A “Universal Background Check” as put forth by Moms Demand requires every firearm transfer to be conducted through a Federal Firearms License holder who will run a National Instant Check System inquiry. Let’s forget that most FFL holders refuse to conduct these checks for private sales as is happening in NY State because of the added liability to their license (although I believe this effect was intended and anticipated). Let’s focus instead on the process for those who are unaware of how a NICS check works and the record keeping associated with it.
When someone initiates a transfer, the FFL holder calls the NICS center, provides personal identifying information that has been verified with photo ID, and receives a reply. That reply can be one of the following:
In the case of “Proceed” the person has passed & can leave with their firearm. In the case of “Deny” the person may not leave with the firearm (and IMO local LE should be called). In the case of delay the person must wait until the NICS center makes a determination- this is usually the result of someone having a common name or someone else with a name / DOB and an associated criminal record. For the purposes of this article- we will work with a “Proceed”.
If this were a private sale that was in compliance with the “Universal Background Check” scheme all is good right? The person passed the background check, they have their firearm and are on their merry way right? WRONG.
The person has no way to prove that they have passed the background check. None whatsoever. Let’s say the person gets stopped on the way home because the local Moms Demand crew saw him put his rifle into his car & they called the police to report an armed man. The police respond and stop the new firearm owner. The officer on the scene has no way to match the firearm to the new owner or to the status or existence of a background check. There is no database that can be accessed, no phone number for him to call… no nothing. In order for the officer to verify that particular firearm / owner combination has passed a background check is to seize the firearm, place the owner under arrest (in NY State it’s a felony to transfer without a background check), subpoena the gun shop, get a copy of the Form 4473 and verify that a BGC has been done. This is the only way to resolve the issue of whether or not a citizen has passed a background check when they received a particular firearm. Well there is another way to be honest…
Along with the “UBC” one can create a national database of all firearms transferred. This way the officer can check the firearm / owner combination and receive a response on the side of the road and verify the BGC status on the particular combination he is dealing with. That is literally the SOLE way the “Universal Background Check” scheme can work- otherwise every firearm owner would be jailed every time they encounter a police officer should they have a firearm on their person.
Now Shannon Watts will say in public that her UBC scheme does not include registration, because as we have seen in NYC registration DOES lead to confiscation. She will expound until her face turns blue that she has never advocated for universal registration, just universal background checks.
Before I go any further, can I say I just LOVE the ability to screenshot things? I mean I really, really, truly & deeply love the screenshot function on modern computers and cell phones.
Despite all her denials, Shannon herself came right out and admitted that her “closing the background check loophole” would in fact require registration of firearms. Yup- she came right out & said it before God and everyone on Twitter that her schemes require registration of firearms as well as gun owners. Of course she wound up quickly deleting the Tweet once she realized it ran counter to all of her other lies, but good ol’ Mr. Decker was there to preserve it for posterity.
She knows her “Universal Background Check” scheme would require Universal Firearm Registration as well as Universal Firearm Owner registration. She didn’t misspeak, she didn’t get confused, she didn’t misunderstand… she blatantly lied. Then she admitted her lie due to a lack of self awareness- and quickly deleted it in an effort to cover up her true intentions.
Of course Shannon doesn’t want a TRUE “Universal Background Check”. Now you may be asking yourself “But Mr. Decker- I thought you said a UBC required registration?”. I did not. I said the UBC scheme required registration. An actual UBC does not and here is why:
A true UBC applies to everyone. Not just a specific group of people Bloomberg, Shannon Watts, Ladd Everitt et. al. want to target for daring to exercise a Constitutionally protected right. A true UBC would require every person of legal age to pass a background check upon reaching their majority (Federally defined as 18 years of age).
Now this is something that has been discussed amongst my own group of friends as a suitable compromise as we all want to help ensure firearms stay out of the hands of those who are violent, have serious criminal records and those who are mentally disturbed. (Yes I know if the person is too violent to own a firearm they should still be locked up- but I am dealing with reality on my part). Conducting a NICS check on every adult currently in the US and adding a unique identifier if they pass on their driver’s license or State provided ID (as well as conducting one on everyone’s 18th birthday) would solve the UBC issue once and for all. Whether or not the person ever intends to even pick up a firearm is irrelevant. They had a background check done. It is universal. If they fail the background check, their ID does not carry the unique identifier. Again, the desire to own, handle, touch or even think about a firearm is irrelevant as the background check is universal. If someone had passed but is convicted of a disqualifying offense, a new driver's license or State ID card is issued without the unique identifier upon conviction.
Of course this concept has massive benefits for the shooting sports community. No more NICS checks at the gun shop. No more delays because your name is John Smith. It closes the so called “gun show loophole” that gun control advocates keep yammering on about. It would allow face-to-face sales anywhere in the country with the knowledge that the person buying has been given a background check. It is actually universal rather than only applying to a social minority. It allows law enforcement to tell immediately whether or not the person in question is legally allowed to own a firearm. It would cost next to nothing and no records need be maintained.
Blog posts are original content written by 1MMAGC moms and dads.