Former President Bill Clinton gestures while speaking in support of his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Thursday, April 14, 2016, at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick, R.I. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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By Lee Williams

Senators Chris Murphy, (D-Conn.), and John Cornyn, (R-Texas), have met in secret recently – behind closed doors – to negotiate a way to expand federal background checks.

Citing the 2019 mass murder that killed eight people and wounded 25 near Odessa, Texas, Cornyn believes the deaths could have been avoided if the killer had undergone a background check before obtaining his home-built AR, which he purchased through a private sale.

Cornyn, much to the dismay of the gun community, says he now wants to clarify exactly who has to register as a Federal Firearms Licensee, or FFL, and therefore be legally required to conduct background checks of all firearms purchasers.

“We need to clear that up,” Cornyn told NBC News. “That, by definition, will make more people get background checks because all federal firearms licensees have to do background checks.”

In other words, if more people were forced to register as FFLs, there would be more background checks and therefore less crime, Murphy and Cornyn believe. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Obama tried it just a few years ago.

But who is responsible for reducing the FFL ranks from a high of more than 250,000 licensed gun dealers in 1994 to just 55,000 10 years later?

What caused today’s FFL shortage?

bill clinton assault weapons ban
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

That, friends, is Bill Clinton’s fault. And Democrats have been tinkering with the FFL system ever since.

Clinton’s first war on guns

For more than three decades before Clinton took office, a Federal Firearms License cost around $30. Applicants had to meet the same standards as a firearm purchaser – they could not be a prohibited person.

Clinton changed all that.

He jacked up the cost of a license, and he added more regulations and oversight via the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and (now) Explosives.

The ATF loved the new rules…and the lighter workload. They had been complaining for years that there were too many licensed gun dealers for them to regulate. In 1994, one ATF official told the New York Times there were only 250 inspectors for 250,000 FFLs. “The smaller ones, the kitchen-table dealers, might not see an inspector for 10 years,” the official lamented.

“Probably 70 percent of the people holding licenses shouldn’t hold them,” another ATF spokesperson told the newspaper.

Clinton changed all that. Thousands of FFLs were forced out of business. Only the larger ones remained.

Selling guns has never been easy, anyway. Dealers must comply with federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations. Labor costs are high, and margins are low. Couple that with regulators who cannot only close them down for violating a book-full of regulations – they can also make arrests – and the FFL ranks were decimated, under Clinton.

Tried before

The Cornyn/Murphy scheme – more dealers will mean more background checks, which will result in less crime – has been tried before. Obama tried to tighten the screws and force more people into getting FFLs in 2016. It didn’t work then. Cornyn and Murphy should know that now.

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is making clear that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet: If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks,” Obama’s press secretary wrote in a 2016 release titled: FACT SHEET: New Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence and Make Our Communities Safer.

Then, as now, Obama issued a long list of anti-rights decrees his press secretary characterized as “commonsense executive actions.”

Then, as now, the president tried to sell his unconstitutional orders to the American people by citing a laundry list of made-up facts and statistics – including the myth of popular support.

“The President and Vice President are committed to using every tool at the Administration’s disposal to reduce gun violence,” Obama’s press secretary wrote five years ago. “Some of the gaps in our country’s gun laws can only be fixed through legislation, which is why the President continues to call on Congress to pass the kind of commonsense gun safety reforms supported by a majority of the American people.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s nearly identical to press releases Biden’s crew has put out. Then, as now, the plan backfired. The American people simply ignored the president’s ramblings and bought more guns – a lot more guns.


Because neither Obama nor Biden could ever grasp what happens when a president threatens a God-given constitutional right.


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This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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  1. More democrat induced commie garbage. Moreover, Sam’s Club sucks, they have an anti-gun WIFI system that filters TTAG and other firearm related content.

  2. Despite all his faults, we can all agree that President Bill Clinton was 10 times better than that dotard Donald Trump. What a complete failure he was.

    • Billary is owned by the Chinese who have enslaved a race of people to literally pick cotton. Like the democrat party of old, Your support the democrats makes you complicit in racism, sexism, slavery, and white supremacy.

    • traitorous twerp…Instead of displaying your incredibly pathetic politically inept ignorant behind your time would be better spent organizing your anthony weiner photos.

