Previous Post
Next Post

A couple of years ago I had one of my occasional “moments of unusual interest” with some local police officers who were still unaware (7 years after ‘shall-issue’ passed for the first time) that Minnesota’s is a “carry” law, not a “concealed” carry law state. During the interrogation which followed, one of the officers asked me if I was a member of the N.R.A.? “No” I replied, “they are too wishy-washy on the subject of gun civil rights for my taste.” The officer chuckled in appreciation of my humor, never realizing that I wasn’t joking. I fully agree with L. Neil Smith’s that . . .

“The freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility” and David Codrea’s “If a person can’t be trusted with a firearm then they can’t be trusted without a custodian.”

Thus you can imagine my lack of surprise at Wayne LaP’s Congressional testimony and answers in the Q&A session. I have to say I was disgusted rather than disappointed in his performance because he provided exactly the sort of mealy-mouthed namby-pamby platitudes that made me a lifetime member of Gun Owners of America.

Wayne, bubelah, the thing to do with unconstitutional gun laws is not to “enforce” them, it,s to get rid of them. Although, realistically, that’s not going to happen with background checks any time soon. So right now we need to work on letting people know why the private sale “loophole” is justified in order to retain the last tiny bit of freedom which it affords us. My suggestion is multi-pronged, because there are multiple problems with the current system.

First and foremost, we must never accept the antis’ premise that “some people just shouldn’t have guns” because if we do, we will have instantly lost a lot of ground in the argument. After all, if we admit that there are some people who shouldn’t have guns then the obvious conclusion is that we should require checks on all sales. Fortunately, this is an area where we can use the antis’ own hoplophobia and hypocrisy against them. See, back in the mid-1990s there was a concerted — and successful — effort to shut down “kitchen table dealers”. These were dealers who probably sold a couple of dozen guns a year, mostly to

family, friends and co-workers. They had an FFL not because they wanted to compete with local retailers or national big box stores, but because with their FFL they could get wholesale pricing on guns (and sometimes ammo and accessories as well).

The first TMC on my sub had his FFL and it was from him that I bought my first few guns. But the antis didn’t want to afford people the ease and convenience of being able to buy guns from a neighbor or coworker, and the big box retailers happily joined their crusade, happy to cut out some of the competition.

What does all of this have to do with universal background checks? Simple — if the antis hadn’t pushed to get these smaller dealers shut down, then when the NICS system came online in November of 1998 we could have had 280+ thousand dealers ready, willing and able to do checks. So if they were really serous about having more sale go through NICS, the antis would be clamoring for the ATF to lower the cost of an FFL to $5 and work to remove every impediment possible (like shutting a dealer down because a customer answered ‘N’ instead of ‘No’ on a form, or fining a dealer for keeping their 4473s in monthly folders with each month’s forms sorted alphabetically instead of by date of sale) in order to encourage “kitchen table” dealers.

As I stated earlier, my preference would be to get rid of them altogether; if someone is so dangerous that they can’t be trusted with box cutters, um I mean a buck’s worth of gasoline and matches walking the streets with a firearm, then what are they doing walking the streets at all? But as I have conceded, trying to get rid of the checks entirely would cause legions of antis to soil themselves while shrieking that:

The good news is that background checks work. They help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. Since 1994, 1.9 million gun purchases by dangerous people have been stopped, said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Except that the 1.9 million figure is what most people would call, well, a lie. You can’t even call it an honest mistake, because I personally have sent letters to both Paul Helmke and Dan Gross explaining the problems with their numbers.

The first problem is that according to the FBI, between November 30, 1998 (when NICS first started up) and December 31, 2012 there were 987,578 denials. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between when the Brady Bill was passed and NICS got up and running there were approximately 312,000 denials for a total of 1,299,578. Since there are, like, no records from that period I am going to pass lightly over it and just use the (much more accurate and documented) NICS figures.

Second those are initial denials, and an analysis of 2009 NICS data by Dr. John Lott showed that approximately 94.2% of that year’s 70,010 denials were false positives. So assuming that 2009 was an average year, the NICS system has prevented not 1.9 million prohibited people from buying guns, nor even 987,578, but rather 57,280 (or about 4,067 per year).

