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Background Checks | NICS


Background Checks for Guns

  • NRA opposes expanding firearm background check systems, because background checks don’t stop criminals from getting firearms, because some proposals to do so would deprive individuals of due process of law, and because NRA opposes firearm registration.

  • Background checks don’t necessarily stop criminals from getting firearms. Federal studies have repeatedly found that persons imprisoned for firearm crimes get their firearms mostly through theft, the black market, or family members or friends. Less than one percent get guns at gun shows. (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

  • Most mass shooters, including those inspired by Islamic terrorist groups, pass background checks to acquire firearms.

  • ATF has said that nearly half of illegally trafficked firearms originate with "straw purchasers"—people who pass background checks to buy firearms for criminals. The terrorists who attacked in San Bernardino in 2015 got firearms from a straw purchaser who passed a background check.

  • Federal law requires firearm dealers, regardless of location, to initiate a background check before selling or otherwise transferring a firearm to a person who is not a dealer.

  • There is no “gun show loophole.” Federal law is the same, regardless of where a firearm sale takes place.

  • There is no “online sales” loophole. Federal law is the same, regardless of how people communicate about selling/buying a firearm. Federal law prohibits anyone— licensed firearm dealer or not—from shipping a firearm to a person who lives in another state, unless that person is also a dealer. Dealers must document all firearms they receive.

Federal law requires all firearm dealers to be licensed[1] and to initiate a background check before transferring a firearm to a non-dealer,[2]regardless of where the transfer takes place.[3] Background checks for firearms have been conducted through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) since November 1998.[4]

However, background checks don’t stop criminals from stealing firearms, getting them on the black market, or getting them from straw purchasers. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), 77 percent of criminals in state prison for firearm crimes get firearms through theft, on the black market, from a drug dealer or “on the street,” or from family members and friends, while less than one percent get firearms from dealers or non-dealers at gun shows.[5]

A study by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) of federal armed career criminals showed that while 79 percent had acquired their firearms from “off the street” sales, “criminal acts,” and relatives, only six percent had acquired firearms from dealers or non-dealers at gun shows and flea markets.[6]

According to the DOJ, “about 1.4 million guns, or an annual average of 232,400, were stolen during burglaries and other property crimes in the six-year period from 2005 through 2010.”[7]The FBI’s stolen firearm file contained over two million reports as of March 1995.[8]

ATF has said, “Those that steal firearms commit violent crimes with stolen guns, transfer stolen firearms to others who commit crimes, and create an unregulated secondary market for firearms, including a market for those who are prohibited by law from possessing a gun.”[9]

ATF has reported, “[t]he most frequent type of trafficking channel identified in ATF investigations is straw purchasing from federally licensed firearms dealers. Nearly 50 percent . . . .”[10] Criminals defeat the background check system by getting guns through straw purchasers.[11]The terrorists who attacked in San Bernardino, California, in December 2015, used firearms they acquired through a straw purchaser.[12]

According to the nation’s leading criminologist specializing in the study of murder, Most mass murderers do not have criminal records or a history of psychiatric hospitalization. They would not be disqualified from purchasing their weapons legally. Certainly, people cannot be denied their Second Amendment rights just because they look strange or act in an odd manner. Besides, mass killers could always find an alternative way of securing the needed weaponry, even if they had to steal from family members or friends.[13]

None of the mass shootings that former President Barack Obama named in a White House speech on gun control in January 2016, would have been prevented by requiring background checks on private sales of firearms.[14] Further, background checks would not have prevented any of the high-profile shootings with 10 or more fatalities that have occurred since Obama's speech.[15]

Gun control supporters are not being honest

Background checks are not “the most important thing we can do.” Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group says, “The single most important thing we can do to reduce gun violence is to require a criminal background check for every gun sale.”[16]The statement is preposterous. Since 1991, when the nation’s violent crime rate hit an all-time high, violent crime has been cut by half, as gun control has been eliminated or ameliorated at the federal, state, and local levels.[17] Most experts attribute the decrease in crime to economic factors, improved policing programs, the reduction in the crack cocaine trade, increased incarceration rates, and other factors unrelated to gun control.[18] The FBI doesn’t include gun ownership or gun control in its list of crime factors.[19]

