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Universal Background Checks

Discussion in 'Legal' started by bowserb, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. mister_murphy

    mister_murphy Member

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    I, also dont see NICS being opened up to be used by the public. NICS was set up to use the FFL holders, which provides a level of accountability, in that the BATFE/FBI know who the dealer is/their address/etc.

    If NICS were opened up to public use, I dont see anyway to have any reasonable level of accountability. It would be way to easy "fake" the sale by using another persons identity as the buyer instead of the actual buyer.

    Aftall, if universal background checks are passed, there will probably be a record keeping portion to, akin to the FFL keeping the 4473 form for 20 years. For those who do support universal background checks, why not push for pure registration?

    Another issue to is cost. If its going to have to go through a FFL, and say they charge $50, and I am trying to sell you an old Sears shotgun or .22 for $75 bucks. Then it starts getting close to the cost of buying a new shotgun or .22 such as a Maverick/Pardner, or for .22 there are several Marlins that are a few bucks more. So in the end, the lower end used guns will just be tossed aside, or, umm, sold without a check, cause who else would pay more for a well used (non-collector) firearm when they could get a new one for $25 or $50 more?
     
  2. abajaj11

    abajaj11 Member

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    Suppose you sold a gun under this system. And did not keep any record of it. And teh buyer did not keep any record of it. And the BATFE asked him 6 months later. he could always say he bought the gun more than a year earlier and no longer has a record of it. Since the BATFE had no idea who owned it before, they would have no way to monitor if he were following this 1 year law or not.
    The only way they can monitor it is to know who owns what....a national registry.
    :)
     
  3. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Once again:

    See post #44

    Those in the Senate who are pushing for Universal Background Checks are not interested in any compromises. They believe (correctly) that the general public is behind the idea, and our own firearms community is split on this issue - as posts on this thread show. What we want is immaterial. What we will accept or not doesn't matter.

    If Universal Background Checks do become the law-of-the-land they will not be in the form of a system where individuals can make checks themselves. They will simply and easily (for them, not us) require that all private transfers be made through a Federally Licensed Dealer.

    If they can divide us on this issue they will win. If we unite and fight they may not.
     
  4. DJW

    DJW Member

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    I agree that this is a critical issue. There are many tricks and traps involved. If this is not very carefully scrutinized it may be the foundation for registration/confiscation. The left wants our guns, make no mistake about it.
    In reality, how could an additional background check have prevented any of the madness in the schools? It would not and could not.
    We have already submitted to checks when buying anything from an FFL. Hell, they have my background and prints from my CHL for many years already.
    The problem is all the drugs so freely handed out by big pharma and doctors who think meds will solve mental health issues.......which they will NOT. Perhaps if there was such a thing as a "family" and some respect for civilized behavior the problem would evaporate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  5. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Member

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    NM trying the same

    Heard a blurb on the local news program this AM, that NM is pushing for UBC, would entail staffing 7 days from 0700-2200, I'm thinking that the cost of adding that burden to an already overworked, and understaffed, dept. would be the straw that causes non issue. Hearing at the merry round house this afternoon.
     
  6. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Costs vs. benefits are one argument. But the polls suggest that UBC's are quite popular. Really the only piece of gun control that enjoys broad popularity. And complaining about the costs could easily lead to an excise tax to pay for the thing.

    IIRC the NRA SUPPORTED the creation of NICS. So it's hard for them to argue against expanding it. And so far they really haven't put much energy into it. The idea was that by controlling transfers we could shift the focus away from gun bans.

    There has to be a better argument than "they will use it as registration." They haven't so far. Nor do their ideas for the AWB seem to be getting much traction outside of a few notoriously anti-gun states.
     
  7. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    I said it was my compromise. Compromise means both sides concede something. My concession is to allow UBCs. Theirs? Well, they don't get a registry. Of course, as you point out, there may be "unintended consequences". :uhoh: But what you describe would only apply to weapons made before the law went into effect.
     
  8. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    Chicago didn't use registration to ban ownership of new handguns.

    ...UNTIL THEY DID.

    You're high on bath salts if you think that the other side can be trusted as far as you can throw Rosie O'Donnell and a boxcar full of bags of hammers.
     
  9. abajaj11

    abajaj11 Member

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    there are 300 million+ unregistered weapons in this country right now.
    would they all be exempted from this law?
    :)
     
  10. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    It's a LOSE/LOSE/LOSE situation
    you win and everything is the same,
    -------- you lose cause then the demon-crates yell "the NRA is arming criminal and not letting us fix it" - actual line my brother used on me, and when I TRIED to explain it, well...

    LOSE, give an inch, they take the mile and beat us up cause
    ------"Gunowners are standing in the way of meaningful (read complete gun ban) reform"

    they win, and we lose everything.

