Bipartisan effort to expand background checks quietly gains steam

posted at 6:01 pm on January 29, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Dianne Feinstein’s assault-weapons ban may be DOA on Capitol Hill, but that doesn’t mean that Congress is dormant on the issue of guns.  A bipartisan group in the Senate have quietly begun working with both gun-rights and gun-control activists on the issue of background checks, and may soon have a competing proposal to Feinstein’s bill that will address mental-health issues and gaps in gun purchases.  USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich reports that a Gang of Four are working on the bill:

A bipartisan coalition of senators is working on a proposal to strengthen and expand background checks for potential gun purchasers in an attempt to break the partisan gridlock holding up regulations on gun ownership.

Members of the group, which includes Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mark Kirk of Illinois and Democrats Charles Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have declined to discuss specifics of the talks or of a potential bill. …

The nation must improve the system to encourage states to report the mentally ill and install protections for doctors to enable them to report patients who are “obviously psychotic” to prohibit them from buying guns, Coburn said. …

Last weekend, Manchin told a West Virginia radio station he was working with Democratic and Republican senators, as well as the National Rifle Association, on something gun rights supporters could back. Such a bill, Manchin said, “basically says that if you’re going to be a gun owner, you should be able to pass a background check.”

This looks like a fallback position for the Senate, and a fairly safe one.  Recent polling consistently shows broad support for expanding background checks.  A recent CBS poll showed 92% of respondents in favor of universal background checks, which include 89% of Republicans, 93% of respondents living in gun-owning households, and 85% of respondents either belonging to the NRA or living with an NRA member.  (The question was fairly straightforward — “Do you favor or oppose a federal  law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers?”)  That’s as close to consensus as one is likely to see on a political topic.  If a CBS poll isn’t to your taste, last week’s Rasmussen poll showed 53% of likely voters favoring background checks on existing gun owners, not on new sales but on being allowed to keep the firearms already owned.

Small wonder that Chuck Schumer calls expanded background checks “the sweet spot.” That will give Congress a chance to claim that they are doingsomething in the wake of the Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson mass shootings while bypassing the more politically dangerous action of banning weapons — especially since there will be no functional difference between banned and allowed semi-automatic rifles, and since murders by rifles of any kind are an exceedingly small percentage of the overall level of homicide victims.  Background checks would have the virtue of addressing the entirety of firearms, too, without pursuing outright bans based on aesthetics.

CBS and Barack Obama use the fallacious 40% reference on gun sales that take place without background checks, and the supposed gun-show loophole that bypasses the requirement.  As Glenn Kessler belatedly ruled, those are Pinocchio-worthy claims.  Dealers who sell firearms at gun shows have to comply with background-check and waiting-period requirements, just as if they sold the weapons in their stores.  Around 14% of gun sales don’t get background checks now, though, thanks to private sales.  In order to change that, Congress would have to mandate that people conduct background checks for private transfers.  That’s not as onerous as it sounds; internet sales use federally-licensed dealers as brokers to handle the transaction, and dealers could offer that service for private transactions, too.  It would add to the cost of the sale, but it’s not an insurmountable issue.

However, that prompts this question: just which tragedy would that have averted?  In Newtown, the shooter got his weapons the way most criminals do — by stealing them.  In fact, a background check thwarted his attempt to buy his own firearms.  The Aurora shooter apparently purchased his weapons legally, but didn’t have anything on his record that would have stopped the sale; even assuming that the Gang of Four expand the investigations into mental health for background checks, the only instances of mental-health assessments he had prior to the shooting appear to have been informal.  The Tucson shooter had an arrest for drug-paraphernalia possession on his record, but never submitted to a mental-health exam.  The background check expansion might be worth doing, but it would have done nothing to stop the incidents driving the public outrage.

Update: I’m with War Planner in the comments: “No problem with background checks; just no permanent registration of firearms.” But let’s be clear that these background checks will not have much impact on the kinds of mass shootings that are driving this debate, although they may help keep firearms out of the hands of more ordinary criminals.


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The War Planner on January 29, 2013 at 6:13 PM “No problem with background checks; just no permanent registration of firearms.”

The insta checks are not allowed under the law by people without a federal firearms license according to Bob Owens, a gun expert. If they do background checks on all owners, with modern computers, they will know who has firearms. During the Clinton Admin, Acting AG Holder was found to illegally be keeping the insta check info on gun buyers. So was DE found doing it too. No one went to prison in either incident.

I don’t trust the government with any info. Prior to 1995 there was no insta check, so the government doesn’t know about those purchases. Let’s keep it that way.

amr on January 29, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Can we similarly expand background checks on the criminals?

College Prof on January 29, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Stupid spell check…

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Ha! As much as I hate it, my stuff would really look bad with out it, Lol! Catch 22.

Bmore on January 29, 2013 at 7:34 PM

LANZA DIDNT BUY ANY GUNS!

TX-96 on January 29, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Stupid spell check…

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Ha! As much as I hate it, my stuff would really look bad with out it, Lol! Catch 22.

Bmore on January 29, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Yes, I know, and mine would look even worse than yours.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 7:36 PM

One Question people need to ask – if the background check is supposed to be on the purchaser – WHY DO THEY NEED ANY INFORMATION ON THE GUN?

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Can we similarly expand background checks on the criminals?

College Prof on January 29, 2013 at 7:34 PM

My view is that if gun crime is so pervasive that guns need to be taken away, then I demand right to protect me and mine until all the illegal gums held by criminals need to be taken away first. Which, naturally will reduce gun crime and neutralize any further reason to want to take them from the law-abiding.