There is no “gun show loophole.”[20]Since 1994, federal law has required dealers to initiate a background check before selling or otherwise transferring a firearm, whether at a gun show or anywhere else.[21]

“Loophole” is a phony term.The Gun Control Act (1968) and the Brady Act (1993), written and voted for by gun control supporters, expressly impose record-keeping and background check requirements on firearm dealers, manufacturers, and importers alone. The Gun Control Act’s preamble states, “it is not the purpose of this title to place any undue or unnecessary federal restrictions or burdens on law-abiding citizens.”[22]

It’s not “40 percent.” In January 2013, the Washington Post gave President Obama “Three Pinocchios” for claiming that 40 percent of firearms are sold without a background check, and noted that the authors of the study upon which the claim is based say, “we don’t know the current percentage, nor does anyone else.”[23]Nevertheless, gun control supporters still repeat the “40 percent” claim in their propaganda materials.[24]Whatever the percentage, the fact remains that the nation’s murder rate is at an all-time low.[25]

It’s not “92 percent” either. Gun control supporters claim that 92 percent of Americans support background checks on all firearm transfers.[26] However, in November 2014, despite gun control supporters spending millions of dollars promoting a private sales background check ballot initiative in Washington, a state more receptive to gun control than most, the initiative was approved by 59 percent of voters.[27] Facing the same moneyed interests, in November 2016, Maine voters rejected a background check referendum by a margin of 52 to 48 percent.[28] That same year, Nevada voters adopted an unenforceable background check measure 50.45 to 49.55 percent.[29]

Federal gun control laws are already strong enough

In addition to requiring firearm dealers, manufacturers, and importers to initiate a background check on any non-licensee to whom they intend to transfer a firearm, and prohibiting the possession of firearms by nine categories of prohibited persons,[30] federal law already prohibits things associated with what gun control supporters call “online” or “internet” firearm sales. While a person may advertise a firearm on the internet: 

  • Federal law prohibits transferring a firearm to anyone known or believed to be prohibited from possessing firearms. (18 USC992(d))
  • Federal law prohibits a non-licensee from acquiring a handgun outside his state of residence and prohibits a non-licensee from acquiring a rifle or shotgun from a non-licensee outside his state of residence. (18 USC 992(a)(3))
  • Federal law prohibits anyone from transferring a handgun to a non-licensee who resides in another state (with rare exceptions), and prohibits a non-licensee from transferring any firearm to a non-licensee who resides in another state. (18 USC 922(a)(5))
  • Federal law prohibits the acquisition of a firearm on behalf of a person who is prohibited from possessing firearms. (18 USC 922(h) and 922(a)(6))
  • Federal law prohibits anyone from providing a handgun to a juvenile (person under age 18), and prohibits juveniles from possessing handguns, with limited exceptions. (18 USC 922(x))
  • Federal law also prohibits dealers from selling rifles or shotguns to persons under age 18. (18 USC 922(b)(1))

History of Background Checks

Until 1988, when gun control supporters started calling for a ban on “assault weapons,” they had tried to get a ban on handguns.[31]In 1976, the anti-gun group now known as the Brady Campaign described handgun registration as the second step in a three-step plan to prohibit the private possession of handguns.[32] The first part of its plan was to slow down handgun sales, and for many years it hoped to do so by having handgun purchases subjected to a waiting period and other restrictions.

For example, legislation introduced in Congress by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and the late Rep. Peter Rodino (D-N.J.) proposed a 21-day waiting period on purchases of handguns from dealers, limiting handgun purchases to two per year, requiring a permit to acquire a handgun from a dealer, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of handguns not deemed suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes, and imposing a $500 annual licensing fee on dealers who sold handguns.[33]

In the 1980s, when the Brady Campaign was known as Handgun Control, Inc., it continued to support waiting period legislation to slow down handgun sales, and opposed the establishment of NICS.[34] In 1993, Congress approved the Brady Act, which imposed a waiting period of up to five days on handgun purchases from dealers until November 30, 1998, at which time it required NICS checks for all firearms sold by dealers. Gun control supporters opposed the NICS provision.

