— by Patrokles
Sadly, the info-tainment media has so badly failed at keeping the public informed about pending legislation that we are once again forced to address the “firearm” issue. The real issue is not publicly discussed by neither our elected representatives nor the wide media of either political orientation. The true concerns and thoughts differ significantly from what is commonly being discussed and commented upon.
On close inspection, attempts at “closing the gun show loophole” pose a far greater risk to the Republic than any ban of any particular firearm or class of firearms. Under current law, background checks are already required for every gun sale by licensed gun dealers, regardless of location, except those sales that occur between private citizens. This was a part of the Brady Law. Dealers must obtain a firearms dealer license, which then requires them to do a background check on every sale. Part 478 of Title 27 CFR Chapter II, subsection 478.102 requires that, before the completion of any transfer of a firearm, the person receiving the firearm must be checked through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The system flags people, and prevents the sale of a firearm to anyone in the following categories:
1. A person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment exceeding 1 year (a felony).
2. A person who is a fugitive from justice (has a warrant out).
3. A person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as shown by conviction).
4. A person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution.
5. A person who is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or an alien admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa.
6. A person who has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions.
7. A person who had been a citizen of the United States but renounced his her citizenship.
8. A person who is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner. (the Lautenberg Amendment).
9. A person who has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence (the Lautenberg Amendment).
This is already federal law, as it stands at this moment. This begs the question, just exactly what do the proponents of new gun legislation seek to accomplish with more laws? Any new law written to prevent undocumented, private sale of firearms between citizens is, in reality, simply de-facto universal, national gun registration.
The proponents of these new laws realize that, if they were to openly propose a national universal gun registration scheme, that it would not be popular enough to pass if they admitted what it actually was. It is time for our political leaders to be honest with the public about what their true intentions are so that their constituents can be educated voters. As elected representatives, it is a part of their responsibilities to not allow their constituents to continue to be deceived by laws whose language is designed to camouflage the government’s actual intent.
There simply is no “gun show loophole”. Any licensed firearms dealer at any gun show still has to do a background check through NICS. Any purchase of a firearm from a dealer requires the purchaser to fill out Form 4473, which shows the buyer’s name, sex, residential address (including county or political subdivision), date and place of birth, height, weight, race, the state of residence, and a certification that the purchaser is not a prohibited possessor under the previous rules under Title 27 CFR Chpt. II, part 478.124. The seller is required to keep this form in a systematic record keeping fashion, basically for life, so that the seller can locate the record on demand from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (BATFE).
This part of the Code of Federal Regulations even requires that, if a person buys more than two firearms within five days, a special form must be filled out and sent in to the BATFE and to the state police (478.126a). It is already a crime to be a “straw purchaser” and get a firearm for another person. A “straw purchase” is when someone fills out the forms oneself, but purchases the firearm on behalf of another person who is the intended recipient of the firearm, be that person a prohibited possessor or even not. A person can become a convicted felon for purchasing a firearm on sale for one’s buddy who cannot get to the store before the store closes. Even if a gun owner turns his own gun over to a pawnshop or puts it up for sale on consignment, he has to be run through NICS just to get his own gun back.
The so-called “gun show loophole” pertains to the transfer of firearms that is not currently subject to background checks which occurs between one private citizen and another private citizen. However, even private sales from one ordinary citizen to another ordinary citizen are already regulated. It is a crime to knowingly provide a firearm to a prohibited possessor. 18 United States Code 922 subsection D, says that it is unlawful for any person (including an ordinary citizen and not only a firearms dealer) to sell or otherwise to dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the other person is a prohibited possessor whose possession of a firearm is prohibited under the same nine-item list above, the same as for dealers.
The proposed laws that require a private citizen to go to a facility where a background check would be done before the transfer are promoted to serve the obviously laudable purpose of keeping citizens from unknowingly making transfers to prohibited possessors. However, it is the unintended consequences that make this proposed requirement so much more pernicious than any gun ban of a particular make and model of firearm or a class of firearms.
