Gun Control

4 Questions About 'Universal Background Checks' for Gun Purchases

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As J.D. Tuccille noted this morning, "universal background checks" are emerging as a leading contender for the something that must be done by Congress in response to last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elemenetary School. "There's a natural gravity that happens toward the ['assault weapon'] ban in the wake of tragedies," Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, tells The New York Times. "But it's very important to point out that background checks could have an even bigger impact."

Although the impulse to demand a ban on "assault weapons" after a mass shooting does resemble a reflex, in the sense that it is automatic and entails no thought, I would not call it "natural." It is a conditioned response instilled by people like Gross, who continue to peddle the lie that there is something uniquely dangerous about the guns included in this arbitrarily defined category. But I will agree with Gross on this point: Since reinstating the federal ban on "assault weapons" will have zero effect on the frequency of mass shootings or the number of people killed in them, expanding the background check requirement could be almost totally ineffective and still have a bigger impact.

That does not mean it is a good idea, however. Here are some questions to keep in mind if, as the Times predicts, "universal background checks" get a warmer reception from Congress than Dianne Feinstein's latest hodgepodge of "military characteristics":

1. How universal? After the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, Colorado voters approved a ballot measure that requires everyone who buys firearms at a gun show to undergo a federal background check. If the seller is not a licensed gun dealer, he has to get someone who is to run the check. According to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, five other states (California, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Rhode Island) have similar rules, while an additional three states (Connecticut, Maryland, and Pennsylvania) require background checks at gun shows only for handguns. (There are also seven states—Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Nebraska—that require handgun buyers to obtain permits, a process that involves a background check.) Now Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper wants to go further, requiring background checks for private sales that do nor occur at gun shows, which are said to account for 40 percent of gun purchases in his state. That policy seems tantamount to banning private sales, since a licensed dealer with access to the National Instant Check System would have to be involved in every transaction. And if Hickenlooper is serious about making the requirement universal, simply giving your guns to someone—a father passing his hunting rifle to his son, for instance—also would have to be criminalized.

2. How would the requirement be enforced? The Washington Post reports that the gun control task force headed by Vice President Joe Biden, which is expected to make its recommendations next week, "is seriously considering measures backed by key law enforcement leaders that would require universal background checks for firearm buyers [and] track the movement and sale of weapons through a national database." To make the background check requirement stick, you have to know where the guns are at any given time and when they change hands. So now we are talking about a national registry of gun owners, enabling the federal government to make sure everyone who obtains a firearm is allowed to have one. If he's not, presumably he can expect a not-so-friendly visit from federal agents, who might merely confiscate the gun but could also arrest him for violating the Gun Control Act of 1968, which is punishable by up to five years in prison. The Times reports that "some [Obama administration] officials would like to expand mandatory minimum sentences for gun law violations."

3. Do we want better enforcement? As I noted last month, the categories of people prohibited by federal law from buying or owning guns are absurdly broad, including the 40 million or so Americans (probably considerably more) who qualify as "unlawful user[s] of…any controlled substance" and anyone who has been convicted of a felony, whether or not it involved violence or even a victim. Universal background checks, combined with the improved data collection that also is widely perceived as an eminently sensible response to mass shootings, would unjustly strip millions of people of their Second Amendment rights and subject them to criminal penalties for actions that harm no one.

4. How is this supposed to prevent mass murder? Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox, an expert on mass shootings, notes that "most mass murderers do not have criminal records or a history of psychiatric hospitalization," so "they would not be disqualified from purchasing their weapons legally." And if they were, he adds, "mass killers could always find an alternative way of securing the needed weaponry, even if they had to steal from family members or friends."  

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  1. Who controls the background database?

    1. Like the “no-Fly List”, any agency can put someone on the “No-Gun List” but no-one will be responsible for maintaining the list or removing names.

    2. We already register new sales with a dealer using the 4473 process. Private sales could be handled the same way, just take it to a dealer to be transferred, and the dealer keeps the paperwork on file and registers the SN just as they do with a new sale.

      No new “national gun registry” required, and you have all of the protections already built into the existing process.

      If a firearm is then recovered from a crime scene, you lookup the owner. If the criminal is not the individual who’s registered as the owner, the original owner has a bit of explaining to do. And could face a few unpleasant consequences.

      Besides, it’s to your advantage to take it to a dealer anyway. Neutral ground, and you’re not inviting a stranger who saw your ad on Craigslist into your home.

      And what do you do if you do invite the guy into your home, run an internet-only check as some have proposed… and then find out the guy’s a felon?

  2. Universal background? Isn’t that about 3 degrees Kelvin? Why would they be checking it in the areas around a gun purchase, it is not like it would vary.

    1. Read the description of this movie plot…

      1. So only one Koch brother survives?

        1. If only we had listened to them about global warming.

        2. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE

  3. The no buy list should work about as well as the no fly list. If even one “John Smith 10-17-1972” has a felony, all the other John Smiths are in for a hassle.

    1. What’s the problem? Fewer guns on the streets is the goal right?

      1. Indeed, gun control is an end unto itself.

        Gotta try all these things and see if they work this time around. If not, we’ll try more things. We’ll keep doing this until we have to start restricting knives.

