Gun Owners Wouldn’t & Shouldn’t Accept ‘Universal Background Checks’

Registration by any other name is still unconstitutional.
By Jeff Knox

Gun Buyer
Gun Owners Wouldn’t & Shouldn’t Accept ‘Universal Background Checks’

Manassas, VA –-( The focus in Washington is slowly shifting from legislation banning certain semi-auto firearms and standard capacity magazines to proposals for “universal background checks” – just as we had previously warned it would.

Politicians know that America’s gun owners are beside themselves in opposition to gun and magazine bans.

They’ve watched as fearful shoppers have cleared the nation’s entire supply of AR and AK type rifles in just a couple of weeks, leaving manufacturers and importers 8 to 12 months deep in backorders.

The politicians remember what happened after the ban was passed in 1994 and they know there would be a serious price to pay for supporting bans on these popular tools today. On the other hand, the politicians seem to assume that a new law requiring background checks on private firearm transfers would have less negative impact on their ability to be elected.

That’s an assumption that could get them in deep trouble.

While gun and magazine bans are overt assaults on the right to arms, and, by comparison, “universal background checks” seem much less onerous, the fact is, inserting government bureaucracy into private transactions is just as unconstitutional, and potentially more dangerous in the long run, than the proposed bans. The core of the gun rights movement understands this and has already geared up for the fight and for the paybacks in the next election.

Even though some in leadership at the NRA have made comments that have been reported as a willingness to negotiate on the background check issue, the true activists in the organization – the guys who do the volunteer work, recruiting, working on campaigns, and participating in grass roots rights organizations – know that there can be no compromise on principles and fundamental rights. That’s why we created the National Coalition to Stop the Gun Ban, which includes dozens of rights organizations from every corner of the United States. One of the foundational principles of the coalition is opposition to, not only gun and magazine bans and restrictions, but also to any federal interference in private firearms transactions, and that opposition comes with a promise of active and concerted reprisals against any politician who is foolish enough to vote for, or in any way endorse, any of these rights-infringing proposals.

Some of the reporting suggesting that NRA, certain “conservative” politicians, or even members of the firearms industry might be willing to compromise on expanding background checks are clearly trying to convince wafflers that these proposals have broader support than they actually do. Mayors Against Illegal Guns director Mark Glaze is leading the wishful dreaming with suggestions that firearm manufacturers would support “universal background checks” in hopes of negating negative publicity.

He told CQ News that his group thinks the industry would support it to avoid the “black eye” they get whenever there is a shooting involving an assailant who should not have access to guns.

Of course this ignore the fact that all of the recent high-profile murderers either passed a background check to obtain their guns, or in the case of the Connecticut monster, murdered the guns’ rightful owner and stole them.

That didn’t keep Glaze and his boss from doing their best to black the eyes of the industry.

Glaze also suggested that federally licensed firearms dealers should also support “universal background checks” because it would force private buyers and sellers into their stores, and isn’t increased foot traffic what every retailer wants?

Mr. Glaze is either totally delusional or he is hoping that stating the idiotic in an upbeat and confident manner might actually fool someone into thinking that it’s actually a good idea.

There is no rational reason for anyone in the industry to support any of this nonsense and millions of reasons why they should not, but I’ll just present one: Smith & Wesson.

What the Great Purge of 1994 is to politicians, so the sale of Smith & Wesson in 2001 is to the firearms industry. Smith & Wesson had been an iconic brand in the industry for 150 years, but when they signed an agreement in May of 2000 with the Clinton administration to restrict the way they sold their guns, the gun buying public nearly drove the company out of business. One year later, the company, which had been purchased for $112 million just a few years earlier, was sold for $15 million and the assumption of $30 million worth of debts.

The point of the story is that, just as the portion of the public which clambers for gun control is not the portion of the public that votes based on a politicians position on gun control, the portion of the public that blames gun manufacturers when a lunatic abuses one of their products, is not the portion of the public that purchases those products and keeps the companies in business. Politicians, manufacturers, and retailers must understand that if they don’t “dance with the one what brung ‘em,” they’ll find themselves with a long, lonely walk home at the end of the night.

It’s time for Congress to quit arguing over complicated, resource sucking schemes that have no chance of reducing crime or atrocities, and instead focus on proven strategies that actually work.

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA. Visit:

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Missing from this thread – The FFL is a licensed dealer. As a licensee, he has agreed to follow regulations requiring him to conduct background checks prior to making certain sales. "Universal background" checks will involuntarily impose upon private persons the same responsibility that an FFL voluntarily assumes. The fact that FFLs must follow regulations conditions the population at large to accept similar regulation, but with no consideration of the fact that FFLs volunteer to abide by regulations when they accept the license. FFLs operate under license, i.e., they operate through privilege, not by right. The private citizen has a… Read more »


Power corrupts. ALL documentation can be used against you. If felons and crazies are to be kept out of the legal gun market, keep them locked up. No Problem!

Robert Zraick

Here is the problem. To make an argument that it makes sense to check the background of someone purchasing a gun, seems to make sense on the surface of it. But here is the deception involved. Under the surface is a plan to stop people from owning guns for such a variety of reasons That a huge percentage of people who would be responsible gun owner will be denied ownership. Returning vets who have served the country are already on the government's radar as "potential terrorists". It will be used to stop all veterans from owning guns. People who at… Read more »

Fred Long

Dave, as I understand it, NICS check records are supposed to be destroyed in 90(?) days. "Universal background checks" are tantamount to a gun registration list. One "shouldn't" be able to be used in a confiscation, the the other is the basis for confiscation. Now – if someone could prove to me that the NICS checks are being destroyed – and why does the form used at the gun show I just attended list the firearm by make, model, and serial number? It wasn't yellow like the 4473 I'm used to….

Never let your guard down!


You're assuming registration is required, and that a valid bill of sale wouldn't hold up in court. He issue is how does a gun owner conduct a private sale to an individual, not having access to that persons possible criminal record or mental health. Conversely, how does a buyer know if the weapon is not stolen or used in a crime? (Assuming we aren't in a state req FFL for transfer and/ or registration). Most gun owners want to be responsible, but believe its none of the govts business what guns I own. This is issue I'd like some good… Read more »


Joe,you don't want to have more gov.intrusion on your constitutional rights. The less the federal gov.know about you the better. The old saying more is better,NEVER applies to the gov.If you sold a weapon to someone that went out and murdered someone with it,you would be in no trouble at all ! If you wanted to show them the documentation of the sale,do it,but it's not needed. The person you sold the weapon to commited the crime,not you ! I won't even get into if you sell a car to someone and they go out and……….

Pegon Zellschmidt

Let me paint you a scenario. I own a handgun legally and decide to sell it. A guy comes to the door and offers me a good price. I sell the gun and being an honest person, make a copy of his drivers license. 6 months later, the cops come crashing thru my front door, spread eagle everyone in the house and handcuff everyone. Hours later after the dust settles, the cops reveal the gun that was registered to me was used in a bank robbery and a cop was shot. Thats when the headaches start for me. If I… Read more »

Dave Dubé

Can someone PLEASE explain to me the difference between a UNIVERSAL Background Check, and the NICS background check that I had to go through (the one that the firearms dealer performed when I purchased my last firearm)? I understand the meaning of the term universal, but don't understand it in the context of the (already existing) background check.