U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “A dangerous gap in our federal gun laws lets people buy guns without passing a background check,” Giffords Law Center claims. “Under current law, unlicensed sellers—people who sell guns online, at gun shows, or anywhere else without a federal dealer’s license—can transfer firearms without having to run any background check whatsoever.
“Because of this loophole, domestic abusers, people with violent criminal records, and people prohibited for mental health reasons can easily buy guns from unlicensed sellers with no background check in most states,” the Gungrabby Gabby group elaborates. “In fact, an estimated 22% of US gun owners acquired their most recent firearm without a background check—which translates to millions of Americans acquiring millions of guns, no questions asked, each year.”
We could argue with their numbers and their claims, including how you’d stop such acquisitions, especially when no less a source than the Bureau of Justice Statistics tells us:
“An estimated 287,400 prisoners had possessed a firearm during their offense. Among these, more than half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%). Most of the remainder (25%) had obtained it from a family member or friend, or as a gift. Seven percent had purchased it under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer.”
No one thinks that will change and that criminals will suddenly become “law-abiding” if new edicts are passed, do they? Still, the fact that the gun prohibitionists are mentioning the “millions of guns” already out there beyond government cognizance, corroborates another official assessment, this one from the DOJ’s National Institute of Justice in its “Summary of Select Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies”:
“Universal background checks … Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration…”
That and fear of subsequent confiscation are the biggest objections most gun owners have to background checks, with a smaller subset of us “shall not be infringed” types objecting because those words are pretty clear. But what if there were a way to validate that a gun purchaser was not a “prohibited person” without creating a record of who he is or what he bought—if anything?
That’s what the Blind Identification Database System, or BIDS, is all about.
“In BIDS, the word ‘blind’ refers to the fact that the government cannot detect who is attempting to buy or has bought a firearm and thus cannot add this person's name to a registry of gun owners. Nor can gun dealers randomly view a list of persons who have been denied the right to buy, own, and use firearms.”
I’m not going to go into a Cliffs Notes version here. I’ve written about the subject extensively over the years and there’s enough information at the above link—and at my War on Guns blog—for those interested in learning more.
While there’s no denying that BIDS would greatly reduce the risk of confiscations, I still won’t endorse it either as a way to validate private sales or to “improve” existing transfers through dealers. It’s still a prior restraint. Even though it’s “better,” it’s still an infringement, and if millions more gun owners took that position and then got effectively involved, we wouldn't need to argue with each other over compromises in the first place.
If something like this passed and replaced the intrusive NICS that NRA, NSSF and the Republicans have demanded to “fix,” I’d still be urging noncompliance with prior restraints, and pointing out that anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian.
That said, here’s where BIDS could prove a very useful tool to expose the antis and what they’re really after: If the “commonsense gun safety law groups” truly only want background checks, why would they not promote a system like BIDS, which creates none of the potential registration dangers that create such strong gun owner opposition?
So the question for anti-gun groups pushing “background check” edicts is “Why not BIDS?” After all, they say the reason they want background checks is to stop dangerous people from buying guns.
None will embrace it, even though they have known about BIDS for years. Here’s proof. (And yes, the deliberately indifferent “gun rights groups” have known about it for even longer.)
BIDS provides an opportunity to expose the background check frauds for the liars they are, and to prove they are really after registration. Perhaps if more were aware of that, some of those Republicans, gun owners, and NRA members we’re “told” support background checks might get a clue as to how they’re being swindled out of their birthrights.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.