Third, as everyone knows, in our judicial system, people are innocent until proven guilty. So just how many people have been proven (or pled) guilty for violations of the Brady Act? I found five reports on the NCJRS website for 2006, ’07, ’08, ’09 and ’10 and totaled up the number of convictions for those years. This amounted to a whopping 209 convictions (and no, that 209 number is not a typo).

According to the figures in Table 1 of the reports, in those five years there were a total of 347,455 denials which gives us a conviction rate of 0.060%. When we apply that across the decade and a half of NICS checks we find that a mammoth 594 “dangerous people” who were kept from getting guns. Over the course of 14 years and one month. Which boils down to a whopping 3.5 people a year.

Seriously? We don’t have anything better we could be doing with those resources?

And speaking of resources, just how much will it cost to make the program universal? Well according to this table, in 2003 there were 8,481,588 NICS checks and in 2012 there were 19,592,303, so over the last 10 years we have had an average annual increase of 5.64% in the number of NICS checks. According to the testimony of James S. Kessler Jr. (a Section Chief of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division) before the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Crime in 1998, the FBI believed a user fee of $16.00 per call would cover their costs. According to this table we’ve had a total of 36.35% inflation since 1998 so the current rate would be about $21.82. Finally, according to the Brady Campaign, the President and various and sundry government and media mouthpieces, 40% of guns are sold through private sellers.

So what do all those numbers add up to? Assuming a steady increase in NICS checks, next year there will be 8,278,924 private sales which, ignoring further inflation, will cost $180,646,121.68. Less than $200 million? Pfah, that’s less than the .gov’s rounding errors, right?

Or put another way, that’s 3,649 new cops on the streets.

In Part II I’ll address (among other things) the implications of “Universal” checks for criminals, law-abiding gun owners, and law-abiding gun show operators. Stay tuned.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. I’d have to disagree with this article in one respect:
    The reason the NRA does not publicly assume the tack of “gun rights =civil rights” is because Joe & Jane Sixpack dont give a rats about the Constitution. Your Minnesota cops’ reaction is a great example of this. If LaPierre took the stage and made a strong claim for gun rights being civil rights he’d be laughed right out of the committee chambers.

    This brings me to the next point: to the average Joe background checks sound like a great idea.After all, we all had to undergo one to get a job , so why NOT make all buyers of deadly weapons undergo the same scrutiny Joe Teenager does to work at Target? It’s a PR problem we aren’t going to solve by waving around the Constitution.

    We resolve this dilemma by translating the facts into a format the riff raff can understand. Voters who attended public school may have never heard of the US Constitution, but they’ll understand what a Federal Pork project is real fast. We have to sell the Brady Background Check system as what it is: a Federal Waste of money that wastes billions of dollars a year and has no statistics proving the money is doing any good. With our Federal debt being what it is, even Bunny Hugger liberals can understand that point.

    Put another way , lets change the debate and argue that we should take the money saved from shutting down the Brady system and put it toward school security grants or *gulp* planned parenthood.In a society ignorant of its own history, we cannot use that same history to change the minds of our society.

    • Why do you think the “riff raff” will give a damn about pork when they essentially support a status quo government that bails out banks, auto companies, pours billions down black holes like Solyndra, has the Military continue to operate in Afghanistan for more than 10 years, and debases the currency 24/7?

    • So you are saying we should let the ignorance of Jane and Joe six-pack dictate the argument? I am sure Jane and Joe six pack thought GW, TJ, BF, and JA were crazy back in the 1760s too.

      If we were truly worried about what the ignorant masses in this country thought about guns, we should make gun stores take food stamps. That will bring it in vogue for the masses then. We need to start calling things for what they are and stop sugar coating the argument to appeal to the masses.

      • The ignorance of Joe and Jane Sixpack already dictates the argument. It’s their votes we need to secure in the years to come if we intend to maintain legal recognition of our rights. Either we appeal to the myopic common folk,or we live to see them support an American “Snowdrop” campaign repealing the RKBA.

        • We need the votes of nobody to secure the legal recognition of our rights. Our rights come from our Creator. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States view these rights as inalienable. The existence of the Constitution is the only thing required for legal recognition of rights. If we are unwilling to defend our rights from Unconstitutional laws an other infringements, then we get what we deserve. Too many firearms owners believe that Unconstitutional laws must be followed and that SCOTUS is the final arbiter of Constitutionality. I’m certain those same firearms owners will be the first inline to hand in their arm.