Liam on January 10, 2013 at 10:16 AM

But of course, the real issue is that it’s tough for the government to go after Criminals so they take the easy way out and punish the innocent.

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Hate is too strong a word. I am remiss for using it. Sorry.

Bmore on January 29, 2013 at 7:41 PM

LANZA DIDNT BUY ANY GUNS!

TX-96 on January 29, 2013 at 7:35 PM

Apparently that never did matter.

Bmore on January 29, 2013 at 7:42 PM

One Question people need to ask – if the background check is supposed to be on the purchaser – WHY DO THEY NEED ANY INFORMATION ON THE GUN?

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Ding Ding Ding!

Keep the federal gubmint out of it. If the states want to do background checks, and have reciprocity with other states to share info, then okay. But keep the feds out of it.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM

The fact that you would analyze this in terms of what the polls show is disgusting. What does public opinion matter when the law under consideration will be plainly unconstitutional? Is there no depth to which Republican politicians will stoop in order to be popular? Taking this in combination with the immigration sell out explains why I will never cast a vote for another Republican candidate again. Their spineless pandering to the Left is beyond contempt.

Hucklebuck on January 29, 2013 at 7:49 PM

I’m fine with the checks, too, and trying to keep guns away from crazy people. But, that won’t prevent them from stealing guns.

changer1701 on January 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

One Question people need to ask – if the background check is supposed to be on the purchaser – WHY DO THEY NEED ANY INFORMATION ON THE GUN?

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Ding Ding Ding!

Keep the federal gubmint out of it. If the states want to do background checks, and have reciprocity with other states to share info, then okay. But keep the feds out of it.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM

That would be fine with me.

It should be clear to all that this is just a step towards registration.

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

As to your agreement with War Planner’s comment: Fuck that shit. Any expansion is unconstitutional and a mere prelude to registration and then confiscation. Wake the fuck up.

Hucklebuck on January 29, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Contra War Planner: Background checks are de facto registration.

Hucklebuck on January 29, 2013 at 7:56 PM

Keep the federal gubmint out of it. If the states want to do background checks, and have reciprocity with other states to share info, then okay. But keep the feds out of it.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM

That would be fine with me.

It should be clear to all that this is just a step towards registration.

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Again, pay attention.

OK, for the brainwashed and indoctrinated among us. What is a background check on firearms purchase or ownership.

ANSWER: It is a check to see if the person submitting to a background check has the PRIVILEGE of purchasing or owning a firearm.

It really is that simple.

Once again, what is the difference between a Right and a Privilege.

ANSWER: A Right is something that you do not need permission to exercise. While a Privilege is something that is temporarily granted and can be arbitrarily revoked at the whim of whomever granted that Privilege.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 7:20 PM

It is no less a violation of the 2nd Amendment for a State to require a background check than it is for the Federal Government to do one.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 7:59 PM

When will background checks be necessary for every citizen of America..?

d1carter on January 29, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Gun control goes big …

Violence again served as an impetus for legislation in the 1960s, when the gun assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., prompted Congress to pass the Gun Control Act of 1968.

The Act restricted the sale of firearms to certain groups, such as convicted criminals, anyone ever committed to a mental institution and anyone ever convicted of domestic violence. It also required licensing of firearms dealers, amid other interstate commerce restrictions.

At the signing of the bill, then-President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “Today we begin to disarm the criminal and the careless and the insane. All of our people who are deeply concerned in this country about law and order should hail this day.”

However, Johnson also lamented that the bill did not include a national system of registration and licensing for firearms.

“If guns are to be kept out of the hands of the criminal, out of the hands of the insane, and out of the hands of the irresponsible, then we just must have licensing,” he said. “If the criminal with a gun is to be tracked down quickly, then we must have registration in this country.”

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 8:02 PM

A deep breath before the plunge.

MT on January 29, 2013 at 8:16 PM

Do we get our special tatoo too?

CW on January 29, 2013 at 8:21 PM

I can’t believe how people just ignore the whole history of gun control and the law.

None of this stuff will have a significant effect on crime. When the latest “common sense measure” fails, it inevitably spurs calls for further restrictions, as what was “common sense” the last time obviously didn’t go far enough.

novaculus on January 29, 2013 at 7:29 PM

You ain’t kidding. Didn’t any of these Libs watch Footloose back in the 80′s?! Except now the roles are reversed, it’s the big city Libs that are playing the role of the idiot townspeople and wanting to ban everything.

dugan on January 29, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Do we get our special tatoo too?

CW on January 29, 2013 at 8:21 PM

Soon enough…

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 8:30 PM

How can 92% of anyone group claim to support universal background checks when no one knows what the hell it even means? And 52% want people to go through another background check? How fluking stupid can these people be? Who’s going to pay for such a redundant and asinine proposal?

Also we have to stop this Gang Of _____ bullcrap. This isn’t how our congress is supposed to function.

jawkneemusic on January 29, 2013 at 8:31 PM

The American people are fools and America is doomed, 90 percent support abolishing the 2nd amendment and are to stupid to even understand that, while 70 percent support murdering innocent babies. Not only is America doomed, but God Damn it with the average American being this stupid, America deserves to be doomed.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 6:35 PM

This also on my mind. I believe you are 100% correct.

44Magnum on January 29, 2013 at 8:33 PM

Heck, these are all piker’s suggestions. What we need to do is figure out how many classes of citizens we have right now and issue everyone an ID card that says which class he is. You know… clean record, no issues, 21 or over: Class One: Clean record, no issues, between 18 and 21: Class Two. And so on, maybe with a few special entries like ‘not allowed alcohol’. You know.

Then if you’re a Class One cit you can buy a gun, Class Two can buy a long gun but not a handgun and so on. Also very useful for determining who can vote. Gosh, government papers showing what class of citizen you are: what could be more American?

