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Old June 27, 2014, 08:38 PM   #1
Gary L. Griffiths
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A new take on so-called UBCs

Expanding on the Spats UBC thread, I’ve given some considerable thought to the issue of so-called “Universal Background Checks.” While no responsible person wants to see firearms in the hands of an Adam Lanza, Jerrod Loughner, or similar deranged psychopath, neither do we wish to see our firearms listed in some Federal database, or be subject to prosecution for loaning a gun to a hunting buddy or giving one as a present to a family member. I’ve been kicking around an “outside-the-box” idea that, by using the carrot rather than the stick, would enable us to assure ourselves that we were transferring firearms only to those eligible to receive them. Bear with me, and please read the entire post. I’m certainly receptive to feedback, especially in the form of constructive criticism.

First of all, the ATF form 4473 will be eliminated. Firearms dealers will no longer be responsible for running background checks on you every time you purchase a gun. Instead, you may run a background check on yourself, at your leisure, from any Internet-connected computer or smart phone. You would have to enter your full ID data, plus read through a list of prohibitions like the questions that are on the 4473. If you passed the background check, you would be issued a unique alphanumeric ID# that would be valid for, say, 90 days. This number, and your ID data, would be on a PDF file, which you could print out in however many copies you wished. For convenience, it might also contain blanks for the make, model, caliber, serial number, and additional descriptive data for the firearm you wish to purchase. This would be for you to fill in at the time of purchase, and would not be furnished to the gov’t.

To purchase a firearm or firearms, you would present this form to the seller. The seller could then call a toll-free number and enter the ID number from your form. The seller would then be informed that that number was valid, and provide your ID data. You would then show your ID to the seller to confirm you are the one who received a clean background check, and the transaction(s) would proceed. The firearm’s ID data would be entered onto the form, and both you and seller would sign the form. The seller would then retain the form, with a copy going to you, if you wished to have one, and would act as a bill of sale for the firearm. A dealer would retain the form as a record of sale.

A dealer would be required to check your ID number, just as (s)he is now required to do a background check. A private seller would not. There would be no criminal penalty for a private seller not checking the ID#, or not asking to see one. However, firearms sellers who can prove that they checked the buyer’s eligibility by producing a copy of the bill of sale would be statutorily absolved of any criminal or civil liability for selling the firearm, or for any misuse of the firearm by the buyer.

The ID# would be valid for the purchase of any number of firearms during the validity period. Upon its expiration, within three working days, the ID data associated with that number would be required to be purged from gov’t records. The only data the gov’t would retain would be the ID# and the dates it was valid.

An individual could get an ID# as often as (s)he wished. While there would be no requirement for a seller to ask for and check the buyer’s ID#, the fact that the law provides legal protection to the seller would be a strong incentive, especially since plaintiffs’ attorneys would be quick to seize upon the fact that failure to check the buyer’s ID# could easily be construed as negligence, with consequential civil liability.

You wouldn’t have to swear to a bunch of statements like on the Form 4473, but if you are, say, an illegal alien, you can still be charged with unlawful possession; just not the “stacked” charge of perjury.

In short, gives anyone the ability to check a buyer's background, provides relief from liability for selling to a buyer who misuses the firearm, and the gov't has no permanent record of who purchased a firearm, and has no record at all of the number or types of firearms the buyer purchased.

Ideas?
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Old June 27, 2014, 09:43 PM   #2
tomrkba
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Nope, though this certainly looks like a tongue-in-cheek scenario Maybe we can tie it to the "See something, say something" government rat program.

The current background checks are "authorized" through the abuse of the Commerce Clause as a means to get around the Second Amendment.
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Old June 28, 2014, 11:15 AM   #3
JimDandy
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Quote:
To purchase a firearm or firearms, you would present this form to the seller. The seller could then call a toll-free number and enter the ID number from your form. The seller would then be informed that that number was valid, and provide your ID data. You would then show your ID to the seller to confirm you are the one who received a clean background check, and the transaction(s) would proceed. The firearm’s ID data would be entered onto the form, and both you and seller would sign the form. The seller would then retain the form, with a copy going to you, if you wished to have one, and would act as a bill of sale for the firearm. A dealer would retain the form as a record of sale.
Aside from the extra hoops someone has to jump through, especially if they run into an impulse buy in the store, how is this any different than the current system?

The toll free number is available for anyone and everyone? So people who have no intention of buying a firearm, but want to run a background check on a potential employee, renter, etc. can no log onto a computer using information provided by the prospect, pretend to be the prospect, get this number, call the number, and get the go-no-go hire/fire/rent/evict decision?

Quote:
A dealer would be required to check your ID number, just as (s)he is now required to do a background check
The dealer is STILL required to do a background check. They're still calling checking your ID, collecting your identifying information, and they're still calling a phone number for a proceed/decline decision. As your system is renewable every 90 days, there's even the possibility of a Delay result as they update their 80 day old information if someone similar is adjudicated, convicted, or ordered restrained.