    • “The reason the NRA does not publicly assume the tack of “gun rights =civil rights” is because Joe & Jane Sixpack dont give a rats about the Constitution.”


      The NRA purports to represent AMERICAN GUN OWNERS, not “Joe and Jane Sixpack”.

      Besides, your analysis is crummy, to say the least.

  2. If we stop allowing people to make it a left and right issue we would benefit as well. It is not a left or right issue, it is an anti-constitution or pro-constitution issue. When people start to talk about it in terms of politics it dilutes the truth; either you believe in the constitution or you don’t believe in the constitution. If you believe in limited rights to firearms you do not believe in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. It is one of the few black and white issues we have and we lose ground when we allow them to turn it into shades of grey. You cannot say you accept the Constitution conditionally. For it to work as intended all of its parts need to be given equal weight. We can’t pick and choose what parts we like and what parts we don’t.

    For example, with every thread of my being I hate Westboro Baptist Church and what they do and stand for. I think that they personally all need to die a slow painful death, but I respect their First Amendment rights. What they do should not be legal but if I were to push for them to lose their rights, how long before I lose mine. In regards to the Second Amendment, how many people thought it was fine in 1986 for fully automatics to be banned for sale to civilians? How many people thought “Those types of weapons have no place on American streets.”? I wonder how many of those people are upset that now they are coming after the semi-autos and 30 round magazines? I wonder how many people that are fine with banning magazine fed semi-autos are going to be upset when they come for their shotguns, bolt guns, and revolvers 25 years after they ban “assault weapons”

    The line in the sand needs to be here and now.

    • The problem with this honest approach is that it requires one believe in absolute facts. Unfortunately most people of my generation were raised and “educated” under the philosophy that everything, even the Laws of The Universe, is subject to debate. I personally don’t hold to that nonsense;but the again I was homeschooled. Most of my twenty-something peers were not, and believe that the only viewpoint that matters is the individuals. If people collectively don’t believe in absolute truth, you cannot change their minds by offering it to them. This is why the antis have been able to advance the agenda, because their movement by definition HAS NO FACTS! They can thus re-frame every event with an emotional context because they’re not bound by a physical truth like the US Constitution. In order to fight that kind of enemy, we have to emulate their tactics. Less Constitution and statistics, and more emotion and social relevance.

    • If Ronald Reagan ever said anything that was true it was this:

      “You and I are told increasingly we have to choose between a left or right. Well I’d like to suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There’s only an up or down—[up] man’s old—old-aged dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. And regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course.”

      • the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order,or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.

        That seems paradoxical. As Jefferson put it: “I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

        Those law and order conservative types have ****ed us pretty hard over the years. See: Drug war, Scalia in Gonzales v. Raich, etc.

        And totalitarians love law and order anyway.

    • by that rationale most (or all) of the founders were against the constitution because they didn’t think it should apply to black people.

      • gabba, please provide reference to back up your assertion that “most (or all) of the founders” didn’t think the Constitution should apply to black people.

        At the time the Constitution, there were free black people and there were white people that were slaves.

    • The only Constitution that The Left believes in is the one they can define right now. It may be different than the definition they advanced yesterday, and tomorrow’s definition may be different also, but that is the beauty of their “living constitution”.
      So, in the end, it is a battle between The Left, and The Right – one doesn’t believe in constitutional principles, the other does.
      It IS that simple.

  3. Even more effective than 3649 more cops on the street would be to use that money to keep 6000 more felons in prison.

      • I’m for capital punishment, but the threshold of doubt needs to be even higher. Unfortunately it costs more to execute a prisoner under our legal system then to keep him in prison for life.

        • Well if I read your statement correctly that’s because we only use vastly expensive and inhumane methods to torture people to death these days, the main reason being to spare the viewers an unsightly death as they just see someone fall asleep. A rope isn’t that expensive, and all you need is a sturdy lightpost on a busy intersection. DNA testing by three independent sources, only use it for heinous acts such as rape, kidnapping, slavery, etc… could work and be cost beneficial. And I would think that, even if they were not in the past when such occurrences were commonplace and cities were sewers of animals and crime (ie NYC during the civil war), seeing a swaying twitching body in the thoroughfare is likely to serve as a deterrent in modern times when criminals generally expect to be rewarded for their crimes rather than punished.