    NOW tell me, where is the compromise?
    considering that procecution of felons in possession, and those providing them guns is DOWN by at least a 1/3 under obama
     
  11. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    \

    Law abiding gunowners have been "conceding something" since 1934. What did we ever receive in return? Does anyone remember Chuckie Schumer gloating after the AWB was passed: "Wait until you see the rest of the camel"? Its a federal felony for a convicted felon to attempt to buy a gun: This administration and others have steadfastly refused to do prosecute felons who attempt to buy guns.

    You simply cannot compromise with those who would take your Second Amendment rights away. They will keep coming back until you are unarmed.
     
  12. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    Exempt from what? The law would not affect them one way or another until they were sold or transferred to another individual. We have to trust our citizens to be responsible and law abiding members of the community and perform the background check. (Yes, the seller could forgo the check and the new owner could claim that he had always owned the weapon, and that would be a prosecutable offense...if they were caught.

    As to the other arguments from Shadow and alsaqr, I'm not putting it forth as a proposal, but as a response. IF they insist on compromise, there is one I will accept. To spell it out, Yes, any compromise regarding a right is a loss. I know that. But IF faced with a loss I can't prevent, I will try to get something in return. That is compromise. That is a big "if" and I don't think we are there yet.

    Shadow, I don't care how much they yell about arming criminals. If they agree to the compromise, then they are complicit. And as I have hinted, the UBC is easily avoided if both parties agree to do so and take the risk of getting caught after a year. The only thing it really combats is straw purchases.

    My personal position, stated publicly on other forums as well is that the line drawn by the 2A was crossed long ago. I'm not willing to go any farther, I'm seeking ways to get back to where we should be. Slippery slopes can work both ways.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  13. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Ah... What do you do if the other side isn't interested in your compromise? Looking at it from their perspective, if the pro-gun side is split on the issue why not take advantage of that fact, and force all legal transfers be made through an FFL? They aren't going so suffer because of the additional hassle and fees, and criminals/prohibited persons will ignore it.
     
  14. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    One thing I point out to people about the supposed "Common Sense Legislation ..." bill when they try to tout that it makes it a "federal crime to traffic guns" is that it is *ALREADY A FEDERAL CRIME TO TRAFFIC GUNS.*

    Hell, look at the thread I started asking about whether my wife could ship a handgun to me. It's clear that we'd both end up in a federal pen for trafficking our own personal property across state lines. But it's not already a crime for drug dealers to do it?

    Some people are morons, but I keep a polite smile anyway.
     
  15. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Lightbulb!

    I had a "lightbulb moment" last night that I thought I'd put out there for everyone's consideration. There's been a lot of talk about universal background checks, mandatory background checks, etc. What if there were a way to encourage background checks without mandating them? Don't get me wrong, I still oppose mandatory, universal background checks. I also do not believe that this proposal that I am about to make would fly with any of the hardcore anti-gunners. Still, I think it's worth consideration.

    18 U.S.C. § 922 currently reads:
    As written, one of the key elements is "knowing or having reasonable cause to know" that the transferee is a prohibited person. Note that, under this section, it does not actually matter whether the transferee is a prohibited person. For example, if my ol' fishing buddy Frank Felony has "convicted murderer" tattooed on his forehead, I have reasonable cause to know that he is prohibited, at least arguably. Even if he is not, in fact, a convicted murderer, a US Attorney could make a decent argument that I had "reasonable cause to know" that Frank is prohibited, even if he is not.

    What if the following section were added to 18 U.S.C. § 922?
    For those of you in support of universal background checks, would this be palatable? It seems to me that it would provide some concrete incentive for tranferors to use background checks (a bar to prosecution), without mandating them.
     
  16. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    Fuff, If the other side doesn't like my compromise then we do the same as when I don't like theirs: look for another and try to come out ahead.

    Spats, I think your idea is more palatable than most. Part of the responsibility of owning a firearm is handling it properly, and I think that includes transferring it properly. That means to not "sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person [is a prohibited person]."

    The bigger question is how do you keep a record of who was checked from becoming the basis of a list of who might have a firearm and still maintain a record that can be used as evidence of due diligence in court?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  17. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    No question, but then again what if this is an opportunity to steal their thunder and refocus gun control away from bans entirely?

    I'm also not convinced that BC's are pointless. The fact of the matter is I don't sell FTF unless I have some basis of trust with the person. I don't want to sell to nutcases or felons. And I'm not sure I want YOU to sell to nutcases or felons. Does the Constitution give us the right to sell to anybody? No, certainly not. Selling, at least outside the family, is not a purely private act. It's not something in the sanctum sanctorum of the gun safe. It's taking the firearm out into the public, where the public's interest in regulating the arm increases. And the transfer itself is subject to UCC rules and protections for buyer and seller.

