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By Alan Korwin

According to published reports, Sen. Charles Schumer, speaking about his proposed background-check bill, said, “The bill explicitly says there is no registration, explicitly says no confiscation.” It’s good that Mr. Schumer put this on the table, it’s a step in the right direction. The firearms community might accept this, in principle, with slightly different wording. It’s a question of laws with teeth. What if, instead of saying “no gun registration,” Schumer’s bill said, “Anyone who creates or attempts to create any sort of gun registration shall go to prison” . . .

Think of it as constitutional comitatus law — law with teeth that holds officials accountable, instead of laws that merely make statements (like Mr. Schumer’s draft). The rewrite is modeled after our posse comitatus law that has worked so well for a century and a half.

Similarly, instead of “explicitly” saying no confiscation, let it say, “Anyone who confiscates or attempts to confiscate firearms (or ammo or accessories) that the public bears shall go to prison, too. And pay serious fines.” Mr. Schumer’s noble assurance would be met.

I’ll bet the pro-rights community might support Mr. Schumer along those lines, and we’d have at least partial agreement at last. Let’s work together for reasonable bipartisan compromise. No registration and no confiscation, under penalty of law. It’s just common sense. Honest legislators should have no reason to object.

Alan Korwin is publisher of Bloomfield Press. This post is printed here with permission.

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  1. Universal background checks would still make for a de facto gun registry. As for making it “against the law” for the govt to register/confiscate…what’s to stop them from declaring the laws null and void after, say, they win a super majority in the 2014 midterms? This is a bad idea and sets a bad precedent. NO compromise. No surrender. These arent just our rights we’re fighting for, its for everyone after us as well.

  2. “In a groundbreaking case, the US Attorney General has indicted Senators Feinstein, Lautenberg, and Schumer for violation of the Theirt Amendment and conspiracy to commit Treason. The charges were filed last night , and a hearing has yet to be –

    BZzT BZzT BZzT BZzT ”

    8:29 AM

  3. The entire bill needs to be tossed into the trash can forthwith, and started over with a blank slate. The ONLY thing I would propose is this: the ability for private sellers to access NICS and check a name on a driver’s license or state ID. All I want to know is simply if the buyer in question is or is not disqualified from purchasing a firearm, yes or no? This should be a technologically simple thing to do, seeing as just about all of us have a cell phone handy. If FFL’s are concerned about liability or making too much money, then the seller can make a debit card payment, not to exceed 15 or 20 dollars, to cover the cost of the NICS check. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing else. If the transaction is completed in violation of state or federal law, then the same penalties currently in effect for unlawful private sales shall apply. Take about five pages of legislation, at most. Maybe even three pages. So simple even a liberal child could live with it.


    • This seems reasonable in light of the recent history of more onerous infringements. However, we really need to back up a little bit and ponder the costs in liberty v. the benefit in public safety. Even the idea of public NICS access might appear simple and fair, but keep in mind the practical matters of call volume v. funding, and even more important is the inevitable penalties for NOT complying with the law. Those who hate gun owners will make sure that honest mistakes by average citizens using the NICS system are punished vigorously and brutally. Think leaving your family for five years for a stay at club fed. No thanks. I’d rather be forced to go through an FFL for private transfers, which is to say, hell no, I’m totally against .gov involvement in my personal decisions regarding my property.

      While standing back to look at all the firearms regulation it is clear to me that it is cumbersome, ineffective compared with its cost, dangerous to the honest. In other words it’s typical of big government rule. We really can’t afford to add to it; we need to start the process of deep and broad pruning.

  4. “It’s just common sense.”

    Good! The pro-2A community needs to use that phrase far more often and not let the anti-gun Left come to own it, in the minds of the American public, as they have been trying to do.

  5. It’s possible to come up with a universal background check system that can’t be (really, physically, cannot be) used to create a registration database, but no one seems to be interested in doing that.

  6. Why is it that every time they want to compromise, my rights get further whittled away? If this was truly a compromise – then they would have to give something up to.

    No compromise. Not now. Not ever.

  7. I can’t believe someone here suggested that Chucky Schmumer is a reasonable person to negotiate with. In fact, I’M FLOORED.

    Is Schumer told me the ground was beneath my feet, I’D LOOK UP.

    Speaking for myself and no one else, this is offensive on its face, and I’d very much enjoy it no one here ever suggested I might want to agree with him.

    Take a long walk off a short pier!

    • Right you are. In the 80s the NRA etc assumed they could negotiate in good faith with this POS. Be glad they learned and are not repeating such a mistake.

      There has to be a semi with Chuckie’s name engrave on it’s grill.