    • Clinton was by far the worst POTUS except for Barrack Obama.
      Both were spineless shysters who made the rest of the world laugh at the USA.
      At least the Bushes and Trump were the most powerful people on the planet.
      They didn’t cower or cave to anyone. Put the pipe down.
      The planet feared us, now it’s Biden and his kid are running the USA into the ground.
      BTW: Clinton came a lot closer to actually being impeached then Trump did.
      That was with 4 years of a witch hunt and a couple of sham impeachments.
      The Clinton’s should be in prison for what they pulled.

      • I think I’m going to have to go with Lincoln (War of Northern Agression) or Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Raw Deal) as the worst presidents ever. Lincoln destroyed federalism, jailed anyone who criticized him, shot people who didn’t comply with the draft, and had a plan to send all of the blacks to Africa whether they wanted to go or not. Roosevelt began the institutionalization of socialism in America with massive social programs, prolonged the great depression, and presided over the passage of the NFA 34. And those are just a few of their greatest hits. None of the shit we are dealing with now would even be possible is not for Lincoln and Roosevelt.

        • Have to agree with Ron, I’d put Woodrow Wilson right up there, also along with LBJ. If I thought Biden even had a clue what it is his “administration” was doing, I’d say he was making a valiant effort to join that cohort. What do they all have in common (other than a (D) behind their names, other than Lincoln)?? Distinctly left-of-center, authoritarian political philosophies.

          It isn’t more complicated than “which do you prefer, governmental control or individual liberty”. All Leftists are OK with governmental control, because they ALL believe they are going to be the ‘ones in control’. Just like Trotsky, Robespierre, and a thousand others.

        • So far as actual results are concerned, Clinton was not that bad. Carter FAR exceeded Clinton’s damage to the nation, all while being nice and lovable, just extremely incompetent. The most crooked was, hands down, LBJ, in addition to being near single-handedly responsible for the war in Vietnam. We need to define “worst” more closely before attaching names.

        • During FDR’s term as governor of New York, the state legislature had repealed the infamous Sullivan Law. Governor Roosevelt vetoed the repeal, and the legislature failed to override. Feel free to correct me if I’m in error here.

      • Putin liked Clitoon, respected Trump. When ask about theBiden he laughed, farted and left the room.
        I have no citations for theBiden, Miner49er, as they were lost when the paint peeled.

    • Yes, Bill Clinton, the man most responsible, DIRECTLY, for North Korea now having hydrogen bombs.

      Whose “Blow for Freedom” was cutting off arms and ammunition from China (It was cheap for Americans) and allowing them unlimited trade in everything else.

      Oh and when we told you letting him perjure himself on video under oath and you acquitted him, it would lower the standards for President. Then we got “All Talk, No Action” Obama and Donald Trump.

      Though millions of teenage boys thank you for introducing the idea “Blowjobs are not sex” and teaching girls to swallow. You have their eternal gratitude. The girls can’t chime in, their mouths are full right now.

  3. No, it all started with the 18th amendment of 1917 (prohibition). That’s what started liquor bootlegging and smuggling, giving rise to vast criminal enterprises headed by violent gangsters like Al Capone and Bugs Moran, which set the stage for the 1934 NFA to be passed without much organized resistance. That’s where the assault on your gun rights began.

    • Sounds about right except for the following. How much fodder did New York’s Sullivan provide for others?

  4. I was one of those despised kitchen table FFLs until Willie made the renewal fees ridiculous. But he wasn’t alone in the endeavor. No one can make me believe that he didn’t make out under the table by doing the bidding of all the storefront FFLs that bitched and moaned about “non-stocking dealers” at the time.

    • I actually still have a S&W .41 Mag I bought from one of those kitchen table FFLs, since I talked him into locating and obtaining it for me when no regular gun store would take the trouble. Only time I ever dealt with one, tho.

      • I definitely regret not getting one of those .41 Magnums back in the day. Awesome caliber. Command a high price today if you can even find it. Too bad I wound up with a 586 instead.

  5. Slick Willie is to blame? Yeah sleazy Bill is a piece of human excrement but plenty of RINO types shared in hate for the 2nd. Like Bush I & Ronnie Reagun. And Nixon. You’re punished by being law abidingly…

  6. Any Republican who would conduct secret negotiations with a Democrat on Gun Control needs to be drawn a quartered. If the Democrat is Chris Murphy they need to do it twice.

  7. Can’t stand John Cornyn. He’s two-faced and a lot of Texans are tired of him. He tries to pass himself off as pro gun but to whatever extent that may be he’s more pro gun control. Never felt I could trust him on the matter. For the most part the only reason he was re-elected this last time is because the person running against him is a disgusting leftist/liberal skank and gun-hater and she would’ve helped turn Texas blue.