        1. If they don’t work this time, we’ll try them again next time.

          1. You can have my fork when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

    2. Bingo.

      I have a friend with a very common first name and reasonably last name. He was initially denied a purchase until the NICS checker figured out that a name and DOB might not be enough.

      The gun store owner (on speakerphone) was asked if the person in front of him was 5’11”, 180lbs, african american. No, the person in front was the near complete opposite-6’1″, 300ish, and white.

      At least it was a person who had the sense to ask some more questions. A list without enough data points will be rife with error, while one with too many will allow plenty of ‘bad’ sales right through.

    3. This is one of the many objections I was making to Doug Mataconis on Twitter yesterday. How a supposed libertarian can’t imagine how a supposedly well-intentioned law couldn’t be abused or otherwise fucked-up is beyond me. I suspect the answer lies in the first “supposed”.

  4. I still contend that this shit is going nowhere. It’s all sturm und drang for the base. Anything with any teeth goes straight to the Supreme Court, anything else is so milquetoast that it’s a de facto admission that they aren’t doing shit.

    1. They’ll do something about linking mental health records to the gun database, and I could imagine them managing to restrict magazine size. Other than that, I seriously doubt they make anything stick.

      1. Banning private sales is much more likely than magazine restrictions.

        1. How do you enforce that though?

          1. How do you enforce that though?

            “How could you enforce a law against people smoking pot in their own homes?”

          2. It will be mostly ignored, except for the poor sap that gets caught in a sting operation, or who sells a gun privately to someone who uses it in a crime.

            1. How do they know it wasn’t sold privately prior to “Bidens Folly”.

              1. I think we can be confident that it will be up to the poor sap to prove otherwise.

            2. Will shooting his wife be optional, or does that come under the heading of mandatory minimum?

          3. Stings, controlled informants, snitches,surveillance, requiring a record of legal transfer for any firearm manufactured beyond passage of the law.

            1. or GPS devices or drones following every gun around.

          4. When the gun gets used in a crime they run a trace and come up with the last person who received it via an FFL transfer. That person gets to choose between being prosecuted for the crime or being prosecuted for making a private sale.

            1. When was the sale conducted? Where was the crime committed. Who has an alibi….I was was my daughters wedding when all those nuns were being shot…..this is going to be a way bigger time and resource suck than TEAM BLUE is expecting!

              1. If you were at a wedding while the gun was being used to shoot people, that means either it was stolen or you allowed someone else to have it.

                Just like if bank robbers are seen jumping into your car before it speeds away from the bank, even if you have an alibi, you’re in for some pretty intense law enforcement contact.

                1. When was it stolen?

                  The information gap is far too large to be corrected at this point. There are too many guns that aren’t with original owners (4473 form owners) for tracking to work at this point. I have no doubt they’ll try but wait until they try to get convictions…..big fun!

                  1. All they need to do is bring the hammer of 10 year mandatory minimums, and they’ll get lots of guilty pleas. No need to actually prove anything.

              2. this is going to be a way bigger time and resource suck than TEAM BLUE is expecting

                Feature. Think of all the jobs created or saved!

                1. Yup. Get ready for the FSA (Firearms Security Administration).

            2. “The weapon was stolen detective”.

              1. When was it stolen?

                Don’t know – I stored it on the top shelf in my closet. Didn’t even know it was gone until you showed up.

          5. It will be the kind of thing where when you ask the police for their help, say your home was broken into or something and they see a gun or a gun safe, you get sent to prison for a very long time.

            1. Or your gun does get stolen but you don’t dare report it because having your gun stolen is a mandatory five years.

            2. Without a legal registry they couldn’t do that, as they’d have no idea how you acquired the gun. They also can’t run a trace unless the weapon has been used in a crime.

              1. Don’t people just file off the serial numbers anyway?

            3. Slash, create a whole new class of people who know they can’t ask the police for help.

              1. Slash, create a whole new class of criminalspeople who know they can’t ask the police for help.

                FIFY

              2. Slash, create a whole new class of people who know they can’t ask the police for help.

                Back when I lived in Boulder, in high school I had been accused/investigated for being involved with drugs.

                Over the next several years I had the misfortune of having to deal with Boulder cops for various reasons, including someone breaking into my apartment. In that episode the cops kept asking “Was this drug related? This was drug related, wasn’t it? Mind if we look for drugs?” and when I kept answering “No” they just snickered and left. No report. No nothing. They weren’t there to investigate a break-in, they were there to bust me if I gave them an excuse. It wasn’t until recently that I made the connection. Because I had something drug related on my record, any interaction with them was an opportunity for them to charge me with a crime. Even if I was the victim of a crime. So I know what it means to be a person who can’t ask the police for help.

                1. Me too. I had a bench warrant for 5 or six years and would never have called the cops during that period.

                  1. “Had”? Damn, I was going to retrieve you for the bounty. Nevermore would you go astray.

        2. You’re probably right. It will be largely ignored, though.

          1. But it will be a good pretense for arresting/detaining/harassing people, or breaking into their homes when the cops need one.