PersonFromPorlock on January 29, 2013 at 8:42 PM

The American people are fools and America is doomed, 90 percent support abolishing the 2nd amendment and are to stupid to even understand that, while 70 percent support murdering innocent babies. Not only is America doomed, but God Damn it with the average American being this stupid, America deserves to be doomed.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Oh c’mon…you’re acting like a drama queen. Neatly a 100 million gun owners in America, how is it that 90% of Americans want to abolish the 2nd Amendment? I agree with you that any restriction is an infringement but accusing most guns owners of wanting to ban guns is asinine.

jawkneemusic on January 29, 2013 at 8:42 PM

kill the child in the womb, disarm the population, allow unfettered access across the border, install and keep a central planning authority for all health care. these are the marks tyranny.

long_cat on January 29, 2013 at 8:45 PM

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Oh c’mon…you’re acting like a drama queen. Neatly a 100 million gun owners in America, how is it that 90% of Americans want to abolish the 2nd Amendment? I agree with you that any restriction is an infringement but accusing most guns owners of wanting to ban guns is asinine.

jawkneemusic on January 29, 2013 at 8:42 PM

It’s an accusation of a mind numbing level of stupidity akin to those willing to sign a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Comrad Cuomo’s brown shirts are already at it in upstate NY.

http://www.wwnytv.com/news/local/LeRay-Man-Faces-Weapons-Possessions-Charges-185853881.html

Mr. Arrogant on January 29, 2013 at 8:51 PM

Does the NRA support this latest revelation of back room machinations by elected reps?

Mr. Arrogant on January 29, 2013 at 8:55 PM

….but you can’t ask for documentation for illegal aliens.
Smart Power!

Mimzey on January 29, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Bipartisan effort to expand background checks quietly gains steam

Bipartisan.

Yep…bipartisan.

Is this some more of that, “The only way we Republicans can win elections and restore Conservative leadership in Washington is to become Socialists” nonsense that Rubio and the other charlatans are currently swindling us with?

Great. Just f-ing great.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 29, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Are these prikks going to do more extensive background checks on the 12 million illegal aliens they are going to grant citizenship to? Phuk no because they want their votes.

Rio Linda Refugee on January 29, 2013 at 9:18 PM

It should be clear to all that this is just a step towards registration.

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Indeed it is. Gun registry, paving the way for gun confiscation, is the most pernicious of gun control measures. And we are being suckered into it with high sounding, deceitful rhetoric.

As Mark Levin said, please tell me how a registry of gun owners will ever prevent one gun crime. Not one.

I don’t oppose background checks if done by the state AND THE FED IS KEPT OUT OF IT. But I would want my state to require that records be shredded every 30 days or so just to keep it honest.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 9:18 PM

So Ed, gonna run a background check every time you want to hand your grandkid a .22? Because that’s what universal background checks will require. It isn’t about sales. It’s about transfers..

When you leave to go out of town, you’re going to need to run a background check on your wife, too, unless you take your gun with you.

And, of course, this scheme doesn’t touch any of the people who already have guns..

Sorry, but I’m not keen to give up on a long-lusted-after plank in the anti-gunner’s laundry list in the vain hope of appearing sensitive to Newtown. What would have stopped Newtown would have been an armed person in that school, not a useless de facto gun registration scheme.

JohnTant on January 29, 2013 at 9:28 PM

I don’t oppose background checks if done by the state AND THE FED IS KEPT OUT OF IT. But I would want my state to require that records be shredded every 30 days or so just to keep it honest.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 9:18 PM

So in other words, you are all for background checks and eliminating the 2nd amendment. Nice to know that.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 9:29 PM

OK, I got a idea. If they want enhanced background checks than I wish to be able to purchase a handgun in another state.

arnold ziffel on January 29, 2013 at 9:31 PM

This looks like a fallback position for the Senate, and a fairly safe one. Recent polling consistently shows broad support for expanding background checks.

That has absolutely nothing to do with whether people feel more background checks are actually needed, and everything to do with trying to make “reasonable” concessions to the push for gun control, and, of course, the exact wording of the poll question.

Which you seem to acknowledge in this next paragraph:

Small wonder that Chuck Schumer calls expanded background checks “the sweet spot.” That will give Congress a chance to claim that they are doingsomething in the wake of the Newtown, Aurora, and Tucson mass shootings while bypassing the more politically dangerous action of banning weapons

Every time we make unnecessary concessions so politicians can say they are “doing something,” we just give away more ground.

Background checks have exactly zero to do with preventing another Newtown. The shooter failed his background checks, and had to steal someone else’s guns. Obviously, expanded background checks or even universal background checks would have done NOTHING!

I realize that every time I correct people who say, “This is a democracy” and explain that we don’t have a democracy at all, but a Constitutional republic, they think I’m splitting hairs.

Well, I’m not. This is a perfect illustration of the poor decisions made by democracies based on propaganda from activists. I can only hope that someone, somewhere asks why we should expand background checks when they already seem to work about as well as we could ask.

Let’s cut to the chase: if we want to prevent Newtown tragedies, then the answer is to make it a crime to steal someone’s guns.

Oh wait. It already is. It’s a crime to steal guns. It’s a crime to kill people. The only way to absolutely prevent another Newtown tragedy is to make this nation the kind of police state that nobody would want to live in.

tom on January 29, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Bipartisan effort to expand background checks quietly gains steam

The devil is in the details. They can call this anything they want. Unless we know exactly what the details are then we can’t trust anyone.

Yeah, I can see it now.. a 2100 page “Obama Background Check Care.” We have to pass it in order to see what’s in it.