        • Jake,

          It is not the execution tool that makes it cost so much, it’s the automatic and Federal Habeas Corpus appeals that drive the costs. A capital case also costs more for the initial pre-trial and trial than does a life case.

          If we put a higher burden on prosecutors on the front side of a capital case we could eliminate some of the back side costs.

  4. Try substituting the phrase “motor vehicle” for “firearm” in this opinion piece, and ask yourself whether you feel the roads would be safer in a totally unregulated environment. For example, consider this idea: “If someone can’t be trusted with a motor vehicle, they can’t be trusted without a custodian.” How about the folks that have been convicted of driving while drunk multiple times? Yes, some of them choose to drive without a license – but many don’t. This reduces the overall risk to all concerned.

    Plus, how about convicted felons? If government does not have the right to deny anyone the right to own firearms, should government have the right to deny these folks the right to vote? Why is firearm ownership the only Constitutional right that is not subject to any form of regulation?

    I’ll also note that the government’s post-9/11 ability to spy on us all makes the current discussions about tracking gun ownership largely moot. Due to the erosion of all our other rights, the government does not need to have a warrant to monitor your e-mail and web browsing. It all goes into a big database for use in anti-terrorist investigations. Look up the discussions about “Big Data” on the tech web sites, and ask yourself why some future government seeking to grab all the guns would bother with checking registration lists.

    When the Chinese government wants to crack down on dissidents, they check the logs provided by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and get a list of suspects. If a future government wanted to send out the black helicopters to seize your guns, they’d simply just ask the ISPs to supply a list of IP addresses that were served ads regarding gun ownership, correlate that information with e-mail traffic, and have a far more accurate list of homes to visit. (If you think that the government doesn’t have this capability because they aren’t openly using it now – consider that the British often didn’t act on decrypted Enigma intercepts because they didn’t want the Germans to realize that their secret communications weren’t secret.)

    • Where have you been poor, sheltered fellow? Firearms rights are subject to MORE regulation than any other Constitutional right. For example, if the 1st Amendment was treated like the 2nd, we’d all be bound and gagged BEFORE we entered a theater because one of us might (falsely) yell, “Fire!”

  5. Good article. Just wanted to point out a small typo. When you talked about 3.5 dangerous people a YEAR being stopped, your numbers work out to 3.5 people per MONTH. Just don’t want to see your argument get shot down by others on a technicality.

  6. All very compelling. Facts. Logic. Reason. Truth.

    We’re losing.

    The issue is now nothing more than victim politics, emotion and irrational fears. We will not turn the tide back in our favor until we start presenting (i.e.,”trotting out”) people who are victims because they wanted a gun and couldn’t get one. We need more people to know how many victims are dying, being injured and having their lives ruined because of unconstitutional disarmament.

  7. Bruce, you made a small error in there. 594 people in 14 years and 1 month is 3.5 people per month, not per year. Other than that, fine and convincing article. I started out a skeptic and am now a believer.

    • Gene what’s the difference. I thought (public schooled) that unalienable was just an archaic spelling of inalienable, as when I look it up in webster’s unalienable’s definition is a link back to inalienable.

      • ‘in’ means without, eg; inhumane.

        ‘un’ means not, eg; unconstitutional

        Inalienable does not carry the weight of unalienable. The Founders use of ‘unalienable’ means that such things cannot be seperated under any circumstance.

        • TY Barbiacane.

          Inabienable means it is given and can be taken away. Unalienable means it is a permanent fixture-part of mere existance like breathing. The Framers of the Constitution were excellent wordsmiths and had a command of the English language. They (Madison) were very specific and deliberate in choosing words.

  8. I could accept a universal background check requirement, but only if it could me made reasonable:

    1. Genuinely instantaneous–plug a name into a webpage, if nothing bad comes up, that’s it.
    2. People with carry licenses don’t have to be checked.
    3. Make the service free–just a website.
    4. No record will be kept, and the gun’s information isn’t part of the check.

    I say this recognizing that criminals won’t comply, but if it will make some weak-minded people feel better, that may be worth considering. But here’s my sticking point. If we offer this, what do we get in return? How about universal background checks in exchange for national carry reciprocity? Otherwise, there’s no point in giving ground.

