Universal Background Checks Are A Good Way To Deny A Lot Of People Their 2nd Amendment Rights

Dealer displays firearms for sale at a gun show in Kansas City

One of President Obama’s gun control proposals announced after the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary (though a proposal which wouldn’t have done anything to stop that shooting) is universal background checks for all gun exchanges except those between relatives.

This would close the so-called “gun show loophole” in existing background check requirements, but really what it means is that no gun can ever be legally sold, traded or gifted from one private individual to another without needing to go through the federal government.

At Reason, Jacob Sullum explains why that’s problematic:

Although an expanded background check requirement is ostensibly a response to last month’s massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, it would not have stopped the gunman in that attack, who used firearms legally purchased by his mother. Even if he had tried to buy guns, it seems he would have passed a background check because he did not have a disqualifying criminal or psychiatric record.

That is typically the case in mass shootings, observes Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox. And if they could not pass a background check, Fox says, “mass killers could always find an alternative way of securing the needed weaponry, even if they had to steal from family members or friends.”

Meanwhile, to make sure that every gun buyer undergoes a background check, the government would need to know where all the guns are at any given time. Although Obama did not mention that little detail last week, The Washington Post reported earlier this month that the administration was “seriously considering” creating a system that would “track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database.”

Second Amendment supporters historically have opposed gun registration, fearing that it could ultimately lead to confiscation, something that has actually happened in places such as Canada, Great Britain, Australia, California, and New York City. While wholesale disarmament would be clearly unconstitutional in this country, confiscation of guns that legislators arbitrarily deem unnecessary or excessively dangerous is easier to imagine, especially given Obama’s support for a new, stricter ban on “assault weapons.”

Not only is there concern here for federal gun tracking, let’s also keep in mind what a wet blanket this would represent for gun transactions nationally. How long is a federal background check going to take, especially if the system is loaded down with every private gun transaction taking place between non-relatives in the country? Days? Weeks?

And how easy would it be for the federal government to sandbag gun sales by slowing down the screening process? We’ve seen the Obama administration use that tactic on energy development. Remember the permitorium for off-shore drilling in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? How about the years of delays the federal government has foisted on the Keystone Pipeline?

Why would we believe that the federal government wouldn’t try to hamper the free exchange of guns in the same way? The feds certainly haven’t earned our trust on these sort of issues.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • WOOF

    I’m thinking mandatory drug testing.

    • sbark

      ………for welfare recipients of course right?

      • $8194357

        All Democrats….

      • WOOF

        If they take an oath to answer militia call ups with the firearm they’re given. Same as everyone else with a firearm.

        • slackwarerobert

          Didn’t we do that with the selective service? Which brings up how the illegals can get a green card when they can’t even get job assistance because they didn’t sign up within 6 months of their birthday. The ads doesn’t say americans on their 18th birthday. It says register or else. So how come these “children” didn’t register, and how can they get a green card when they didn’t.

    • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

      I don’t agree with you because of the hassles to every person but at least it might actually cut down the amount of gun crime.

      • slackwarerobert

        Shooting criminals will cut down on even more crimes even those that don’t involve a gun.

        • borborygmi

          Yeah as long as you shoot the right guy. How Taliban of you.

          • slackwarerobert

            When has the taliban ever shot the right guy? To my knowledge they never even shot at bush or obama.

    • slackwarerobert

      As long as I can get a waiver for the week after turning a new barrel. No one should have to make a match barrel sober, to much tedious labor.

  • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

    Police: Ky. gunman who killed 2 bought gun same day

    It’s just the small price we pay for freedumb.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      I wonder how many people getting into deadly accidents right after they buy a new car.

      Background checks for car purchases!

    • $8194357

      freedumb?
      Yes you are…A fool tool to Americas destruction, grasshopper..
      The “religion of secular ignorance” is strong with you leftists.

      Ben Franklin:

      Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.

      Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
      Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.