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The current background checks are "authorized" through the abuse of the Commerce Clause as a means to get around the Second Amendment.
Nothing like air quotes and a thinly veiled conspiracy theory to "improve" credibility. As soon as you do that, you sound like the Yin to "The NRA rewrote the second amendment when no one was looking!"'s Yang.
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Old June 29, 2014, 10:59 AM   #4
Spats McGee
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I'll say the same thing here that I said over on THR in response to this: I, for one, have gone as far as I am willing to go on the road to "being reasonable" in terms of gun control. In my lifetime, and even before, it's been one hurdle after another being placed between the American citizen and private gun ownership. The AWB expired, and some hurdles have been stricken by courts after years of litigation. Aside from those, though, hurdles are rarely taken down. I will no longer try to appease anti-gun people. History tells me that's a losing proposition.
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Old June 29, 2014, 03:46 PM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary L. Griffiths
A dealer would be required to check your ID number, just as (s)he is now required to do a background check. A private seller would not. There would be no criminal penalty for a private seller not checking the ID#, or not asking to see one. However, firearms sellers who can prove that they checked the buyer’s eligibility by producing a copy of the bill of sale would be statutorily absolved of any criminal or civil liability for selling the firearm, or for any misuse of the firearm by the buyer.
I don't see from your description how there would be any way for a private seller to prove that he/she verified the ID number. A bill of sale can't establish that. Even if the seller looks at the ID and writes down the number on the bill of sale, there's no proof that he/she called to verify the validity of the ID number. Besides, many people prefer to purchase from private sellers precisely so there is no paper trail. I don't buy from private sellers for my own reasons, but I am opposed to any proposal that would limit or eliminate that possibility for those who prefer to fly under the radar.
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Old June 29, 2014, 10:40 PM   #6
KyJim
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Quote:
A dealer would be required to check your ID number, just as (s)he is now required to do a background check. A private seller would not. There would be no criminal penalty for a private seller not checking the ID#, or not asking to see one. However, firearms sellers who can prove that they checked the buyer’s eligibility by producing a copy of the bill of sale would be statutorily absolved of any criminal or civil liability for selling the firearm, or for any misuse of the firearm by the buyer.
Saying someone is statutorily absolved of liability either creates a new claim for relief or at least a new standard of care in private firearms sales. Five years from now, someone uses a gun I sold in a private sale. I can't produce the bill of sales because it has been lost or destroyed by flood, fire, etc. Now I'm presumed to have negligently provided the firearm and held civilly liable. No thanks.
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Old June 30, 2014, 01:15 AM   #7
Tom Servo
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I will no longer try to appease anti-gun people. History tells me that's a losing proposition.
Appeasing them only emboldens them to try for more. The AWB was called a compromise. OK, so they got something. What did we get? The promise it wouldn't be worse next time. Days later, Sarah Brady and Dianne Feinstein were talking about the bill only being a "first step."

No thanks. I'm not playing.
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Old June 30, 2014, 08:59 AM   #8
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
Quote:
I will no longer try to appease anti-gun people. History tells me that's a losing proposition.
Appeasing them only emboldens them to try for more. The AWB was called a compromise. OK, so they got something. What did we get? The promise it wouldn't be worse next time. Days later, Sarah Brady and Dianne Feinstein were talking about the bill only being a "first step."

No thanks. I'm not playing.
All too true. I think it's important for everyone to remember that a year and a half ago (December 2012) Connecticut had in place an AWB that very closely matched the expired federal AWB. The antis don't like to acknowledge it, but all the firearms used by the Sandy Hook shooter were fully AWB compliant and all had been purchased legally.
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Old June 30, 2014, 09:14 AM   #9
JimDandy
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The antis don't like to acknowledge it, but all the firearms used by the Sandy Hook shooter were fully AWB compliant and all had been purchased legally.
There are any number of issues with an AWB that make that ridiculous to people who understand firearms. The problems with a law outlawing what they think is the "shoulder thing that goes up" but is actually a handguard to prevent you from burning your fingers and is no functionally different than the front half of a wooden stock they have no immediate problem with are not the problems with background checks.
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Old June 30, 2014, 12:49 PM   #10
Tom Servo
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The antis don't like to acknowledge it, but all the firearms used by the Sandy Hook shooter were fully AWB compliant and all had been purchased legally.
Yes, but we never get very far with that argument.

The whole UBC concept has existed almost as long as the Brady Act has. Schumer agreed to an exemption on private sales in order to get the act passed, then claimed it was a loophole in later sessions. He's been pushing his "gun show loophole" bills for years.

Sandy Hook had nothing to do with background checks. Schumer and his allies simply used it to grant urgency to the same bill he tries to pass every year.
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Old June 30, 2014, 01:13 PM   #11
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What actual effect on crime or violence would your proposed system have? Probably (almost certainly) none.

What would we get in exchange for this ineffective system? Probably nothing. Appeasement? No.
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