            1. Heck, it could be an excuse to do what every cop dreams of doing: killing someone.
              After all, if the person has multiple weapons that have been obtained illegally, better go in hot with the finger on the trigger. Can’t be too safe.

          2. We know now that David Gregory’s never going to see the inside of a cell over it, that’s for sure.

      2. I could imagine them managing to restrict magazine size.

        That, and everything else that might get passed by Harry Reid’s Senate (and even that is iffy, given rural state Democrats like WV’s Manchin) is likely to die without a hearing in the House.

        1. Run Boehner out on a rail if anything gets a floor vote.

    2. Epi, there is no doubt in my mind that even the current SCOTUS (never mind one with a coupla more Obama appointees) would approve universal background checks, registration, and prohibitions on transfers of certain weapons (which amounts to slow-motion confiscation).

      1. Really? Remember, the Court has its own ego. They set precedent in both Heller and McDonald. They won’t like that being challenged again and again.

        1. Assuming BO hasn’t replaced Scalia and Thomas with Valerie Jarret and David Axelrod.

          1. Unfortunately, I’m starting to wonder if that might be the long term plan. Pass gun control that the current SC would easily strike down, but slow its challenge’s progress through the courts long enough to have already changed the makeup of the court. And then it gets upheld.

            1. I don’t think any of the 5 Heller or McDonald majority are going anywhere in the next 4 years. I just get the feeling that Thomas and Scalia haaaaate Obama.

              Kennedy may be the weak link, but I bet he’ll end up dying before stepping down.

              1. When the black rabbit comes, none can resist.

        2. They set precedent in both Heller and McDonald.

          Precedent with gaping loopholes for restrictions.

      2. Prohibition on transfer would be a de facto ban, wouldn’t it? Anyone who doesn’t have such a firearm would be deprived of the right to own one.

        1. Prohibition on private transfer is what I think he meant.

          1. That’s a very different animal, assuming by private transfer you mean non-FFL transfer.

        2. Prohibition on transfer would be a de facto ban, wouldn’t it?

          I had in mind Feinsten’s bill, which bans transfer of “assault weapons” and high-cap mags. Even by inheritance.

      3. We should take up a collection to keep the retiring justices on the court until the Senate switches hands or someone less likely to appoint a Maoist to the court is available.

      4. Help me out on this one: currently, most semi-autos don’t fall under the NFA, right? The ones that aren’t SBRs, anyway. Why is that? Because when I read the NFA, I’m not seeing any language that specifically exempts semi-autos. They’d have to be classified as Any Other Weapon (AOW), and it’s current agency practice to only do that for things like zip guns, that weird game rifle/handgun hybrid, and other things like that, but does the statute prevent such a thing? If not, is it an Executive Order or agency ruling that prevents it? Does the NFA prevent the President from classifying semi-autos as Any Other Weapons?

        I don’t see that running afoul of Heller, et al: it’s not prohibition, you can still have an AR, you just have to go through the Class 3 rigamarole, tax stamps, LEO sign-off, etc…

        O could do that with the swipe of a pen.

        1. No, that’s not correct. Section 5845(e) of the NFA describes the Any Other Weapon category and explicitly says “Such term shall not include a pistol or a revolver having a rifled bore, or rifled bores…” so that handles semi-auto pistols, and the rest of the 5845 text pretty much excludes semi-auto rifles and shotguns other than for short barrel length. There is a little room for debate on Very Odd weapons.

          1. Thanks for the clarification and cite. I guess you could still shoehorn semi-auto rifles into AOWs if they were concealable, and ruled to not be pistols. It’d be one hell of a perversion of the plain language, but when has that stopped them before? At least the statute is explicit about excluding pistols and revolvers from that category.

  5. Universal background check just lays the groundwork for registration.

    First, it gets the registration database underway.

    Second, registration will become “necessary” in order to assure compliance with the background check system.

    The sequence will be:

    (1) Universal background check.
    (2) Registration.
    (3) Confiscation.

    If you doubt that the plan is to get to confiscation, you need to (a) read what the gun controllers actually say, (b) learn some history, and (c) ask yourself what other purpose there is for registration.

    1. And when you cross state lines or enter New York City in your car, the automatic plate scanners will send an alert that you’re a registered gun owner out of bounds.

    2. That slippery slope has a big tree branch growing out of it before #2 and an even bigger one before #3.

      It’s currently illegal for ATF to use NICS or 4473 forms to produce a registry. They may be doing it anyway, but they can’t use any such registry as a part of legal proceedings or to justify warrants.

        1. Yes, but it would take an act of Congress to change that.

          1. And we all know how circumspect Congress is about using its own power…

            1. Yes, but if Congress were prepared to vote for a registration law, it doesn’t become any easier for them to do so based on whether a universal background check law had previously passed.

              1. I think it does. Incrementalism, desensitization, etc.

      1. It’s currently illegal for ATF to use NICS or 4473 forms to produce a registry.

        They’ve tried it once, and I would be genuinely surprised they aren’t violating it right now.

        1. They are. They’re keeping records, supposedly for auditing purposes, with the blessing of the federal courts notwithstanding the plain language of the statute. They’ve been doing this for years.