      When the people find that they can vote themselves money,
      that will herald the end of the republic.

      They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
      deserve neither safety nor liberty.

      Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men,
      but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.

      This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties.
      A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize
      the rights which God has given them cannot be enslaved.

      It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.

      God grant that not only the love of liberty but a thorough knowledge of the
      rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher
      may set his foot anywhere on its surface and say: This is my country.

      Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God

      Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt
      and vicious, they have more need of masters.

    • Mike Adamson

      True that,whether the “defenders of freedom” want to admit it or not.

      • Wayne

        True what?

        • Mike Adamson

          True that it’s a price you pay for your freedom.

    • Wayne

      So you think our Constitutional rights are dumb. Be careful the mask is slipping.

  • Game

    When I sell a car on the private market, I go with the person to the DMV and we transfer the licence for the car. The cost for the transfer is paid by the person getting the car. I would not have a problem, if I was selling a gun, to run to a local sporting goods store and get a background check done so that I can be sure the person I am selling the gun to is not a criminal or mentally ill.

    I think the sporting good store would be well within it’s rights to charge the buyer for this service.

    I would also think that a sporting goods store or other gun seller would be able to set up a similar service at gun shows.

    I am sorry, I really see this as a common sense measure that could ensure that illegal sales of guns do not happen.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Well sure, a Democrat is proposing it, so it must be a “common sense measure.”

      • Game

        Actually, most of the proposals about limiting semi-automatic weapons and the size of a clip are stupid, regardless of what party is suggesting it.

        But I am not a NRA kool-aid drinker who thinks that it is a violation of my natural rights to keep guns out the hands of criminals and people with violent mental illness..

        • slackwarerobert

          And how does making me a felon for not telling them what guns I have going to take some criminals guns away? This is the same BS he uses for global warming. How can taking my money make the climate change? The way you stop a felon from having a gun is you lock the felon behind bars. nuts have rights, change the constitution if you don’t think they should.

          • Game

            Slack,
            When did I say anything about making you a felon for not telling “them” you have?
            I was talking about background checks on private gun sales. Pay attention.

          • slackwarerobert

            You CAN’T do a background check. They just want a record of who has guns. This is the same government that said the airport scanners can’t record the images, till 50,000 of them turned up, that can’t take nakid pictures till again they were ratted out they do.If the person buys your mini-14 because he WANTS it, then he can be arrested if he is not allowed to posses a firearm. How do you know they are not lieing that he can’t buy an mini-14? If the government wants me to run a background check, then pay me for it and I will gladly run them, but they will have to give me the proof as well so I can double check on them. How do I sell a “banned” gun without incriminating myself? The mental illness problem is a nightmare, how do you prosecute someone when the government already says they are mentally ill and can’t be tried?

        • Wayne

          It’s not a ‘natural’ right, it is a Constitutional right. How are any of the proposed laws going to keep guns out of the hands criminals and people with violent mental illness?

          • Gamer

            Let me make this very clear for you. I have a Mini-14 that I am going to sell to you. Now I don’t know you, or if you have a long history of violent crime or if your shrink is treating you so that you don’t live out your fantasy of killing children. All I know is that you have money and a need for my mini-14.
            So if we go through a background check, and the truth about you is discovered, I cannot sell you the gun.
            Now will you still have a chance to steal a gun or go and shoot people, but at least it is not a gun I sold you.

    • slackwarerobert

      Well here you go then. Repeal all laws banning gun ownership. Now there will be no “illegal” gun sales. If the feds want a mandatory background check, then let THEM pay for it. I think $10 to me for every OK to sell, and $50 for every denial of sale would be fair for a start. So are they now going to stay open to take the request? They shutdown at 5 o’clock for the gun dealers to run them. Your idea fails so bad when you look at the feds saying it is ok to sell to criminals. Now you want me to risk prison not only that they lie that it is ok, but also I have to except the dealer tells me the truth about what the feds told him. If they will break the law at gun shows, why would they obey it for me? The only FFL in DC charges like $150.