Trust us.. we’re just updating the background checks. Gun control is DOA.

Sure it is.

They should release the bill ahead of time. All of it should be written before they vote and how many pages does it really need to be?

Quite honestly, I’m not in favor of expanding anything. The majority of the problems here are with the MH system. We don’t need anything new to fix that.. we need to repeal what they already put in place.

Ger rid of the HIPA laws. Allow caseworkers to inform family and the community of people they suspect can be a threat. When I was a caseworker I couldn’t tell anything to the police unless ordered to by the court. The standards were high. Unless a MH client was stating ” I am going to kill so and so with this gun tomorrow at such and such a time” there was little we could do. If it was just a vague threat, there was no duty to inform.
I don’t want to necessarily see the state forcing doctors to inform on every single threat… but lift the penalties and allow the MH workers to make that judgement themselves. Especially if the patient is having their MH services paid for by the state. If they aren’t even paying for their own services, why should they have such high standards on the confidentiality.

If people are making repeated threats of violence in therapy sessions the MH workers should be able to inform family members regardless whether that individual signed a release.. and that individual should be able to be easily hospitalized. And if people in the community call a police dept. about a person making threats.. and that police dept. knows the individual is a MH client… they should not respond to the community with only a “he is being treated by the community MH services” as they did with the Gabi giffords shooter. Threats made should be a criminal matter. Being in the MH system should not get you a “get out of jail free” card.

JellyToast on January 29, 2013 at 9:35 PM

It is no less a violation of the 2nd Amendment for a State to require a background check than it is for the Federal Government to do one.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 7:59 PM

One Question people need to ask – if the background check is supposed to be on the purchaser – WHY DO THEY NEED ANY INFORMATION ON THE GUN?

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Ding Ding Ding!

Keep the federal gubmint out of it. If the states want to do background checks, and have reciprocity with other states to share info, then okay. But keep the feds out of it.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 7:46 PM

That would be fine with me.

It should be clear to all that this is just a step towards registration.

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Sorry about that – definitely a case of me NOT thinking it through, my apologies.

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Big and dangerous question: background checks for what? What will disqualify? Will they expand “mental illness” as a basis to disqualify that it includes most of the populace? That is the danger of buying into this without the details.

FiveG on January 29, 2013 at 9:46 PM

I want the same background check on Obama that he wants to infringe the 2nd Amendment with.

wildcat72 on January 29, 2013 at 9:46 PM

I can’t believe how people just ignore the whole history of gun control and the law.

None of this stuff will have a significant effect on crime. When the latest “common sense measure” fails, it inevitably spurs calls for further restrictions, as what was “common sense” the last time obviously didn’t go far enough. It is an endless circle of justification for ever increasing restrictions, none of which are designed to actually prevent crime but rather to incrementally restrict, further and further, the rights of gun owners.

We are talking about stepping into a situation where we no longer can choose to arm ourselves without the government’s permission despite our legal right to posses a firearm.

When this monstrous leap into government power over us fails to reduce crime, the very next “common sense” measure to close a non-existent “loophole” will be the forced submission for background checks and de facto registration every gun not obtained through an FFL with a background check.

Freedom and privacy are not “loopholes”. Giving one inch of ground on measures we know will be ineffective but will increase the government’s power over gun owners is simply insane. Just plain nuts.

novaculus on January 29, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Well said.
Let me tell what would happen the millisecond after the gun grabbers think they asserted control over everyone’s private property.

Just as they’ve done every time before, They would immediately switch gears and downplay how this attack on our liberty would really help. They would repeat over and over that it’s ‘just a first step’ – as though there haven’t been many steps before.

Once they’ve downplayed the benefits of their latest infringement on freedom, they would begin the clarion call for their next step – registration.

It won’t matter if the next massacre would have been prevented by this step; they will want it anyway.

And since they already control every transaction they can simply keep the information and viola! Registration.

Of course they will then complain that existing firearms – particularly those arbitrary defined scary looking guns – also need to be registered.

AND once again, our linguine spined representatives will ‘compromise’ on this brand new ‘commonsense’ step.

At first just registering scary looking guns, then gradually everything else.

Mark my words, this won’t be the last thing the gun grabbers want.

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 9:47 PM

I Will Not Comply.
If I want to sell a friend a rifle, I will be damned if I am going to ask permission first.
The founding fathers would be ashamed of what we have done to their Republic.

Sgtmack on January 29, 2013 at 9:52 PM

How about closing the borders and using background checks by employers to round-up and deport illegal aliens…especially those with criminal records! Stop the catch and release program in the sanctuary cities.

HoosierStateofMind on January 29, 2013 at 9:56 PM

So in other words, you are all for background checks and eliminating the 2nd amendment. Nice to know that.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Oh, come on.

What I said is that the federal gubmit should stay out of it, and it should be left to the states. I also said, while it’s a matter for the states to decide, I’d prefer that background record checks be destroyed every 30 days or so, to prevent a registry of gun owners from being developed.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 9:59 PM

I strongly disagree, but not for the reasons you think.

First and foremost, you all need to understand the theory of incrementalism. This is what this is about. Throw fifty things against a wall, if three stick, it is a win for you.

Why does Congress HAVE TO DO ANYTHING?? Is there some kind of condition they suffer if they aren’t screwing with something they’ll turn into pumpkins?

Second, and this is the real bouncing ball here guys. Background checks equal registration. They also equal the government telling you if you are qualified- BY THEIR RULES- to own a firearm. If they own the rules they can change the rules.

How does it work you ask.

Let me give you three examples.

