USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- H.R. 8 is sold as a “background check bill” to keep guns away from bad people, but we know from 50 years experience that less than 1% of the bad people who fail the background checks are prosecuted.
Make no mistake, this is ONLY about setting up a process which can be later used for registration of guns and gun owners.
What is needed are not more background check laws, but enforcement of existing laws. If bad guys are illegally trying to purchase a firearm, they need to be punished. The lawmakerspushing H.R. 8 do not want to do that. They are not serious about stopping bad people from getting guns, they only care about gutting the Second Amendment.
Items not mentioned by most critics of H.R. 8 are:
1- There is no exception for Curio & Relic FFL holders as being exempt-only transfers to dealers, manufacturers and importers, and specifically defined close family members. This will end the ability of C&R FFL collectors to get items shipped direct, or purchase C&R handguns out of state, or ship direct to another C&R FFL holder. There are NO exceptions for C&R collectible guns, most of which are 50-120 years old.
2- The requirement for buyer and seller to be in front of an FFL dealer while they do the background check is a potential Trojan Horse to END ALL GUN SHOWS. If BATF writes the implementing rules to require them to be done at the FFL’s “place of business” it will end any transfers at a gun show, except from a dealer’s inventory to a person passing a check at the show. No “private sales” can be completed unless the ATF rules are written to allow a dealer to do that at a show. This threat to the existence of gun shows must not be underestimated. Remember, gun shows are the meeting place and rallying point for gun rights activists. Ending gun shows “would be a feature, not a bug” if they can write the rules cleverly.
3- H.R.8 allows charging a fee for a dealer to handle a transfer- but amount is unlimited. Transfer fees typically run $20-100 but mostly around $30-40 per gun. Although charged by the dealer, it is a de facto “2nd Amendment poll tax.” FIX; Mandate that all police stations be required to process background checks at no cost. Police stations are all over, gun shops may be many miles away.
4- H.R.8 specifically prohibits establishment of a national gun registry. But, it establishes the de facto process to gather the data which will reside in the dealer’s bound books forever. When a dealer goes out of business, their records are sent to ATF. Scanning and OCR technology can convert all dealer records they have, or care to photocopy during dealer inspections, into digital databases in short order. That may not occur right away, but only a fool thinks the gun grabbers will not push for a national gun registry as the next step when their plans fail to stop criminals and crazy people. A one line amendment in a “must pass” appropriations bill could repeal the prohibition on a gun registry.
5- The bill has a known built-in loophole that can only be closed by mandating universal gun registration. A loophole the anti-gunners will demand be fixed as soon as the bill becomes law. As proposed, there is no way for the government to enforce the law, as there is no way to know whether or not a person who purchased a gun from a private individual actually had a background check performed. When confronted by law enforcement, an individual could tell which dealer performed the check and hope that that dealer properly kept records. But a person who violated the law could simply refuse to answer any questions, and other than searching every paper record of every dealer in the country, there is no way law enforcement could determine whether or not the check was performed. The only way to prevent this is to mandate universal gun registration. The anti-gunners would love to implement such a requirement today, but they know it is not politically viable. They are choosing instead to get half today and the rest tomorrow.
6- Many dealers will not handle private transfers–Walmart ended all gun sales in New Mexico because they did not want strangers bringing guns into their stores, and the potential hassles or risks for failed checks. If no one is available to handle transfers, no guns can be transferred.
About Utah Shooting Sports Council:
The Utah Shooting Sports Council represents the citizens of Utah who safely and legally own and use firearms, exercising rights guaranteed under both the United States and Utah constitutions. Visit: http://utahshootingsportscouncil.org/