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Mandatory BG checks on ALL sales lead to registration of all guns

Discussion in 'Legal' started by abajaj11, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. abajaj11

    abajaj11 Well-Known Member

    Seems like some republicans may be looking to cave on the "gun show loophole" and may be OK with requiring federally mandated background or NIC checks for ALL sales, even those private FTF sales in states.

    Here IMHO is why this is a really bad idea:

    1. There is no Gun show loophole. The exact same state and federal laws hold IN a gun show as outside it. Closing the "gun show loophole" means basically mandating at the federal level that all sales of firearms HAVE to go through NIC checks (Form 4473). The Federal government should have no jurisdiction to regulate commerce within a state, so this may be a hard one to pass constitutional muster. However, it may be the Dems are hoping they can say that "if a firearm was used once in interstate commerce then we can regulate it forever". This argument has already been upheld by the US Supreme court in the GunFree School Zones Act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Fr...es_Act_of_1990)

    2. Think about how a federally mandated background check on ALL firearms will be implemented. Right now, only firearms sold through FFL dealers have to pass a NICs (Form 4473) test in all states, and in some states the state laws mandate that all transfers have to be through an FFL dealer. The feds regulate the FFL dealers and do not keep records of transactions, but the FFL dealers have to. If an FFL dealer goes out of business, those records go to ATF for storage, and are never lost. Now imagine extending this requirement to ALL buyers and sellers of firearms. Well this is impossible.

    So the feds will say, well let us just require all states to do what california, for example, does already. All transfers must go through an FFL. But what to do about the millions of unregistered guns in the USA? How do the feds know who owns them? If they don't know who owns them, how will they verify that ALL guns are being sold after a NICS check? Well, the FEDs will come back and say: "We cannot implement your new law unless you allow us to register all firearms". So the inevitable next step to mandating background check on ALL firearm sales will be a demand to Congress that all firearms be registered, without which the law will be impossible to enforce.

    Registration is a VERY bad idea. Registration will not prevent a crime since a legal gun may be stolen and used by a criminal (like in the Newtown case) and of course a criminal will never register an illegitimate gun they may already own.
    So, the only reason for registration is monitoring legal gun owners, harassing them slowly and whittling down their ranks and finally confiscation of firearms.

    Since the 2A was written to provide a well regulated (trained) populace that could be stronger than any standing army that a tyrant could raise, the LAST thing the armed populace wants is for potential tyrants to know who has what firearm. That is why this insidious "background checks for all sales" bill MUST be resisted. it will open the door to registration in a year or two.
    Just my 2 cents. It would be great if we could all bring this issue to light on all forums and also when we contact our federal congressman and senators.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Well-Known Member

    Our governor called for this very legislation at the state level today. IIRC, there isn't a pro-gun majority in our state's legislature either.

    Banning private transactions would not have prevented the Aurora shooting, nor the Newtown shooting. But preventing the next mass shooting is not the purpose now is it.
  3. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    A 100% NICS requirement could be designed in such a way that it wouldn't lead to registration. However, the source of creative ideas from our side has dried up, because a collective decision has apparently been made to stonewall on everything. Maybe this is the right strategy -- if it's successful. I'm worried that if the antigun proposals proceed to a certain point (and they appear to have increasing momentum), we won't be ready with a Plan B to try to mitigate the damage.
  4. abajaj11

    abajaj11 Well-Known Member

    I don't see how it could be done.
    As a government, you either know where all the guns are, or you don't. If you don't, how can you ENFORCE that ALL (not some but all) guns are sold after a NICs check?

    I think it's the ALL guns that is the rub. All guns, including unregistered ones, will have to pass through a NICs process, where someone has to maintain the record of the sale.
    Who is that someone? And how will it be guaranteed in theory, that ALL guns are being vetted, if millions of firearms are unregistered?

    Put another way: It's impossible to track ALL guns at point of sale, without tracking all guns.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  5. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Well-Known Member

    Require ever check to go though NICS.

    Then they stop taking NICS calls.

    Defacto EVERYTHING ban.

    Its how they did it with MG's, first you have to register them, OK, then they stop processing registrations. BAM, ban.

    People start flipping out because the VASP system goes down on a regular basis, resulting in all sales that day having to be put on hold because the BG checks cant go though.