          1. The known records are only records of which FFL transfered the firearm. Not who it was transfered to.

      2. Yeah, and at one point the genetic sample I had to give the US Navy couldn’t be used in criminal proceedings – I even signed a paper to affirm that I was aware of what the law was regarding the purpose and use of that database (remains identification).

        Not two years later the law was amended, allowing the military’s DNA database to be used for law enforcement purposes.

    3. I always point out to fencesitters that the same people advocating ‘sensible’ restrictions today were also advocating it 15,20, and 30 years ago, so it’s very easy to understand their position.

      The same people who talk about not confiscating your deer rifle, only wanting ‘sensible restictions’, protecting the rights of law abiding sportmen, etc. were, just 5 years ago, claiming that there was no individual right to own any guns, and that self defense was not a valid reason to own a gun.

  6. I’m thinking the ban on private sales is ALL they are after. The NRA will cave, “pro-gun” politicians will vote for it, then they will all brag how the gun-grabbers were shut out. The media will score it as a huge victory for the gun lobby and almost no one will realize much more than just gun rights were lost. Not right away anyways.

    1. Indeed. Read HR 21 for one example-bans private sales and requires sales records to be sent to the AG. Same bill also requires a state that allows concealed carry develop a permit system that only issues to people over 21 and for ‘good cause’

      1. and for ‘good cause’

        I assume it accepts “fuck you, that’s why” as a reason?

        1. Now I want to apply for a carry permit in NYC, NJ, or MD just to put that down as the reason.

          It might be worth flushing a little money down the drain…

          1. I have no desire to carry, but have considered getting a MD carry permit just to make sure I get grandfathered in (assuming that is allowed).

            Mind you I was remarking to my kid the other night on how quiet Gov. O’Malley had been. He’ll remember the shellacking Kathleen Kennedy Townsend got by Bob Ehrlich at the hands of gun owning Democrats.

            1. I don’t follow Maryland politics very well, but wondered why we haven’t heard from the MD governor, or the Baltimore mayor for that matter.

              NJ,NY,NYC,MD,RI are may-issue for non residents. I’ll probably pick the least expensive and apply for that one with “Fuck You, That’s Why” as my reason.

              I got my 1 year $100 MA non-res permit, but was limited to sporting only.

              Whenever I hear gun control supporters whine that shall-issue is bad because it doesn’t give the police discretion, I think of MA. Every year I’m supposed to go the office in Chelsea and interview with the examiner as to why I should be granted a permit.

      2. That bill has no chance of passing, and the second part is blatantly unconstitutional as it violates even the meager federalism required by SCOTUS precedent.

  7. Any chance we can sell the gun control crowd on just adding a question to the background check documents asking “Do you plan to shoot up any schools with this weapon?” Surely this is the most direct solution to keeping guns out of the hands of people that intend to do these sorts of things.

    1. And prosecute them for perjury if it turns out they’re lying! Perfect.

      1. Won’t work – *at the time* I had no intention of shooting up a school. But those damn kids egged my house last halloween and that was just over the line.

  8. That policy seems tantamount to banning private sales, since a licensed dealer with access to the National Instant Check System would have to be involved in every transaction.

    That’s semantics. Are you telling me that if I agree to sell a gun to someone at my club, but insist that we go down to the FFL for the transfer, this is no longer a private sale?

    1. Are you telling me that if I agree to sell a gun to someone at my club, but insist that we go down to the FFL for the transfer, this is no longer a private sale?

      That is the very definition of “not a private sale”.

      1. I don’t involve federally licensed brokers, third party record keeping, and the FBI in my private economic transactions.

      2. Hogwash. The FFL never touches anything that’s being exchanged. It’s a private sale.

        I guess there is no such thing as a private auto sale either, since the title has to be transferred by the state.

        1. Oh… So the guy at the currency exchange runs a background check on the parties to the car sale, does he?

          1. It’s the same definition game as always, LTC(ret) John.

            It will be a “private” sell insomuch as it will be between two non-commercial entities, but it will not be “private” in the sense of being solely between two individuals, as the “public” sphere will be interlocuted in the transaction.

            1. Quite so – I’m just tweaking Tulp a bit.

              1. Why? There’s nothing to be gained from interacting with this pedantic dipshit, as I keep telling you morons.

                1. Warty, it has been hard enough for me to not engage the trolls – but I have been getting better! An occasional comment Tulp’s way isn’t that bad… I can quit anytime I want. Really.

                2. The fact that dumping bottle after bottle Drano into a septic tank full of solidified shit doesn’t unclog it, but instead generates poisonous fumes, doesn’t mean Drano isn’t good for clearing clogs.

                  1. Once again Tulpa indulges in the egomaniacal flight of fancy that his presence is some sort of benevolent gift he bestows on the board.

                    Thank you, Tulpa. Oh thank you for being a pedantic shitbird. We love you Tulpa!

                  2. The fact that dumping bottle after bottle Drano into a septic tank full of solidified shit doesn’t unclog it, but instead generates poisonous fumes, doesn’t mean Drano isn’t good for clearing clogs.

