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You may recall that the Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) began their post-Newtown civilian disarmament campaign with “Demand a Plan.” As we pointed out on numerous occasions the “plan” they were demanding was . . . demanding a plan. Mayor Bloomberg’s homies didn’t crusade on ammunition magazine capacity limits or banning modern sporting (a.k.a. assault) rifles or anything specific, really. They simply waved the bloody shirt, trusting that their supporters would let Bloomberg’s backroom boyz iron-out the details. Now that a federal assault weapons ban is DOA and mag cap limits are a non-starter, MAIG has suddenly focused on a specific proposal. And no wonder . . .

“Universal background check” sounds perfectly acceptable. Why not run all gun sales through the FBI NICS to prevent firearms sales to criminals, madmen and (literally) terrorists? Forty percent of all firearms sales have no checks at all! 

Truth be told, it’s not forty percent. The ridiculous claim is based on a 1997 National Institute of Justice telephone survey. Anyway, it’s not as if background checks do squat for stopping criminals from purchasing firearms. Statistically, you can round down the number of felons caught attempting to purchase a firearm through a gun store to zero.

Truth be told, universal background checks means universal gun registration for law-abiding American gun owners. As in a federal gun registry. A registry that would place additional burdens on gun owners (registration fee, future taxes) and set the stage for confiscation.

Yes confiscation. The Hurricane Katrina gun grab and New York’s ironically named SAFE Act (mandating registration of modern sporting rifles and forbidding in-state transfer of same) are all the proof you need that registration leads to confiscation. Not to coin a phrase, this shit is real.

And while we’re on the subject of irony, am I the only one who finds it funny (sad) that cops are touting universal background checks for Mayor Bloomberg’s Boyz?

Especially [Denver] Colorado Deputy Chief William Nagel, who agrees that universal background checks help preserve our Second Amendment rights [from people like him] and states that universal background checks “help us keep you safe.” Mag cap limits too, eh Chief?

Are we really at the point where the majority of Americans trust the police to protect their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms? I don’t think so. But we shall see.

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  1. Maybe, just maybe the NRA should revoke the memberships of these idiots when they openly support 2A restrictions……………

  2. What a crock. So-called “Universal Background Checks” and the preservation of our Second Amendment rights go together about as well as diarrhea and hemorrhoids.

  3. Requiring buyers to get a ‘purchase permit’ (with background check) in order to buy from a private seller (shouldn’t be need to buy from an FFL, which will run an instant check anyway) is not such a bad idea tho. No registry really (maybe a registry of people that got purchase permits), and it would actually give sellers ‘piece-of-mind’ that the person they are selling to isn’t a felon. I don’t understand why all the proposed ‘background’ check legislation goes so far beyond that simple concept.

    Why the federal and Colorado proposals go so very, very far beyond such a simple plan would seem to indicate that background checks for every gun purchase is NOT their goal.

    • If said “purchase permit” can be denied, it’s a TERRIBLE idea! You are assuming they will always be “reasonable”, and use “common sense”. REALLY?

    • Can you say, “Camel’s nose…?”

      Authorizing or even allowing the government to establish the criteria for a background check under which your Second Amendment rights may be denied is exactly the same as giving them the power to deny Second Amendment rights under any criteria they decide. Same with allowing them to charge you ANY fee for the privilege of purchasing, registering, owning or carrying a firearm. This is a Poll Tax, plain and simple, and as I believe Jefferson commented, “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” If they can tax (or charge a fee), they are the sole arbiters of how much they tax and so they can price anyone, or any social class, out of the market.

      Giving the government any ability to determine who, when, or how much Second Amendment rights are available is to absolutely reverse the entire concept of the Second Amendment, which is that it is OUR (the people’s) right to keep and bear arms, and not a privilege granted to us by the government under government rules and regulations and limitations. There is a very good reason the founders included the words, “…shall not be infringed.”

      • Philosophically I don’t disagree with you. Realistically, however, there ARE and always WILL be limitations on our rights. I don’t agree with all of them. I don’t agree that felons should be denied their rights with no chance to regain them.

        My main point here, however, is that the anti-gun lobby keeps spewing their ‘reasonable’ claims yet trotting out bills that are pretty darn far from ‘reasonable’.