    Bureaucracy at its finest.
  6. steelerdude99

    steelerdude99 Well-Known Member

    I made a similar point on the thread "Thoughts on Background Checks for private sales? as post #55 back in mid-December 12 in the General Gun Discussions forum". But anyhow, in order for all transfers to go through a background check I would expect that states that don't have registration would need to start doing so. If not, we'll have the "old gun loophole".

  7. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Well-Known Member

    Just to play devil's advocate here --

    You don't need to know where every single gun is. Remember, the purpose of this system would be to make sure buyers are not "prohibited persons" (however that is defined). So you create incentives and disincentives so that sellers verify this information. Have the buyers fill out Form 4473's. Then provide a toll-free number where non-licensed sellers can get a free NICS approval/disapproval. If the gun is later misused, the seller's retained copy of the Form 4473 (with the approval number) would give him immunity from civil liability. And you could also send out agents pretending to be buyers. If the seller doesn't ask for a Form 4473 / NICS check, he gets socked with a hefty fine.

    Like all law enforcement, it's a matter of percentages. Something like this has worked out well in tax enforcement.

    You're never going to get 100% airtight compliance. But that isn't the point. The point is to get a perceived problem under control. For example, there's never been 100% compliance with the machine gun rules. But those that are not in compliance are driven underground, never to see the light of day. No non-criminal can be seen in public with an unregistered machine gun. They're not even used that much in crime.
  8. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

    Consider this.
    Under the Militia Law every able bodied man had to have a gun.
    Sort of a universal de facto registration.
    You are normal=you have a gun
  9. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    I have a hard enough time providing the information required on a 4473 to a licensed dealer, mostly owing to the fact that, by definition, it contains a great deal of personally identifying information. So now I need to furnish that same information to a guy I met on craigslist 15 minutes ago?
  10. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Well-Known Member

    Enforcement of this law would be impossible, as long as there isn't a federal registry of all privately owned firearms.
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    The idea going around, some already in Feinstein's bill, is to bring all semi-autos, pumps and lever actions, including semi-auto handguns, under the NFA. That would mean they would be treated just like machineguns:

    No more made.
    Existing ones could be transferred where not illegal under state law.
    $200 or more transfer tax.
    Six to eight months wait to process application.
    CLEO checkoff - no local approval, no transfer.

    A ban on high capacity magazines; you would have to surrender any currently owned to the police under threat of severe penalties up to 20 years in prison if caught with one. Police would be authorized to carry out unlimited warrantless searches for "contraband."

    Then the same law would be expanded to "sniper rifles", like the Remington 700, all Mausers, all Mosin Nagants, etc., etc. (Of course, a mass murder with a bolt action rifle would be "arranged" to justify the law.)

    All other guns would be registered and controlled, but the only firearms not under the NFA would be revolvers and single/double barrel shotguns. Everything else would be just like machineguns today.

    This, of course, is described as "reasonable", "common sense", "not in violation of the Second Amendment" and even "protecting the rights of gun owners".

    Goebbels would be green with envy.

  12. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

    This is not "High Road"
  13. skeptical_in_Ohio

    skeptical_in_Ohio Well-Known Member


    There seems to be at least some limited consensus that society should keep criminals/mentally ill persons from getting arms, but it also seems any mechanism to aid in checking for such things is immediately rejected out of hand.

    As a thought exercise, how might one regulate transfers (via background check) without tracking where the arms go (i.e. no registration), while letting people currently legal to purchase arms buy anything currently legally available? Could the check of the purchaser (to verify that they're legal to make the purchase) be done without logging what they actually bought? Could a NICS-type check be done on private sales (again, only verifying that the person is allowed to purchase the arm) be done without being terribly onerous? What might such things look like?
  14. bikemutt

    bikemutt Well-Known Member

    Please advise who is rejecting out of hand any past or present proposal to keep criminals from getting arms?
  15. Jimineer

    Jimineer Well-Known Member

    I've had a background check for every gun I've bought, until recently where I can use my Tx CHL.
  16. skeptical_in_Ohio

    skeptical_in_Ohio Well-Known Member

    Ok. A background check on private sales has been made as a proposal to keep criminals (and other prohibited persons) from getting arms, and has been rejected out of hand more than once on this forum as leading to registration.

