a mere minority, and don’t have the power to fight an across the board battle at the voting booth and legislatures whenever these bills come up. What happened in Colorado and CT and Australia back in ’96 (outright confiscation without a vote) should be prime examples of that fact. Emotions rule politics and the votership, and when they come to take your guns, they will.

    That said, and as negative as I am on the viability of our future gun rights, I wouldn’t support putting a bill through that mentions limits for the simple fact that no bill makes it through the legislature without changes – and once you offer up stuff, the opposition will just grab onto that to push for tighter controls and use our willingness to compromise against us to say they were right all along and we just finally wised up. They’d slap all kinds of supplementals on the bill and it wouldn’t look anything like you talked about once it was done. That’s D.C., and that’s why the NRA has to work so hard to defeat legislation from the start – because once it gets on the floor, it’s a crap shoot what comes out.

    • I agree, and I used the Hughes Amendment to GOPA as an example of just that happening in a comment above. All I can say is that the gun rights movement has made massive advances since 1986, and the gun control movement has lost steam. We have the votes in both houses to pass something like this, likely with a veto override. The simple take for me would be there can be no addition of any bans, record keeping or anything else. That might be naive on my part, but we’re also not on Capitol Hill right now either, so I think it’s fair to discuss in hypotheticals.

    • Agree. And I want to mention to BlinkyPete that my disagreement with his proposal is nothing personal and I appreciate that he put a lot of effort into his proposal. Whatever good the intentions are tough we need to think harder on what will be the impact of such a proposal and include that impact into original post so people can understand what it means. Otherwise just looks like a nice wish list but without the depth of understanding how the law will function and be enforced in everyday life. We’ve seen something similar in the past.

      • I don’t take it personally; I disagree with you and the basic premise of your objection but it’s not like you’re resorting to logical fallacy or name calling or whatever. Actual discussion is important, and I appreciate that you’ve taken the time and effort to engage in it.

  25. I thought for sure, from the title, that this post would be about a P.I. you hired to run background checks, and whose name happens to be “Bill”.

  26. UBCs are coming and no amount of “shall not be infringed” being shouted by a handful of people (who, incidentally, don’t seem to understand the definition of the word “infringed” anyway) is going to stop it. We need to be smart about this. We can ensure that our concerns are addressed by the legislature or let the antis use the opportunity to make the process as onerous as possible.

  27. The dissenting commenters above keep saying that Blinkey Pete’s proposed bill would not work (it would be unenforceable) without a registration system. That isn’t true. It might require a slight change in the NICS system, though.

    If you sell a gun to a stranger and he uses it in a crime, the court has to prove that he was a prohibited person at the time you sold the gun to him or that he did not have a CCL at that time. So the court does an NICS check on him. Every entry in his NICS record should have the date it was entered into the record. (<— This is that slight change I mentioned.) If his NICS record was clean when you sold the gun, then you are not guilty. If his record said he was Prohibited when you sold him the gun, then you either did not do a NICS check (you're guilty) or you did a NICS check, saw he was prohibited, and sold him the gun anyway (you're guilty). They also check whether he had a CCL at the time you sold him the gun. Any revoked CCL must be turned in to the police ASAP after revocation, and the police must keep a record of the date it was turned in.

    Using the above, it seems pretty simple to enforce BP's UBC law, and it didn't require a registry.

    • “If you sell a gun to a stranger and he uses it in a crime”
      How do you know what gun he used? Did you catch him? Then what difference could it possibly make? And as long as he signed a bill of sale, you should be fine. Even without gun control, it’s probably not a bad idea to keep a bill of sale around for just that reason.

    • What if the gun has changed hands few times without NICS checks? How can you prove that you sold a specific serial number to a specific person on a specific date?
      It does require for you to hold records and if you don’t have them you are guilty. All the prosecutor has to say is that you sold the gun to the last guy 2 days before he used it. How can you prove that you did otherwise? How can he prove it? None of you really can and as such is unenforceable unless above conditions are met (bill of sale or registration). Look at the situation of “high” capacity magazines in Colorado. Is that law enforceable?

      • I have to wonder how many firearms people are claiming to sell that they can’t be bothered to keep a few bill of sales. It seems very odd that you would be selling too many firearms to not keep track of them or already have an FFL license (in which case you would be keeping track in your bound book anyway)

        • Non-FFL sellers keeping records is an issue. Obviously, the Anti’s will insist that a non-FFL seller either transfer through an FFL who will keep the records; or, that the non-FFL seller must keep records himself. Then – in theory – a paper-trail should exist for decades. A break in the paper-trail would imply a deceitful transfer. Our problem here is that we MUST NOT concede a long-term paper-trail. A 20-year record-keeping requirement would make a confiscation scheme a possibility.
          Now, then, if a record-keeping requirement were for a short period of time – say 1 or 2 years – then there would be a paper-trail for non-FFL transfers for that period of time. If we assume that the mean time-to-crime were a matter of months then the paper trail will – or should – exist if the police trace the evidence promptly. If the police delay then that gives the paper-trail an opportunity to disappear. And, of course, if the gun is rarely discovered other than smoking-in-the-hand-of-the-perpetrator, then this whole discussion will be academic. It wouldn’t matter – for purposes of solving crimes – whether the paper-trail were preserved for 20 days or 20 years.
          My assumption is that 99% of us who sell guns sell them to responsible people who will not use them to commit crimes. If there really is a 1% of us who sell guns to criminals – well – these guys will do so in enough volume that they will be rolled-up with a 1 or 2 year record-retention requirement.
          It seems to me that most of us could keep track of our records of sales for a year or two before we lost them. Even if we lost a record occasionally it wouldn’t become a legal issue except in the unlikely event that that gun were used in a crime and recovered within a couple of years. That’s not going to happen often. And, when it does happen, I would agree only to a misdemeanor failure to keep a record penalty. (The seller to felons would likely have plenty of record losses which – cumulatively – would cook his goose.)
          Now, we all live with a 20-year retention period for our purchase of guns from FFLs. We ought to be pushing for a reduction in the FFL retention period to 5 or 7 years. That would do more for us than anything else in making confiscation impractical. If the paper-trail on private sales evaporates in 1 or 2 years that is going to make those records useless to support a nation wide confiscation.

  28. You are way off base with the generalized statement that ccl’s do not need a background check.

    Numerous states do NOT work that way.

  29. Holy smokes, BlinkyPete, I thought this would be something I’d be very against. But in fact, it makes a lot of sense and is actually nothing short of amazing. It would really be awesome to see something like this pass. And I agree, the people who are complaining about it obviously didn’t bother to read the whole thing.

    One issue I have: you mention that repealing NFA would be opposed by machine gun owners. I think this view is held by lots of people who don’t own machine guns. There may be a small number of MG owners who feel this way, but the vast majority would probably be happy to be able to make/buy as many modern MGs as they have room for. I would “lose” somewhere in the 6 figures if NFA34 was repealed, but I’d gain a heckova lot of new MGs that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford – my less new guns that I’d never be able to have without an SOT (Glock 18 comes to mind). C&R MGs like WWII Thompsons wouldn’t be affected as much, because of the history attached. M16s – yeah, sure. But on the plus side, we’ll all get M16s 🙂

    Regardless, I don’t think repealing NFA34 would be wise to include in such legislation since it would be the part that all the anti-gunners focus on. It would be a poison pill. Better to tackle that in the courts, or at a later date.