                    Try this:

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPjwVkN65QI

                    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPjwVkN65QI

                      Call Roto Rooter (that’s insane), and away goes money down the drain.

                3. Educating anyone who might be inclined to agree with Tulpa. Your average cosmotarian is not much more likely to have engaged in a private firearms transfer than to have attended a cockfight.

            2. Damn English for having different meaning for the same words.

              1. Actually, I don’t need to involve the state in a vehicle transaction at all. As long as I have the signed paperwork, I can prove the vehicle is mine. I only need to involve the state if I want to drive it on their roads.

                And as a dedicated libertarain scofflaw, I have driven unregistered vehicles for years at a time. As long as you aren’t driving stupidly, it’s usually not a problem.

                1. I have driven unregistered vehicles for years at a time. As long as you aren’t driving stupidly, it’s usually not a problem.

                  Then again, I’ve seen cops in both Austin and Houston, usually in U-turn lanes, doing nothing but checking cars for up to date registration and inspection stickers. Your tax dollars not only at work, but bringing in more of their friends—which wouldn’t happen if the cops instead had to try and improve their abysmal clearance rate for property crimes.

                  Otherwise, I agree with you, T.

                  1. At the apartment building where I used to live, the owner had an old used pickup truck that was only used for plowing snow. It was kept under a tarp the rest of the year.

                    Cops came by and gave him a ticket for not having up-to-date vehicle stickers.

                2. And as a dedicated libertarain scofflaw, I have driven unregistered vehicles for years at a time.

                  Where did the license plate(s) come from?

                  You’d be in deep, deep shit if you were caught driving a vehicle with license plates from a different vehicle.

        2. In my state you don’t need a title on older vehicles. They don’t have mandatory minimums in federal prison for failing to transfer a title after the sale either. Thanks for playing.

        3. Firearms have titles in Pennsylvania?
          You learn something new everyday.

          1. “They call me MISTER Smith and Wesson!”

        4. I guess there is no such thing as a private auto sale either, since the title has to be transferred by the state.

          You don’t have to conduct private auto sales at a dealership where the dealer handles all the paperwork.

          Your shitty analogies remain shitty.

          1. There are a lot of FFLs who arent’ dealers.

            1. That doesn’t make your shitty analogy any less shitty.

              1. It totally destroys your objection, bub.

                1. It totally destroys your objection, bub.

                  You’re the only one who thinks so, bub.

            2. You won’t be able to do a transfer through a C&R license-holder.They don’t do NICS checks and legally can’t facilitate transactions for 3rd parties.

              1. Not seeing what this has to do with anything.

                1. It totally destroys your “point” about FFL-holders who aren’t dealers.They don’t do 3rd party transfers.

                  1. Uh, pretty sure they can. Since I’ve transferred via one of them.

                2. Look again at what it takes to be an 01 FFL. And also consider how those requirements may be subject to the whims of the ATF.

            3. No, there aren’t. The ATF cracked down on non commercial FFL holders a few years ago. Even to the point of working with local zoning boards to deny FFLs to people who had the address on the form in a non commercial district. You might be thinking of the C and R license.

                1. GROPA is awesome. Just saw him the other day.

                  1. He needs to hire a new web designer though. Sheesh.

                    1. I like it, it keeps the kids and newbs out.

                      Fuckin’ newbs, go to anthony’s where they’ll treat you like the fuckin newb you are(and take all of your money).

                2. He is a dealer you fucking disingenuous dumbass:

                  We do not stock firearms.

                  We have no inventory.

                  If you are looking for a price on a certain firearm, please vist our “GROPA’s Links” page. The online dealers found there can provide you with a much better price than I can.

                  I would rather you buy from them, use me for the transfer and take the money you saved and buy ammo.

                  1. Doesn’t that say he’s not a dealer?

                    I’m confused, what the hell is the argument?

                    The guy tulpa linked does things in his kitchen. He sells no firearms, nothing. He does tranfers for people that buy stuff online or that are doing person to person handgun transfers. I bought the pistol on my waist from a buddy and GROPA did the transfer. I paid him twenty clams for the service.

                    1. He does tranfers for people that buy stuff online or that are doing person to person handgun transfers.

                      Pretty much the definition of a broker dealer, who acts solely as a middleman and charges a fee.

                    2. Pretty much the definition of a broker dealer, who acts solely as a middleman and charges a fee.

                      Nice try. Sez da wiki:

                      A broker-dealer is a term used in United States financial services regulations. It is a natural person, a company or other organization that trades securities for its own account or on behalf of its customers.
                      […]
                      When executing trade orders on behalf of a customer, the institution is said to be acting as a broker. When executing trades for its own account, the institution is said to be acting as a dealer. Securities bought from clients or other firms in the capacity of dealer may be sold to clients or other firms acting again in the capacity of dealer, or they may become a part of the firm’s holdings.

                      Since he never does the thing mentioned in bold, he’s not a dealer or a broker-dealer.

                    3. No it clearly states he is a dealer. A non-stocking dealer who prefers only to do transfers but he acknowledges (in the bold) that he can obtain firearmns and sell them. He holds a dealers license.
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F…..ms_License

                    4. A non-stocking dealer who prefers only to do transfers but he acknowledges (in the bold) that he can obtain firearmns and sell them.