    • Seems like a reasonable idea – what if there’s a national registry of people pre-approved to purchase firearms without a waiting period? After all, the purpose of the waiting period is to give the agencies time to perform the background check. If we can establish a list of people that are pre-cleared to board aircraft, we should be able to set up a licensing system for people pre-approved to purchase firearms.

      • The purpose of the waiting period has nothing to do with the background check. It’s just meant to make you wait.

        In CT that wait prevented the shooter from going through the process of purchasing a firearm.

        • Though, as we all know, not from acquiring firearms and committing his crimes. But I guess it can be claimed that the waiting period “worked” because he didn’t buy the gun and then go and shoot someone with it.

    • I could accept a universal background check _if and only if_ they would also grant national carry reciprocity.

  9. The question that I have about “universal” background checks is: what’s the purpose? I don’t envision Jack in the back alley refusing to sell a gun to Torry the second storey man because he failed a background check. It seems to me that the only real purpose is to heap as much bullsh!t on legitimate gun owners as possible. Which proves what we’ve said time and time again. Gun control isn’t about crime or guns. Gun control is all about control.

    When the Brady Bill was first proposed, a lot of thought was given to making nondealer sales subject to the law and giving individuals access to the system so seller could check buyers. That suggestion was hooted down because dealers could be controlled through revocation of license, but individuals not so much. Proving again that it’s all about the control.

    • The purpose of the regulations is to make Jack in the back alley a criminal for selling a firearm to Torrey the second story man. Take the much-maligned “Fast and Furious” program as an example – the reason this misbegotten program was initiated was because one private citizen could legally sell an assault rifle to another private citizen in Arizona.

      Requiring a background check for selling a pistol or a rifle to someone should be no more burdensome than reporting the sale of a motor vehicle to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

      • The thing is, the people we need to worry about are either criminals already, or willing commit crimes, and therefore will ignore that requirement. So it’s back to imposing yet another control over the lives of the law abiding on the pretense of “public safety”.

      • “….s because one private citizen could legally sell an assault rifle to another private citizen in Arizona.”

        Not so: An assault rifle is a highly regulated item that (for good or bad) requires far more than a background check in order to purchase.
        If you meant “assault weapon” then I disagree with the term in any case, as it is a gun control construct intended to deceive the uneducated.

  10. That 40% of firearms are sold without background checks, where the hell is that coming from? I have seen that figure put out multiple times by anti’s but never have I heard a source to go with it. Does any one know who did that study and probably even more important when? I just do not see how tat figure can be that high. I have been to multiple gun shows in a couple of states now, and what I have found is out of a 500 table show you might see 2 tables that are private sales, and maybe 30 people trying to sell a single firearm they own (usually to the dealers). That leaves only face to face transfers that are compleatly private, which I believe tend to be more between family and friends than strangers (I could be compleatly wrong about this, and it’s just that not aware just how often it happens between strangers.) Either way I do not see that happening at a rate any where close to how often a firearm is bought from a dealer.

    In order for that 40% figure to be true for every 3 firearms sold through a dealer there would be two firearms sold through private sales. Assuming that there is an actual bases to that 40% number I suspect it’s one of three things or some combination there of.

    1. I have seen those numbers used for precentage of sales at gun shows do not have background checks done. Of course not all sales at gun shows are for firearms.
    2. The study was done in the 90’s before the NICS was put in place. I am not 100% sure but I believe that before NICS FFL dealers did not have to do the brady checks at gun shows.
    3. They are including the illegal transactions between criminals, in which case universal background checks are not going change that.

    Unless the private sales market is a whole lot bigger than what I think it is, that 40% sounds false.

    • The 40% came from a 15 year old study of data collected 20 years ago. It boils down to data from 250 people who admitted to acquiring guns. There was no distinction made among guns gifted to people, private sales and public sales.

  11. Here is ANOTHER problem with it, In the State of Washington,

    Some time ago, the state began requiring FFL’S to collect tax on the value of a private interstate firearms transaction processed by the FFL holder.

    Yes, Washington States charges sales tax on private sales, because FFL’s provided the convenient means to collect the tax.

    • Check out the argument that Amazon had with the State of California over collecting sales tax on items purchased on line. Guns, video games, baseball equipment, big screen TVs… is it really fair to allow on-line sellers to evade collecting sales tax that your local merchants are required to collect?

