We Need Your Help Requiring Background Checks for Guns


There's going to be a spate of comments here saying that kids also die in swimming pool accidents and car accidents, and therefore it's okay to let them be shot as well. Because... guns are a fun hobby, basically. And there's guys who will say damn near anything to protect their fun hobby.
Those who are zealous of thier rights advocate loudly. It seems most of the public is hugely disinterested.
in control that is.
And yet this would do NOTHING to prevent criminals from getting guns.

It would create a registry of gun ownership and that shit will NEVER fly with gun owners.

You need gun owners to buy into this for it to pass. So far, the gun grabbers have shot themselves in the foot, over and over. Mostly because they lack an even basic understanding of firearms and associated laws. Combine that with the smug self righteous moral condemnation of gun ownership and the name calling of said gun owners, you're lucky that anything is actually getting done.

I never understood, if gun owners are so violent and stupid, why are there ANY gun grabbers left?
Huh huh. She said "outgunning."
It;s not the guns, or the magazines, or the ammo people, it;s the crazy people. Ban them and leave us law-abiding citizens ALONE.

BTW: @1 Cthulu's fun hobby is writing inane and offensive stuff here on the Slog. Wish she would just go swimming or play in traffic, or something equally legal...
The insurmountable obstacle seems to be convincing gun owners that a reasonable regulation is not "Step 1 on the Path to Confiscate All Guns." I have friends who are calm, rational, logical people in every other aspect, but who absolutely go to pieces and break out the "gun grabber" rhetoric whenever anyone mentions ANY regulation, no matter how benign or limited.

I don't get it. It baffles me. Is paranoia just endemic to gun ownership for most people? How else can you sincerely believe that a bunch of (let's be honest) impotent ultra-liberal handwringers are going to magically overwrite the federal Constitution?
Is paranoia just endemic to gun ownership for most people?

Do you really have to ask? If you simply think shooting is fun, you can go to any gun range and rent a gun to shoot. The *ownership* of firearms is highly correlated with paranoia about life in general.
Hernandez, it's not an insurmountable obstacle. And no, paranoia is not endemic to gun owners, there's just a small core group who seem very interested in derailing the conversation.

"It asks lawmakers to pass HB 1588, which would require universal background checks when selling guns (sponsored by Representatives Jamie Pederson and Mike Hope), thereby closing the so-called gun-show loophole."

I will support that bill despite how you are pushing it here.

"After the Sandy Hook massacre where innocent first graders and teachers were gunned down, I could no longer tolerate inaction."

Except that HB 1588 would do NOTHING in another case such as Sandy Hook.

"In fact, it's been reported in some districts that gun advocates who believe they should be able to take their guns anywhere, anytime, without regulations are outgunning us 10:1 in Olympia."

And again. If it is about carrying guns "anywhere, anytime" then they are NOT opposing that specific bill which is about background checks.
Wait, let's ask Gene Stoner. Gene, are they really after you?
"Traditionally, opponents of gun responsibility have dominated the debate and airwaves; but for the first time in decades the wind is in our sails. "


Now we have some dead children to use to push our personal anti-civil rights agenda.

Well Bloomberg, Feinstein, and their disgusting ilk have have stated openly and on the record that their goal is gun confiscation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_LaBJvI…

The federal government has already shown that it has no respect for the Bill of Rights and continues warrant-less wiretaps and the assassination of American Citizens with out due process of law. The first amendment has been corralled into protest zones and the 10th is all but non existent.

condensed version:

A legal activity specifically granted in the state and federal constitutions that has 10:1 support makes us have a crazy emotional response where we fantasize about law abiding citizens getting into make believe shootouts while crazy people break laws and become outliers we can use to push our message with pictures of children.

got it.

bonus version:

Lets try to pass meaningless regulation based on a liberal buzzword, even though the problem as cited doesn't exist in this state, so we can all pat ourselves on the back, when it gets *shot down* by the courts, and the electorate.

please resume your fanatical echo chamber discussions!
@12 Okay, that's a perfect example. A 1995 video clip where Dianne Feinstein says she wants to confiscate guns.

It's 2013 now...has she come anywhere near that goal in the 18 years since she made that statement? Hell no. Impotent ultra-liberal handwringing at its finest.