  8. Had to give up my license due to the rule changes.
    I kinda like not being choked by the rules and regulations.

  9. This is why the founders created the rules we had back then. Texas could have recalled their senator and replaced him ASAP. When he turned out to be a traitor to his state constituents. Sadly the 17th amendment changed that.

  10. Nothing Bill and Hilary Clinton administration should have passed onto law to start with, the people of America should have used a little common sense, and never let the Clintons in politics in any form, nor the Obama’s or the corrupt and lieing, cheating administration of the Biden’s, the court’s knew The Democrats stole THE ELECTIONS and didn’t have the balls to have THEM locked up, and ON top of that let the BLM organization run free to do as THEY pleased, making theaters ramshacking and destroying monuments, cities, towns, people livelihoods. When they should have over ruled The mayor’s and grovnors of any and all states that allowed this outrage of violence. Permitting the law ENFORCEMENTS to use what ever means necessary to keep order during this Democraps ordeal to take total control and destroy this country.

    • Only reason Clinton got elected was that no other Dem was willing to run, Bush1 was unbeatable. Nobody had ever HEARD of Clinton outside AR, and Bush’s approval rating was over 90% in the Fall of ’91, after the Gulf war. Then we read Bush’s lips and discovered he was full of shit, too late for Clinton to be replaced on the Dem ticket. Even then he served 2 terms without ever getting 50% of the vote.

      • Actually there were a few other reasons of assistance for Wild Bill getting in to office. Perot siphoning off votes from Bush-1, some of the POW/MIA issues that Bush-1 dealt with during his tenure as top spook, Wild Bill’s willingness to accept the Marielitos (Cubans) and house them at Ft. Chaffee when they were refused in other places we’re the main ones. I’m sure his affiliation with Barry Seal gave him a boost too.

  11. DO AWAY WITH THE ungrateful, selfish, crooked democratic administration party now, NOT next trem but now ASAP.

  12. I’m so done trying to reason with the anti-freedom idiots. Facts just don’t matter, and it’s impossible to reason with an idiot. They have proven again and again that they will feign listening to you, then do exactly what they planned to do all along. Background checks, bans, hate speech, you name it, they blindly tout this garbage without having any solid metrics showing HOW their utopian ideas would stop what they give lip service to wanting to stop. Hell, if they actually tackled crime and we’re successful in reducing it, theyd have a much easier job selling gun control to the population.

    To be honest, unfortunately half the articles here I don’t even read anymore, simply because I know from the title that it’s going to be more of the same. Non-sensical, non-logical excuses by leftists to take away freedom from Americans, that I have zero chance of changing. It’s to be expected, and it’s become tiresome to read about the same behavior over and over again, all from the same playbook. Not TTAGs fault, in general.

    My rant for the day. It’s kind of depressing to see the level of incompetence we get from representatives (certainly not leaders) we are dumb enough to elect.

  13. Chip might actually be the guy that would turn the tide for the GOP next election.
    A lot of new gunm owners, a lot of 2A states. The dem0Rats just might not fare so hot with the gunm ban rhetoric.

  14. Cornyn missed the point on a sale that was illegal to begin with. No one can sell their homemade firearms, period. So both the buyer and seller were already engaging in an illegal transaction to begin with, so why would they bother with a background check? We’ll break this Law, but not that Law? That’s Asinine thinking.
    The guy making AR’s and then selling them, was already breaking the Law, regardless of whether he sold them to prohibited individuals or Law abiding individuals. Cornyn and Murphey are idiots.
    I’ve made 5 ARs to date, All for my use. I can neither sell or gift them. That’s the Law, and I follow it. I’ve been approached by individuals asking if I’ll make for them, and everytime I’ve said No. What’s so difficult about that?

  15. Clinton’s rule changes for FFL holders put my out of business as a gunsmith/dealer. Worked out of my home and did mostly repair and customization work. Glass bedding of stocks, reblueing or refinishing, replacement of springs, barrels, bushings, mounting optics, etc. Sales of firearms was only about 25% of my business. The cost of renewal of licensing and the insurance requirements, as well as the demand that you have a separate location/building/entrance for the business and the residence, shut me down.
    As usual, it’s the Democrats that destroy small businesses and push for more state control of our everyday lives. Guess we are all supposed to work for the corporate bosses and be nothing but wage slave and good little drones.


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