By forcing all transfers to occur as part of the existing NICS/Form 4473 program, the federal government will succeed in closing the last link in the existing universal registration system. If this proposed legislation is passed, then each serial-numbered gun will be traceable from factory to storefront to individual. Any government agent could then go to the last listed individual purchaser, demand to see the firearm, and that purchaser would have to account for it. No longer could the last purchaser say he or she sold it because there would be a documented, traceable account of every transfer.
The tracking system already exists. Even back in the 1990s, any local law enforcement agent could call the BATFE with a serial number, and, within days, the BATFE would trace the serial number to a dealer, contact that dealer, demand that a copy of the 4473 Form be faxed to the BATFE, who would then fax it to the local law enforcement office. This is how the system actually worked even before computers made it even easier.
If our lawmakers believe that a universal, national gun registration scheme is a good idea for this country, then they need to openly say so. If they do not, then it is not clear that they understand what these proposed laws truly represent. This proposed legislation is not modest, reasonable or even intended to address its stated purpose. Since not a single mass shooting in history would have been prevented or even deterred by such a registry or universal background check system, does no one wonder what the actual purpose is?
As usual, the leftists are pursuing a long term agenda and are cloaking the building blocks of that agenda in seemingly modest, reasonable legislation. Their purpose is to accomplish a universal gun registry over the long term, as all publicly-held firearms would slowly become documented and traceable through this system. The leftists and elitists are patient and have long term goals. Any astute observer can see several moves ahead, and can recognize a “set-up”. Either our political leaders are stupid or they secretly agree with the left- wing agenda of total firearm registration.
Firearm registration prevents no crimes and imperils both our freedom from domestic tyranny, and even our national defense capability to resist foreign invasion. Would any invading army not seize these records to disarm the population? The Nazis certainly did when they invaded their European neighbors some decades ago.
In this author’s view, it would be better if the existing laws were not changed at this point. The existing regulations are so all encompassing and so pervasive that any additional rules cannot possibly offer any further protection to the public. Making any changes create unknown hazards, since we cannot possibly foresee all the unintended adverse consequences of any change made. However, if stopping the passage of such a law is unavoidable, there are steps that can be taken to mitigate the damage.
A wise lawmaker could make sure that any laws placing new restrictions on the private transfer of firearms must have safeguards in place to prevent their misuse. Simply prohibiting the retention of any records of any private transfer of firearms would be insufficient protection from abuse. This current and previous administrations have shown, on numerous occasions, a willingness to exceed their constitutional and statutory authority and to push to the limits of any power under their control, in both foreign and domestic affairs. This is made even worse than when there are no “teeth” in the restriction.
A prudent lawmaker should require that any background check done for a transfer of a firearm between private citizens must: 1) not keep any record of any kind, electronic or otherwise, of the transfer, 2) that any record kept in violation of this rule is to be destroyed in a timely fashion, 3) that any person who retains such a record or enables or facilitates the retention of such a record be guilty of a felony offense whose punishment shall be imprisonment for not less than 10 years, and 4) that this offense is to be equally applied to all persons, whether private or government officials. Only through laws containing such language and strict enforcement of them can we have a reasonable assurance that the background check would not be abused to create a national firearms registry database.
The benefit of such language would be not only the obvious protections listed above, but also such a proposal would expose the true motives of anyone who opposed the added safeguards. This, in itself, would be a political victory, allowing the public to focus on and to discuss the true issue here, to wit: that the proposed background check law is a subterfuge for more nefarious objectives, a national gun registry database.
This the the true issue at stake. It is a test of the mettle of any self-proclaimed conservative or any politician of any party that fancies himself a statesman. It is the very future of our Republic that our politicians are entrusted with, but we here at The Cassandra Times have little faith in their ability or even desire to guard it wisely.