Q&A of the day – About Universal Background Checks

Q&A of the day – About Universal Background Checks

It’s the Q&A of the day. Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Today’s note comes from Richard: 

I disagree with you on universal background checks. There are background checks at gun shows. IF a dealer sells a gun at a gun show, there is a background check. I have bought guns without background checks from other people at gun shows, who were not dealers at gun shows. Each time, they wanted to see my drivers license & CCW card. But more importantly how would a universal background check work?

How would it be enforced? With a registry? Will criminals on the street comply with the universal background check? Some universal background check bills would not allow me to hand a gun to my wife who is a CCW and let her shoot it without a background check. It would also require a background check for her to return the firearm to me.

The universal background check is never going to prevent any crimes, it will only hinder good people and cost them money and time.

Bottom Line: I get it. I fully expected backlash from fellow gun owners from my support of universal background checks. I’m happy to address the questions and concerns, even if we’ll likely still end up disagreeing with one another on the issue. 

IF a dealer sells a gun at a gun show, there is a background check.

True, but if there’s a private sale there isn’t. This is a disadvantage to dealers at gun shows and an incentive to private sellers to attract buyers at shows. According to ATF estimates 40% of all gun sales are unlicensed. What’s the point of having background checks at all if nearly half of all transactions aren’t subjected to the checks? That accounts for a lot of where I’m coming from. I believe that given the proliferation of unlicensed sales we should either drop background checks or add them universally. private sellers at gun shows as well but that’s a personal decision of theirs and would be subjective from seller to seller.

But more importantly how would a universal background check work?

How would it be enforced? With a registry?

These are absolutely important details. Current federal law for dealer sales mandates that background check records are destroyed within 24 hours after use however the sales records are recorded with the details of both the dealer and buyer. This is considered “traced” sales accessible by the ATF. I’d be leery of anything approaching a national database or expansion beyond this system. My thought would be that all sales would have to be similarly recorded as part of even a private sale or there would be an illegal transfer of that firearm by both the seller and buyer. It’d be a similar but different process to selling a car and transferring title and registration.Has to happen whether it’s a dealer sale or private sale. I would imagine this extra process would likely curtail private sales making it easier to resale to dealers than to individuals. 

Will criminals on the street comply with the universal background check?

Rhetorical right? Totally get the point. But it’d crack down on the ease with which they’d be able to obtain weapons. 

Some universal background check bills would not allow me to hand a gun to my wife who is a CCW and let her shoot it without a background check. It would also require a background check for her to return the firearm to me.

Great question, I’ve wondered the same thing.Definitely a detail to watch in any bill that’d be considered.

The universal background check is never going to prevent any crimes, it will only hinder good people and cost them money and time.

Here’s where I’d disagree with you. According to federal records 22% of all guns owned in the US took place through private sales. However, 80% of all guns confiscated from criminal acts were obtained in private sales. Guns purchased through private purchases are nearly four times more likely to be used in a crime. 

I hear you, as an owner and strong supporter of the 2nd amendment but I’ve always said I go where the facts take me. That’s why I’m supportive. It wouldn’t save the world or anything like that, but there’s evidence it’d make a statistically significant dent in criminal activity. 

 

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