Friday, October 10, 2014

Background checks on gun transfers ARE a hidden "Gun Registration" measure

Last year I was at an IPSC/USPSA match in Oregon when a friend searched me out.

His pistol had fallen out out of his skeleton holster and hit the ground, and by the rules of Practical Pistol competition he was forbidden to touch it without the supervision of a Range Officer.  So I obliged him, of course, and I (safely) picked up his $3,000 race gun and handed it to him.

Then he went looking for someone else who had a similar pistol that he could use to complete the match.

He found another competitor who had a spare similar pistol, and safely completed the match.

He needed it: his C-More sight had taken the brunt of the impact on the hard-packed ground, and was broken.  Eventually, it cost him several hundred dollars to replace the broken electronic-dot sight, but at least he didn't have to drop out of the match.

Under the "Universal Background Check" rules, he would not have been able to rely on the largesse of his friends.

Bloomberg-Gates background check ploy first step to registration, confiscation - National gun rights |

The first point is, a background check bill is impossible without creating registration data. That was admitted by no less an authority than Greg Ridgeway, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Justice, who wrote a summary report on gun violence prevention strategies in which he concluded “Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration.
Now, let's look at the same scenario under the "Universal Background Check" rules:

Universal Background Checks (may) apply even to temporary "loaning" of a gun at a range, except under certain narrowly defined circumstances.  See below.

The popular understanding is that this applies only to the transfer of ownership of firearms.   That's not necessarily true.

A "universal" background check such as:
   *(U.S. Senator Charles Schumer's "Fix Gun Act of 2013", as described in REASON Magazine)*
... Schumer's S. 374 does so much more. It requires background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) via a federally licensed dealer, with some exceptions, for any transfer that "shall include a sale, gift, loan, return from pawn or consignment, or other disposition." Exempted are gifts within a family, such as by grandparents to grandchildren, and other very specifically defined circumstances in which somebody else is allowed to touch your firearm. Pretty much anything else flirts with prison time.
Specifically, (as REASON mentions) merely LOANING your firearm firearm to someone not within your family requires a Universal Background Check.

So .. no, if your shooting buddy trashes his gun during a shooting competition, you would not legally be permitted to loan your gun to him so he can finish the match.  Unless, of course, you were willing and able to complete the bureaucratic hoop-jumps required by "universal background checks" within a matter of minutes.

And then, when he returns it to you ... you have to go through the entire reporting process again.

What Else May Happen?

The really scary thing is .. if you are required to record  private firearms transfers, then it follows logically that The Government must keep records of that transfer.


Suppose, as is suggested in the scenario, that you loan a firearm to someone who just wants to complete a match because his gun is broken and he doesn't have a 'spare' with him.

You have to provide documentation during the Universal Background Check process, which presumably includes the make, model, caliber and serial number of the firearm.  Remember that when you buy a firearm from a dealer, the government is required to delete all records of the transfer after a 'reasonable' period?

This takes time.  Which is not available during a shooting match.

But supposing it IS possible?  The loaned gun is entered into 'the system'.  From that point on, the government knows exactly what gun was owned by whom, even if it was only "loaned".   Note that the proposed laws of Universal Background Checks almost invariably included the term "possession".   Or, in the above Schumer version, the word loan.

This transaction is not necessarily covered by NCICS, which currently applies to sales by licensed dealers.  As things stand now, that law is not applicable to "private" transfers (which are no longer "private"), so there are no existing laws which prevent ATF or any other governmental agency from retaining the records.

(If someone has better information, I would appreciate the correction!)

Otherwise, how could the Feds insure that you were obeying the law?

Work with me on this:
  • what good is a law if it cannot be enforced?
  • In order to enforce the law, the transaction must be 'checked' (or 'recorded')
  • in order for it to be checked, the firearm must be identified
  • to be identified, the make/model/serial number must be recorded
  • Since a dealer is not involved, the rules limiting retention of data are not applicable
  • When the government has a database containing all of the information required to record a firearms transfer, this becomes tantamount to Registration ...
  • ... which leads almost invariably to Confiscation, at the government's pleasure


Texas TopCat said...

I agree that the article describes the things where the proposed laws would do things that are unproductive and unfair. My opinion is that the intent of such laws are to do exactly these things.
Now, the problem is getting the message to people that are not gun people. These non-gun people have been convinced of several bad ideas, namely
1) A gun's only purpose is to kill people
2) The idea of using a gun for self defense is not necessary since 911 will do the job better and safer
3) Only professional police are skilled and trained enough to handle powerful extra deadly semi-automatic guns. (We even have a MD judge claim semi-automatic guns are more dangerous than automatic guns.)
4) Only people that oppose BC have something to hide and therefore should not be permitted to own guns

How do we educated these non-gun people? How do we get people that only knowledge of a gun is shooting birds/deer once a year to stand with the rest of the gun owners.

Anonymous said...

You have low info voters, and people that are low info in so far as firearms are concerned. Many have been indoctrinated by the public school system and mass media to fear and hate firearms.