While banning guns and magazines is being actively promoted by the anti-gunners (as evidenced by introduction of Sen. Feinstein's S. 150), the criminalization of private firearm transfers is the centerpiece of their anti-Second Amendment efforts. This is part of a strategy to chip away at our Second Amendment rights under the guise of being "reasonable."
But if you understand exactly what the anti-gunners are really talking about, you'll understand that the restrictions they're proposing are anything but reasonable.
While we don't know the final form this legislation will take, these checks no doubt would require background checks for firearm transfers between lifelong friends, and maybe even between family members. It would also be a step toward national gun registration. As we mentioned in an article last week, "universal" background checks are background checks on EVERY transfer, sale, purchase, trade, gift, rental, and loan of a firearm between any and all individuals, minus whatever exceptions our opponents will stand for.
Does anyone really think that these checks will be conducted between drug dealers on a Chicago street corner or gang members in an L.A. alley? Of course not. You know that's ridiculous and so do the anti-gun politicians, but they don't care.
And where and how would these personal checks be done? Would you and your friend, or grandson, or mother have to drive to some government office at the state capital? Or travel several hours to the government-approved, federally licensed dealer in another part of your state? What happens when the instant check system isn't functioning? How will the government monitor and enforce these checks? Obviously, this proposal raises more questions than it answers.
Furthermore, "universal" background checks are unnecessary.
It is already a federal felony to be engaged in the business of buying and selling firearms without having a federal dealer's license. It is already a crime for a federally licensed dealer to sell a gun without doing a background check--that's all dealers, everywhere, whether at retail stores or gun shows. Further, it is already a federal felony to sell, trade, give, lend, rent or transfer a gun to a person you know or should know is not legally allowed to own, purchase or possess a firearm.
It is even a federal felony to submit false information on a background check form for the purpose of purchasing a firearm, though Vice President Biden does not think it's worth the government's time to prosecute these criminal acts.
NRA does NOT support "universal" background checks and will continue to oppose, "universal" background checks and registration schemes. We do believe that records of those who are prohibited by law from purchasing firearms (including those whose mental health history puts them in this category) ought to be included in the federal instant check system.
Please continue to contact your U.S. Senators and tell them to oppose "universal" background check legislation AND S. 150, Sen. Feinstein's gun and magazine ban. To identify and contact your elected officials in Washington, D.C., use the "Write Your Reps" feature at www.NRAILA.org, or you can reach your member of Congress by phone at 202-224-3121.