1. You are required to register your weapon. (New York) You register your .38 pistol and shotgun. Six months later you buy ammo and it is a “background check” situation. You buy .223 ammo. At the central data center they look at your purchase and at your registration (i.e. background check or registration) and see you don’t list a weapon capable of shooting a .223 round. Hmmm… they say and they go to a judge, who is PC all the way and anti-gun, and say “Hey judge, we have probable cause here to believe this guy owns an unregistered gun.” At which point he signs the warrant and SWAT kicks in your door.

2. You are a young person required to go to counseling by a licensed psychologist because you drew a gun on paper or made pointed your finger at someone and said bang, or as in Florida, you parents are divorcing. You go,not because you are nuts, but because you are forced to. Ten years later you are applying for a gun background check and it states “have you ever been under psychological care? Of course you answer no, and find yourself in trouble. Or they run your name against the centralized data base containing your medical history (Obamacare), including any counseling, and find you are a liar. You did. Now some bureaucrat somewhere has decided being under counseling at any time in your life puts you in the high risk category and you are denied. You could appeal but you don’t have ten thousand dollars and six months of your life to give.

3. You die. You have guns. You want to give them to your kids. The government tells you that you cannot give your property to them unless they approve it.

THIS is your future. You need to resist any “reasonable” gun laws. They are all bad and lead to confiscation and denial. That is their goal, so the question really is “What is your goal? To be disarmed?”

Just saying.

archer52 on January 29, 2013 at 10:02 PM

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 9:47 PM

I think we’re already there, as far as the registration goes. I picked up one of those scary looking guns today. On the ATF form, the FFL holder has to list the serial number and the model of the weapon. They already know who has what.

chewmeister on January 29, 2013 at 10:03 PM

Can’t wait until we have to pass a background check to get our 1st Amendment rights.

Ronnie on January 29, 2013 at 10:07 PM

archer52 on January 29, 2013 at 10:02 PM

agreed, well said.

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 9:47 PM

I think we’re already there, as far as the registration goes. I picked up one of those scary looking guns today. On the ATF form, the FFL holder has to list the serial number and the model of the weapon. They already know who has what.

chewmeister on January 29, 2013 at 10:03 PM

That is part of the issue.

A little anecdotal story for you – someone I know purchased a gun ways back. …

(It was subsequently lost it in a freak accident involving a pumpkin and a trebuchet )

.. Anyway, after the purchase, walking out of the store, one of the employees wanted to recheck something since there was an issue with serial number on the gun.

The point is that even though these background checks are supposedly for the buyer, they take great pains to record the data on the gun sold, when that shouldn’t really be necessary.

Now, if these background checks AREN’T for registration, why wouldn’t object to leaving that data off the form?

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Ed is obviously not a gun owner or he would realize that background checks are just as much an affront as any other scheme. Do you want to go do a background check on your 9 year old when giving him his first gun? “Sorry lil Johnny you didnt pass the background check.” When selling the gun to your cousin? Etc? Gun ownership is a RIGHT, not something to be brokered at a licensed dealer. You can aquire and use weapons just as naturally as you can breathe, theoretically, within reason. There are to be no restrictions to that right. Do we go to licensed speech brokers before saying some words that might offend a certain segment of society? NO.

dip it in cider on January 29, 2013 at 10:18 PM

It is no less a violation of the 2nd Amendment for a State to require a background check than it is for the Federal Government to do one.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 7:59 PM

While that position has been argued and won before the USSC, in regard to some of the Amendmends, the Bill of Rights was intended to restrain the federal government, not the state governments.

I oppose gun registration, as you do, but think there need be some reasonable measures to deter mentally disturbed people from easy access to them. I recognize the slippery slope, and that’s why I suggest mandating that background records be destroyed every 30 days or so.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 10:21 PM

I Will Not Comply.
If I want to sell a friend a rifle, I will be damned if I am going to ask permission first.
The founding fathers would be ashamed of what we have done to their Republic.

Sgtmack on January 29, 2013 at 9:52 PM

“Shall not be infringed…”

They have no authority to restrict gun sales.

Indeed, even banning felons from owning guns is on shaky ground, Constitutionally.

wildcat72 on January 29, 2013 at 10:23 PM

So in other words, you are all for background checks and eliminating the 2nd amendment. Nice to know that.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 9:29 PM

Oh, come on.

What I said is that the federal gubmit should stay out of it, and it should be left to the states. I also said, while it’s a matter for the states to decide, I’d prefer that background record checks be destroyed every 30 days or so, to prevent a registry of gun owners from being developed.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 9:59 PM

What part of if you have to ask permission, then it isn’t a right is it that you do not understand? That your state would strip you of your Constitutionally Guaranteed right to own a firearm and replace it with a State Granted Privilege is no less egregious than the Federal Government doing it.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Indeed, even banning felons from owning guns is on shaky ground, Constitutionally.

wildcat72 on January 29, 2013 at 10:23 PM

It’s not on shaky ground, it’s a straight up violation of the 2nd Amendment that was only passed in 1968.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 10:25 PM

One other point: how do we do a background check without requiring the checkee to show an ID? This is clearly an attempt to deny gun access to minorities and the elderly, and unconstitutional because of disparate impact.

In fact, the background checking that’s done now is probably unconstitutional, too.

PersonFromPorlock on January 29, 2013 at 10:26 PM

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 7:59 PM

While that position has been argued and won before the USSC, in regard to some of the Amendmends, the Bill of Rights was intended to restrain the federal government, not the state governments.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 10:21 PM

WRONG ANSWER. The Amendments to the US Constitution are the Supreme Law of the Land. No State is afforded the right to exempt themselves from any Amendment to the US Constitution.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 10:27 PM

It’s not on shaky ground, it’s a straight up violation of the 2nd Amendment that was only passed in 1968.