Once NICS was inevitable, gun control supporters began advocating steps aimed at incrementally transforming it into a national registry of guns, something they’ve wanted for more than a century.[35] At first, they wanted background checks on all private (i.e., non-licensee) sales, trades and gifts of handguns.[36] Then they wanted background checks on private transfers of all guns at gun shows.[37]

In 1996, a tiny group that still advocates banning handguns and other categories of firearms claimed that gun shows were a “favored venue” for criminals seeking to acquire guns.[38] To drive gun shows out of business, the group proposed that sales of handguns and “assault weapons” (which together account for the majority of guns sold at shows and elsewhere) and firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act be prohibited at shows.[39]

By the time that NICS became operational in November 1998, gun control supporters had realized that, through a series of steps, they might be able to use the system to achieve gun registration. In 1999, the late-Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), a longtime gun control supporter, introduced legislation to require a NICS check on anyone who bought a gun at a gun show.[40] In 2009, Lautenberg proposed that the FBI retain, indefinitely, records of people who pass NICS checks to acquire guns.[41]

Since December 2012, gun control supporters have “demanded”[42] background checks on all private transfers of all firearms, regardless of location. And in 2013, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to eliminate the requirement that the FBI destroy the records of approved NICS checks within 24 hours.[43]Also in 2013, the Department of Justice said that background checks on all firearm transfers “depends on . . . requiring gun registration.”[44]NICS would become a registry of firearm transfers if all firearms transfers were subject to NICS checks and the FBI retained records of approved checks indefinitely, both of which gun control supporters have proposed, and such records included information currently maintained on federal Form 4473, documenting the identity of the firearm purchaser and the make, model and serial number of the firearm transferred. Over time, as people sell or bequeath their firearms, a registry of firearm transfers would become a registry of firearms possessed. 