    Anyway, Bravo! And it truly is a pity that the haters didn’t bother to read your post before commenting. Sometimes there’s a rush for people to comment near the top, merely to comment near the top.

    ETA: Yes, there are missing bits – like a way to verify that a seller confirmed the buyer had a CCW. But I think it’s a great starting point – instead of the universal gun registration scheme that Alan Gottlieb and his buddy Chuck Schumer tried to shove down our throats (when the rest of the country had already given up on passing a new law no less).

    • Nunya said “Yes, there are missing bits – like a way to verify that a seller confirmed the buyer had a CCW. ”

      The court does not have to verify that the seller confirmed anything. They do not even have to prove that the seller DID NOT confirm that the buyer had a CCW or the seller DID NOT confirm that the buyer was on the NICS prohibited list. It is up to the court to prove that the buyer was “Prohibited”. If he was “prohibited”, then the law makes it clear that the seller is guilty of not verifying, or of verifying and selling anyway.

      The EXISTING laws say that it is illegal to KNOWINGLY sell a firearm to a prohibited person, but existing law does not require you to take any effort to make a determination whether the buyer might be prohibited. Blinkey Pete’s proposed law would require you to do a NICS check on a stranger to make that determination. No more selling without knowing whether the buyer might be prohibited.

      • In fairness, it appears that saying you checked a CCL without having anything to support that contention may actually be an affirmative defense, which requires evidence on the part of the defendant. Still, there has to be ways to create that proof without an official record. The ATF would never be able to check an individual sellers records; it would be solely to protect him.

      • Bob, you (and apparently a bunch of other commenters) clearly didn’t bother to read the whole post either. A NICS check wouldn’t be required if the buyer has a CCW, FOID, etc. That’s the beauty of it. Well, that and just defining penalties for noncompliance instead of building a massive gun registry.

        It is kinda long, but do try to read the whole post. There’s a lot of good in there.

        • It’s way too long – I should have left out the personal experience with my own fiasco. Thanks for reading!

  30. I like Blinkey Pete’s proposed bill. This is not a step backwards. It is not giving the anti-gun people anything new.

    A law already exists that makes it a crime to sell a gun to anyone who you know is prohibited from possessing a firearm. Unfortunately that law is almost unenforceable, because there is no requirement to determine whether the buyer is “prohibited” before you sell to him, even when he is a complete stranger to you. It is very easy to determine whether your buyer is “Prohibited”, but there is no requirement to do that. Personally, as a responsible gun owner, I would never transfer a firearm to a stranger without a NICS check. So I think Blinkey Pete’s proposed bill would just force the rest of the gun owners to be as responsible as they should be.

    Blinkey, I would add one more clause to your bill, though. If I am at a gun range for example, and I loan my gun to a person for a very short time without ever allowing the gun to leave my sight, your bill should make it clear that it does not apply to temporary transfers (short loans) like that. The same for temporarily giving it to a professional for a repair or modification. In both of these cases, there was a temporary transfer of possession, but not a transfer of ownership.

    • Thank you for the support and kind words!

      Gun range loans would absolutely not be criminalized since private transfers are not criminalized at all. It could even go a step further and say in person, temporary transfers are specifically protected.

  31. Seems to me that there are 2 problems with NICS:
    1. – It is a huge database so it will always have errors. Government takes no responsibility for fixing the errors even when they are told about the errors.
    2. – NICS is not readily available except through a gate-keeper such as an FFL who charges a fee.
    In the 21’st century I can’t imagine LEOs living without a system such as NICS that would allow them to find that a suspect is a fugitive, convicted criminal, etc. Does anyone here argue that LEOs should send faxes to every courthouse in the nation when they want to check the background of some suspect? If that is not your/our position, then our effort should be on forcing the Feds to fix NICS and get errors expunged. This point #1 has nothing to do with whether a NICS check should ever be a prerequisite to a gun transfer.
    The OP has a legitimate point with the gun-owning community needing to make a good-faith showing that we are resisting the trafficking in guns by disabled persons. This showing is analogous to alcohol and tobacco dealers needing to make a good-faith showing that they are resisting the trafficking in these products to minors. While expressing a willingness to resist trafficking in guns we must always emphasize that no such effort will ever have much beneficial effect. We are simply striving to exclude prohibited persons from the legitimate market. They must go elsewhere; and, we fully expect they will go elsewhere. We need to educate the public that this is a low-expectation fools-errond. Therefore, there is no point in trying to make an iron-clad fools-errond.
    Several posters have commented that a background-check system can never be effective without registration. I’m sure these posters would agree that a background-check system can never be effective without an act-of-God in the form of a miracle. We all agree; no background-check system will ever be effective and a registration system wouldn’t make it any more effective. A part of the proposal must be that the first time the word “registration” is spoken in the discussions we pack-up any measure of cooperation and go home.
    I think there is apt to be some form of paperwork emerging from the OP’s scheme. A legitimate seller is apt to keep a record of some sort so as to make clear-cut his safe-harbor. We should avoid a record-KEEPING requirement for sellers. If we can’t hold that line then we should insist on a record-keeping limit of 1 or 2 years. (As compared to the 4473 retention period of 20 years). If the cops can’t finger a straw-buyer within a year or two then they missed their opportunity.
    Our expectation can’t realistically be a girlfriend who buys a gun – once – for her boyfriend. It’s the “girl-friend” who goes on a shopping spree, buys two dozen guns in a week, and has lots of friends-with-benefits. If the cops can’t be bothered to roll-up these volume cases then this whole background-check system is a waste of time in every respect.
    I’m inclined to favor increased use of CCP cards as the OP suggests. However, I’d like to re-cast the idea of such a card from gun-related to generic “background-check” cards or “good-guy” cards. Any citizen should be welcome to get such a card irrespective of gun ownership and use it to identify himself – e.g., to a traffic cop – to assure the cop that he is a law-abiding individual. It should also be useful to facilitate employment background checks. Once this is accomplished, the list of card-holders does not create a reliable indication that the holders are gun-owners.
    That said, I think there still needs to be consumer-access to the NICS system for individuals who would prefer not to get an ID card or for a guy who buys one gun a decade. I think an individual ought to be able to type in his name and other identifying information and get a background-check certificate good for 30 – 90 days. The validity of the certificate (i.e., that it is not a forgery) ought to be able to be confirm-able by verifying a certificate number on-line.
    I don’t like the idea of conceding to a felony-classed violation for infractions of nonviolent gun law infractions. Let’s suppose that I transfer a gun to a disabled person because I was negligent; I trusted him and he was unworthy of my trust. Why ought that rise to the level of severity of a felony. It’s not that I pulled-the-trigger in a crime he might have subsequently committed. In fact, he might not commit a crime at all! Now, if a “girlfriend” buys two dozen guns and transfers them to two dozen “friends” without doing a background check on any of them, her cumulative penalty might be a total of several years in jail; but, still misdemeanors. That is enough to serve the purpose.
    I think the OP is correct in his belief that a revised background-check system will vent a lot of the public’s interest in gun-control. The strident gun-controllers will be back next year and every year after that forever. However, they will have a hard time gaining a lot of traction if we have established an apparently much-better background-check system that still doesn’t work very well.
    To concede to a change that “closes” the gun-show loophole, we need to require a long list of reasonable reforms. E.g., making the ATF show that their NFA registry is a shambles and clean it up. Make them issue a tax stamp in 6 weeks not 9 months; remove SBS, SBRs, silencers and AOW from the NFA list (or lower the tax to $5 and allow FFLs to sell the stamps). These NFA changes would be seen as “reasonable”; whereas, reversing the Hughes Amendment would be a bridge-too-far.
    I think that there are a number of concessions far more important than the NFA changes. National reciprocity is probably the most important. We need to erode the hoplofobia in the 10 Won’t-Issue States. I see no way to accomplish this without national reciprocity. Once the voters in the 10 Won’t-Issue States realize that they are surrounded by concealed-carriers and nothing bad has happened, that will do more than any other measure to undermine gun-control at the Federal level. This is a 10 – 20 year effort with a huge immediate payback for those of us who live in or adjacent to the 10 Won’t-Issue States.
    Reducing the 20 year 4473-form retention is another reasonable demand.
    Moving the contract to field background-check inquiries from the DoJ to 1+ industry organizations (e.g., the NRA or NSSF, etc.) is another reform that would make us much more comfortable without any significant change in the existing system. (Because the AG now picks the contractor that fields the inquiries we can’t trust him to refrain from forcing the contractor to give him a copy of the inquiries processed each day. If the NRA/NSSF/etc. controlled the choice of contractor we could have confidence that our industry organization would not give the Feds a copy of the inquiries.)
    Critics in this thread have remarked that the gun-controllers will not make the concessions we require. What is wrong with that outcome? We go public, explain what we offered in our proposal. We tell the public that the gun-controllers refused our more-than-generous offer. We were reasonable; the gun-controllers were intransigent. So, it’s no-deal. And, if you want to know why our proposals for a new background-check system were rejected, go ask your gun-control advocates.
    Will the public at large continue to listen to the gun-control advocates if they wouldn’t agree to our more-than-reasonable proposal? Each time the gun-control advocates try again we will roll out the same well-reasoned proposal.