  8. Bipartisan? Pffft. Good legislation trumps bipartisan. One can compromise on specifics, but never on principles, and democrats’ definition of “compromise” is to make the other side cave on their principles.

  9. In principle, it’s agreeable. In practicality we KNOW it will work AGAINST us. “They” are not to be trusted. They haven’t EARNED our trust. Rather, they have undermined the INHERENT trust we had previously placed in them.

    With that in mind… No. No compromises. The Constitution IS IT. The 2A is IT. There is no compromising the REST of the Constitution, right? So, why would I compromise on the 2A? I don’t have to get a “background check” to speak freely. I don’t have to have a background check to be protected by the 4A.

    I will not compromise ANY of my Constitutionally-protected liberties to assuage the misguided, delusional, psychologically-projected fears of the liberal cry-babies. SUCK IT UP! Or, FOAD!

    “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

  10. I much admire your sprit and agree that “universalism” is unfair and largely useless but I reluctantly conclude that it’s coming in one way or another so we may as well try to control it as best we can. How? Like the following – what do you think.

    1/ No general registration of gun or ammo buyers or positive background checks. Negative background checks – in the sense that a potential buyer can be checked against a “prohibited” list – may be OK but should be done by a third party and no permanent record kept. Whatever list is maintained has to be carefully monitored for mistakes, typos and the usual junk such lists are ‘er to.
    2/ No general registration of any legally purchased and kept for non NFA firearms – all FFL records to be destroyed in due time and any government violation of this rule to be held to strict account.
    3/ Although the idea of placing the mentally disturbed on a “no sell” list has it’s merits it must be carefully controlled by judicial review to prevent any “medical professional” – who may themselves be “disturbed”- or believe anyone owning or wanting to own a gun is “disturbed” – to have such an arbitrary power, a violation of due process. This can also have the undesirable effect of deterring some people who could use some help from seeking aid.
    In my humble opinion we should have a “mentally limited” or “low information” test for voting which would eliminate many of our present problems.
    4/ No restrictions or records of any temporary loans or within families.

    The bottom line is that the general public doesn’t care what we have or do as long as we’re “checked out” by somebody or other and I don’t think there’s any way to stop it. After a long time on the water I’ve learned that when you hit a large wave you work through it instead of getting flipped.
    This whole mess can be turned around at some future return of sanity in any case – just like the dopey registry of ammo sales was.

    PS: Just read the arrests of Schumer, Feinstein etc for violations of the “Registry Act” – that’s my dream.

    • “Black Lists” vs “White Lists” could be done provided there was a way to know if you got on the “Black Lists”

  11. “It’s just common sense.”? They mean Michael Bloomberg’s common sense, every time! Terms like common sense, reasonable and sensible can mean almost anything and have no place in this discussion.

  12. This is absolute trash. We already know that the civilian disarmament advocates are perfectly willing to ignore laws that are inconvenient to them. FOPA anyone? They’ll put this in the bill and only enforce what they want to enforce. In complying with this “compromise” we’ll have put ourselves one step closer to their ultimate goal and all we’ll have gained for it is a politicians promises (that is to say, nothing).

  13. If they wish to compromise, they can have universal background checks with no registration and confiscation written in stone. In return we get universal constitutional carry nationwide.

  14. I live in NYS. Do NOT trust Schumer in any way! He has proven himself to be extremely ANTI-2A. Trust me when I say, anything he is involved with can only end badly for the gun community. These folks craft the LOOPHOLES that serve their goals more carefully than the actual laws. (ie; the “unintended consequences” in the NY SAFE Act and the Colorado mag size limitations that ban virtually all semi-auto handguns and shotguns)

  15. TO: All
    RE: Yeah?

    “No Registration”?

    Well, if the bill doesn’t say that all data is erased after several days, then there WILL BE REGISTRATION. Back-door registration.


    [The Truth will out….Schumer is a liar.]

    • once you open the dam it’s hard to stop the flood , give a inch and they take 100 miles … no more gun controls at all.. ever..

  16. “No registration and no confiscation, under penalty of law”

    Penalty only has teeth when the prosecutor is willing to follow through. When it’s a talking head brandishing an illegal item on network television, or any other protected class…they forget that the law applies to everyone.

  17. I might be wrong, and yes, it happens all the time!

    Let’s say I sell my firearm to an individual, and said individual commits a crime with that firearm and the Po-Po get possession of the firearm. They contact the manufacturer of said firearm to see what FFL received and sold said firearm, and the FFL looks in their records and says, we sold it to Taurus609. And they (the Po-Po) come knocking (or no knock) at my door at zero dark thirty and want to know where said firearm is. If this is how it would go down, don’t we already have registration?

    Or as I said, am I mistaken in the whole process?

