The Daily Caller created a minor stir Wednesday when it reported that White House and Justice Department officials were circulating a detailed proposal to expand background checks to cover advertised private sales of firearms.
The proposal, referred to as an “idea sheet,” is similar to draft legislation of Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Penn.
“Background checks would be conducted either through a [Federal Firearm Licensee] or through a newly-created class of licensed transfer agents,” the proposal said.
That didn’t mean that President Donald Trump was on board with the idea, however.
The Atlantic’s White House correspondent, Elena Plott, reported, “[White House deputy press secretary] Hogan Gidley tells me that just because WH legislative director Eric Ueland is among those pushing this on the Hill, it does NOT mean Trump himself has signed off on it. ‘Not even close.’”
The president confirmed later that he hadn’t even seen the document, and was continuing to weigh his options.
“We’re throwing out many different ideas to Republicans and Democrats, see where they all come out,” adding that he would keep the Second Amendment in mind when reviewing options.
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action executive director Jason Ouimet called the proposal a “non-starter” in a statement, “because it burdens law-abiding gun owners while ignoring what actually matters: fixing the broken mental health system and the prosecution of violent criminals.”
Here’s the thing: The overwhelming majority of firearm sales are conducted through dealers who possesses a Federal Firearms License (FFL). All such sales require the buyer to complete a Firearms Transaction Record, or Form 4473.
The dealer then sets a background check process into motion before the sale can be completed, using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) through the FBI.
Proponents of universal background checks often refer to the “gun show loophole” and the “internet sales loophole.” But they’re the loopholes that aren’t — they’re myths.
Gun shows give dealers the opportunity to display inventory alongside their competitors, allowing buyers to comparison shop. The same background check has to be performed before the sale can be completed — the location makes no difference.
Firearms purchased on the internet are also subject to background checks. Instead of shipping the gun directly to the buyer, it’s delivered to another licensed dealer near the buyer’s neighborhood. The buyer presents himself to the second dealer, completes the Form 4473 and the dealer runs the NICS in return for a fee. The firearm isn’t transferred until everything checks out.
The bottom line is that the great majority of firearm sales are already subject to background checks.
But criminals don’t purchase guns from licensed dealers. They steal them or buy them from another criminal, because, well, they’re criminals. And they wouldn’t comply with a universal background check system for the same reason — they’re criminals.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, observed recently that universal background checks wouldn’t have stopped any of the mass shootings we’ve seen recently, and then addressed what he believed was the real problem such a law would create.
“The instant you mandate that every person-to-person sale have a federal review and regulation, the only way to enforce that is a national gun registry, and a gun registry is how a confiscation plan is carried out,” he said.
Author and columnist Ann Coulter made that point chillingly clear during an appearance on “Hannity” 6 years ago, and concluded that the endgame of universal background checks was to give “the government ... a monopoly on guns.”
Her assessment was in counter to then-President Barack Obama’s call for stiffer gun control measures.
Coulter said, "Universal background checks means universal registration. Universal registration means universal confiscation, universal extermination. That's how it goes in history. Do not fall for universal background checks.”
She didn’t define what she meant by “extermination.” She could have meant either the extermination of private gun ownership or the extermination of people.
History is replete with examples of the latter, where genocide was practiced in the Soviet Union, Turkey, Uganda, China, Cambodia, and Guatemala — after strict gun control laws were enacted.
Problems arise even when the government doesn’t technically engage in genocide. The Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey observed that of 195 countries, Venezuela was No. 2 in per capita firearm-related homicides, even though the Hugo Chavez government banned the private ownership of guns. The United States ranked 59.
After Democratic presidential hopeful Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke announced, “Hell yeah, we're going to take your AR-15,” Breitbart News reporter Alana Mastrangelo replied, “I did a background check on government... and there’s no way I’m selling it my AR-15’s.”
Without question, I’m with Alana on that one.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Hee Now.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.