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Old February 9, 2013, 04:11 PM   #382
Spats McGee
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 6,994
Originally Posted by manta49
Originally Posted by Spats McGee
Hogwash. Universal background checks on private sales serve no purpose. Common sense says that felons and the mentally ill will not abide by the law, and will not or cannot be prosecuted for failing to do so
No point in having driving laws then as some do not abide by the law.
Flawed comparison, and one that you've made several times now. Driving a car deals in the operation of the vehicle, not ownership. Universal background checks deal in ownership of a firearm, not possession or operation. Repeating your flawed comparison doesn't make it more true.

Besides, there are some real problems with UBCs on private transfers:

First, the whole idea driving the push for universal background checks is that it will keep firearms out of the hands of felons and the mentally ill. Universal background checks on private sales will be almost entirely unenforceable. Both buyer and seller will have a Fifth Amendment right not to testify against themselves. Without registration of all firearms, it will be virtually impossible for a prosecuting authority to prove a violation of the law. Second, under an old 1968 case called Haynes v. U.S., I have a very strong suspicion that convicted felons and other prohibited persons will be virtually immune from prosecution for violation of same. Based on these two items, it's the Fifth Amendment that is standing in the way of this "common sense legislation."

As for the mentally ill, do you really expect them to abide by laws? Aren't the inability to recognize right and wrong, legal and illegal, and an inability to conform ones behavior ordinarily defenses to criminal charges?

Laws are intended to punish bad behavior and deter same. Given the first two items above, new legislation will basically only apply to law-abiding citizens, causing them to jump through more hoops, but it will not have any effect on either felons or the mentally ill.

In other words, private background checks on private sales will serve no purpose.

Driving laws apply across the board to each and every person operating a vehicle. Whether licensed or not, prior conviction or not. There's not a "prohibited persons" class which could not legally be required to register its cars.
I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. If you need some honest-to-goodness legal advice, go buy some.
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