                      He doesn’t obtain the firearms. You obtain them and have them transferred to him. At NO point during the process does he own the firearms that will ultimately be transferred to you.

                    5. General Butt Naked, in terms of the type of FFL he holds, he is a “dealer” even if he doesn’t have a storefront or inventory.

                      He may solely do kitchen-table transfers, but that still requires the standard license, not, for example, the 03 FFL that collectors can get.

                    6. Fuck me. This is a goddamn semantics argument?

                      I don’t even care.

                      He’s a goddamn transfermonger and that’s all I have to say about that.

                    7. You can always tell your rights which haven’t been infringed when you have to have a semantics Ph.D to follow the conversation about how uninfringed they are.

                    8. Even if GROPA isn’t a “dealer-dealer” doesn’t he still have to keep the same books or similar books to a brick ampersand mortar gun dealer? Books that BATFE can look at whenever they wish, and that the dealer must keep for, 20 years IIRC. Which makes it not a private sale and is the only point people like SIV are making.

                      Even if he doesn’t have to keep said books, I will bet that such a requirement would be added to any universal registration bill.

                    9. An FFL transfer not a private sale and the transferring dealer has to keep records.

          2. In PA, you still go to a notary public to transfer car titles. Most town -level authorities prohibit outdoor storage of a vehicle on private property without valid registration and inspection sticker (zoning ordinances), but there is no state law.

    2. Yes. You’re transferring to a dealer who is than transferring it the other person. In CA, this means the recipient has to wait 10 days to pick it up and must be 21 to accept a handgun.

      1. Technically false. If the buyer fails the background check, the seller doesn’t then have to pass a background check to get it back, which would have to happen if the dealer ever took legal possession.

        1. Dig that hole deeper, Tulpy-Poo. You’re nothing if not predictable. And tedious. So, so tedious.

          1. Epi – thanks for that, I was looking for the right word…and you supplied it!

          2. tedious
            adjective boring, dull, dreary, monotonous, tiring, annoying, fatiguing, drab, banal, tiresome, lifeless, prosaic, laborious, humdrum, uninteresting, long-drawn-out, mind-numbing, irksome, unexciting, soporific, ho-hum (informal), vapid, wearisome, deadly dull, prosy

          3. One man’s dogged consistency is another’s tedious predictability.

            Guess which man you are?

            1. Your mom?

            2. Dogged consistency! Rough and tumble ontological real man!

              Your boundless and misplaced self-regard is the tedious part.

            3. You are truly a legend, Tulpa. A legend in your own mind that is.

              1. he’s nothing if not consistent

                1. Totally wrong comes to mind.

    3. Are you telling me that if I agree to sell a gun to someone at my club, but insist that we go down to the FFL for the transfer, this is no longer a private sale?

      I would rephrase that as “agree to sell a gun, but impose conditions on the sale that no gun owner in their right mind would agree to”.

      If you’ve registered a gun with the government, you’ve basically agreed to let them confiscate it whenever they decide to get around to that.

  9. Jacob (or anybody else that might know) – Do you know anything about the origins of this 40% number that is often thrown out to indicate the percentage of transfers that do not involve a background check (not just in Colorado)? I’ve heard it a lot lately and it doesn’t pass the smell test. Even at shows, it seems like most of the sales are through dealers that have to do checks.

    1. 40% sounds about right when you count inheritance, gifts, trades and private party sales of personal property.

      1. There’s a lot of unmonitored gun transfers going on in the illicit drug trade.

        Not that I believe any of these restrictions are needed, would work, or should be implemented, but these idiots could make it easier for a lot of people to comply with the law if they didn’t staple a felony drug arrest record to so many people’s rap sheets.

        1. Most private transfers are perfectly legal under federal law.Almost all by at least one of the two parties.

    2. According to the gun control groups, it’s the truth, so we know the chances of it being total bullshit are extremely high.

      It’s probably a coincident that 40% just happens to the percentage of ‘unlicensed dealers’ they claim sell at gun shows.

    3. The major show that happens regularly in Denver (Tanner Gun Show) requires bg checks for every transaction on the premises whether dealer or not. However lots of guns are sold privately over classifieds. I would not at all be surprised if 40% is pretty accurate. Colorado likes it’s guns, Hickenlooper will need to play some clever politics on this one if he really wants to treat us like criminals…

      1. Colorado likes it’s guns, Hickenlooper will need to play some clever politics on this one if he really wants to treat us like criminals…

        I’m guessing most of the 51% of the voters who bothered to show up and vote for Hickenlooper WANT people who own guns to be treated like criminals.

        Hickenlooper lost the rural counties for the most part.

        1. That is true. Unfortunately we are slowly becoming California. Those fuckers cant be satisfied with ruining one state can they? We are still Colorado though, I think we will see a very motivated effort to boot the blue team out next go ’round if he pushes too hard.