    But on the other hand I see the huge potential for Congress to abuse the system in the future. Where I'm coming down on this is I'd be willing to agree to UBC's if we could get something substantive in return. Like replacing the BATF with a new agency that has a pro-gun ownership mandate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  18. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    Spats - I like the idea of an incentive, but think it could be refined.

    The changes:
    • shift 922(d) from a standard of culpability (knowing, etc.) to strict liability
    • strict liability provides a huge incentive to look for a safe harbor
    • provide a safe harbor through a voluntary background check
    • avoid using "transfer" with its potential to cover "temporary transfers of possession"
    • eliminate "ammunition" - we don't want background checks for ammo
     
  19. abajaj11

    abajaj11 Member

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    they can INSIST on anything they want...in the strongest possible terms. Why should we give them anything? Call your senators and congressman once a week till they are sick of hearing from you...then call again.
    Assure them you will work extra hard to support pro 2A legislators, and work extra hard to unseat those who give up ONE inch.
    Why compromise at all? You are not going to gain ANYTHING by compromising...they will never go away...
    People have been trying to disarm other people and enslave them from time immemorial. Sometimes with superior armies, sometimes through stealth.
    There is NO standing army in the world that can disarm 100million + armed people. So they are disarming us one piece at a time. or trying to.
    Any compromise you give them makes them one step closer to disarming us.
    Don't concede an inch! We can win this easily..
    :)


    :)
     
  20. razorback2003

    razorback2003 Member

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    Most dealers in my area charge 25 to 50 bucks to transfer a firearm. Then you pay 10 dollars to the state of TN for the TICS background check.

    Private sales are not the problem. The problem with these mass shootings has been crazy individuals allowed to be in public without proper medication.
     
  21. JRH6856

    JRH6856 Member

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    Muad Dib, whatever I might be willing to do, it would be unwise to declare it in advance in a public forum.
     
  22. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    What's wrong with a universal background check? Well, there is a small problem, or rather problems.

    Here is the real problem. The federal government gets its power to regulate guns primarily from its taxing ability (the FFL fee is a business tax) and its power to regulate interstate commerce.

    But a private sale of a product by one person to another person in the same state involves neither taxation or interstate commerce, so it is a matter for the states.

    In order to justify background checks on private sales or at gun shows, the government would have to impose a sales tax on all gun transfers, and a tax on gun shows.

    That means licensing all private transfers, and licensing and controlling gun shows, with whatever license fee (tax) the government chooses, and whatever regulations it chooses to formulate to control individual sales and gun shows.

    Some ideas that have been floated for private sales is something like a Form 4 application to transfer with a tax (one proposal was $50, but of course it would be raised once the law was in effect). An application might take up to a year to process, and would include the make, model and serial number of the gun, reason for the transfer, buyer's fingerprnts, forms allowing search of the seller's and buyer's mental health records, etc.

    In order to regulate sales at gun shows, the federal government would have to know when and where gun shows would be held and who would be exhibiting/selling. To do that, gun shows would be licensed and taxed; sponsors would have to apply a year or more in advance to hold a show, all exhibitors would have to be specially licensed to set up at that show (in addition to an FFL), all transactions of everything would have to be reported and taxed, etc. (You don't think they would pass up a chance at more taxes, do you?)

    So think a bit before supporting a "simple" background check. Like other "simple" things the government has imposed (like the income tax), it just might not be so "simple".

    Jim
     
  23. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Not since the expansion of the Commerce Clause. It probably SHOULD be a matter for the states, but it isn't. Virtually all modern arms include components imported from other states or nations. So it's not difficult to see how the transfer can be tied to interstate commerce under federal law. Plus they move across state borders very freely.

    Why would they have to do that? They would simply pass a law making it illegal to transfer firearms without a background check through NICS. With some exceptions for family members, estates, etc.

    But in any case it seems Congress has moved on now so we have a breather. I think we need to work on honing our approach to UBC's because this is likely to become the next battleground after Dianne's AWB sinks.
     
  24. michaelbsc

    michaelbsc Member

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    Honestly and truly, and we all know I'm not exactly the most conservative guy around here, when we've got a justice on the bench who cannot bring herself to deny that the federal government has the authority to compel citizens to eat three vegetables daily based on the Commerce Clause then there is nothing the Commerce Clause cannot be stretched to do.

    I guess this is because air drifts across state borders, and everyone breaths the air.
     
  25. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator

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    Hmm. I don't want to shift 922(d) to a strict liability crime. Agreed on use of the word "transfer."
     
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