Rep. Margaret Good has filed House Bill 451. Her apparent intent (to give her the benefit of the doubt) is to require universal preemptively-prove-your-innocence background checks on all firearm sales. She complains, “This is the. third. time. I’ve filed this legislation.”
I think I see why this keeps failing. It’s a poorly written mess that appears to conflict with federal law. Possibly on as many as three points (it could be more, but I stopped reading). Good claims to be an attorney, but her area of expertise is clearly not firearms law.
All persons involved in firearm sales or other transfers, in whole or in part, shall be subject to background checks unless specifically exempted by state or federal law.
Taking “all persons involved” literally, as one should when reading a law, that requires a background check on the buyer, seller, and the facilitating licensed dealer. Sorting out how to do the paperwork on the FFL and seller should be interesting.
The other problem with that is that the NICS system is restricted to checks of buyers. It isn’t authorized for doing other checks.
Nor would I expect the FBI’s NICS section to be thrilled by a threefold (plus) increase in Florida background check volume without a commensurate increase in funding.
A licensed dealer who agrees to facilitate a background check [for a private sale] pursuant to this section shall process the sale or other transfer as if he or she were transferring the firearm from the licensed dealer’s own inventory.
If the FFL fills out his paperwork that way, I think he’ll be willfully falsifying data, since it would then reflect him as the seller, and not the actual private party seller. ATF inspectors probably won’t be amused.
This section does not prevent the seller or other transferor from removing the firearm from the premises of the licensed dealer while the background check is being conducted or during the applicable waiting period, provided that the seller or other transferor returns to the business premises of the licensed dealer and delivers the firearm to the licensed dealer before completion of the sale or other transfer.
Oh dear. Picture this: Seller brings in rifle. FFL completes all “recordkeeping requirements” — bound book, et cetera. While waiting for NICS to come back with a proceed/deny decision, he allows the seller to take the rifle home. ATF shows up for a compliance inspection, sees the rifle in his inventory, and asks to see the rifle itself.
The FFL replies, “Oh, I let Mr. Smith take that home while we wait. Rep. Good said it would be OK.”
The FFL loses his license, and maybe gets arrested. Feds show up at Rep. Good’s office with pointed questions, and possibly a warrant.
“Universal” background checks designed to ignore the unlawful channels by which the vast majority of criminals obtain guns are a bad idea. Checks designed to make criminals out of those who are trying to be law-abiding are far worse.