      P.S.: You want a better story? If you move to California from another state, you need to register your car with the DMV and get a California license plate. When you do this, California charges you sales tax based on the car’s current value at the time the registration changed – even if the state in which you purchased the car ALSO charged you sales tax. Note, please, that no firearms-related purchases occurred as part of this story…

  12. “a mammoth 594 “dangerous people” who were kept from getting guns. Over the course of 14 years and one month. Which boils down to a whopping 3.5 people a year.”

    Should read 3.5 people per “month”.

    Still absurdly low, good article.

    • Maybe all the dangerous people followed the advice in Al Qaeda’s training manuals, and purchased their weapons from private dealers at gun shows?

  13. The numbers in Bruces argument don’t add up to the whole picture. There is no way (or maybe there is through crime reports) to factor when a felon with a record decides to aquire a gun through other means rather than take an unessessary risk going in to a gunshop and falsifying the 4473 when he could buy it privately or even on the black market. Not to throw salt in the argument that BG checks don’t work, because they do if you can figure out a way to calculate how many bad guys the system actually dissuaded from buying a gun at an FFL dealer. The loop hole is the private sale which is what the antis want to stop.

      • Where did I say we needed a new law? I don’t like the current laws but my point is, it’s impossible to measure their effects with BG checks when there’s an easy way around it. We have to think outside the FFL form 4473 BG check system and make something that actually works. A universal FOID card is what they should be discussing. One where you don’t have to register anything, you don’t even have to own. If you want to own a firearm, you pay for a BG check at someplace like the DMV that’s already set up, or even an FFL dealer. Submit the paperwork and get the card, or hologram on your license, whatever and that’s it. There’s obviously more detail to this and I am not going to type it out in a blog, but that’s the premise. BG checks are coming, most polls have support for them well over 50 percent. Some even boast up to 90 (doubtful but there it is). The first job we have is to fight universal checks, the second is to provide some measure of sanity if and when they pass. Who do you want to make the rules up, Feinstein? McCarthy?


        • Brad, there’s a big smelly hole….stop snickering…it’s not what you think…in your idea about obtaining a FOID card. It’s backdoor gun registration. Think about it; you obtain a FOID card. Come gun confiscation time, the feds come knocking on your door wanting your guns. You tell them you have no guns. they get a search warrant and find your guns. They say thanks for your guns and btw, you’re under arrest for lying about not having guns. If you own a car, they know make, model and year, what it’s worth at the time you bought it and where you live. If they ever want to confiscate it, they know where it is and who owns it. How? You REGISTERED it to get your license plates. Get real, man. Anytime you buy a permit for something, even if it’s a construction permit for adding a bedroom or garage to your house, the authorities know all about it. This whole gun registration/confiscation thing boils down to there being three kinds of men: 1) The kind that learn by reading, 2) The few who learn by observation, and 3) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.

  14. Which brings to mind the question: ‘Since Obamao has been elected, both elections lead to massive sales of firearms and ammunition, to the tune of millions of guns. Now, how many of these millions failed the background check?’ (Which I think is BS, anyway- the ‘right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed’, and requiring a check is infringing! I will even go so far as to say that even ‘criminals’, once they’ve done their time and reinstated to the public sector, have regained their rights. But before arguing with me: violent felons should not be allowed out, period; and murderers should not be around past the first appeal.)

    As a side note: I’ve been present several times when a person has been denied a sale based on the background checks now in place. Once because the carry and residence addesses were different, and once because the person had no permit to buy a handgun (in MN, a permit or CCW). Once, years ago, I was reading over the shoulder of a person filling out the form who neglected to check his criminal status. The dealer didn’t catch it, but I did, and mentioned it. The gun did not make it out the store.

  15. “Or put another way, that’s 3,649 new cops on the streets.”

    OK? Cops don’t stop OR reduce crime, they show up AFTER it’s been committed. Sandy Hook ring a bell? Va Tech ring a bell? That’s why we need CCWs.

    • Then again since there are 1.043 mil open felony warrants in the US, you think 3,649 new cops could have been assigned to go after those bad guys of whom 50% are severely mentally ill?

        • Yeah, porbably right, shoulda bought stock in Dunkin Donuts, although my stock in Adult Depends diapers always spikes when antis get near a gun owner and they pee themselves in fright.