[1] The Gun Control Act (1968), 18 USC 923(a), requires anyone “engaged in the business” of manufacturing, importing or dealing in firearms to be licensed. The Firearms Owners Protection Act (1986), 18 USC (921)(a)(21)(C), stipulates that “engaged in the business,” “as applied to a dealer in firearms,” refers to . . . “a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms.”
[2] The background check requirement is established by 18 USC 922(t). Checks are required on non-dealers other than those in certain states, who have certain kinds of firearm permits (see Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Permanent Brady Permit Chart) and those who have already passed an FBI background check to acquire a firearm regulated by the National Firearms Act.
[3] Under 18 USC 923(j), a dealer may conduct business at gun shows and similar events, but the background check requirement in paragraph (t) still applies.
[4] The Brady Act was enacted on November 30, 1993, and took effect on February 28, 1994. It initially required that firearm dealers inform the relevant state or local law enforcement agency of a person’s intention to acquire a handgun, and required that said agency conduct a background check on the individual within five state government business days. The Supreme Court struck down the latter requirement on Tenth Amendment grounds in Printz v. United States (1997). The Act further required that as of November 30, 1998, the handgun check/waiting period requirement would cease, in favor of what is now known as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
[5] Michael Planty and Jennifer Truman, Firearm Violence, 1993-2011, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), May 2013, p. 13. See also Marianne W. Zawitz, Guns Used in Crime, BJS, July 1995; Caroline Wolf Harlow, Firearm Use by Offenders, BJS, November 2001. In 1985, the Department of Justice reported that only about one in five convicted felons obtained guns through legal channels such as retail stores. (“Few criminals get guns through legal channels,” The Spokesman-Review, October 14, 1985.)
[6] ATF, Protecting America: The Effectiveness of the Federal Armed Career Criminal Statute, March 1992, p. 28.
[7] Lynn Langton, Firearms Stolen during Household Burglaries and Other Property Crimes 2005-2010, BJS, November 2012, p. 1.
[8] Note 5, Zawitz.
[9] ATF, 2012 Summary: Firearms Reported Lost and Stolen, June 17, 2013, p. 2.
[10] ATF, Following the Gun: Enforcing Federal Laws Against Firearms Traffickers, Chapter 3, June 2000, p. 10.
[11] Another reason a criminal might use a straw purchaser is to avoid being recorded as the buyer of the firearm, on the federal Form 4473 that records the identity of the buyer and the make, model and serial number of the firearm being acquired.
[12] Richard Winton and James Queally, Enrique Marquez Jr. faces more charges in San Bernardino terrorist attack,” Los Angeles Times, December 30, 2015. “[P]rosecutors modified the charges against Marquez, claiming he made false statements when obtaining each of the semiautomatic rifles used in the attack, which were purchased in 2011 and 2012. [Attack co-perpetrator] Farook had Marquez acquire the weapons because he feared he would not pass a background check, investigators have said.”
[13] James Alan Fox, criminology professor at Northeastern University, Top 10 myths about mass shootings,” Boston.com, December 19, 2012.
[14] Obama mentioned the crimes that took place in Tucson, Fort Hood, Binghampton, Aurora, Oak Creek, the Navy Yard, Santa Barbara, Charleston, Chapel Hill, and Lafayette, all the perpetrators of which passed background checks; Columbine and Kansas City, the perpetrators of which obtained firearms through straw purchasers; San Bernardino, the perpetrators of which obtained firearms through a combination of background checks and straw purchases; Newtown, the perpetrator of which stole the firearms he used; and Blacksburg, the perpetrator of which passed a background check because his disqualifying record hadn’t been uploaded to the NICS database.
[15] Larry Buchanan, Josh Keller, Richard A. Oppel Jr., Daniel Victor, How They Got Their Guns. New York Times, February 16, 2018; Michael Biesecker, Jeff Horwitz, Juan A. Lozano, Teen held in Texas attack is said to have used father’s guns, Associated Press, May 18, 2018; Richard A. Oppel Jr., Synagogue Suspect’s Guns Were All Purchased Legally, Inquiry Finds, New York Times, October 30, 2018; John Woolfolk, Thousand Oaks shooting: Why didn’t California’s strict gun laws stop it?, The Mercury News, November 8, 2018.
[16] E.g., Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown says “Closing this private sale loophole is the simplest way to shut down criminals’ easy access to guns.” Everytown: Background Checks, no date.
[17] For crime trends, see the FBI UCR Data Tool for years prior to 2014and FBI Uniform Crime Reports Section, Crime in the United States 2014, Violent Crime Table 4 for2014. Gun control law rollbacks include: The federal “assault weapon” and “large” magazine ban of 1994 expired in 2004. The Brady Act’s waiting period ended in favor of NICS in 1998. The number of states with Right-to-Carry laws increased from 16, accounting for 24 percent of the nation’s population in 1991, to 42, accounting for 74 percent of the population today. Almost all states have laws limiting local jurisdictions from imposing gun control restrictions more severe than state law.
[18] James Q. Wilson, Hard Times, Fewer Crimes, Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2011; Husna Haq, U.S. Crime Rate is Down: Six Key Reasons, Christian Science Monitor, May 24, 2010.