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Exactly.

And this is going to become more of an issue as our government invents more crimes.

wildcat72 on January 29, 2013 at 10:28 PM

This effort needs to be curb stomped. Please contact whoever you can, congressman, senator, governor, blogger, especially ED MORRISSEY and rationally, eloquently, respectfully explain why we need to separate the jaw from the skull of this thing.

dip it in cider on January 29, 2013 at 10:32 PM

No Federal Registration. Period.
Let us instead register skeet shooters.

pat on January 29, 2013 at 10:32 PM

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 10:23 PM

We may disagree on technical stuff here, but I will continue to take strength from your other comments. :)

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 10:34 PM

What part of “Hell No!” don’t they get?

ProfShadow on January 29, 2013 at 10:42 PM

Who did the background checks when Obama & Holder gave thousands of weapons to the Mexican Drug Cartels during Fast & Furious? Why is the government ARMING Drug Cartels & Terrorists (Muslim Brotherhood/Egypt, Al Qaddafi/Libya, & the PLA/Palestine) but trying so hard to disarm law-abiding American citizens?

easyt65 on January 29, 2013 at 10:48 PM

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Did some second thoughts and a little refreshing about USSC decisions, and would like now to ask if my crow could be served with garlic, onion and red wine.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 10:49 PM

The 2nd Amendment is about more than hunting or protecting ourselves from ‘criminals’ – 1 word; ‘Waco’!

easyt65 on January 29, 2013 at 10:53 PM

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Did some second thoughts and a little refreshing about USSC decisions, and would like now to ask if my crow could be served with garlic, onion and red wine.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 10:49 PM

No crow necessary, mea culpa is good enough… ;)

SWalker on January 29, 2013 at 11:08 PM

It should be clear to all that this is just a step towards registration.

Galt2009 on January 29, 2013 at 7:50 PM

Make no mistake, this IS gun registration.

You think the feds, who can track every electronic communication on earth with programs like Carnivore, will delete and not data mine “background checks” and store them permanently?

scotash on January 29, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Expensive, and wouldn’t affect the crime rate. The money would be better spent on more police.

juliesa on January 29, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Ed
Im an NRA member

Your numbers are bullcrap

TexasJew on January 30, 2013 at 12:15 AM

WRONG ANSWER. The Amendments to the US Constitution are the Supreme Law of the Land. No State is afforded the right to exempt themselves from any Amendment to the US Constitution.

No, YOU have the WRONG ANSWER. The Bill of Rights was not applied to the states until 1906 when the SCOTUS wrongly applied it to the states through a misuse of the 14th Amendment, which itself was not lawfully ratified. Even today not all of the bill of Rights have been incorporated to the states. Currently much of the BoR applies to the states per the black robed dictators.

Malachi45 on January 30, 2013 at 12:33 AM

While that position has been argued and won before the USSC, in regard to some of the Amendmends, the Bill of Rights was intended to restrain the federal government, not the state governments.

petefrt on January 29, 2013 at 10:21 PM

You are completely correct. No crow necessary for you.

Malachi45 on January 30, 2013 at 12:34 AM

No more gun laws: period. No gun laws from the feds because they have no constitutional authority per the 10th Amendment, seeing as how regulating anything but cross state border sales would not be an enumerated power of the Congress.

Malachi45 on January 30, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Well Ed Morrissey is obviously for ‘universal background checks’, which is code for Registration. His choice of neutered phrasing and couching of the measures make it plain.
IT IS A COMPROMISE WITH EVIL.
There is NO sufficient reason to yield an INCH to Democrat proposals. They are dishonest and their premise(s) are garbage. Yet Ed and so many like him seem utterly clueless to the issues. nd apparently find their superficial / phony surface argument appealing.
It’s disgusting that the right has no greater voice hammering the table about this treason.

rayra on January 30, 2013 at 12:36 AM

“and gaps in gun purchases.”

here is Ed Morrissey, granting the disarmament left’s incessant ‘loophole’ garbage. There are NO ‘gaps’ you ignorant fool. Those ‘gaps’ are FREEDOM and LIBERTY and LACK of government registration.

rayra on January 30, 2013 at 12:38 AM

See the above Incorporation Doctrine.

Malachi45 on January 30, 2013 at 12:40 AM

If the Republicans don’t kill this, it’s 3rd Party time. I pray Rand Paul or Rick Perry or some pro-Constitution Republican will lead us out.

Malachi45 on January 30, 2013 at 12:42 AM

“..[poll bullshit]…. That’s as close to consensus as one is likely to see on a political topic.”

WHAT THE FVCK GOOD IS ‘CONCENSUS’ WHEN IT IS A COMPROMISE WITH EVIL? And WTF good is a jiggered poll of fools.

Mr Morrissey fully demonstrates what is deeply wrong with the political class in america today – spineless leadership by concensus and compromise, instead of LEADERSHIP AND PRINCIPLES.

It should not mean a damned thing if 2000 morons want registration. Registration is WRONG. Registration over and over leads to confiscation and mass murder. ALWAYS. Yet here’s Mr Ed and the Stupid Party blithely going along with it because of a phony focus group and marxist meme shovelers operating in the echo chamber that is Beltway politics.

rayra on January 30, 2013 at 12:42 AM

Mr Morrissey fully demonstrates what is deeply wrong with the political class in america today – spineless leadership by concensus and compromise, instead of LEADERSHIP AND PRINCIPLES.

This.

Why the F### is our side incapable of standing their ground.

Malachi45 on January 30, 2013 at 12:44 AM

“Background checks would have the virtue of addressing the entirety of firearms, too, without pursuing outright bans based on aesthetics.”