        • IN the 90s we (the NRA etc) let that camel get it’s nose under the tent flap. We were reasonable and compromised. Know how that worked out?

          Only and idiot would go that way again. Looks like the NRA learned time you did also. No negotiation or compromise on the Constitution. Also means rolling back the “reasonable” things our daddy’s, grandpappy allowed in the name of going along to get along. 2nd Amendment much other. DIgging out all that the marxist “progressive” did over the last 130years.

  4. TTAG needs to highlight the “success” of Bloomie’s Stop & Frisk policy, subsequent lawsuit by civil rights groups since the target audience didn’t take too kindly to 4th Amendment violations, and that they are now creating a new office of Inspector General. Focus on why we can’t trust someone to protect our rights when they got busted violating civil rights. Just saying.

    • > TTAG needs to highlight the “success” of Bloomie’s Stop & Frisk policy

      I suspect that many members of the gun culture approved of “Stop & Frisk”, since it was one of those “get tough on crime” measures.

      • Since they were only stopping and frisking THOSE kinds of people. Ahem.

        Remember, when anyone is denied his rights, we are ALL denied our rights, which was my problem with the mall cop. If it’s so lawless and impossible to clean up using legal methods, CLOSE IT DOWN.

  5. “Are we really at the point where the majority of Americans trust the police to protect their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms? I don’t think so. But we shall see.”

    OTOH, my sheriff, Terry Maketa of El Paso County, CO, has gone on record saying how he intends to support his citizens’ 2A rights, to the point of not enforcing recent legislation and destroying records rather than turn them over.

  6. well, here in Maryland we have universal background checks, ballistic fingerprinting, a regulated firearm registry, waiting period. scary black rifle ban, magazine capacity limits. Yet most of the Maryland-recovered crime guns in 2011 were bought in Maryland (in CA I think its actually higher than here – 75%). oh, we have the 5th highest homicide rate in the country.

    if only we didnt have those pesky criminals (i should say: if only baltimore city schools were not minting 00s of new gang members a year).

  7. Another jackass on Bloombag’s payroll? Hizzoner has billions to spend, not millions, and seems to be poised to take over from George Soros when the old Hungarian b@stard finally croaks.

    • “Old Hungarian NAZI”, you mean. He changed his clothes into liberal ones, but deep down he’s a Nazi.

  8. If you wanted to you could design a system that allows a seller to query the NICS system to determine whether a buyer is disqualified from buying a gun without creating a real registry. Bloomberg and the antis are not going to propose such a system because it doesn’t give them what they want. Pro-gun types aren’t going to propose a system because they don’t think it will do any good.

    Most folks in the middle want some sort of UBCS because it sounds good, makes sense in the abstract, and sounds compromise-y and moderate, regardless of how useful it would be. While, if we can avoid a UBCS we certainly should, if the politics of the moment dictate that one WILL be established, I would rather it be designed explicitly to prevent mischief, rather than the one the antis are trying to force.

    • I had a similar thought. They want compromise? Here’s a compromise:

      -Turn the NICS system into something you can access over the web and/or from a smartphone app. You can require the purchaser to log on first to authorize the check so as to avoid privacy concerns.

      -Eliminate the fee. The point, after all, is for it to be used as universally as possible.

      -Remove anything from the query that doesn’t directly bear on the purchaser’s eligibility – no firearm model, no serial number, no information identifying the seller.

      -Then make it the standard for lawful sales both FFL and private.

      It sounds reasonable to me – I certainly wouldn’t want to inadvertently sell to a prohibited person. Would it reduced gun crime? I doubt it. But it would give me peace of mind, eliminate the NICS fee, and give the government less of a registry than they have now for the price of running a smartphone app on the odd occasion I might sell a firearm. But I’ve run this idea past several gun control proponents and none of them seem to like it.

