A Compromise On Universal Background Checks
Just kidding. I don’t want to compromise. I want to give them exactly what they want. Background checks.
Congress will vote soon on something regarding the recent gun control proposals. Just what they vote on remains to be seen.
Senator Feinstein has called for bans on nearly all semi-automatic firearms, and if you think I am exaggerating, then you need to re-read her legislation.
Simultaneously, some are calling for an expansion of the background checks required for the sale of new firearms, to include all used firearms.
I”m here to say that this is the area we should give in to, to let them have their victory.
But not in the way the anti-gun crowd thinks.
Here is what the anti-gun crowd thinks when they hear universal background check:
- Bill has an assault rifle, a Bushmaster KidSlayer Deluxe 3000, with a pistol grip, a 1,000 round assault clip, and a shoulder thing that goes up. He bought it at a gun show in 2005 after the AWB expired, for $100 from a guy named Leon, with no background check, right in front of the policeman taking money at the door, who said nothing.
- Alan wants to buy the Bushmaster KidSlayer Deluxe 3000, so Alan and Bill go together with the gun down to the county courthouse. At noon, sharp. Because the Gun Background Check Office is only open from noon to 12:15PM every other Thursday.
- They stand in line. Both men get fingerprinted, photographed (both with and without the Bushmaster KidSlayer Deluxe 3000), weighed, and have blood drawn. Both submit their full identification, including last year’s tax forms, and they fill out a form 4473-A, which looks like a form 4473, except for the 17 extra pages asking about relatives and secret bunkers.
- Once all the forms are filled out, they leave them with the County Clerk, along with the Bushmaster KidSlayer Deluxe 3000, for a minimum of 10 days. Of course, the office is only open every other Thursday, so it’s really more like 2 weeks.
- Alan gives his money for the gun to the county clerk for holding. Good faith, you know.
- Both men report back to the courthouse to find out if they are approved. Once approved, the photos get laminated onto the back of their drivers licenses, they are given the gun, and are free to go. The record of the gun ownership is published every night in the local newspaper at the bottom of page 2, as well as added to a local scrolling feed at the bottom of their Facebook pages.
- Bill gets the money, less a small handling charge (10 percent), on a government debit card, so they can track where he spends it.
- No, you cannot use government debit cards to buy another gun. Because we said so, that’s why,
Here’s more what I think we should aim for: wristbands.
When I go to a sporting event where alcohol is served, I have to have my ID checked to buy it. But rather than slow down every beer buy, many venues get smart. At the entrance is a booth where you show your ID, and, when you prove you’re over 21, you get a wristband. Then, when you buy a beer, instead of showing your ID, you show your wristband as proof that the ID has been checked.
Here’s my Firearms Wristband proposal:
If you decide you would like to buy a firearm in the next (insert some period of time here, like 5 years) you go to the county courthouse and fill out a form 4473-B, which looks just like a form 4473 except it has no place to record the firearms being bought. Then, the background check is run, and you get a wristband.
Actually, you get a stamp on your CCW or your Driver’s License or your passport, or a card. Wristbands are a metaphor. In fact, since most CCW’s include a background check, you’re done if you have a CCW, which is why I only sell my guns privately to people with Georgia Weapons Carry Licenses.
Then, when you decide you want to buy a gun, you arrange the sale, and you fill out a form 4473-C which has your name and wristband number (remember, it’s a metaphor) and you take it to your local FFL holder. He or she confirms the wristband number and the gun serial number with the ones on the 4473-C, and gives you and the seller a copy, and keeps the original. You pay the FFL holder a nominal fee, maybe $5, and you’re done.
There is no need to call the CCW office, or the NICS, or anybody. You’re wearing the wristband.
But, what if you decide not to follow this procedure?
Well, you’re in violation of the law, just as you are now, if you buy a new gun from someone without a background check.
But what keeps guns out of the hands of criminals?
Good question. What keeps them out of their hands now? What makes you think they are going to follow the Universal Background Check that Bill and Alan did?
Seriously, if you have ideas on that one, let’s hear them.
Here’s a summary of my point, at last.
The other side wants universal background checks. Fine. Let’s give them universal background checks. But nothing more. No registration, no oversight, no right of approval. If the buyer has a valid background check, the government’s work is done here, move along.
Otherwise I say we tell them to take a flying leap. After all, we have the votes, we have the political power. Let’s use it.