    • You make a lot of great points, and more points for discussion. I only have time to address one thing now, and that’s 50 state reciprocity. I mentioned it’s absence at the bottom, and the simple truth is while I’d love to keep it, it’s one of the only things that would ensure this bill dies in the house or on the president’s desk. New York, California and Illinois would throw all their representative votes against it and put it well within the reach of Barry’s veto.

      • You have identified the right issue. Do we (PoTG) really want some such bill as you have described along with a few other concessions? Or, do we want some big concession (e.g., reversing the Hughes Amendment or national reciprocity) and are willing to trade OUR version of a revised background check system? I am close to the tipping-point. Some moments I think that we want OUR version of a background-check system. Other moments I think that we are better off living with the flawed system we have for another 10 or 20 years by which time the PoTG will control the political system. I recognize that neither of these sentiments is particularly rational.
        The point that I wish to introduce here is that we do NOT have to SUCCEED in getting OUR version of a background-check system to PASS. (I appreciate that you are interested in success because you are much more committed to seeing progress in this area. You may have the right idea; and I respect that.) Suppose our proposal and package of concessions were read by the public at large to be an entirely reasonable proposal. And, suppose it failed and that failure were laid at the doorstep of the gun-controllers. Well, we tried; we had a reasonable proposal. The gun-controllers blocked our proposal. They wanted something draconian. Who is being constructive here? Who is being destructive?
        Consider two packages. In the first package, we seek reversal of the Hughes Amendment. In the second package, we seek national reciprocity. (These are two illustrative examples to explain my strategy.) As righteous as I believe repeal of the Hughes Amendment to be; it is not that important pragmatically. And, it is undoubtedly going to be seen by the public as unreasonable. The case for national reciprocity is not so righteous; it flies in the face of States-Rights. Yet, I think it is strategically important. It provides a lot of pragmatic value to those citizens of slave-States and those of us who travel to slave-States. Finally, because we take for granted national reciprocity of lots of licensed behavior (drivers’ licenses being a prominent example) and LEOSA being a very strong analogue, I think this concession would be deemed to be reasonable.
        Find the right package and – I conjecture – we can go into the negotiation with the gun controllers with the following frank statement. Look. We don’t care whether our proposal wins or loses. If we win we get things we want and we give you something which you SAY YOU want. If we loose, then we will shout to the public that YOU gun-controllers are insincere. The gun-controllers were not willing to compromise. You want to drive all of us gun-owners into your gulags – or, that we give-up our guns. Public, don’t waste your time on this gun-control issue. The gun-controllers are not sincere. They want to crush us gun-owners. Stop listening to them. We will fight them with a righteous pro-gun position and they will never get their bills passed. I believe the public will see that our standing pat will kill any gun-control bill. Therefore, any support for a gun-control bill is a waste of effort. The gun-controllers will be left as a small un-supported minority that never goes away but never gets anywhere with their proposals.
        That would set the stage for us to push through our agenda in 10 years. The gun-controllers will – by then – look like beached fish gasping for breath which they can never get.

        • “for another 10 or 20 years by which time the PoTG will control the political system.’

          This is a pretty big bet you’re making, and by most analysis you’re almost certainly wrong. I hope the NRA does it’s job in reaching folks in all walks of the political spectrum, but if we’re counting solely on the GOP then we can also count on the losses to start rolling in in the early 20’s, and much faster in the 30’s.

          I want the Hughes amendment gone, but I’m gonna stick to my guns here (har har) and stay I do not think it would get the necessary support from our side.

        • I should clarify myself on this 10 or 20 years thing. I’m not placing a bet on this outcome. Something significant will happen in 10 or 20 years; but, I don’t know what that might be. A possibility is that American’s come to their senses and make a lot of changes of which 1 might be re-thinking the 2A from the ground-up. Political change is happening very slowly. We still have 40+% of the population supporting the current incumbent in the Oval Office – see how slow this is happening? Could PoTG really hold a dominant political position some day? If we struggle for 10 or 20 years? It’s possible; but, I’m not willing to make that bet.
          In fact, I think that it is a loosing position for us to dig in our heels and saying that we will oppose every change to any gun law unless-and-until it is a “clean” bill that gives us something and to which even a single gun-owner objects. Do we really want to stand up and say to our fellow Americans: Every gun bill that is presented to Congress must get a sign-off from every gun owner in America! Ain’t going to happen. The absolutist position is – I believe – untenable politically.
          We could try to submit bills that exclusively relax existing gun-control but do not otherwise change anything. That is, we will back a bill that is exclusively in our favor, but gives nothing in exchange to enable a neutral legislator to justify his favorable vote. (One for me, none for you; another for me, none for you; . . . ) I don’t think that is a tenable political proposition either.
          Well, then, what should we do?
          I like your idea in general. We take an existing aspect of the law that both the Anti’s and Pros are not happy with. We define a new scheme that has arguably: some plusses for us the Pros; and, some plusses for them the Anti’s. The absolutists on our side will condemn us for giving up a single inch of ground no matter what gains we might achieve. We try to get some other changes that offset the inch of ground we get. Still, the absolutists won’t be satisfied. That’s politics.
          Apart from the absolutists, where might the rest of us disagree? Two areas: First, refining the details of your proposal. Are there variations that would make your background check proposal slightly better? Second, what unrelated concessions do we want to advance? Are taking silencers and SBRs off the NFA worthwhile? Is national reciprocity worth pushing for? No doubt, there will be disagreement; but respectful disagreement. Ultimately, I think the political calculus must be left in hands more capable than ours: those of NRA, GOA, SAS, and others. We can productively opine as to whether one or another concession is more or less important. We can think of ways to tinker with the details of a background check proposal. It’s reasonably likely that one of the millions of gun-owners will be inspired to offer a variation that none of our organizations would have thought of.

