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Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL)

Email blast from the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL):

As a shocker, the Toome/Manchin/Schumer amendment to a gun-control bill in Congress was written by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA)! Alan Gottlieb, with CCRKBA, told a group of gun owners at a meeting that his organization wrote the bill and it has a lot of improvements to current law that are good for gun owners. In fact, CCRKBA actually ENDORSES the bill. HOWEVER, VCDL continues to OPPOSE that bill . . .

The bill does indeed offer some improvements to current law:

* Provides a felony penalty for anybody who attempts to make a gun registration database (currently such a thing is illegal, but there is no penalty)

* Allows handgun to be purchased in all 50 states, and not in just the state where the purchaser resides

* Clarifies the federal peaceful journey law to allow a person to stop at a hotel, eat a meal, get gasoline, etc. while traveling across a gun-unfriendly state

* Provides criminal and civil protections for private sellers whose sale was run through a background check

* Provides a method for protecting veterans from having their gun rights removed without proper adjudication

While those items are indeed good, the serious problems with the bill comes in the area of requiring background checks for all guns sold at gun shows or for guns that are advertised either in a “publication” or on the internet. While selling a gun or giving a gun to a family member would be allowed without a background check, selling a gun to anybody else would become almost impossible:

1. If you sell a gun at a gun show, then a background check MUST be done. There is no requirement in the bill, however, that a dealer would be available to run the background check! So it would be quite possible that private sales at gun shows would not be possible at all if no dealer agreed to run the background check. In fact, based on the definition of a gun show as having 75 or more guns for sale, a large flea market might qualify as a “gun show” because of a lot of small private sellers, with NO FFL present at the show to run background checks. In that case NO guns could be legally sold at the flea market at all, wasting everyone’s time. And how would a person know if there were 75 or more guns at the flea market or not? Talk about a trap to turn good people into felons!

2. If you say you have a gun for sale and either list it on the internet or post something about it in a “publication,” then the gun MUST be sold through a dealer at that point. If the buyer posts in either place that he is looking for a gun, the gun he purchases will also require a background check. The only way to sell a gun to a non-family member is if you are NOT at a gun show and never make mention of wanting to sell the gun on the internet or in any kind of publication. Basically, you would have to do it by word of mouth only. Good luck with that! What are you going to do – walk down a street and ask everyone you pass if they want to buy a gun from you?

3. While Alan claims that this bill would in no way lead to a registry, the data would be there for the taking, since the sale would be on a form 4473 kept by the dealer. If you didn’t sell through a dealer, the feds would know they only have to look to your family members to find the gun, since they would be the only people really exempt from the background check.

There is no doubt that this bill would do serious harm to gun shows and to private sales. You could find yourself at a gun show unable to sell your gun because no dealer will run the background check. You might not be able to sell your gun at a large flee market because there are no dealers in attendance to run the check. Make a mistake in how you sell that gun, for example mentioning it in an email but not selling it with a background check, and you can become a felon.

This is simply not the time for ANY gun bills to be considered in Congress, because they can be hijacked and made into anti-gun bills. Or, in this bill’s case, it already has some serious problems that can be made even worse. Surely, no one is really stupid enough to trust Senator Chuck Schumer when it comes to guns?

VCDL continues to OPPOSE ALL gun control bills in Congress. Sadly, this bill only makes our job harder at a time when Bloomberg and his illegal mayors are about to go on another offensive against our gun rights.

Click here for the text of the bill:.

Click here for a video of Alan explaining the bill.

Alan’s faith in background checks, and in Chuck Schumer, is misplaced and this bill must be defeated. Criminals will continue to have no problems getting guns with or without background checks. It’s the rest of us who will have lost our right to sell or buy guns from a private sale without Big Brother’s approval. That Big Brother, BTW, is the same Big Brother who provided guns to the Mexican cartels in Fast and Furious and tried to blame innocent gun dealers.

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  1. While there are fairly comprehensive appeal processes for denial for vets, there are none for non-military citizens. If, as appears to be Step 2 of the plan, gun ownership is medicalized, plan on NY confiscations going national.

    Btw, does retaining comments about personally-owned guns make TTAG guilty of “attempting to create a gun registry”?

    Let’s see the language. Let us read the proposed law and all its amendments.