[19] According to the FBI, these factors include “Population density and degree of urbanization; Variations in composition of the population, particularly youth concentration; Stability of the population with respect to residents’ mobility, commuting patterns, and transient factors; Economic conditions, including median income, poverty level, and job availability; Modes of transportation and highway systems; Cultural factors and educational, recreational, and religious characteristics; Family conditions with respect to divorce and family cohesiveness; Climate; Effective strength of law enforcement agencies; Administrative and investigative emphases on law enforcement; Policies of other components of the criminal justice system (i.e., prosecutorial, judicial, correctional, and probational; Citizens’ attitudes toward crime; and Crime reporting practices of the citizenry.” (FBI Uniform Crime Reports Section, Crime in the United States 2014, Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics: Their Proper Use, pp. 1-2.)
[20] When anti-gun groups call for background checks on private transfers of guns at gun shows, they call it “closing the gun show loophole.” (E.g., Brady Campaign press release, Brady Campaign Urges Support for Bill to Close Gun Show Loophole, Jan. 25, 2011. Bills with “Gun Show Loophole” in their titles include S. 890 and H.R. 2377 (2001), S. 1807 and H.R. 3832 (2004), H.R. 3540 (2005), H.R. 96 (2007), H.R. 2324 (2009), H.R. 591 (2011), and H.R. 141 (2013).
[21] As noted, notes 1-3, the Gun Control Act (1968) requires anyone engaged in the business of manufacturing, importing or dealing in firearms to be licensed.
[22] ATF, Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide 2014, p. 7.
[23] Glenn Kessler, The Fact Checker, Obama’s continued use of the claim that 40 percent of gun sales lack background checks, Washington Post, April 2, 2013.
[24] E.g., Everytown for Gun Safety: Gun Background Checks Reduce Crime and Save Lives, April 2014; Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Frequently Asked Questions About Background Checks, no date; and Brady Campaign: Press release, Brady Campaign Releases Policy Recommendation Made to White House Task Force, January 11, 2013; Point, Click, Fire, December 2011; Online And Off The Record, September 2014; and Gun Violence in Washington State, no date; Mayors Against Illegal Guns: In The Business Outside The Law, December 2013; and Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Universal Background Checks.
[25] Note 17.
[26] Note 16.
[27] Washington Secretary of State, November 4, 2014 General Election Results.
[28] Michael Shepherd, Maine rejects expanded gun background checks in rebuke to Bloomberg, Bangor Daily News, November 9, 2016.
[29] Colton Lochhead, Measure to expand background checks for gun sales passes by razor-thin margin, Las Vegas Review-Journal, November 9, 2016.
[30] Persons convicted of felonies punishable by more than a year or misdemeanors punishable by more than two years in prison, fugitives, persons with disqualifying mental health histories, illegal drug users and addicts, illegal aliens, persons dishonorably discharged from the armed forces, persons who have renounced their U.S. citizenship, persons convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors, and persons under certain kinds of domestic violence-related restraining orders (18 USC 922(g)).
[31] In 1975, the National Council to Control Handguns, renamed Handgun Control, Inc., or HCI, in 1979 and renamed the Brady Campaign in 2001, called for “a ban on the manufacture, sale, and importation of all handguns and handgun ammunition.” (NCCH spokesman, later chairman, Nelson T. “Pete” Shields, People Weekly, Oct. 20, 1975.) In 1976, it advocated a law “to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition . . . totally illegal.” (Richard Harris, “A Reporter At Large: Handguns,” The New Yorker, July 26, 1976.) The group said, “we don’t want to prohibit all firearms . . . . Our battle is against handguns,” which it called “a national plague.” It stressed, “We’re not trying to deprive America’s hunters of their rifles and shotguns . . . seldom involved in violent crime.” It said, “the HANDGUN [is] the favorite weapon of the criminal. In contrast, long guns [rifles and shotguns] . . . are involved in only a small fraction of violent crime.” (Emphases in the original.) (NCCH, “There is now a nationwide, full-time, professional organization to battle the gun lobby” pamphlet, circa 1975.) Between 1979 and 1986, the group called for a ban on “easily concealable handguns” that “have one purpose—use in violent crime.” “Criminals,” HCI said, “don’t use longer-barreled weapons [rifles and shotguns] because they prefer the concealability of the snubbie [compact handgun].” (HCI advertisement, “Now the victims of handguns are fighting back,” New York Times, Jan. 7, 1979; HCI pamphlet, “You CAN do something about handgun violence,” circa 1982; HCI’s “Handgun Facts” brochure, question number six of its “12 Questions and Answers About Handgun Control,” 1984; and HCI advertisement, “A $29 handgun shattered my family’s life,” USA Today, April 4, 1986.) In 1982, HCI filed a brief in Quilici v. Morton Grove, in support of the Illinois town’s handgun ban. (Morton Grove rescinded the ban in the face of a lawsuit filed by NRA after the Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, 2008. For more information, see Marty Stempniak, “Top court kills Oak Park gun ban,” Wednesday Journal, June 28, 2010.) The group filed a brief to the Supreme Court in support of Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban, in District of Columbia v. Heller.