        • “The absolutist position is – I believe – untenable politically.”

          Well, that’s just too bad for your little political games, because the absolutist position is the ONLY ONE that will not lead to total confiscation and tyranny.

          This is the fundamental truth that had been demonstrated over and over and over and over and over again throughout history. Every. Single. Time.

          Maybe you’ll get it if I draw a picture:
          http://richgrise.tripod.com/images/gun-appeasement.gif

    • “I’m inclined to favor increased use of CCP cards as the OP suggests. However, I’d like to re-cast the idea of such a card from gun-related to generic “background-check” cards or “good-guy” cards. Any citizen should be welcome to get such a card irrespective of gun ownership and use it to identify himself – e.g., to a traffic cop – to assure the cop that he is a law-abiding individual. It should also be useful to facilitate employment background checks. Once this is accomplished, the list of card-holders does not create a reliable indication that the holders are gun-owners.”
      While you make good points, I disagree with this line of thinking. While your proposal comes from a good place it is wrong at the same level as “if you have nothing to hide why you need privacy”. The fact that I’m free to move about in the society should be proof enough that I’m a “good” guy. Otherwise is like finding acceptable to be randomly stopped by police and your papers verified that you have no outstanding warrants or something. It also increases the intrusion of the gov in your life (you can’t be hired without the card etc). I don’t think that this is the American way.

      • In the abstract, your objections make a lot of sense. If we were in the 18’th century the system you describe would make a great deal of sense. Everyone in the village knows everyone else. Only a few strangers in town are unknown possibilities. If anyone gets into serious trouble he will probably be executed. We wouldn’t have any information systems; and, we wouldn’t need them. Alas, the world we live in is not reasonably characterized by this picture.
        The world we live in is highly mobile and most people live anonymously in major metropolitan areas. Information about everyone is readily available to anyone via the internet. In the world we live in it is unrealistic to imagine that the cops can manage the dangerous individuals among us without ready access to their priors.
        I’m very intrigued by the argument that if someone can’t be trusted with a gun he shouldn’t be at large without someone to act as his guardian. There is a ring of truth to this argument. It is not, however, politically viable. The public will not pay the taxes necessary to keep everyone behind bars who can’t be trusted. We already have a larger fraction of our population incarcerated than any other industrialized country. Even if a majority agreed that it would be cost-effective to double our incarceration rate the taxpayers would not pay the taxes to achieve this goal. The liberals would not accept doubling the incarceration rate. Alas, we are going to continue to have a large fraction of the population who are dangerous who are at large among the public. The liberals insist on maintaining a society that breeds and cultivates dangerous people and they want these people at large.
        Therefore, unfortunately, I think we have to get used to the idea that the cops need – and they WILL HAVE – a NICS system that consolidates the public records of courthouses from the 50 States. You may not like the idea that public records in each court house be consolidated. Your objections might be legitimate. However, it is not a politically viable argument that the public records in 10,000 public databases must not be consolidated into a common database. No one will buy into an objection to such a consolidation.
        Therefore, I suggest that we have to accept the idea that a cop can ask you for your drivers license; and, he can then access the NICS database and discover that you have/do-NOT-have an outstanding warrant. If we have to accept such a fact, then we might as well exploit this system to our own benefit. If we can buy a gun – whether from an FFL, a friend or a stranger – by displaying a “background-check” card then that is – marginally – a good thing. If we can get this and in exchange get rid of the 4473 form or its 20-year retention period, I think it’s a net gain.

        • “I’m very intrigued by the argument that if someone can’t be trusted with a gun he shouldn’t be at large without someone to act as his guardian. ”

          I say, the hell with trying to determine whether someone can be trusted with a gun. Trusted by whom? By the guys who give you permission to exercise your fundamental right to self-defense? Absolutely everyone, except very small children, should be armed. The time and place to deal with bad behavior is summarily, on the spot. If someone aggresses against another person, that aggression should be stopped by the self-defense tool of choice of the person being aggressed against, and the problem gets taken care of and we can all get on with our lives. It won’t be blood in the streets because the number of thugs who would knowingly attack an armed person would be Darwinized in a matter of days.

          Stop with the projection and mindreading and soothsaying. Deal with actions as they occur. Hold people accountable for their behavior, and people will behave.

        • Have you considered the possibility that this position might be both: absolutely correct an an objective reality; but, impossible to sell politically? What if for every voter who might be persuaded by this argument, two voters become vehemently opposed to every pro-gun argument he might subsequently hear?
          The debate might have less to do with the distinction between right vs. wrong then it has to do with winning vs losing votes.
          We pray that the debate never comes to push vs shove; but, it may. It did in 1776. On that occasion, Americans were divided into 3 camps: Loyalists; those who were indifferent; and, those committed to independence. I imagine that few Loyalists came over to the side of independence. Franklin was a notable exception. Those who sought independence had to win more support from the indifferent than they lost. I imagine that they succeeded. Would the Revolutionary War succeeded if Washington et. al had driven more of the indifferent into the Loyalist camp than they attracted to the cause of Independence? Even after the Declaration of Independence there was a political war for hearts and minds.

        • “Even after the Declaration of Independence there was a political war for hearts and minds.”

          That’s the problem – you appeasers/collaborators think you’re fighting a war for hearts and minds. We 2A Absolutists know we’re fighting for our lives. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and it must be restored to its right place as such, or America is all over and done. It’s Just That Simple.

  32. BlinkyPete,

    Your proposal is an interesting tactical move for sure. I would love to spend an entire day discussing this in person with the people who have commented on this post … similar to the way that the Founding Fathers debated the various proposals that eventually became our federal Constitution.

    • You have the right idea. We can have this discussion on this forum. If we thrash out diverse ideas: good; bad; and ugly, we are likely to come up with some good ideas. Such a process is more productive than posts that read, e.g., “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ don’t you understand”? I think everyone on this forum can recite the 2A perfectly by heart. We get that part. The problem we are wrestling with is the 98% of the voters who do NOT understand ‘shall not be infringed’ even though they have read those words.

      • “The problem we are wrestling with is the 98% of the voters who do NOT understand ‘shall not be infringed’ even though they have read those words.”

        Then the LAST thing we want to do is dilute our message, which needs to be, “What part of ‘shall not be infringed’ don’t you understand?” for the obvious reason, with sops to the grabbers in the name of “compromise” or “common sense” or whatever excuse you’re giving for not giving your all to the defense of the Constitution that is ALREADY being infringed too much!

        Blinky Pete, if you really are impelled to write legislation, then please write something that’s ON OUR SIDE!! Like, abolish the current infringements! It might not have a snowball’s chance in hell of passing, but at least you won’t have tainted yourself by pandering to the grabbers.

    • I think they would. In fact, by my rough count there might be enough to pass it with veto override.

    • This president will be in office for only 2 more years. He will be followed by a different president. Several Senators and Representatives will be in office for only 6 more months. Those who remain will be more sober.
      In my view, no politician really cares one-way-or-the-other what happens to any gun-control bill. The Pro- and Con- politicians are each milking their respective contributors for campaign funds. The politicians who are not out-front either Pro- or Con- just wish this gun-control issue would go away so they would not have to worry whether their vote aye/nay will cost them more votes than it gives them.
      I THINK that we should strive to get a really good bill passed through Congress that would bleed most of the hot-air out of the gun-control issue. Then, the gun-control advocates would never gain any traction. And, likely, the gun-rights advocates probably wouldn’t make any incremental Federal progress either. We would remain in this situation for a very long time. (Observe that the alcohol Prohibition rose and then fell and there has been little-to-no discussion of new legislation about alcohol since the 1930s.)
      Once we get the Federal gun laws cut-down to a place where we can live with them we can strive for incremental changes in State laws.