      • If the government wants to improve the background check system, they should do 2 things:

        1) Allow any small gun dealer to get an FFL without having a storefront. Currently, thanks to the Clinton administration’s effort to reduce the supply of guns, you can’t get an FFL if you want to sell guns only at gun shows (Google for question 18a of ATF form 5310 FFL application). As a result someone that wants to sell guns but can’t afford the inventory costs, zoning challenges and overhead of a storefront has to sell illegally or discretely at the edge of the law as a “private individual” and hence can’t run a background check. Rather than throwing these “kitchen table” sellers out of the system like Clinton did hoping they would go away, they should allow them to get an FFL and subject them to BATF rules, audits and oversight like they were before the Clinton administration let political anti-gun ideology get in the way.

        2) Give anyone free, public, anonymous online access to the NICS database. I don’t understand why a federal database of people prohibited from owning firearms can’t be available in the public domain like databases for sex offenders. The NICS system is really a go/no go process and no useful information has to be displayed to facilitate phishing expeditions for identity theft other than what was already known by the user making the query. It’s certainly no more revealing than the FAA’s pilot license query system, which provides more detailed information on mostly law-abiding citizens. . Once this system is implemented, you then tell private sellers if you sell or give a firearm to someone and don’t retain a piece of paper that says you did a favorable NICS check on the buyer, you could be held liable if they commit a gun-related crime. This would effectively close the so-called private sale loophole and still preserve the anonymity of the parties involved the same way the current background check system does now. If a private sale firearm shows up at a crime scene, the ATF follows their current procedure of using the serial number of the firearm to contact the last FFL that sold the firearm to a private citizen to obtain that citizen’s name and address from the ATF form 4473 the FFL is required to keep on file. That citizen is then contacted and produces the piece of paper from the NICS background check that identifies the second private citizen who is then contacted, and so forth.

        The real benefit of this proposal is how it can help identify the illusive killer with questionable behavior patterns or mental health issues that is causing so many problems. As it stands now there is no easy, fast, non-bureaucratic method for someone to determine if a suspicious person (neighbor, employee, student, etc) is a potential threat to society. If someone thinks an individual could be a threat, a query to a public NICS database would at least tell him or her in a few seconds if the individual could obtain a firearm. Then, armed with that information the appropriate authorities could be notified and they could decide if it was a mistake or whether to investigate further. As it stands now, if you tell authorities you know a suspicious person they will probably ignore you, but if you tell them you know such a person and by the way according to the NICS database he can buy a firearm, they will probably be more inclined to investigate rather than risk embarrassment later if the worst happens. The same would be true if you see a suspicious person with a firearm when the NICS query says he’s prohibited from having one. It would also help provide piece of mind and a method for victims of violent crimes to ensure their assailants either on parole or still at large have not been excluded from the database because of some bureaucratic foul-up.

  9. It’s like any other form of Terrorism; we have to win every fight, they only have to win once.
    BTW why do these State Troopes dress like Facists?

      • Clothes don’t make the man…

        If a man IS a fascist, I prefer he dress like a fascist. It’s the wolves in sheep’s clothing you have to fear.

  10. mag cap limits are a non-starter

    Wait, what? That’s not a safe assumption AT ALL.

    Right now “universal background checks” and mag cap limits are at the top of the threat list.

  11. Why can’t we have the opposite list? Why can’t we have a list with everyone who is prohibated from having a gun. Seems like it would be an easier list to compile and keep up to date through the court system.

    • See the text of the Second Amendment. It’s specific intent is that the government may NOT decide who may or may not exercise their right to keep and bear arms. Can you really trust the government not to put your name on the list based on whatever criteria they decide is sufficient to deny your 2A rights? Do you even know if your name is on the “No Fly” list, or how it might get there, or how in the Hell you would get it off if it was? Same would apply to a government prepared list of who was prohibited from having a gun. And besides, only law-abiding citizens would even use the system and criminals would still get their guns the way they do today.

  12. NewYorks “Moronically Named SAFE ACT”!! There fixed that!! Even though the AWB was shot down it ain’t over. They will constantly keep pushing registration and other BS that they know doesn’t work as long as they are in/connected to any political office/position.
    BTW: Hey Colorado…how’s that losing an $85million a year business going to work out for ya??!! Sucks doesn’t it!!

    • I’m thinking that MagPul is going to leave, taking its hundreds of jobs and tens of millions in revenue with it. Then, the bills will be overturned, and CO will still have lost the jobs and revenue. I hope I then get the opportunity to throat-punch (either figuratively or literally) those responsible.