Obscene. Calling universal background checks / registration a “virtue” is a goddamned obscenity. NO. A 1000 times NO. You servile pukes.

rayra on January 30, 2013 at 12:45 AM

“Around 14% of gun sales don’t get background checks now, though, thanks to private sales. In order to change that, Congress would have to mandate that people conduct background checks for private transfers. That’s not as onerous as it sounds;”

Damn you to hell, Ed Morrissey, for being a simpering peddler of slavery.

rayra on January 30, 2013 at 12:46 AM

You GOP-Lite bastards are blithely discussing curtailing the freedoms / rights of over 100M Americans – truly ALL Americans, even if they eschew the 2nd Amendment – over the PRESUMPTIVE / imagined ‘loophole’ of criminals buying guns in face to face transactions with legal owners. Guns used in crimes are overwhelmingly STOLEN. You are advocating the infringement of a nation’s freedoms, for an imagined benefit, which even if true is of totally minor concern and NO impact on the proximate issue of mass shootings by psychotics.

NO COMPROMISE. THE TREASONOUS BASTARDS NEGOTIATING OUR FREEDOMS AWAY BEHIND CLOSED DOORS SHOULD BE DRAGGED INTO THE STREET TO BE TARRED AND FEATHERED.

rayra on January 30, 2013 at 12:50 AM

Update: I’m with War Planner in the comments: “No problem with background checks; just no permanent registration of firearms.”

Are you ok with background checks on bloggers before they’re allowed to post on the Internet? Just no permanent registration of postings?

dominigan on January 30, 2013 at 12:53 AM

Update: I’m with War Planner in the comments: “No problem with background checks; just no permanent registration of firearms.”

Are you ok with background checks on bloggers before they’re allowed to post on the Internet? Just no permanent registration of postings?

dominigan on January 30, 2013 at 12:53 AM

Oh no you don’t, there’s an amendment protecting….oh, wait, some amendments are more equal than others I guess and Ed likes him 1st Amendment. Second? Not so much.

Malachi45 on January 30, 2013 at 12:57 AM

Background checks have exactly zero to do with preventing another Newtown. The shooter failed his background checks, and had to steal someone else’s guns. Obviously, expanded background checks or even universal background checks would have done NOTHING!

tom on January 29, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Exactly! If these evil, slimy bastards wanted to do something to prevent a shooting like this in the future, they’d stop standing on the graves of children murdered under the “protection” of a Gun-Free Zone sign and authorize teachers to conceal carry if they so desired.

But they don’t really want to stop the slaughter of children (otherwise abortion would be illegal). They just want to use the issue to gain political power.

Like I said… evil slimy bastards…

Oh, and Ed… maybe you should be rethinking your support of their ideas based on what you know of their immoral character…

dominigan on January 30, 2013 at 1:16 AM

WRONG ANSWER. The Amendments to the US Constitution are the Supreme Law of the Land. No State is afforded the right to exempt themselves from any Amendment to the US Constitution.

No, YOU have the WRONG ANSWER. The Bill of Rights was not applied to the states until 1906 when the SCOTUS wrongly applied it to the states through a misuse of the 14th Amendment, which itself was not lawfully ratified. Even today not all of the bill of Rights have been incorporated to the states. Currently much of the BoR applies to the states per the black robed dictators.

Malachi45 on January 30, 2013 at 12:33 AM

On the contrary, what I said is 100 percent correct, until you can get Incorporation overturned all you are doing is ranting.

SWalker on January 30, 2013 at 2:35 AM

Amnesty is like a Skeet.

It should be shot down… before it takes down the nation.

profitsbeard on January 30, 2013 at 3:00 AM

“: I’m with War Planner in the comments: “No problem with background checks;”

why would anyone agree to get a the Government involved in exercising a constitutional right between private citizens. The other impact is that this will essentially prevent people from purchasing guns in cases where there is no local gun dealers. Gun dealers will not touch personal firearms unless they are mainstream so antique, custom weapons, etc will not be able to be re-sold. I see no valid reason for doing this.

I would prefer to see ATF to prosecute the existing straw purchasers of murder weapons. They know who they are, they know the crimes the guns are linked to…

What’s next have a federally permitted third party to exercise my first amendment right?

Finally – What is to prevent people from selling between private sellers – How are you going to prove that who the owner was before the ban went into place – THIS WILL REQUIRE REGISTRATION OF ALL FIREARMS YOU FOOLS in order to implement effectively.

triumphus04 on January 30, 2013 at 5:33 AM

Funny, background checks have been around for decades. When you write your social security number down that’s all it takes. The nuclear industry has had this in effect because at the time the paranoid government was checking each worker at a nuclear facility while in their construction or their maintenance phase and this took a lot of time and manpower to complete and the cost was forbidding to keep a worker isolated for a couple of weeks and being paid of course plus the cost of the search its self. When you think of the thousands of workers and man hours it took, something needed to be created and quickly. The data base came into effect for all nuclear workers. It worked and if you were not clean you did not work there. If you make out the paper work and lie it is caught almost immediately. I worked the nukes for thirty years and I know for sure the FBI has a folder with my name on it. When a person gets arrested don’t you honestly think they are entered on the data base? If you use a bogus SS number you’ll be flagged in a heart beat. Last time I bought a gun all it took was a phone call from the store and the sale was complete.

mixplix on January 30, 2013 at 6:10 AM

When you buy ammo at Wall Mart the clerk asks for your permit and they won’t sell you ammo for a gun that’s not on the permit. If you possess a firearm that’s not registered and it’s a different caliber than what’s printed on your permit you won’t be purchasing ammo at the Wall Mart. This is the law here in NYS, elsewhere may be different.

mixplix on January 30, 2013 at 6:19 AM

So will you need a background check to sell high powered assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels?