Could it be that's because outright confiscation doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of gaining enough support to become reality, in both the political and popular sense? Seems like the obvious conclusion to me. You would have to be, well...paranoid to think that confiscation is just over the horizon beyond reasonable, even functionally pointless, regulation.
New York State just passed a bill that includes confiscation and prevents grandfathering to family members creating a backdoor to confiscation.
@13, good to see your knee is jerking well. Did you even read the post? It's not about "liberal buzzwords" (I assume you are talking about the "Assault Weapon Ban", which this particular piece of legislation has nothing whatever to do with.

@12, I give up with you. You KNOW that what you're saying isn't true. "Gun confiscation" is not possible, and you know it. Mayor Bloomberg knows it, Diane Feinstein knows it, EVERYBODY KNOWS IT. Would I like to take your guns away? You fuckin' betcha, asshole. But I can't. So what I'm doing instead is trying to do something that will reduce the 30,000 yearly deaths by firearm in this country. You don't want to do that; you have NO INTEREST in saving the lives of those people. You are so psychologically damaged that you argue even against your own positions when it comes time to, because YOU ARE THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS. So fuck off, you paranoid freakshow. Go wave your pathetic firearm around the streets of some other city in some other country.

26, "crazy people" are responsible for something like one percent of all gun deaths in this country. What about the other 30,000 every year? I'm not talking about freak-os shooting up schools; I'm talking about kids picking up their daddy's guns and blowing their heads off with them; I'm talking about 10,000 impulse suicides a year; I'm talking about thousands and thousands of untraceable guns pouring into our cities and being used in crimes. I'm talking about THIRTY THOUSAND DEAD BODIES A YEAR. You don't have an answer for that, do you? You don't have an answer for ANYTHING, do you? Do you?

The universal background check is an idea that COMES FROM THE GUN OWNERS. It's supported by gun owners, even NRA members, by huge margins. Or it is, until it looks like it could actually happen, then all the lying psychopaths like Cascadian Bacon fall away from it. But responsible people WANT THIS. It doesn't take away your rights. It strengthens them. You want to live in a free society? Me too: I'd like to live in a society that doesn't have thirty thousand dead bodies coming into our hospitals and morgues every year.

If you oppose this bill, you support those deaths.
@15, this bill is not that bill. Open your fucking eyes.

Also, you are deliberately lying about the New York bill. It did contain some provisions that could be interpreted as "confiscation" (of very narrow categories of weapons) but those provisions were removed. You're a liar, full stop.

But then, we know why you want your access to guns to be unfettered; because you like to pull yours out on the street and threaten people with it. Your views are not particularly interesting to law-abiding members of civilization.
100,000+ lives are lost a year from infections caught while in the hospital. We could save 100,000 lives a year by requiring hospital staff to WASH THEIR HANDS. Close to another 100,000 are lost due to drug interactions, misread dosage and look alike and sound alike drugs. Both are problems that I am actively working to solve in the course of my employment.

Cry me a river about hospitals and morgues, I actually work in them. You really want to save lives, encourage people to eat right and exercise.

Kinda like how Mc Gynns photo opportunity blocked access to our cardiac and trauma centers "to save one life from gun violence."
Part of what's so perplexing to me is that these guys complain that the police aren't enforcing the 20,000 laws on the books (and when I ask them to name specific laws, I don't really get a response) but then seem to think the police would have the capacity to come in and confiscate guns. There's a disconnect there.
I think the comments here are really instructive as to the mindset of the more vocal members of "responsible gun owner" crowd. You are obviously totally OK with thirty thousand dead bodies.

You said "the assault weapon ban is a sham". Well, we got rid of that one. We ASKED you what you would do instead, what would help solve the problem without violating your rights, and, amid the usual nonsense about tracking the mentally ill and so on, a real proposal emerged: universal background checks.

Now, you're against that too, even though IT CAME FROM YOUR SIDE.

This is why people think the gun rights advocates are fundamentally dishonest people. You are bargaining in bad faith.

COME ON; we have made the effort to see a way forward; why can't you?

If not this, WHAT? You can't say "nothing". "Nothing" is nihilism; "Nothing" is "thirty thousand dead bodies don't bother me".
@18, there's got to be a name for this logical fallacy. Call it the "I don't have to wear my seat belt, I could get wiped out by a meteor any minute" lie.

Just because a solution doesn't solve everything doesn't mean it doesn't solve anything; just because answers B, C, D and E would save lives too doesn't mean that we shouldn't do A as well, if it would work.