[32] Nelson T. “Pete” Shields, the leader of the group, then known as the National Council to Control Handguns, said, “The first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second problem is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition—except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporting clubs, and licensed gun collectors—totally illegal.” (Richard Harris, “A Reporter At Large: Handguns,” The New Yorker, July 26, 1976.) See also Molly Ball, How the Gun Control Movement Got Smart, Atlantic, February 7, 2013: Gun control supporters’ “major policy goals were to make handguns illegal and enroll all U.S. gun owners in a federal database. If the NRA today seems fixated on the notion that the left is out to undercut the Second Amendment, confiscate law-abiding Americans’ legally acquired firearms, and instigate federal-government monitoring of all gun owners, that’s because 15 years ago, gun-control advocates wanted to do all of those things. Federal licensing and registration as a requirement for gun ownership was a top policy goal—in the 2000 Democratic presidential primary, then-Vice President Al Gore came out in favor of photo licenses for gun owners, drawing criticism from Senator Bill Bradley, who supported the further step of registering every gun.”
[33] S. 974 and H.R. 3200, the Handgun Crime Control Act of 1981.
[34] In 1988, the Brady Campaign, then known as Handgun Control, Inc., objected to the approval, by the House of Representatives, of an amendment to the Omnibus Drug Bill by Rep. Bill McCollum (R-Fla.), which would have directed the Attorney General to develop an “instant check” system. (Handgun Control, Inc., “Brady Amendment Defeated: Congress Caves in to NRA,” Washington Report, Vol. 14, No. 3, Fall 1988.) The group also opposed “instant check” legislation proposed in 1991 by Rep. Harley O. Staggers, Jr., (D-W.V.) in H.R. 1412. The Brady Campaign was founded as the National Council to Control Handguns in 1974. It was renamed Handgun Control, Inc., in 1979 and Brady Campaign in 2001.
[35] In 1911, New York imposed a handgun licensing and registration law that gave law enforcement authorities arbitrary power to reject applications for handgun licenses, to prevent the acquisition of handguns by immigrants. (James A. Beckman, The Sullivan Law, in Gregg Lee Carter, Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law, Second Edition, 2012.) In 1934, FDR’s attorney general wanted handgun registration to be required by the National Firearms Act, and got a congressman to introduce a handgun registration bill in 1938. (Rex Collier,Firearms Control: An Interview with the Honorable Homer Cummings, Attorney General of the United States, Washington Evening Star, April 25, 1938.) In 1968, LBJ urged Congress to require licensing of all gun owners and registration of all guns, and later signed the Gun Control Act into law, blaming the “gun lobby” for the fact that the Act didn’t require handgun registration. (Joseph A. Califano, Gun control lessons from Lyndon Johnson, Washington Post, Dec. 16, 2012.)
[36] In early 1993, the Brady Campaign, then known as Handgun Control, Inc., said that in addition to pushing for passage of the Brady bill, “we must also be prepared to fight for several related pieces of legislation (including) to regulate private sales of handguns, such as sales by unlicensed individuals at gun shows.” (Handgun Control Special Bulletin: “What the (1992) Election Means for Our Gun Control Movement,” circa January 1993.)
[37] As examples, in 1998, 1999, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013, the late-Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced S. 2527 and S. 443S. 2577S. 843S. 35 and S. 22, respectively, proposing to require background checks on private sales of guns at gun shows. These bill also proposed other requirements designed to drive gun shows out of business, such as requiring that anyone who brings a personally-owned gun to a show be registered as a “vendor,” that the list of “vendors” be provided to the federal government, and that gun shows pay the government an unspecified registration fee.
[38] Violence Policy Center, Gun Shows in AmericaSection Four, July 1996.
[39] Ibid, Section Eight. Acquisition of a firearm under the NFA requires a federal background check. The group’s desire for sale of these firearms to be prohibited at shows belies the notion that gun control supporters merely want a check before a firearm is transferred.
[40] Note 41, S. 443.
[41] In 2009, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) introduced S. 2820, which would have allowed the FBI to retain indefinitely the records of people who passed NICS checks to acquire firearms.
[42] In December 2012, Shannon Watts created a Facebook page called One Million Moms for Gun Control. Now part of Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown anti-gun operation, Watts’ group calls itself Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, commonly abbreviated to Moms Demand Action. Watts, “who is often portrayed in the media as just an ordinary suburban mother concerned about gun violence” is a former “public relations and communications professional for large corporations and . . . public affairs officer for the late Mel Carnahan, the vehemently anti-gun governor of Missouri.” (Dave Kopel, The Scam Artist, America’s 1st Freedom, July 2014.)
[43] In 2013, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced H.R. 661, which would have eliminated the requirement that the FBI destroy the records of approved NICS checks within 24 hours.
[44] Greg Ridgeway, Deputy Director, National Institute of Justice, Summary of Selected Firearm Violence Prevention Strategies, January 4, 2013.


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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.