    Since such a thing apparently won't work as a verification mechanism, please enlighten me as to how one wishing to engage in a private sale verifies without some sort of background check that one isn't unwittingly selling an arm to a prohibited person (e.g. a criminal), unless perhaps dealing with relatives or very close friends.

    Then please suggest something concrete that will help.
  17. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Well-Known Member

    I actually like the idea of uniform background checks. It is a hassle for me buying something, but I like the idea that if I'm selling a gun that I have some protection against liability by having a documented negative background check.

    In my line of work, I see people on mental health holds all the time, and I shudder to think that some of them could buy a gun in the classifieds and the person selling would have no idea that they were unstable and potentially dangerous. Lots of dangerous folks can fake being normal for long enough to buy a gun. It's hard to fake a negative background check.

    Sure, illegal transfers would still happen, but it certainly ups the ante and makes prosecution easier for straw buyers.

    I'll certainly take universal background checks over a new AWB.

  18. Tigerclaw_x

    Tigerclaw_x Well-Known Member

    Look. I bought EVERY one of my guns through the FFL dealer. I am in HellInois - every one of my guns had papers filed and BG check completed. EVERY ONE OF THEM. This IS a good thing. They do not give out driver license to habitual drunken drivers. I really think that BG check must be done for EVERY firearm. You do not want some Black Disciple or Blood or Latin King get a hold of a pump action shotgun.
  19. abajaj11

    abajaj11 Well-Known Member

    Yes I agree one can get sellers to call a number but given that there are millions of firearms out there with no record of who owns what, what is the guarantee these millions of firearms will ever see the light of day? Or that they won't be sold to another in a private sale?
    If they do not track these firearms, the feds will never get these firearms under "their control" so to speak. So it seems to me that they will say, if you want the law to be effective, we need all firearms in a national database, including the millions and millions that are not registered yet. Actually, technically, no firearms other than NFA are registered.
    Creation of a national database to track all firearms is registration.

    To the person who said they did not mind BG checks on all firearms, please read my original post in this thread. The point is not BG checks, the point is that implementing BG checks on ALL firearms will require registration of all firearms...the holy grail for all gun grabbers. It will lead to confiscation in 2-4 years after whittling down owner groups and firearm categories step by step. .
  20. skeptical_in_Ohio

    skeptical_in_Ohio Well-Known Member

    None. The argument would be assumption that the owners are law-abiding citizens until one tries to receive arms (or knowingly transfer them - not lost or stolen) without getting a check done. The check wouldn't be tied to the arm in the transaction - it would only say that the person receiving the arm was at that time legally allowed to make such a purchase.

    I've no interest in giving control of arms to the feds - just the ability to stop prohibited persons from getting them.

    That's why a creative mechanism to separate the background check from the arms themselves is important and should be advocated. What's already done is done - to create that database would be prohibitively difficult for a variety of reasons - what can be done is regulate movement from here on out (only to those who can pass a check).

    Short term, the millions of arms out there are problematic to making this work without a registry. Over time, however, the vast majority of those arms would eventually start falling into two categories, as owners age, buy some stuff, sell other stuff, etc. 1-Legally transferred to a person who can pass a check and therefore legally allowed to participate in the transaction (although we wouldn't know who's got what because again the check would be on the person at the point of transaction). All the system would know is that person A bought an arm from either person B or a dealer and they were legal to do so. Dealers would only log that an arm left their inventory to a legal individual. 2-Lost or stolen (assuming some sort of law requiring reported lost/stolen will work), meaning that possession is by definition a felony.

    I've not gotten all the details worked out, but it seems if there's a creative way to sever the tie between the arm and the individual at a transaction there's no database, and yet prohibited persons would find it more difficult to get arms without stealing them. There would need to be a serious penalty for non-compliance with transfer rules, but enforcement could focus there as well. Of course, more effort would need put into making NICS more useful too.

    What I will say is that I'd rather be involved in making sure the solution adopted takes into account the reasonable need to avoid registries for law-abiding citizens rather than stonewalling (to borrow a word from a previous poster) and leaving those who would advocate registration of all arms write the law with no constraints.

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