  33. A law never stopped a political group from executing plans to achieve their agenda. You know you are allowed to purchase firearms and so does the FBI. No ruling from a district judge will change anything.
    I don’t know if a background check will become the law of the land but if it does the constraints that deny the second amendment sets the precedent for the other individual rights to be granted by committee review rather than by the Constitution. So bye bye Bill of Rights. Good to know what you believe. Here is what I believe.

    I believe there should be no constraints on the second amendment. I believe we should be able to buy a gun from any one or any business with no burden. I believe we should be able to purchase guns in any configuration or design available. I believe convicted felons should be able to purchase, own and carry a gun upon release from prison. I also believe there a people who will purchase a gun and will use it to commit murder and other crimes. I weigh the risk that these people pose against the known risk of governments that disarm the people to increase the power of the rulers then subject the people to carry out the will of the leaders rather than the will of the people.. I will accept the risk of my equal being a threat. I will not accept my government taking my liberties.

    • “A law never stopped a political group from executing plans to achieve their agenda.”

      Tell that to the Klu Klux Klan. Okay, it wasn’t solely a law, it was a massive movement, but still.

      Regardless, as I’ve said, I’m not trying to stop the anti’s. There will always be anti’s. I’m simply trying to give most of them the impression that they’ve won so they’ll move on to their next pet project, while the core group of manipulators will be left without a voting base.

      Take this as an example. I have a 2 year old, and any time we go to a public place, be it a flea market or toy store, he will point at stuff and shout “mine”. I have three options here. I could buy him whatever he wants and have a spoiled child. I could say “no, that isn’t yours” and move on with a screaming, crying child in tow. Instead of either of these, I simply say “Yes, that’s yours. Let’s go.” He calmly moves on, happy knowing whatever we just walked past is indeed his and I’m happy that the situation is exactly the same as it was before we saw whatever it is he wanted.

      • “Regardless, as I’ve said, I’m not trying to stop the anti’s. There will always be anti’s. I’m simply trying to give most of them the impression that they’ve won so they’ll move on to their next pet project, while the core group of manipulators will be left without a voting base. ”

        Then you are either a traitor or a fool. They will NOT “move on to their next pet project.” They have ONE “pet project,” total civilian disarmament. You can’t distract them, you can’t fool them, you can’t win at their game. You are handing them their fondest dream on a silver platter.

        If it is impossible to get you to see the truth of what you are doing here, then you are truly a lost cause and I and the rest of us actual SUPPORTERS of the Constitution will continue to fight the good fight without you.

        • Rich, I don’t think you noticed the core of BlinkiPete’s strategy: “I’m simply trying to give most of them the impression that they’ve won so they’ll move on to their next pet project, while the core group of manipulators will be left without a voting base.” Think of the “core group” as consisting of Michael Bloomberg alone. Now, think of “most of them” as everyone else more-or-less sympathetic to the gun-control issue. If BlinkiPete’s strategy works he reduces the Anti’s from 40 to 1. Or, 39 to 2. Of course, it’s not going to be quite that successful. If it works to the extent that 40% of Anti-gun voters is reduced to – let’s say 20% – that would be good enough to kill-off the gun-control movement. The residual 20% might never go away; but, they would be 31% points from enjoying a majority. They would have a tough time getting those 31%-points. Now, they are only 11%-points from a majority. Now, they believe they are within striking distance of pushing their gun-control legislation through Congress.
          The real question we need to ask ourselves about any such proposal such as BlinkiPete’s is whether it is likely to work; i.e., to reduce the 40% gun-control constituency to something like 20%. If it worked to that extent, then it would be a resounding success. You might well argue that such an idea could at best reduce the 40% to 36%; and, the Anti’s would still regard themselves as just 15%-points away from a majority. You might well argue that we should cling to the status quo until we the PoTG have a decisive majority and are able to roll-back gun-control laws without making any concessions at all. I make no personal claim to know whether BlinkiPete’s strategy is a clear winner/loser. I do think that we are better off discussing his idea or variations of his idea. I don’t see maintaining the status quo until the PoTG have a decisive majority as an overwhelmingly decisive strategy.

        • Thank you Mark. Whether we agree or not on approach, I think we’re both on the same side here.

      • I was referring to serious revolutionary groups that need to accomplish revolution of the federal government using basically nonviolent methods over a long period of time. A group that might restrict the freedom of the press so that news became propaganda. A group that might bypass the legislative arm and create their own laws. A group that might instruct the IRS to specifically fine and weaken opposition groups. A group that would ignore immigration laws when it fit their motives. A group that would appoint a smart lackey to the judicial arm to ensure the crimes committed were never prosecuted. With all this taking place right now I cannot conceive that anyone would propose we abandon a Constitutional right and replace with a process where we fill out a form and request the government to give us permission. Do you really think they will give you the okay? Look at New York City…who gets the permits? The rich, powerful and friends there of. We are protected at the federal level with the second amendment and you say we should capitulate to the inevitable and submit to a government committee review? Who are you really?

        • I understand all your references to current events, but beyond that I can’t argue with your imagination. You’re attributing things to my proposal that don’t exist within it. The goal, as I’ve stated scores of times here, was to cripple the anti movement. I’ve logically and passionately argued that point, and explained exactly how my proposal would do that. If you have a better idea, by all means, let me know, but quit telling me that in some abstract sense that this bill is tantamount to NYC laws throughout the country, because any reasonable person could tell you you’re wrong, even if they are an absolutist.

  34. Honestly, it’d be a better idea to attack the current system, the monster we KNOW. Any piece of new legislation would be twisted by the antis.if you want to cange the system for the better, get rid of the ncis

  35. The trend for support of more restrictive gun control has been trending down for decades now.

    In the 60s, 75% of people support a handgun ban. Today 75% of people actively oppose a handgun ban.

    There is literally no age or major demographic subgroup that supports gun control today more than 20 years a go.

    Even banning “assault weapons” when they are called that loses 53 against to 43 for.

    If after Sandy Hook they couldn’t get a UBC passed, they will never get it passed, because as time goes by people are less likely to support gun control.

  36. This echoes my own views, very interesting article. I too am a non-absolutist, and these laws are the best examples of ‘common-sense gun laws’ that I have heard yet. I agree, good laws that actually protect rights and are carefully written to allow for things that the antis wouldn’t like are far better than no laws at all. Although your laws have one massive problem: There are no laws protecting the right to ammunition. According to these laws, the sale of ammunition to criminals, or to anyone for that matter, could be lawfully prohibited. Hollowpoints, armour piercing or any other undesirable type of round could be made into NFA items.
    You should never forget that without the food, the animal dies.

  37. The graphic really illustrates the problem I have with the whole “90% support universal background checks” claim. Even if true, the vast majority of such people probably don’t have the first clue just what UBC entails. If you could sit them all down and explain it to them, you might find the numbers change big-time. Same with the numbers on an “Assault Weapons Ban.”