I've talked to ER doctors and public health doctors about this. They don't agree with you; they agree with me, overwhelmingly so.
@21, you're describing yourself.
@7: Wasn't there just a bill proposed in WA that would have prevented the transfer of firearms, including upon death, and attempted to allow for police officers to enter homes to conduct searches on registered owners? When that type of legislation is introduced by elected officals (even if it doesn't have a chance of passing), I don't think I'd call it "paranoia" to believe that they're interested in doing exactly what they say.

I am for requiring background checks on all transfers, but how do you continue to justify calling people "paranoid" about things like gun registries when state lawmakers have already attempted to use a registry to violate the 4th amendment?
Instead of making a list of registered gun owners, why don't they make a list of people who should be forbidden to have a gun, such as: convicted felons, people with a history of domestic abuse, and seriously crazy people?
The only problem that I have with this bill is, and I could be mistaken, that there is no cap, or set amount for fees charged by PRIVATE dealers who are using free access to a Federal database. Currently most FFL's charge between $30-75 for out of state background checks. A background check takes a dealer about 4-10 minutes (phone call and paperwork).

California's version of this bill has a $10 cap on what the FFL can charge for a person-to-person transaction - that seems reasonable to me. $30-75 does not. (California's also requires the FFL to keep handguns in their shop during the waiting period, so, a background-only check should actually be cheaper...)

Additionally, the Federal background check, Form 4473 which is currently performed by FFLs on purchases requires that the FFL keep a record of the transaction, but the BATF/FBI are required to not have a central database of the transactions. If that language was kept in HB1588, it would probably allay some fears of confiscation..etc.
@26: Capitol Loans does a $20 flat fee transfer. Collusion works well among a few parties. More than about three and the lure of competition takes over.
Well I must admit this thread has been a tad surprising. Fairly Unbalanced, unregistered troll #25, and Randoma all voiced support for a back ground check prior to letting someone purchase a gun.

im in favor of more controls, but i also i think that we dont enforce or penalize current offenders enough..for example, the tuba man killers.

they killed a guy, got juvie detention, and have since gone on to kill, rob, ,aim and destroy again. the latest is the one who plea bargained out and will probably only get 6 yrs and be out to rob and kill again before he is 30.

the gun nuts have a point in that criminal class can get guns and use them without much fear of getting punsihed if they do get caught.
@24 - Yes, but no chance of passing means no chance of passing. Crazy shit is proposed all the time, but you claim to be worried about it even though you admit it has a snowball's chance in hell.

An Indiana senator put forward a bill that would require public school kids to recite the Lord's Prayer each day. Would I seem paranoid if I thought that meant that the 1st amendment were at risk? Probably. But certainly, I would come off as a poor debater if I offered that bill as proof that it were.
I'll make it easy for you class:

100% Background checks lead to gun registration...

Gun registration leads to gun confiscation...

Gun confiscation leads to MORE violent crime and government tyranny, because nobody can then effectively defend themselves.

Class dismissed.
Gene baby lay off the Charlie Sheen
I'm still waiting for someone to present a compelling case stating how banning private sales of guns (which is what a 'Universal Background Check' is) would be effective in preventing criminals from committing gun violence.

Furthermore, how would Universal Background Checks prevent gun suicides? How would they prevent gun accidents in the home?

For me, I'm failing to see how this would help much. Lots of liberals yammer on that, "It would be a good first-step."

A good first step toward what? Nobody has shown me they can connect the dots on this.
Cascadian Bacon notes hospitals are dangerous, proposes changes to reduce the danger.

Nobody contests it.

Slog notes guns are dangerous, proposes changes (tiny changes) to reduce the violence.

Cascadian Bacon and the other gun nuts collectively lose their shit.
@CPN: How about in keeping guns out of the hands of felons? If 100% background checks can do that it's worth it.

The gun nuts (Hi, CB!) wring their hands an spout that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun. Well then keepung more guns out of the hands of said 'bad guys' is worth doing.
@30: Never said I was worried about it. We were talking about Hernandez's friends, who apparently are. I was just explaining their reasoning. My point is that while one could describe it as misplaced concern, I probably wouldn't go so far as to call it "paranoia" when there are state lawmakers attempting to do exactly what the "paranoid" person thinks they're trying to do.
How about in keeping guns out of the hands of felons? If 100% background checks can do that it's worth it.