  2. de facto registration:

    3. While Alan claims that this bill would in no way lead to a registry, the data would be there for the taking, since the sale would be on a form 4473 kept by the dealer. If you didn’t sell through a dealer, the feds would know they only have to look to your family members to find the gun, since they would be the only people really exempt from the background check.

    and without a felony for confiscation…

    • There are millions of firearms that were sold before 4473 and there is no registration for them. The only way to do universal background checks is to require the registration of all firearms. Non-compliance will destroy any attempt at registration.

  3. Virginia, the cradle of freedom. The capital on the Potomac, once thought to be a boon for the Commonwealth has since turned into a curse as NoVa has become a bastion of statists, Progressives and freshly indoctrinated college grads who think their twitter accounts and unpaid internships at non-profits will put an end to world hunger, poverty and fossil fuels.

    May this serve as a reminder that the real Virginia is still alive.

      • Let’s see, what favors exactly have the Democrats done in the last 4+ years for non-Progressives? Um…nothing. Why would they start now? Bunch of gunnies around here need to wise up quick.


      Today, if you travel through NJ and you have a medical emergency or your car breaks down and you have a weapon, you are screwed, you go to jail because FOPA has no emergency provisions.

      The bill adds safe passage AND emergency provisions so if you need medical attention or have a mechanical problem with your car, you are covered. As it has always been with FOPA, you have to show that where you started and where you are going you are legal to possess your firearm — none of that changes.

  4. I have listened to Gottlieb’s speech a couple times… Although he makes some good points I am wary of the amendment phase and what will happen there. I also would rather see stronger definition around what a “registry” is – it would be nice to see the term “database” included. This is the time to get vocal and make sure that Senators hear from us. Call your Senators first – use direct dial numbers to speed past the switchboard.

    If you want to make a bigger impact here is a list of direct dial numbers for Senators on the hot seat in 2104. Be sure you have a zip code from their state handy when you call (some offices appear to be filtering messages this way).

    Guns have two enemies: rust & politicians.

  5. VCDL is one of the best state-level pro-gun organizations out there. I would carefully consider any opposition they have to a bill

  6. I will repeat as much as necessary: under what Constitutional authority does the Federal government intervene in the private sale of used goods within the borders of a single state?

    Anybody want to hold your breath for the Federal courts upholding this expansion of Federal power?

  7. Thank you VCDL!

    It’s about time some organization charged with standing up for our gun rights, actually stands up for our gun rights. The others are just thrilled that the chains aren’t as heavy as expected.

  8. Question for those that understand the current background check proposal better than I:

    Anything mentioned or advertised in a “real” or web-based publication requires a background check, correct?

    Wouldn’t people selling just advertise that they have XX type of weapon for sale @ this price, call or email for details? Specific weapons wouldn’t be identified, so no background check, correct? Without any kind of specific identification used in the advert, the onus of proving that a background was required falls on the Feds, correct?

    It’s my understanding that a *lot* of weapons get sold through word-of-mouth to friends, friends-of-friends, heard-from-the-guy-behind-the-counter, etc.

    So, other than forcing people to adjust to this stupid law [hello, CA bullet button!], are the real-world down-sides all that bad? Do they really offset the real-world upsides?

    Given that respectable 2A groups are falling on both sides of the debate, I’d really like to know.

    • The thing about intentionally vague wording on a bill, is that it’s intentional.

      Given the language in that bill, a prosecutor could easily make the case that if you so much as sent a friend an email about “selling a gun”, then the FFL and BC requirements kick in.

    • Turn in your Gadsden Flag Gravatar Bartelist. You don’t negotiate with Progressives. Regardless of who’s talking presently as far as Manchin-Toomey, the Progressives run the Senate and Executive branches.

  9. The only thing I can figure is either Alan knows that SOME bill will get passed by our “must do something” pols and he’s doing what he can to lessen the impact, OR he is just hoping that the Supreme Court comes in and strikes the private sale and possibly gun show sale provisions leaving the rest of the bill standing.

  10. “3. While Alan claims that this bill would in no way lead to a registry, the data would be there for the taking, since the sale would be on a form 4473 kept by the dealer. If you didn’t sell through a dealer, the feds would know they only have to look to your family members to find the gun, since they would be the only people really exempt from the background check.”

    This is such a weak argument after thinking about it for a bit. If the government was rounding up 4473 forms and we’ve already called that practice illegal the war is already on. Who cares what the laws are at that point?

