By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) is looking to crack down on gun dealers that sell firearms to criminals,” The Hill reported Tuesday. “The Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act introduced Tuesday would hold gun dealers liable for sales made to people who are prohibited from owning guns.”
But not just dealers:
It would apply to both federally-licensed gun dealers and private sellers.
What the guy wants to do is outlaw private sales. What he wants to do is everything he can to prevent all sales. And destroy some people who don't vote for him in the bargain.
In the case of dealers, Kaine evidently wants to make what’s already illegal even more illegal – that and demand impossible clairvoyance from them. That way, even if they’re innocent of the charges, they’ll have their businesses and lives destroyed trying to fight a government that has unlimited resources and is not above using every filthy legal trick in the book, as evidenced by the travesty of a case it pursued against the Reese family.
In the case of private sellers, colleague Kurt Hofmann sized it up pretty well when he sent me a link to the bill, albeit I’m not certain if that copy is complete (it’s not on the Library of Congress THOMAS legislative site at this writing).
“It looks as if the only way to shield yourself from criminal liability is to put the prospective buyer through a NICS check, but doesn't make the NICS system available to anyone new,” Hofmann remarked. “Talk about a Catch-22.”
We can get a feel for what Kaine is trying to foist on us through his “Fact Sheet” (remembering the truism that for “progressives, every day is Opposite Day, and any claims to presenting facts must be viewed accordingly).
“The Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act provides the ability to bring some measure of accountability for the violence that continues to plague our communities,” Kaine claims. “It would hold a seller or transferor of firearms criminally liable should any of their transactions fall into the wrong hands.
“[The bill] would increase the responsibility of the seller or transferor to take affirmative, reasonable steps to determine that the potential buyer is not prohibited from legally purchasing a gun,” Kaine continues. “In fact, absent a showing the transferor has taken reasonable steps, liability may attach to any transaction, whether by a federally licensed dealer or a private sale.”
And guess who gets to decide what’s “reasonable”?
Let’s break this con job down further. First, get rid of the notion that what the antis want has anything to do with “universal background checks.” It really has everything to do with – well, here, don’t rely on my admittedly biased viewpoint, listen instead to Greg Ridgeway, Deputy Director, National Institute of Justice, in his “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies”:
Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration and an easy gun transfer process.
Ah… so Kaine wants registration.
If those demanding them were truly interested solely in background checks, and nothing else, they’d be pushing something like BIDS, the Blind Identification Database System. That would identify firearms-disabled persons without creating any kind of transaction record that could then be used for registration purposes, and without compiling records of innocent gun owners. I’m not endorsing such a system, mind you, as it’s still an infringement, even though it would inarguably be an improvement over NICS. I merely point to its utility as a “poison pill” to prove those who say they only want background checks would be lying if they objected to BIDS, and to note all the major gun rights groups have been aware of – and deliberately ignored – this much less intrusive alternative for years.
Besides, nothing in his fraudulent bill is really intended to address “the violence that continues to plague our communities” anyway. Kaine deliberately ignores who is committing that violence, and will never acknowledge those are the people who are immune to the registration system he’s trying to impose. Again, don’t take my word for it, take the Supreme Court’s, which ruled in Haynes v United States that “prohibited persons” can’t be required to register guns because that would violate Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination.
Kaine knows all this. He also knows that his bill has, per the GovTrack legislative website, a “3% chance of getting past committee [and a] 1% chance of being enacted.”
That means he’s doing it for the headlines, and to bolster the illusion that he’s a leader. He’s selling out anyone ignorant enough to vote for him so that he can continue to enjoy the perks of being an “important man.” It’s the same reason he did his little blood dance on the Senate floor after the Roanoke murders, even though nothing he’s proposing would have made a bit of difference in that outcome. It's why he also invoked the memory Virginia Tech, intentionally leaving out that the campus remains one big predator-enablement “No Guns” zone.
He’s doing it because he’s a lying, opportunistic parasite taking a page from the Rahm Emanuel playbook and never letting a serious crisis go to waste.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.