  18. I am not sure it will be a good thing for some kind of background check law not to pass this year. It’s one idea that seems to have overwhelming public support and, left unresolved, could lead to problems at the polls in 2014. It may also calm down the situation in some States a bit – Washington comes to mind, where this may otherwise end up on a referendum.

    What one could look for in return is not just a chance to shape the approach to the background checks themselves, but also to include some other significant pro-gun provisions in the same bill, and this should be the general approach in the future as well. My gut tells me the traditional zero-compromise policy may not be the best approach this time – I can only hope that I am wrong and that the NRA knows what it is doing in the present situation.

  19. This guy saying “My bill will make registration against the law, confiscation against the law and only work for the common good” forgets a few things.

    First, registration is already expressly forbidden in the Constitution. Showing that you read the document that created your office doesn’t give you bonus points and as I recall, infringing upon the law of the land has consequences like impeachment, treason charges and execution. So mandating imprisonment isn’t really impressive comparing the two.

    Secondly. How often are US politicians jailed and removed from office? Not often. Only after lengthy investigations that would run well past the length of a single term for things like embezzlement or corruption. I doubt people are going to Chase guns that end up in evidence lockers like they do millions of dollars. Who would enforce such a law that in effect has to shoot yourself in the foot? Cop follows one law, gets imprisoned by another law and apprehended by his partner? What mechanic is there to enforce this proposal? The Honor System?

    Third. Any bill that can fail more based on government oversight than the wrongs of the parties targetted is a blatant power grab by the political parties pushing it. It sounds good until they only enforce the parts relevant to the original agenda that spawned this bill. That’s not hailing people who take guns but hailing people who own guns and let other people touch them. Not hard math.

    Cops confiscate guns during a multitude of criminal investigations. Laws that conflict with the policies and procedures related to officer safety won’t be enforced or even minded. It is paradoxal at best to attempt such. If you find someone actually trafficking illegally in arms do you let them keep them because confiscation is illegal? Or ignore this law pursuant to other pertinent charges, negating it altogether?

  20. No thanks.

    Shortly after the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was passed, they started talking about the “gun show loophole,” even though it was crystal clear to everyone from day 1 that the Brady act did not apply to private sales. If UBCs are passed then it is only a matter of time before they start talking about the “registration loophole,” since UBCs are unenforceable without registration.

  21. Hi Pascal,
    Absolutely! I’m not advocating any deals here, I’m just suggesting the points that we should insist on if they go ahead anyway. Like I said, these “Lists” have a way of getting fouled up in many ways so they must be carefully monitored by law with serious consequences for any violations.
    Good hearing from you – til next time.

  22. Here’s a nice analysis by Charles Cooke of why this proposal is garbage:

    An excerpt:
    “There are good-faith arguments in favor of and against this provision. But Chuck Schumer has narrowed the definition of “transfer” so strictly as to make his proposition absurd. If, for example, a gun owner leaves his home for more than seven days — leaving his firearms with his roommate, or gay partner, or landlord — he’ll be committing a felony that carries a five-year prison term. And while married couples are exempted from falling afoul of that provision, the family exemptions apply only to recorded “gifts” and not to “temporary transfers.” In order to avoid making felons of millions of couples, the government would, at the very least, need to spell out clearly what constitutes “gifting” a gun within a family and what constitutes a “temporary transfer,” thus regulating an area that has hitherto largely been left alone.

    What else would change? Well, it would be illegal to lend a gun to a friend so that he can go shooting. Want to give your pistol to your neighbor so he can pop down to the range for a few hours but don’t have time to go with him? Sorry, better make sure you look good in orange. Need more than the allowed 24 hours to report a stolen gun to the authorities? What is this — Somalia? You’re a felon: Go straight to jail. Do not collect $200. Sharing guns between buddies on a hunting trip? Five years inside for you. But the real genius of Schumer’s bill is the permanence of its effects: Once you’ve proven yourself the sort of monster who might teach your neighbors’ children to shoot targets in the garden, you’re a felon, and you can’t own firearms without the explicit permission of the state.”

  23. The point of Mr Korwin’s piece may have been to show that Sen Schumer will not agree to a law that has very sharp teeth (possible felony prosecution) regarding registration.
    There’s no way Schumer can agree to such language. It would put a hard stop toward efforts to create a backdoor registration scheme.

  24. BS. If the bill allows the records from “universal background checks” to be kept by anyone, then it creates the means for future registration. Schumer can’t bind a future congress from suddenly passing a law forcing all FFLs to turn over all their 4473s. I say no way.

  25. Right, because the wording of a law means that it will be followed explicitly as stated…wait doesn’t 2A state “shall not be infringed”? That’s pretty clear language. See how well they’ve been following that? Give them nothing, because they will turn whatever they get.


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