    • The AWB hasn’t broken 60% public support in the past 10 years, and it would be much easier to explain in the 30 second TV spot. That would make it an easy win for us in a voter initiative. UBC, on the other hand, is low hanging fruit for them. Whether people here believe it or not, the average person on the street is unlikely to be swayed. Explain the problems with NICS and their response is more likely to be “well, figure out how to fix it.”

  38. Dear Blinky Pete,

    Maybe it is only those who have spent their life savings while being jerked around through the court system, or have run up against downright racism (I’m white) and convolutions of the truth, leaving out 2/3 of evidence and outright lies by the EEOC, can truly comprehend that after years and years and using up one’s life savings, even the most stalwart of us can get tired and broke. (I’m still in a class action suit that is only 10 years old. LOL.)

    Unfortunately, while trying to report to the FBI a Muslim (?extremist?) in another country was trying to recruit me; the CIA was “on the bounce” but said they couldn’t handle it because I was in the U.S.A. I then took my concerns to the FBI but ran into rude boorish incompetent behavior by not one, but two FBI clods.

    Wasn’t it the FBI who punished the black agent in the SouthWest who started investigating the Muslims who didn’t want to learn how to land planes? Wasn’t it the FBI who punished a female agent in upper Middle America who was trying to investigate some odd stuff; all of this before 9/11? Gone are the days when the FBI meant something. Now it seems to be run by political hacks. Well, beans, the Department of Justice is run by lawless hacks.

  39. Yes.

    But no.

    I agree that your proposals would pull almost all the rug out from under the anti’s, which is a good thing and to be encouraged.

    But I completely disagree with the giving of any ground on the issue. Many people above have said is better than I could, why would we give up anything we already have and not get something in return for it?

    • “why would we give up anything we already have and not get something in return for it?”

      I really don’t mean to be a dick, but did you actually read it? You give up almost nothing (if anything at all), and you get silencers and SBR’s taken off NFA, ’68 GCA weakened further, due process for prohibited people, no NICIS for CCL holders and more.

    • I feel like I inserted a little warning in this piece that would have saved you lots of time if I’d only parked it higher in the text. Again, I’ll make this shorter next time.

  40. Blinky, this article is consistent with your pro status quo, pro establishment, and pro further government intrusion on our rights agenda.

    • I don’t believe in any of those things, and you don’t have any actual evidence that I do. If you have an actual argument or point of view to share, I’m all eyes for it. If all you want to do is to project villainy onto me, then I’ve got nothing else to say to you.

  41. Blinky,

    I’m going to try to not insult you (unlike the vast majority of the comments here). Just discuss a few points:

    Someday soon Washington will vote on an initiative for ‘universal’ background checks, and sure as you’re born, it’s going to pass. I don’t want it to; it was written by antis and serves their purpose, but there is almost zero chance that we will win.

    I disagree. A mentally troubled young man killed 26 very small children in Newtown and the anti’s tried to pass “universal background checks” and it still failed. It failed because a lot of people fought against it and were not willing to compromise. Your statement indicates that we should compromise because we are losing. First of all, it is debatable that we are losing. Secondly, if we were losing, compromise might as well be synonymous with forfeiture. -Because we would lose. We need more people that don’t compromise – not more people that do.

    My solution: write our own universal background check bill and pass it at the federal level. One that is written for us, by us, and specifically overrides all state-mandated background check bills, while restoring many rights that have been taken away previously.

    Why? I don’t believe the solution is more regulation, more control, and more laws. There is nothing amazing or mesmerizing about a gun. It is a very simple machine designed to propel a projectile. It is no more amazing than a bag of 34-0-0 ammonium nitrate fertilizer that i could whip up in a short time to make an ANNM equivalent bomb that would be much more devastating. However, I don’t get a NICS check when I go buy some fertilizer for my garden do I? More regulation is not the answer in my opinion. We need to be encouraging more people to not compromise and fight against such legislation.

    You can trade, sell or give a firearm to any person who is personally known to you. You can trade, sell, or give a firearm to a stranger and if they aren’t prohibited, you haven’t broken a law. However, if you want to ensure said stranger is not prohibited and also immunize yourself from any prosecution for that person’s actions…

    Criminals are trading, selling, and giving firearms to anyone they want regardless of any legislation, and they would continue to do so under your proposed legislation. You write it, like it is actually going to work. Also “immunize yourself from any prosecution?” You should be already immune until proven guilty. A person owning something previously should not require or indicate a prosecution should take place. It is the police’s job to investigate and gather the required evidence. Prior ownership is hardly evidence.

    Many won’t agree with this. Robert, in his steadfast absolutism probably won’t, but if your mentality is all or none, history generally indicates you’re going to end up with none. I don’t know if I count as a 2nd Amendment absolutist, but I care deeply about our gun rights.

    History generally has shown that those who are willing to fight and sacrifice for what the believe in typically prevail against those who are not willing. In my opinion you are most certainly not an absolutist. I’m glad you care about our gun rights and I wish you could extend your caring and desire for more freedom in that area to more freedom in all areas (such as less regulation in general).

    This bill would pull the carpet out from the anti’s, make their most popular proposals unsustainable for ballot initiatives in any state that has them, improve our (and the NRA’s) public image and restore many of our fallen rights.

    Time and time again, anti-gun people have continued their journey to eliminate your rights. They don’t like guns. They don’t want guns. They don’t want you to have guns. – and, they will stop at nothing until all the guns are eliminated. Your proposed legislation is not a compromise. It is a single step among many on the path of their journey to eliminate your rights.

    • I don’t view most of the responses as insults, even some of those that vehemently disagree with me. If you read this and disagree, that’s your right. I wish there were fewer knee-jerk reactions to the title, but hey, the world ain’t perfect.

      To your first point, you can’t compare Congress to a voter initiative. In Washington State in December voters will go to the polls and vote for or against a broad background check bill. That’s Democracy in action, and Democracy is mob-rule. From an unemotional, analytical point of view, I see zero chance of a win there.

      To the rest of them, I need to very clearly restate that i know for an absolute fact that background checks will not prevent (gun) violence. Not this one, not Dianne Meinstein’s dream bill and registration scheme. None of them. You also don’t need to use the guns vs. fertilizer (or cars, or booze) comparison for me – I don’t need convincing.

      The only thing this proposal would do against us is further criminalize transfers to prohibited people. That’s already illegal. What it gives back is a laundry list of wrongs that would be righted.

      You make a good point about historical fights for rights, and that’s exactly what this is. You can put your foot down, draw a line in the sand and do whatever else you want, but in November we’re going to find out 2nd amendment absolutists aren’t on a side; they’re in a corner. In order to win you need to draw more people to your side, and convince more people to leave the oppositions side. Sometimes in order to do that you need to create the impression that you’re giving something up and making concessions, but if you’re smart about it you don’t actually have to.

  42. Blinky, all of your posts on this forum support my opinion. I’m not going to waste any more calories debating it.

  43. If this forum is a legitimate representation of gun owners opinions, then the 2nd Amendment is a dead man walking.

    • The approach you and your friends are taking seems to be to push everyone out of your “side” until there’s not one left. Let me know how that works out for you. I’ll be over here actually fighting for our rights.

  44. Jerry, this forum is like watching TV, entertaining and informative. Like TV, this site is useful in that it shows what agendas are being pushed.

  45. Compromise huh? LOL

    Want to know my definition of compromise? If you get UBC’s, we get the NFA repealed outright. Hey if you get a record of sale of all guns then I want to buy machine guns for the same price the govt does, $1000 a pop. You don’t keep your rights by sucking up to the govt you get it by making them give up something they hold dear, like the NFA or the GCA of 68.

