Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Alert: Universal Background Checks Explained

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

DATE:   February 5, 2013
TO:      USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM:  Marion P. Hammer
            USF Executive Director 
            NRA Past President

President Obama is saying that 70% of NRA members support "universal background checks."  I assure you, that simply is not true!

It appears he is citing a poll question from one of NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg's phony polls of people who "self-identify" as NRA members. 

The question was whether they would support "A proposal requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns." 

People could easily have assumed that "all sellers" meant licensed dealers at gun shows.  Clearly, that question is not about "universal background checks." 

Below is an article I wrote explaining universal background checks. I hope it clears up any confusion.  For a pdf copy click here. -- MPH


"Universal Background Checks" – Absolutely Not

By Marion P. Hammer

Imagine a grandfather who wants to give a family shotgun to his 12-year-old grandson having to do a background check on his grandson before giving him the shotgun.

Or a friend having to do a background check on his lifetime best buddy before lending him a hunting rifle.

Or, if your mother had a prowler at her home, having to do a background check on your own Mom before you could give her one of your guns for protection.

That's what "universal background checks" do.  They turn traditional innocent conduct into a criminal offense.  They target you, law-abiding gun owners.

Universal background checks are background checks on EVERY transfer, sale, purchase, trade, gift, rental, and loan of a firearm between any and all individuals. 

All background checks must be conducted through a federally licensed dealer.  Universal background checks have nothing to do with gun shows – they are about you.

It is ALREADY a federal felony to be engaged in the business of buying and selling firearms, for livelihood and profit, without having a federal firearm dealers 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, including at retail stores, gun shows, flea markets or anywhere else.

Further, it is ALREADY a federal felony for any private person to sell, trade, give, lend,  rent or transfer a gun to a person you know or should have known is not legally allowed to own, purchase or possess a firearm.

The penalty for selling a gun to a person who is a criminal, mentally ill, mentally incompetent, alcohol abuser or drug abuser is 10-year federal felony.  That's now, today, with no changes to the law.

It is even a federal felony to submit false information on a background check form for the purpose of purchasing a firearm. 

Even so, according to a 2012 report to the Department of Justice, more than 72,000 people were turned down on a gun purchase in 2010 because they didn't pass the background check.  Yet, only 44 of those cases were prosecuted.  Why, when criminals are caught in act of lying on the form to illegally purchase a firearm are they not prosecuted?

On Thursday, January 10, 2013, in the White House meeting of President Obama's Gun Agenda Task Force, Vice President Joe Biden answered that question, telling NRA's Director of Federal Affairs, James Baker, that the Obama administration didn't have time to prosecute people for lying on the federal background check form. 

In an article in The Daily Caller (1/18/2013) Biden said, "And to your point, Mr. Baker, regarding the lack of prosecutions on lying on Form 4473s, we simply don't have the time or manpower to prosecute everybody who lies on a form, that checks a wrong box, that answers a question inaccurately."

If the Obama Administration currently doesn't have the time or manpower to prosecute those who lie on background check forms, then why do they want more background checks, more paperwork and more forms? It's backdoor gun registration.

Universal background check system legislation that we have previously seen, allows the government to keep a computerized government registry of gun owners. 

In addition to the absurdity of having to do background checks on people you know are not criminals, would you like to pay up to $100 or more just to give your grandson a shotgun or lend a hunting rifle to your best friend or give your Mom a gun for protection?

Transfer fees alone could run from $50 up.  Firearms dealers, like other businesses, charge as much as they can get away with.  Background check fees for a federally mandated program can be any amount they decide.

The Obama administration's gun ban agenda and universal background check system are unconstitutional regulatory schemes to gut the Second Amendment. These proposals which mandate the government collection of data on lawful gun buyers and sellers amount to universal gun registration and gun owner licensing.

This agenda focuses on peaceable citizens, not violent criminals who obtain guns on the black-market to carry out unspeakable crimes already prohibited under federal and state laws.  Instead of stopping crime and eliminating criminal conduct, they are creating more criminals – they are targeting you.

That's why NRA Members and the nation's 100 million firearms owners will stand in solidarity and fight against these misguided and diabolical proposals that have nothing whatsoever to do with curbing criminal violence but everything to do with stripping us of our guaranteed civil rights and our freedom.

Marion P. Hammer is past President of the National Rifle Association and is Executive Director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida

TRENDING NOW

Monday, August 19, 2019

Florida Alert! "Assault Weapons" Ban Amendment Bans ALL SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS

The so-called "assault weapons" ban that is proposed for a constitutional amendment to be on the 2020 Election Ballot bans the possession of: “any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun CAPABLE of holding more than ten (10) rounds ...

NRA Member Berated for Carrying Firearm

News  

Friday, August 2, 2019

NRA Member Berated for Carrying Firearm

NRA member Darrell Kennedy was on vacation with his family at Yellowstone National Park earlier this month when an anti-gun vacationer snapped a photo of his holstered firearm and tweeted out a hate message. “Sat ...

Amnesty International’s Desperate Measure

News  

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Amnesty International’s Desperate Measure

There are some odd dynamics in international relations. Countries in which people are not free serve on the UN Human Rights Council. Political considerations guide every action.  Of course, the NRA is a single-issue organization so ...

Bill Clinton Touts Failed Gun Ban With Bogus Info

News  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Bill Clinton Touts Failed Gun Ban With Bogus Info

Bill and Hillary Clinton just don’t draw like they used to. Shunned by much of his own party, (described by one Vanity Fair commentator as “2020’s bubonic plague”) the former president has been relegated to providing lazy ...

Sparking Dialogue or Sparking Joy: Competing Views on Gun “Buyback” Initiatives

News  

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sparking Dialogue or Sparking Joy: Competing Views on Gun “Buyback” Initiatives

The Christian Science Monitor describes itself as “an independent international news organization” that wants to “help you to see news events as starting points for constructive conversations.” Its editorial board recently published an article, A seed for society’s ...

No, Joe, Your Gun Ban Didn’t Work

News  

Sunday, August 18, 2019

No, Joe, Your Gun Ban Didn’t Work

Joe Biden has been out on the primary campaign trail working hard. Maybe a little too hard. “We got to let them know who we are,” he recently told a crowd of supporters at the Iowa State ...

Tell Your U.S. Senators and Representative to Oppose Gun Control

News  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tell Your U.S. Senators and Representative to Oppose Gun Control

In the wake of the recent two criminal mass attacks, a number of gun control proposals have begun to circulate in our nation’s capital. None of these proposals would have prevented the recent tragedies, but they all ...

Another Week, Another Democrat Presidential Contender Out to Round Up America's Guns

News  

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Another Week, Another Democrat Presidential Contender Out to Round Up America's Guns

A smart person learns from his mistakes. An even smarter person learns from the mistakes of others.  Beto O’Rourke, an unemployed Texan running for president, must not be too smart.           

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Important Statement from NRA CEO & Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre

News  

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Important Statement from NRA CEO & Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre

The NRA will work in good faith to pursue real solutions to the epidemic of violence in America.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.