I think his claim was that 100% background checks don't keep guns out of the hands of felons, as criminals already acquire their guns through illegal means, anyway. While I think that's true in general, I also think that there are enough examples of cases where the background check would have helped that it justifies applying the same rules that we have right now for FFLs to private sales. Even so, I have very low expectations that it will have any effect on the overall crime rate.

One example recent example of someone exploiting the "gun show loophole":

Basically, while I support the same goal on this subject, don't say "if 100% background checks can do that it's worth it" if you don't even make an effort to back up that "if," especially if you're trying to respond to a post that claims you can't show that it will be effective.
"Furthermore, how would Universal Background Checks prevent gun suicides?"

Not at all.

"How would they prevent gun accidents in the home?"

Not at all.

"... would be effective in preventing criminals from committing gun violence."

By itself, not at all.
In Washington state? Not much as the quantity buyers will just go to a different state to buy.
For smaller quantities I expect the criminals to pay family members to make the purchase for them.
And even that change is debatable unless the Washington police set up "stings" with fake buyers/sellers.
So I think of this more as an effort at documenting the flow of illegal guns to criminals.
And then arresting the known criminals when they take possession of the guns.

And that is the part that I think most people fail to understand on this issue.
Just because criminals do not fill out paperwork does not mean that requiring law-abiding citizens to fill out paperwork will reduce crime.
Filling out paperwork does not stop crime.
It doesn't.
Let me try to connect the dots as I see them, since nobody has mentioned the mechanism through which a ban on private sales would work.

Q1: How would it be possible to know whether a gun was purchased via a background check?
A: You can't. Not without universal gun registration.

Q2: If you implement universal gun registration, who will register their guns? Law-abiding citizens or criminals?
A: It's fairly ridiculous to think that criminals will register anything.

Q3: Let's say we had a magical gun registry of law-abiding citizens, how would that prevent crime exactly?
A: Hell if I know.

Q4: The weapons used in Sandy Hook were registered. Why didn't that stop the madman?
A: You tell me.

Which leads me back to my first question. How would this work when there's no way to tell if a gun was purchased 'legally' or not? I suppose you could track new guns only, but how many criminals buy new guns? With hundreds of millions of guns already out there, I don't see banning private firearm sales doing much.

And if a gun law isn't going to be effective, then it sounds like more feel-good bullshit to me.
Ban lunatics and criminals, not guns.
But Gene sweetie then we'd never get to hear from you again.
@39, Somehow, pretty much everyone buying/selling firearms across state lines abides to the background check rules. Why would it be different in state?

I tend to agree that universal background checks will do very little to stop firearms related violence, but I also, assuming that they're handled similarly to the FFL form 4473 checks now, don't see that it is a big hurdle for legitimate purchasers. If the fee is relatively minor ($5-10 - NOT $30-75 or whatever a private FFL decides to charge) and there is no central database registration, I really don't see a problem with filling out a form and waiting 10 minutes.

As far as:

"Q1: How would it be possible to know whether a gun was purchased via a background check?
A: You can't. Not without universal gun registration."

It would work the same way as it does now when you purchase a firearm from an FFL. The FFL documents that you passed the background check and is required to retain that record for 20 years.

Everything you ever wanted to know about NICS checks:


That said, criminals will not be deterred by background checks and people that suddenly become lunatics (mass shooters) are not going to have a problem passing a background check (at least with the system as it is now.)
"Q1: How would it be possible to know whether a gun was purchased via a background check?
A: You can't. Not without universal gun registration."

It would work the same way as it does now when you purchase a firearm from an FFL. The FFL documents that you passed the background check and is required to retain that record for 20 years.

I think the point is that without the ATF being allowed to keep a record of serial numbers attributed to FFLs, they wouldn't know what FFL to go audit in order to track down where a specific firearm came from. And if they are allowed to keep a record of serial numbers attributed to FFLs, it's a (de facto, at least) registry.
@43, If you have a firearm, and its legitimacy is in question, you can tell them where you purchased it from. If you can't, then you have a problem. There is no need for a master record of serial numbers.

The purported purpose of the bill is to make sure that only legitimate purchasers can purchase firearms. That is very different from being able to track specific serial numbers.
The ATF keeps a record of which FfLs distributors and manufacturers sold their guns too. The FFL must keep a record of who they sold too, and that is how firearms are traced to their original purchaser under the current system.
@45: Right on. I didn't know how well the documentation was on the first half, there.