  13. Enter ERIC HOLDER to the rescue for criminals, I hear he’s starting a new company with OBAMA
    The criminals under the table gun store”!
    Get’ em while there HOT!

  14. Saw this while making my son breakfast this morning, wasn’t really paying attention and thought it was the Maytag repair man.

    • An inconvenient legal fact that is hoped to not be well known (and isn’t to most citizens and non-citizens) that if people can be kept in the dark on, won’t interfere with them getting the names of their “enemies.”

  15. To help keep you safe, and in the name of the children, we need you to sniff anthrax spores and Zyklon-B.
    Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  16. Sources of the 40% and 80% statistics quoted by the Brady folks

    page 11 footnote 27
    Garem J. Wintemute, Where the Guns Come From: The Gun Industry and Gun Commerce 60, THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN (June 2002);

    Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig, Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and
    Use of Firearms, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE 6-7 (May 1997)

    Guns in America – May 1997 – 2568 person phone survey (NSPOF)
    Page 6 – We conclude that approximately 60 percent of gun acquisitions involved an FFL and hence were subject to Federal regulations on such matters as out-of-State sales, criminal history checks, and recordkeeping.

    Source: Based on a 2568 person survey conducted before federal NICS background check system was implemented on 11/30/1998
    (Note: diverse state systems went into effect on 2/28/1994)

    Where the Guns Come From 12/2/2004

    Page 60 (6) – The split between primary market sales by licensed retailers and secondary market sales by other sources is approximately 60/40.9,21

    9. Cook, P.J., and Ludwig, J. Guns in America: Results of a comprehensive national survey on firearms ownership and use. Washington, DC: Police Foundation, 1996.

    See Above

    21. Cook, P.J., Molliconi, S., and Cole, T.B. Regulating gun markets. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1995) 86(1):59–92.

    Regulating gun markets 1995

    Survey in two areas in North Carolina prior to federal NICS background check system implementation on 11/30/1998

    HTML – no page number – Southern California adult residents found that 59% of gun owners reported obtaining their most recent gun from a store, while 18% purchased their gun from a friend or relative, 10% received it as a gift or inheritance, and 12% named another source or provided no information. [42) (LA Times Article – total = 18+12+10 = 40%)

    Surveys suggest that family and friends play a key role in supplying proscribed individuals with firearms. Thirty-eight percent of high school students across the country and 61% of inner-city students obtained their most recent gun from friends or family. [149] For criminals, friends and family are also important sources of guns; 36% of delinquent [Page 88] youths and 44% of adult prisoners said that they got their most recent gun from a friend or family member. [150]


    Source is before individual state systems went into effect ion 2/28/1994 and the federal NICS checks went into effect on 11/30/1998

    Page 22 footnote 124.

    123,124 Caroline Wolf Harlow, Firearm Use by Offenders 1 (Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Nov.2001 – page 1 or Table 8

  17. Concerning the 40% Myth…
    The actual number is 36% and it originates from an NIJ telephone survey of 251 persons (not a significantly large sample) conducted in 1994 and published in May 1997 — more than a year before the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) came online.

    In short, it’s obsolete information and it would be intellectually dishonest to use it to support any argument.

    Here’s the NIJ brief itself:

    A detailed breakdown on why the 40% number is a myth perpetuated by gun grabbers:

    More on NICS:
    (Sorry for Wikipedia link)

    • The survey sample was actually 2581 persons (see the box at the bottom of page 4 “National Survey of Private Ownership of Firearms (NSPOF)”). The sample size (N) supposedly out of that 2581 people for Exhibit 5 “Methods and Sources for Gun Acquisition …” on page 6 was 251 on the “Percentage for all Guns” column. The problem is I can’t find the 36% number. As I stated in my previous post regarding this source, The text on page 6 states – “We conclude that approximately 60 percent of gun acquisitions involved an FFL and hence were subject to Federal regulations on such matters as out-of-State sales, criminal history checks, and recordkeeping”. This implies 40% did not go through an FFL and the data in Exhibit 5 would support this number if you add up the last 4 percentages in the N=251 column which equals 4+3+17+12+4 = 40%. If you exclude the gun shows and flea markets you can get 36% but that number does not agree with the text.


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