    4. All sales of new guns go through a check, but what about used ones? Anyone with half a brain knows that they can get more money selling to an individual than to a dealer. I know if I wanted to sell a gun I wouldn’t sell it to a dealer who’s going to make several hundred dollars out of the deal. I’m going to keep his profit for myself by selling it directly to its next owner.

      1. The discount that you have to give when you’re selling to a dealer is due to the fact the dealer takes on the risk that it won’t sell, and has access to a lot more customers than you do, and has hopefully more trustworthiness than a guy selling a gun off the street. Plus selling anything is a hassle for a private individual.

        Unless you think this is one instance where the market doesn’t price things correctly.

        I mean, right now if you’re selling an AR privately you probably wouldn’t be at much risk of it not selling. But that’s not true during most periods of time. And dealers would probably pay top dollar for used ARs right now, too.

        1. But if you can’t sell it, you can always fall back on selling it to a dealer.

        2. “Plus selling anything is a hassle for a private individual.”

          OH THE HUMANITY!

          1. That’s why private individuals don’t sell anything, the hassle. I think the last garage sale in the US was about the same time craigslist failed back in ’99.

            1. Check the newspaper classifieds. Garage sales abound.

    5. I can’t speak for anyone else, but about 80% of the guns I own were acquired either through private sales with another non FFL or as gifts or inherited.

  10. a ballot measure that requires everyone who buys firearms at a gun show to undergo a federal background check.

    “Oh, dammit, I really really want it, but I don’t have that much cash on me. Give me your phone number, and we can set a time to stop by my bank, okay?”

  11. Putting aside for a moment the unconstitutionality of a restriction on private sales (what with it infringing on an individual’s right to keep and bear arms), all a private sale ban would do is create a huge black market like what you have for drugs. So the progs want to take all the consequences we have suffered from drug bans and apply that to GUNS? I think the thing that amazes me most about libs/progs is how they can take a voluminous history of government failure in an area and see that as the justification for more government action in the area.

    1. So the progs want to take all the consequences we have suffered from drug bans and apply that to GUNS?

      Yes they do.

      1. And when you get the violence inherent in any black market, they, like drug warriors, will blame the object of the ban rather than government prohibition.

    2. You mean increase the black market for guns, right?

      Cause it isn’t like such a thing doesn’t exist yet.

  12. Adam Lanza should have ran a NICS check before murdering his mother and stealing her guns.

    Brilliant.

  13. Basically, they’re playing divide and conqueror. They are trying to separate non FFLS from FFLS. Basically, they are offering FFLS thousands of dollars in new transfer fee business, in exchange for sitting down and shutting up.

    1. Gun enthusiasts are a vindictive bunch, and have long memories.

    2. what’s the law: me today, you tomorrow.

  14. If the buyer fails the background check, the seller doesn’t then have to pass a background check to get it back

    SEZ YOU.

    1. I’d like to see proof of that.

      Pawn shops have to do background checks on people to give them their guns back.

      1. Actually now that you mention it, I’m not sure. I’m going to an FFL today for other reasons and will ask him if he knows.

        It would be seriously screwed up if the seller had to pass a NICS just to get the gun back, when the seller never actually gave up physical possession.

        With the pawn shop thing, that makes sense because there was a period where the pawner gave up possession.

  15. How about 1 question: How many tragic mass shootings would have been stopped by implementing this?

    1. We’re talking about statists here. If you can dream up one scenario where a life may be saved, it’s totally worth it.

    2. Zero. But that’s not the point. The endgame is a British style ban; these are just steps on that ladder.

      See also: Obamacare, MADD, trans fat and soda bans

      1. We’ll disarm when the government does, okay?

        1. Will the government disarm us with a smile?

    3. It’s amazing that they pushed it CO using Columbine.

      The two shooterd didn’t buy anything, their straw purchaser did. Apparently making that straw purchaser undergo a check would have stopped something.

      This is along the lines of calling for a ban on mail order firearms because Oswald ordered his rifle from a catalog. Making him walk into a gun store and fill out paperwork would have made him think twice, or something.

      1. The TEC-9 was aquired in a private party sale, not a straw purchase. They threw the book at the seller (buyer underage) while the GF-straw purchaser got a slap on the wrist (if she was even prosecuted at all).

        1. good point, though mine still stands.

          They think that the guy willing to sell illegally to a person under 18 outside the local Sonic or wherever (not a gun show) wouldn’t have done that if he had been forced to do a background check for sales at a gun show.

          The federal proposal assumes that he would have been dissuaded by another laws requiring background checks when we breaking laws about transferring to people under 18.

        2. the GF-straw purchaser got a slap on the wrist (if she was even prosecuted at all).

          So she was Gregoryed?

  16. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!

    1. Ask any Constitutional Law professor and they will tell you that the ‘NOT’ is silent.

  17. But what do conservatives think?

    Here’s the money portion of Scarborough’s rant:

    And by the way, can we just break through the BS here? This is not for the NRA, about Second Amendment rights. Justice [Antonin] Scalia clearly laid out in [D.C. v.] Heller what Second Amendment rights were ? made it very clear assault weapons were not protected by the Second Amendment. This is not about protecting the Second Amendment. This is about gun manufacturers making millions and millions and millions of dollars. This is about retailers making millions and millions and millions of dollars. Do you know how much money these people have made over the slaughter of 20 innocents in Newtown? Do you know how much richer these rich gun manufacturers have gotten over the past month, and how the NRA uses that tragedy to gin up fears, and Web sites use that tragedy to gin up fears that they’re coming to take your guns away?