    The best we can do in “policy” to prevent some action we don’t like is call it “illegal”. It just gives us one more set of non-violent tools to try (the law, politics) to hold people accountable before resorting to the natural law of “force wins”. Anyone, selfish criminal or conscientious objector is always willing to break a law they find inconvenient. So we call selling a gun without a 4473 illegal. We call misusing 4473 forms to create a registration database illegal, we call a registration database itself illegal. Whether it is illegal or not, anyone with a need to do so can and will break a law. You, the government, whomever.

    Currently the 4473 forms are not in a suitable format or location to be used as some kind of overwhelming weapon against the people, to say nothing about the lack of existence of co-operative manpower to turn that into a weapon and use it. If the government started illegally collecting this information it would be immediately noticeable and the war starts with a legal battle and moves into a political battle LONG before they could ever actually turn it into a tool suitable for any kind of use necessitating a violent battle. At the same time if you illegally collect guns or sell them without 4473 forms it would be a miracle if anyone noticed.

    What do you guys think? If the government starts illegally rounding up the 4473 forms and creating a database you are going to be able to continue to live in your present style of life in your house because you have a rifle without a paper trail? By the time they’ve even started to “weaponize” the forms the hot war is already on and it doesn’t matter. You would then be a militia member, (to them an enemy combatant), they assume your are armed. A database report doesn’t clue them into that fact, a muzzle report does. They’ll treat you accordingly and you’ll treat them accordingly. This will likely never happen, but if it did the advantage is overwhelming to the people.

    There is no security of the state argument against this 4473 stuff that makes sense in the context of what would actually happen if the government broke the laws or behaved incongruously with the people’s will on such an important and fundamental issue.

    The only tenable argument is whether or not the government should regulate private business or property transactions with respect to firearms. That’s a legit concern and a legit debate. Talk about it, not this other stuff.

    • Eng, they already do ’round up’ the 4473s and database them.

      When you retire, go broke, or die you turn over your 4473s to ATF. They have by their own admission, collected north of 300 million since 1968.

      By the way, the electronic “e4473” is stored directly by the ATF. Since you can get Apple and Android apps that will allow the user to auto-fill their “e4473”, you can see what’s happening there.

      This is why many of us chuckle at the thought of some “prohibition” of databases. They are already here, they’ve been here for a decade or more. They will only get more sophisticated, with more data points included.

      They won’t call it a “firearms database” or a “national registry”, but it will have the same essential functions.

        • Historically speaking, we’re on the path to complete registration. Which seems to always be followed by general confiscation. There’s no benefit to anyone in these lists, at least from a safety/crime prevention perspective.

          Will it threaten the survival of the Union? Hard to predict. But what I do know is that with NFA in ’34, GCA in ’68, and FOPA in ’86 we always lost rights.

          What will eventually come of that is anyone’s guess, but history illustrates this is not a good path.

        • I really feel like if the confiscation line is on the cusp of being being crossed and then all of these laws become meaningless.

          If you include all of the armed forces and police in the country and assume 100% cooperation with a confiscation effort you still have overwhelming majority on the side of the people.

          I’m not saying don’t be vigilant, but modern day American’s aren’t 1930s era Germans. We’ve got more weapons and more freedoms we want to keep. We have seen that path unfold before. We can and do exchange communications with each other and the rest of the world instantaneously and continuously, we have a much greater than national perspective on the goings on of the world. Our armed forces and police are dominated by pro 2A individuals who know what is right and what is wrong.

          Really the biggest concern here to me is whether or not the government should have any say in regulating private transactions involving private property.

  11. How does the text of this proposal clarify interstate transportation of firearms? Really. I don’t see anything different than my current understanding of interstate transportation under FOPA of 1986.

  12. Caveat: I have tried to contact this group about membership and support, and have never received a reply.

  13. Never, ever forget: Their goal is citizen disarmament. Their strategy is to drive a wedge between different groups of gun owners. Their plan is to achieve their goal through incremental bans and restrictions. Stand firm, stand united. Our rights are non-negotiable. Screw adding a few good things on to a bad bill. We need to repeal some laws not add more!

  14. If any of this legislation passes, one more anti-2A law will be on the books and we will all have lost a little more of our constitutionally-protected freedom.


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