    • It’s telling that people need to keep applying the term “compromise” to this to dismiss it outright. It’s not a term I used in the body, and it’s not a term I’ve used to refer to it. Know why? Because this isn’t a compromise. It isn’t appeasement. It’s a long term strategy to disarm the anti’s of their most powerful weapon, give their contingency the impression they won while minimizing the negative affect on us to irrelevancy while restoring many upon many other rights.

      I know this falls on deaf ears, but it bears repeating regardless.

  46. I like it. It slightly tweaks existing law, but not enough to cause issues. It also gives us an actual compromise in return. I have a feeling that a lot of people didn’t read the entire thing.

  47. Well written BlinkyPete. I think many points can be hashed out a little bit more to be explicit in preventing abuses from the gov.

    Unfortunately, it seems to me many people can’t into strategy.

    Absolutism is all good, but you are delusional if you think you can achieve it without baby steps.

    Just like the antis chip away at us and play the long game we need to do it too; demanding all or nothing is just just going to get us nothing.

    • No one is “demanding all or nothing.” We’re giving notice, it’s Shall Not Be Infringed or rebellion.

      Sure, take it back incrementally, but by REPEALING legislation, or finding it unconstitutional, not adding another layer of gobbledygook intended to bamboozle The Great Bamboozler!

      I mean, at least your own legislation should conform to the Constitution!

      • What do you call stating “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” then threatening rebellion? That’s not demanding all or nothing?

        I agree, it shouldn’t be infringed, those words are clearly there in the 2nd Amendment, but saying it over and over isn’t getting us anywhere. It is infringed and it is bullshit but claiming it shouldn’t doesn’t achieve anything real. It’s feel good and idealistic but it doesn’t address the currently reality.

        You start with shall not be infringed as your operating philosophy and work towards it. Gun control is generational and pulling it back is going to be generational. Either to get to the point where it is all repealed or where it is pulled back one piece at a time. The strategy of one piece at a time we make headway and don’t risk loosing anything else.

        In regards to Blinky’s idea, I can’t see that he is adding any more infringing, rather he is working closely to the current set of rules and not adding any more restriction on the person. Lets also not conveniently gloss over the headway his proposal has in taking quite a few rights back.

        • “What do you call stating “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” then threatening rebellion? That’s not demanding all or nothing?”

          Sheesh! Do you need remedial English instruction?

          REBELLION IS NOT NOTHING!!!!

          We will not be conquered, no matter how much rhetoric and rationalization you use to justify your gun-grabbing ways.

          Yes, I fear that it is “all or nothing” – either the government pulls its head out of its collective ass and reinstates the Constitution, or they will be replaced by force, which is our duty as outlined in the Declaration:
          “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

          And if you’d take off your unicorn glasses, you’d see that that’s what it’s coming to unless the whole country has an outbreak of sanity between now and 2016.

        • Remedial English instruction… me? HA! Thanks, I’ll tell that joke to my English degree later. He’s sure to get a chuckle from it!

          My gun grabbing ways? Another good one! I live under the yoke of utter and complete bullshit in CT. I want nothing more than having all of the gun laws repealed and to live free from government intervention and authority in my life. I don’t want the government telling me anything about what I can and can’t do with my own body, how I choose to live, or with another consenting and fully informed adult. Convince other people that they need to live that way, not me.

          I don’t think this country is on the verge of revolution/civil war. We have more than enough reason as it is right now to forcibly dismantle this government. The NSA spies on everything we do, the president assassinates US citizens overseas, the government and its various agencies take part in criminal activity on a daily basis, many people live in an endless cycle of debt and/or poverty, and so on and so forth. If that isn’t enough to bring people over the tipping point (who seem to not care about such heady problems as these) then adding attacks on gun rights on top of that isn’t going to do it.

          Look at the evidence; we have “the long chain of abuses and usurpations” but it isn’t enough to get Joe Schmo off his ass and caring about more than making enough money to pay the bills or what he is going to do on his weekend. I don’t think that will be changing soon or in two years. Maybe in the future, it will. Maybe it will happen a lot sooner like you think, I don’t know but who cares. In the here an now it isn’t happening and short of a scandal the like of which we have never seen, it doesn’t look like there will be anything strong enough to shake the average person’s bedrock enough to force them to dismantle the government.

          We as gun owners will get exactly what we deserve if we keep turning on each and claiming the other is a gun grabber for simply disagreeing on strategy.

  48. I’m a little late to the party, but hopefully this will get read.

    Contrary to most of the comments I’ve read here, this doesn’t bother me that much. In reading it, it seems more voluntary. That there’s no penalty for not doing so, unless something goes sideways.

    There’s a couple issues I have. The main reason the lefties want UBC’s (as most know or should know) is, it establishes a record of every transfer (Form 4473). In other words, de facto registration. The law/rules pertaining to 4473s are (someone correct me if I’m wrong) they must be held by the FFL for 20 years after which he may destroy them. If the FFL ceases operations, he must transfer all 4473 to the ATF.

    What I would add to your bill is, that all Form 4473’s must be destroyed, no later than December 31 of the 5th year after their signing. The ATF may retain make, model, serial number, date and location of transfer for statistical purposes. However, no personal information of the transferee may be transferred or retained by the ATF nor any other governmental entity (including state, county and municipalities) after the 5 year period.

    Next item: No fees or taxes shall be assessed or collected by any governmental entity for any background check. Doing so would would amount to a poll tax on a constitutionally protected and enumerated right. However, an FFL may charge a reasonable fee to compensate him for his time to conduct a third party background check. [This part is incomplete as it doesn’t address criminal firearms traces. So that would need to be factored into the record restrictions.]

    Here’s my overarching critique (not necessarily against this idea). The thing that the anti’s are “waving the bloody shirt over” are these school/mass shootings. As we all know the vast majority of the shooters/murderers acquired their firearms through an FFL by passing a background check. Some who were obviously mentally defective, and should not have had access to a firearm. If this doesn’t get addressed, they will use this again to further infringe on the Second. Now I’m not saying the author should address this in his proposal. If we are going to budge, we need to make them address the real problem, so it can’t be used again.

    Commentary on the NFA machine gun thing. The left will never buy that, we’d have to give up a lot more to get those taken out of the NFA, and it’s probably not worth it at this point. That said, I know a few MG owners and, to a man, they would gladly let their “investment’s” depreciate for the opportunity to get more and modern MG’s. It’s a hobby for most of these guys, not an investment.

