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Thought experiment RE: private sales of firearms

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ngnrd, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    Right or wrong, good or bad, we currently have laws prohibiting the possession of firearms by certain individuals. And, I believe that most people would concede that, at least in the case of violent criminals, or the mentally disturbed that pose an imminent threat to themselves or others, such prohibitions are warranted. Indeed, such is the impetus of the NICS system already in place for commercial sales of firearms. So, in an effort to keep the guns out of the hands of ne'er-do-well's that would attempt to circumvent the NICS check through private purchases of legal firearms from otherwise law abiding citizens (which I think is a good goal), I would like to discuss the registration and control of those prohibited individuals in regard to private sales of firearms; specifically, some type of marking of State issued ID cards (driver's license, etc.) that would clearly indicate that the card carrier was prohibited to possess firearms.

    As the system is imagined, any person lawfully excluded from the right to possess firearms (i.e., convicted of a violent felony or determined to be of such mental state as to be a threat to society at large) would have their State issued ID marked "NO FIREARMS". This would allow those seeking to transfer their firearms through private sale the ability to make a reasonable determination of the legality of such a sale, without putting the burden on the seller, and without infringing on the rights of either party involved in the sale. If you want to sell a firearm, all you would need to do is check an ID. As a buyer, all you would need to do is provide ID that does not indicate that you are prohibited. I don’t see this as any more of an infringement, and certainly no more an inconvenience, than showing ID to write a check at the grocery store, or to rent a car. The burden of proof that the transaction is valid is placed on the buyer, and the seller has a quick method to determine such.

    Of course, I am realistic enough to realize that there would be no guaranty that every seller would check the ID of every buyer. And, as far as I know, there is no universal requirement that individuals posses a State issued ID. But, for those that wish to be reasonably assured that they are not transferring their firearms directly to a prohibited person, a quick ID check would be sufficient. And if a buyer either can't, or won’t show ID, any seller of good character would simply cancel the transaction. Sure, an unscrupulous seller could (and by definition, would) ignore this process and transfer a firearm to an unverified person anyway. In fact, there would still be many ways that a prohibited person could come to illegally possess a firearm. This could simply be a tool that could be used to provide a convenient method to provide some level of assurance that private transfers do not circumvent the intent of background checks for commercial sales; a group of honest gun owners policing themselves, per say.

    Obviously, this would take some time to fully implement, and I am certainly not advocating that the States recall all ID's to do thorough background checks on everybody. However, whenever any ID's are issued or renewed, they could be easily checked against a list of prohibited persons, and then marked accordingly for any such persons found. So within one renewal cycle, all prohibited persons would have ID's marked as such. And there could be no list created that would provide any indication that any particular individual possesses, or is intending to possess a firearm, and no tracking of the number or types of firearms bought or sold, since essentially everybody would be checked against the “May Not Possess” list. Of course, there would need to be a legitimate system in place to address and correct any false positives.

    Truthfully, although I have gone through the NICS check, I’ll freely admit that I don’t know what all that particular background check involves on the other side of the phone. And, maybe under more through scrutiny than I have given it, this would essentially equate to a universal background check, which I would not be in favor of because of the possibility of abuse of the collected data. But, I think it’s a unique enough idea that it’s worth a discussion. I do know that I, as a legal and honorable gun owner, wouldn’t want any of my (formerly owned) firearms to be used in crime simply because I unknowingly sold one to a prohibited person. A system like I have described may provide some reasonable assurance that I am not an unwitting part of the problem, without including me in some database of gun owners (which I’m sure I’m already on at this point).

    What say the HighRoader’s? Good? Bad? Not necessary? Not effective? Reasonable? Overbearing? Negative effects I haven't thought of? Let's talk about it.

    footnote: This idea spawned from the system in place in Alaska that places "ALCOHOL RESTRICTED" on the driver's licenses of individuals prohibited by the court to purchase alcohol.
  2. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Well-Known Member

    Wow, good luck here, I just suggested allowing voluntary hotline access for NICS checks for private sellers and got chewed out for it accused of selling out to the anti's etc.
  3. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Well-Known Member

    Other than cost and time to implement, I really don't see any problems with it. I'd support it.
  4. chipcom

    chipcom member

    Compare the levels of gun violence we had prior to 1968 to the levels we have today when we have so many new laws, restrictions and background checks. Obviously all the new laws, restrictions and checks haven't been very effective, have they.