    • slackwarerobert

      Gee I take the cash and sign the back the title over to them. What they do with the car is not my problem after that. So what if I don’t sell the gun? I have 3 in the safe for gifts to welcome some LEGAL aliens. They were worried, and rightly so it seems about being able to get a firearm when they become citizens. Now I will probably just give them at the swearing in ceremony. I would much rather citizens from dictatorships have guns because they understand what is at stake when a peaceful government takes care of you.

  • borborygmi

    So we are back to the beginning everyone and anyone should and can own a gun, or any type of weapon.

    • Wayne

      Keep murders and other dangerous criminals in jail and the insane institutionalized. Then why can’t everyone and anyone own a gun or any kind of weapon?

      • borborygmi

        insanity would take a background check or at least a baseline test and a follow up. . Can you explain to me how you are going to keep all felons in jail. You are willing to spend the money for more prisons?

        • slackwarerobert

          Simple solution is first in first fried. If you run out of beds you start frying those that have been there the longest to make room. Now you are going to not commit crimes because if you do your gang banger buddies will get fried to make room for you. And if the scum that rape and murder your wife are about to get out and are at the top of the heap, you can drive off without paying for your gas so you go to jail for a weekend and get them fried to make room for you. What good is a mental restriction, you can’t try them if they break the law anyways.

  • slackwarerobert

    They should be repealing the real assault weapons ban that reagan shoved down our throats. No background on private sales. No limits on weapons period. If you have the space and want a nuke, then you should have no problem owning it. Our government will never use one on another nation even if they use them. But a citizen has their own nuke, and they nuke a friend of theirs, they would use them.

  • schreib

    I am personally sick and tired of listening to our communist in chief liar of a president. He wants to be a lifelong dictator.

    • slackwarerobert

      As long as it is a very SHORT life, I am ok with it. From a severe case of non assault weapons fire would just be icing on the cake. Presbo biden, now that is going to make watching the late night shows worth it.

      • borborygmi

        Knock Knock , Secret Service

        • slackwarerobert

          Won’t be the first time. But I welcome a chance to drag them into court for discovery. I would love to get them under oath and answer my questions on overthrowing tyrants.

    • borborygmi

      and you are an idiot.

  • Mike Adamson

    What is the rationale for denying WOOF or anybody his own tank? Does the second amendment draw a line? A tank would come in handy if the government decides to oppress you guys I would think.

    • Wayne

      Is that all you have, straw-man?

      • Mike Adamson

        I got lots more but I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on my questions.

    • slackwarerobert

      If I had to guess, global warming. I have no problem if someone wants a tank, a cannon, a tomahawk missile. I don’t oppress people so have no fear from them.

  • slackwarerobert

    Just saw an add for a 12 gauge shotgun and it looks exactly like an AR. Want to see in person because I can’t see how you can have a flash suppressor without small bird shot rounds getting stuck in it, unless it doesn’t go all the way through. But biden is ok with shotguns so should be legal to own even if it looks “evil”.

  • HG

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/01/25/emanuel-to-banks-stop-supporting-gun-makers/
    The real guns, God, and gays nutjobs are at it again. Remember when they tried to strong-arm Chic-fil-a? Well, now its the banks who finance gun manufacturers. These nuts are sick on power.

  • awfulorv

    Background checks, what a laugh. There are many urban areas in this country, Chicago, L.A., Philly, Camden, St. Louis, and many more, that are unsafe for even police to enter without a veritable army. The idea that you could get the Denizens of these areas to register their guns is a real hoot. If a rival gang member knew they were weaponless they’d be busting in their doors in ten minutes. And if these stalwart citizens knew you, Mr. Suburbanite, were defenseless, they’d jump in their jalopies, even more than they do now, and pay you, your wife, and your sweet young daughter, a visit. Don’t doubt it…

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