The level of misinformation after the defeat of the Manchin - Toomey bill is insane. This is SIMPLE folks.
The current check system is NICS (National Criminal Background Check System) and the form an FFL (Federal Firearms License holder) has you fill out and keeps for 20 years (minium) is a 4473.
There is no gun show or internet sales loophole. Less than 10% of gun sales are private transfers. If you buy a gun and transfer it that is already an illegal straw sale -- it says that right on the 4473!
The 4473 has your name and the serial number of the firearm. **SO**, although that gun is not officially "registered to you", it effectively is, since all that is required for the federal government to find 90%+ of the firearms legally sold since '98 is to collect the records from the FFLs. That is ASSUMING that the Feds have no kept the information from all the calls to the NICs center.
If the feds come to my door and say "we want your guns" today, I can say "I sold them", and if due process is still in force, they can't prosecute me for not having them. If background checks in the way they are talking about become "universal", then there are no transfers that are allowed without going through the NICS, and I will either have to claim them "stolen" or "lost", both of which can easily be made into crimes ... that I would be required to report my "missing firearms", and if I filed that falsely, then I would be also guilty of a felony.
So, private sales today are a "safety valve" and the source of very few sales to criminals.
However, I too am in favor of "Universal Background Checks" if done reasonably. It could be very simple:
- Everyone that wants to purchase a firearm must obtain a "Permit to Purchase(PP)", which you already need to do in MN for pistols or "Assault Weapons" (Modern Sporting Weapons). This causes a more through NICS check, and ought to be provided freely to citizens.
- At an FFL, it works just like buying a pistol in MN today ... show your PP or Permit to Carry, fill out the 4473, FFL does a NIC check, and you get your gun.
- The add would be that when a private citizen does a sale, they are required to see the PP/PC + picture ID. A retention requirement of keeping the PP/PC and Driv Lic #s for "2-5 years" seems not unreasonable as well ... indicating "I sold this person one or more firearms".
For those that want to have all legal transfers of guns have a background check, this accomplishes that task without defacto registration or the threat thereof. Those of us "wackos" that have concerns about future confiscation could cross execute a couple "sales" to buddies that COULD have sold our whole collections in case confiscation ever comes to pass.
However, based on attempting to read the bill, and making it most of the way through http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/345845/problems-toomey-manchin, I can ONLY conclude that current "background check" people are FAR more interested in collecting data on legal gun purchasers than they are in insuring background checks for legal gun sales.
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