    Background checks are feel-good BS at best...a vehicle that a government can use to deny you your rights at worst. How about we try to address root causes, rather than constantly attempting to treat symptoms both real and imagined.
  5. wagon.driver

    wagon.driver Member

    Won't work

    Driver's licenses last like six years. So...some dude gets on the bad list and the state mails him his new NO FIREARMS card. He keeps the old one...flashes to unsuspecting seller. Crime committed. No good, sorry.
  6. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    Cost is certainly a valid issue. I wonder how system for the "Alcohol Prohibited" label is funded...?
  7. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    I already stated that this would take time to fully implement, so the "6 years" statement has already been addressed.

    But, the issue of flashing an old ID is certainly valid. So how about this...If "dude" gets flagged, he has to go to a DMV to either turn in his expired card, or contest the findings, before another will be issued.

    But, I suppose that wouldn't keep "dude" from claiming his ID was lost. So, how 'bout this... An honorable seller could simply take two seconds to check the expiration date of the buyer's ID while he was looking for the Prohibited tag.
  8. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    How about this....if a person is too violent to own a gun, then don't let them walk freely among law abiding citizens in society?
  9. theautobahn

    theautobahn Well-Known Member

    Do the opposite. Pass a NICS check (one time, or possibly annual renewal), get an "ok to buy guns" license (like a CCW) saying you're good to go. Show license to person, sale.

    Or if you wanted to go one further, give a PIN with the license, the seller would call in to NICS to verify the license and PIN - sale! (this would prevent the arguments that the gun buyer licenses could be stolen [although I would recommend picture ID's]).
  10. theautobahn

    theautobahn Well-Known Member

    LCDR- if I ever make it out to WA, I'll have to look you up and buy you a drink. :)
  11. Lupinus

    Lupinus Well-Known Member


    We need to be working BACK from NICS, why on Earth should we be embracing that the government has the right to grant or deny our rights.

    And on drivers licenses no less. Of all the government organizations to get involved, you want to involve the DMV? Have you been to the DMV in some states? I don't trust these idiots to be in in charge of licenses to use roller blades, the hell I want them near my right to bear arms?
  12. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Well-Known Member

    Jesus christ yall are worse than the French what with falling all over yourselves to surrender to the enemy
  13. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Well-Known Member

    The leap of faith in all laws is that people follow them. The assumption here is that criminals would be found out and simply go away.....

    I believe, this or any scheme will only make the black market for guns grow. Would it be a little harder, maybe. If there become enough people willing to break the law, and thus enter the illegal / black market it could actually make it easier. (Drugs)
  14. ngnrd

    ngnrd Well-Known Member

    I don't necessarily disagree. Although I suppose it could be argued that background checks aren't effective because they are only done when purchasing firearms through commercial channels, and therefore, prohibited persons simply don't use commercial channels to acquire firearms.
  15. Lupinus

    Lupinus Well-Known Member


    Because the guy that stole his stock and is selling out out of the trunk is checking ID's....
  16. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    There's a much simpler solution. Never let any felon out of prison, and never let any dangerous madman out of they asylum. That used to be the way of the world. In fact they used to just kill every felon or banish him. And pretty much did likewise with dangerous madmen.

    Realistically, though, it is far more difficult to argue against expansion of NICS than it is to argue against the absurdities of the AWB or an Australian style ban. And I'm just glad they haven't focused on it very effectively. We could certainly see an end to lawful private sales in our lifetimes.
  17. chipcom

    chipcom member

    Background checks will get you the low hanging fruit...but that's about it.

    I felt sorry for all the poor schmucks who got the "further investigation required" response to their "instant" checks this past weekend at a gun show as the sales volume started ramping up...they simply don't have the resources to handle panic-level volumes.
  18. chipcom

    chipcom member

    and we'd end up with millions of people doing 100 year sentences for smoking a joint while murderers and banksters skate.
  19. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Of course pot smoking, or any drug use, should have never been a crime to begin with let alone a felony. But that's another topic. The point is the list of felonies used to be very short and simple as were the punishments--hanging or beheading.
  20. lloveless

    lloveless Well-Known Member

    We have 20,000 + gun laws. We don't need anymore. No gun law is going to keep some creep from killing. Look at Chicago, Britain etc.

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