    • Agreed on all points. However, note that the Anti’s have never said that UBC = 4473. If, as BlinkyPete suggests, we offer a bill that calls for some form of UBC roughly corresponding to the system that exists for FFLs applying to private transfers, then we have addressed UBCs. The FFL-BC explicitly contemplates taking a CCP/FOID (under prescribed circumstances) as a BC. So, a UBC “roughly corresponding” that recognized a CCP/FOID is a comparable provision. End-user access to NICS is roughly corresponding to FFL access. OK, now, BlinkyPete’s proposal says it is unlawful for anybody to transfer w/o a BC just like it is unlawful for an FFL to transfer w/o a BC.
      – – – I believe that once the Feds adopt a law that addresses a particular issue that Congress will be hesitant to open the can-of-worms relating to THAT PARTICULAR issue for quite some time without evidence that the regulatory scheme is unenforceable. In saying this I am NOT claiming that BlinkyPete’s UBC forecloses the record-keeping requirement. That would come up as well.
      – – – On the record-keeping requirement issue, I think the place to begin is to push for a roll-back of the 20-year retention period to something like 5 years (or 7 years) for FFLs. To do this we have to establish that no traces – or virtually no traces – exceed some such period. Or, that the few traces that come back are never pursued. Therefore, the excessive retention period serves only to tempt government to confiscate all guns; there is no law-enforcement purposes. Once this is established, then the 5 (7) year FFL requirement puts a cap on whatever might be imposed on individuals. Then, I think it might be tolerable to agree to a 1 or 2 year record on private transfers. I hasten to add that any such requirement on private transfers would apply only to permanent transfers (sales or gifts). If I loan someone a gun then my claim that it was a loan implies that I retain my proprietary interest over it. To maintain that claim I have to hold that I know who I loaned it to and know where to find him. ‘I loaned it to some guy I met in a bar; I think he said is name was Rasco. He was sitting on the third stool from the door.’ wouldn’t cut it. If I fail to provide sufficient aid to the police that they can find “Rosco” then the transfer will be deemed to have been permanent. If “Rosco” can’t produce the gun or claims he didn’t receive it, then I have failed to substantiate my claim that I loaned the gun. Such a scheme seems (to me) to provide the police sufficient regulation to find criminals without undue imposition on law-abiding gun owners. With a 5 (7) year FFL (business) record-retention and a 1 (2) year private-party record-retention periods the “registration” aspect of of transfer records would be rendered so volatile (i.e., the records would ‘evaporate’) that they would not serve as an effective basis for a confiscation effort.
      – – – I think that BlinkyPete’s got a worth-while argument. Once the law has addressed a concern in some reasonable way then the Anti’s sails loose a lot of their wind. We make it harder and harder for the Anti’s to stir up concern on the part of fence-sitters. If politicians see that they can say to their constituents that a particular issue is adequately addressed under existing law withOUT a net loss of votes, then they will leave the existing law alone. The key issue is “net loss of votes”. As we are very well aware among us PotG there are plenty of voters who are not strenuously opposed to new regulations that wouldn’t gore their oxen. The soft underbelly of the gun-control debate might be that gun-owners soft on gun-control don’t object to new regulation. It might do us more good to convince these voters that the ‘established law of the BlinkyPete Act’ ought to be enough to keep guns out of the hands of disqualified individuals. None of the additional provisions of a proposed ‘Mothers Bill’ would be cost-effective. Convincing legislators that PotG are a largER consolidated voting block is probably more important than getting fence-sitters converted to our side.

  49. I will say this and oly this. Anything is better than the laws we have here in Arizona,which are zero,or these stupid “stand your ground laws,that do nothing but legalize murdering someone because you do not like what he is wearing or the kind of music he listens to.I have no problem with responsible law abiding gun owners,even though I myself own no guns.{I promised myself,after returning home from Vietnam,that I would never pick up a gun ever again. I know people understand that,even if they disagree) My contention is this. If you are a law abiding,responsible citizen,and not just a swaggering gun toting bully looking to pick a fight,you have nothing to hide,and therefore nothing to fear from more intensive scrutiny. I have tried to engage in reasonable conversation on this,on other sites,and all I got was insults. I hope this site is not like that. I would appreciate an intelligent response. What is there to fear from background checks if you have nothing to hide?

    • Dave, you are tragically mistaken when you write: “. . . legalize murdering someone because you do not like what he is wearing or the kind of music he listens to.” You can not find any competent self-defense lawyer who will support your characterization. The common law and statutory law on self-defense are centuries in the making and very well developed. Castle Doctrine largely codifies the traditional common law. Stand-Your-Ground largely raises a defense against unfair prosecution because it is rarely feasible to SAFELY retreat. If you sincerely care about the law of self-defense take the Massad Ayoob 2-day course on the rules-of-engagement.
      – – – “. . . nothing to fear from more intensive scrutiny. . . . . What is there to fear from background checks” I recommend you read: http://www.bookwormroom.com/2014/06/15/bookworms-5-point-gun-manifesto-or-why-i-believe-in-gun-rights/ The author explains what we have to fear more elegantly than I could manage. Humankind has the most to fear from government.
      – – – In my opinion, background checks do a little good; but, not as much good as the marginal cost to society in conducting them. Nevertheless, I support background checks. Not because I think they will have a worth-while effect in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals or crazies; only because I believe that BCs are good PR for the gun-using community. Law-abiding gun-users do not want the legitimate market for guns contaminated by the presence of criminals or crazies.
      – – – The Devil is in the details. Under absolutely NO circumstances would I support any BC scheme that either: A) would tend to build a database of gun ownership; or B) make any innocent behavior a crime. I believe that it IS feasible to craft a BC law that would make it a crime to sell/give (permanently) to a dis-abled person without passing a BC. If I sell/give (permanently) to a person who retains his 2A rights, then that is no crime and should not be made a crime. If I do so to a person who is dis-abled – and I do so without doing a BC (or despite a bad BC result) – then I am amenable to making that a misdemeanor. If I loan/sell/give a gun to such a person whom I know or have reason to believe is dis-abled, then I am amenable to making that a felony. To make such a scheme workable, a showing of a State-issued CCP/FO-ID should satisfy the BC rule. Likewise, a user (whether the transfer-or/-ee) should have access to the NICS database to generate a print-able BC certificate.
      – – – In my opinion, the gun-using community could bring itself to live with such a BC regulatory scheme. However, the gun-control community would not accept it. They would not accept it because it would take the BC issue off-the-table for complaining. The gun-controllers are really only interested in imposing onerous rules on law-abiding gun-owners. They want to make us vulnerable to inadvertent and innocent violations. We will NOT submit to any more such infringements.
      – – – If you are genuinely interested in revising our Federal or State gun-control laws you must begin to recognize that law-abiding, peaceful, gun users are equally interested in keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and crazies. Until you accept this proposition you will find no common ground with us. When you accept this proposition you will be able to have a dialogue.
      – – – Most gun-controlers’ agenda items are not open for discussion. No national gun registration scheme. Don’t waste your breath. No “assault weapons bans”. No magazine size limits. No encroachment on the right to carry in most public places.
      – – – Have you been paying attention to gun legislation – both Federal and State – over the past 20 years? Have you noticed statistics on CCP growth? If there are any fact-oriented people sympathetic to gun-control they had better pay attention to these political facts. The issue of gun-control looks like it will come to it’s political conclusion in another couple of decades. Thereupon, the gun-controllers will no longer have any room at the legislative table.

    • “What is there to fear from background checks if you have nothing to hide?”

      In the long run, confiscation and tyranny. Duh.

      In the short term, it is an infringement. It leads to the department of pre-crime. And, realistically, who has “nothing to hide?” You’ve never done anything, at all, that isn’t anybody’s damn business?

      The idea of “keeping guns out of the hands of criminals” is a very very bad idea, because who knows what the idiots in Washington DC, or even state legislatures, or local city councils, might criminalize? How many “swaggering gun toting bull[ies]” can you name? Or even cite news reports of?

      Embrace your hoplophobia if you wish; it’s admirable that you want to disarm yourself, because you are either not rational, or you yourself are a “swaggering gun toting bully.”

      But it just plain wrong of you to project your own sickness on others to use as an excuse to escort the Communists into power.

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