2. Make all firearm purchasers go through a background check, including private sales. The background check services should be a free service.
(If I'm involved in a private sale of firearm, the most important thing to me is making sure the purchaser is a sane individual and not a felon instead of how much $$$$$$ I can make.) At least it should be a moral obligation.
I don't want to sell a firearm to a dangerous person. I don't want to sell him a car, motorcycle, chain saw, axe, machete, or pocketknife, either. This is why dangerous mental patients need to be under supervision. And dangerous felons need to be behind bars. If they're safe enough we can let them out, great. I'll sell them any of those things.
Let's say you really wanted to pass a law that every firearms purchaser had to go through a background check. How would you ever enforce it? There are over 200 million unregistered firearms floating around out there. I have several that don't even have serial numbers. How would you convict someone for selling a firearm without a background check, if you can't prove who owned it?
And how would you implement such a scheme? Make the service free, straight from the NICS database? Who's going to pay for it? The bigger question is who's going to prove you're using it or not using it? Will the ATF open up some office somewhere for you to do this? I doubt it. Are you going to call it in from home? That opens it up for abuse by people who just want to snoop on a neighbor.
The other way to do it, and it's done in other states, is that you have to run every sale through a dealer. I pass my guns down to my kids and my local dealer gets $40 a pop. And he still doesn't know my kid as well as I do.
You could mandate the dealers perform the service for a nominal fee. Another great idea. Just like any other product, when the price is pushed low artificially, the quantity a seller is willing to supply goes down. You're going to the back of the line when your dealer is helping customers who are actually paying him money.
Any such system would have done nothing to prevent what just happened in CT. The guy stole the guns from his mother. All this law would do is discourage gun ownership and trip up honest people.