  16. in 2003 there were 8,481,588 NICS checks and in 2012 there were 19,592,303, so over the last 10 years we have had an average annual increase of 5.64% in the number of NICS checks.

    Math nitpick…

    That’s 9 years of increases, not 10.

    In 2012, the number of NICS checks was approximately 2.31 times the number in 2003:
    19,592,303 / 8,481,588 = 2.30998

    Presuming a constant rate of increase over 9 years, that’s an annual increase of 9.75%:
    9th root of 2.30998 is 1.09749.

  17. I dont agree, in part. Judging the success of the NICS checks only on the number of convictions is the same as judging DGUs based on the number of perps killed. Looking at the NCJRS report from only 2009 shows over 1,000 cases where the gun involved was either returned to the FFL, transferred to someone else, seized, etc. Thats still a very small number, but its more substantial.

  18. I have the same problem with this article that I have with the antis when they say the same thing. A denial on the background check does not mean the potential buyer did not get a gun. It only means that particular sale did not go through. It does not mean that the person did not then go somehwere else and buy a gun. Otherwise, good article. It goes to why I say the background check is a feel good system that serves no real purpose. Until or unless the number of prosecutions match (or come close to matching) the number of confirmed denials (meaning someone was prohibited, and it wasn’t a clerical error), the check is nothing more than security theater.

  19. Hoping this will pop up on Dan or RFs radar screen- where is Bruce Krafts part 2 of background checks? There is only part one listed here under Facts about Guns.

  20. An issue that we fail to mention up-front is that of loaning/borrowing guns. We are NOT going to submit to a NICS check just to loan/borrow a gun when the owner and borrower are both conspicuously 2A-able. Not going to happen. So, then, why impose the jeopardy of a felony prosecution on law-abiding gun users for violating the UBC law? Would we require a motor-vehicle transfer procedure to loan a car to a friend? To a valet?

    The “kitchen-table” FFL issue is rightly mentioned. Now, suppose UBC were limited to permanent transfers ONLY (sales). We should expect that the ATF – with Congress’s blessing – to further dry-up the sources of authorized agents to officiate in the NICS check. They have PROVEN their intention to make compliance with laws governing gun transactions as infringing as possible.

    What would it take to overcome this access-to-NICS issue? Open up NICS access to any user via the internet? Open NICS access to any responsible person, e.g., notaries public? How about gasoline stations which are responsible for maintaining safe storage of volatile inflammables and filing excise tax payments? Banks? Nope; they wouldn’t consider expanding access to NICS in any such way because the entire objective is to infringe upon transfers.

    The “ghost gun” issue is rapidly making gun-TRANSACTION-control a dead letter. The tighter the controls over legitimate transfers the more guns will be made by hobbyists or manufactured by clandestine factories. CNC machine tools are becoming cheap and 3D printing technology is even cheaper than CNC machine tools. We can easily foresee the ability to 3D print a rifled barrel capable of withstanding chamber pressures. So, go ahead! Build the most elaborate scheme for background checks and paperwork. By the time you get it working you will find that all crime-guns are either stolen, smuggled, manufactured by unlicensed factories or made by talented criminals.

    In my view, trying to get rid of NICS at FFLs is a wasted effort. There will still be FBI databases of prohibited persons. Police and prosecutors will still need such databases to distinguish felons-in-possession from law-abiding gun carriers. NICS at FFLs will simply be a nuisance. All the effort on “NICS” really ought to be invested in getting the FBI to clean-up the false-positive errors in their data (and fill-in the false-negative omissions because States are not reporting).

  21. I live in Newark N.J and I taught in that city. As a African American if someone told me that one day I would fear my own people I would not have believed it. Yes it was constant fear. There are plenty of decent Black people in Newark and all over America but there is a level of lawlessness that is mind boggling in the urban cities, as if you had to be told that. I had to get rid of my beautiful home because I was in utter fear my wife coming home, especially at night. I put myself through Grad school training protection dogs but that did not allay my fears. So for all the lunatics who listen to the rhetoric about taking our constitutional , when a criminal breaks in your house robs you then blows your brains. if ever they hypothetically passed a law where you could not have a weapon , then this law abiding citizen would not be law abiding any more.

Comments are closed.