    OMFG teh evul profiteers!!!

    Go ahead, Joe, tell us again what a small government conservative you are.

    1. Known COSMOTARIAN P Brooks derides a true American Hero!

    2. Do you know how much money these people have made over the slaughter of 20 innocents in Newtown?

      Do you know how much money those Jewish doctors made after the Black Plague?! Those people must be hiding something!!

      1. Do you know how much money these people have made over the slaughter of 20 innocents in Newtown?

        Probably as much as that fucker took from Southern Wine and Spirits to shoot down any direct-shipping bill, when he was still a Congresscritter. Why anyone looks to that guy as anything more than a weathervane, I don’t know.

    3. Heller what Second Amendment rights were ? made it very clear assault weapons were not protected by the Second Amendment.

      Which is odd, because a key word search of the majority opinion does not reveal any instances of the term “assault weapon.” Breyer’s dissenting opinion uses it once, but of course that would be the dissenting opinion, which doesn’t count.

    4. Go ahead, Joe, tell us again what a small government conservative you are.

      That man has been brainwashed. He’s been living among them for WAY too long. Went native.

    5. I watch those fuckers every morning while I get dressed for work. I heard that today and said, “That’s it.” and then turned to a different channel.

      Never. Again.

  18. Known COSMOTARIAN P Brooks derides a true American Hero!

    *raises tea cup, wiggles pinky*

  19. “mass killers could always find an alternative way of securing the needed weaponry, even if they had to steal from family members or friends.”

    Eleuterophobic leftard: “Not if we ban guns altogether! And if someone decides to run amok using something else, we can proceed to ban knives, machetes, baseball bats and forks!”

  20. If I privately sell a firearm that I privately bought, I should have no problems.

  21. lol, silly laws are for honest folk. How pathetic.

    http://www.DotAnon.tk

  22. Since shooting people is already illegal, it seems what people want is to prevent, by law if needed, steps preparatory to shooting people. Trouble is, it’s hard to think of which steps are preparatory to shooting people that aren’t mostly prep’y to other things or nothing, and how to make it hard for the lead-to-shooting part and not the other part.

    In the mass shooting cases, casing the joint is a common preparation. So we could limit access to crowded premises to all but those who need to do business there. Nobody but students & employees in schools. Nobody but employees & paying patrons in movie theaters. Mandatory security checks at all entrances. Double door fire exits, have to pass thru both. Maybe a teensy bit of prevention could be accomplished that way. But not much on the margin, because there’s already security approaching or exceeding those measures in those places; they could be ramped up only slightly by never allowing visitors, requiring all deliveries to be left at the door, etc.

    Another possibility would be 2ndary prevention, by requiring everyone to wear bullet resistant clothes. Too costly? How about requiring large rooms be equipped with handy switches to fill the room rapidly with lachrymating agents?

    It’s hard to think of measures to prevent shooting or violence & not seriously getting in the way of everybody’s activities. Perhaps a crash program to develop a drug that would make everybody satisfied? That’d have benefits beyond violence prevention.

  23. Fifth question: How does a universal NICS checks database play with Haynes v US, SCOTUS 1968, which says you can’t prosecute felons for possession of an unregistered firearm?

    1. I wonder how they distinguished Haynes from the line of cases that upheld requiring tax stamps for contraband? Per this article, SCOTUS also held that requiring a tax stamp for marijuana was unconstitutional, yet states have continued to flout that ruling.

      It does seem like an easy Fifth Amendment violation.

  24. The Times reports that “some [Obama administration] officials would like to expand mandatory minimum sentences for gun law violations.”

    Now this is something President Obama could effectively change without Congress. Simply tell the Justice Department to prioritize straw purchase and felon-in-possession cases and such, and tell federal prosecutors to quit blowing them off.

    1. Why do USAs ignore felon-in-possession like they do? It seems like the easiest case in the world to prove. Strict liability, prove the defendant was a felon at the time of possession, prove the felon possessed the weapon: Bam! 10 years in the hole; next case.

  25. While on the surface one would ascertain that universal checks are a good idea, perhaps indispensible, there exists a couple of problems.

    The first is that any background check at all imposed to exercise a fundamental constitutionally enumerated right is questionable.

    The second is that such a condition cannot be federally imposed on the transfer of private property between individuals outside of the chain of interstate commerce.

    Now, many if not most people, failing to understand the constitutional implications, would support such a measure. Well, that is why the Constitution exists – to prevent the mob from imposing its will in defiance of First Principles.

    Translation: In a nation of laws wherein the Constitution and Bill of Rights are THE law, you can’t do it.

    The people really need to be educated about that, so Congress doesn’t pass a monstrosity that must later be challenged and struck down by the SCOTUS. If that happens, until it is struck down, the people’s rights are impermissibly infringed, and that is not the model of liberty upon which this country is built.

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