I guess that’s not relevant.

Could we all just agree before we pass more laws for all of us to follow that Obama doesn’t have to follow any?

Why are none of the Republicans in congress talking about Fast and Furious?

What’s the time limit for a President to be held responsible for breaking the law?

Quite honestly.. if I were in congress I’d be wanting to stop all legislation on anything until people went to jail for selling guns to Mexican drug lords!

People in this administration… and it may very well have been the president…. sold high powered assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels. These weapons were used in crimes and people died! At least one American was murdered with a gun this administration sold to Mexican drug cartels! Over a thousand of these weapons have been lost! And we want to vilify the mother of this school shooter for not keeping her guns safely stored?! Could somebody ask Chris Christie if that is reprehensible?

See… I get caught up in the crisis of the moment too. Then I have to stop myself and remind myself that we are asking and discussing the wrong freaking issue. There is only one issue that should be discussed when it comes to gun control. Did this President sell high powered assault weapons to Mexican drug cartels? did he know about it?

It is freaking surreal… the very same President who surrounded himself with children and demands and end to gun violence is the very same one who may have knowingly sold thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels with the hope that they would be used in crimes and murders…. so he could use those crimes and murders to push a political agenda of gun control!

Stop all legislation on everything until Fast and Furious is fully answered for! We should not be in the business of sweeping gun violence of such a massive scale under the rug just because it was perpetrated by this administration!

If Todd Akin had been the one behind Fast and Furious, he’d be in jail by now serving 16 life terms!

JellyToast on January 30, 2013 at 6:27 AM

9th Amendment
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

10th Amendment
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

This effort needs to be curb stomped. Please contact whoever you can, congressman, senator, governor, blogger, especially ED MORRISSEY and rationally, eloquently, respectfully explain why we need to separate the jaw from the skull of this thing.

dip it in cider on January 29, 2013 at 10:32 PM

Senator Tom Coburn Contacts:

Washington D.C.:
172 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
Main: 202-224-5754
Fax: 202-224-6008
Oklahoma City:
100 North Broadway
Suite 1820
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Main: 405-231-4941
Fax: 405-231-5051
Tulsa:
1800 South Baltimore
Suite 800
Tulsa, OK 74119
Main: 918-581-7651
Fax: 918-581-7195
http://www.coburn.senate.gov

Colbyjack on January 30, 2013 at 7:45 AM

Most gun owners don’t have A problem with background checks. The survey question was very succinctly worded to elicit that response.

It is indeed what is done with that information which gun owners have an issue with. Look no further than Mr. Obama’s Executive Orders which seek more sharing of that information. It is worded in such a way to suggest the government is already in the process of making, or at least exploring, a national NICS database of gun owners.

That should be challenged ever chance we get.

After what has happened in NY, which I believe will eventually be ruled unconstitutional, and the fact people like Schumer are signing on to this, I am highly suspect of the final law.

Marcus Traianus on January 30, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Malachi45 on January 30, 2013 at 12:33 AM

On the contrary, what I said is 100 percent correct, until you can get Incorporation overturned all you are doing is ranting.

SWalker on January 30, 2013 at 2:35 AM

No, what you corrected was the statement from someone who said the BoR originally did not apply to the states. He was correct, it didn’t. You were not correct. Much of it has been incorporated by now and none of us disagreed with that fact, even though I dispute what the SCOTUS has done. Go back and read what you corrected.

Malachi45 on January 30, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Isn’t that just wonderful, A lie based on “research” done during the Clinton administration that used a limited sample population of 250 people is now going to drive federal government policy and the leading lights of the Republican party are signing up to support it.

Nomas on January 30, 2013 at 9:20 AM

Background checks sure sound like a good idea, until scummy politicians use them as a means to deny Second Amendment rights to people they don’t like, or people with a different political philosophy. Since psychology is a doubtful “science”, the basis of which is currently much in question, I am not sure that a physician should have the right to declare someone ineligible to own a gun.

For more about the doubtful science, see anything by B. v Haler Gilmer, or Jerry Pournelle over at Chaos Manor. He has a doctorate in psychology. Also, it is the psychologist who have addicted our children to speed in the name of pseudo “attention Deficite Disorder.”

Old Country Boy on January 30, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Another thing to consider with this ‘universal background check’ is that if they start keeping the info to compile a record, will they then decide to gang up for limiting the number of guns someone can own. The background checks done now are supposed to be destroyed within 48 hours. We already know Holder doesn’t like to do that. As long as we have a prezzy who wants to pick and choose which laws he breaks and which he enforces, we’ll have chaos. I’d rather be able to keep my weapons just in case he decides to unleash Big Sis and her new ownership of 7000 assault weapons on the populace. If you don’t think that can’t happen here, take a look back over your shoulder at what’s happened here already.

Kissmygrits on January 30, 2013 at 9:33 AM

A background check, whether conducted by the FBI or your local county sheriff is a defacto registration. The entity that conducts them never throws those records out. A great many of the records are no longer up to date (applicant moves, dies, sells the gun, etc) but a great many more probably are. And IIRC, counties that permit concealed carry require that those permits be updated on a regular basis. If that’s not the definition of registration, I don’t know what is.

All of this, of course, is Kabuki. The Progressives have only one goal and that’s complete disarmament of the populace. They can take their “common sense” BS and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

RobertE on January 30, 2013 at 9:50 AM

While that position has been argued and won before the USSC, in regard to some of the Amendmends, the Bill of Rights was intended to restrain the federal government, not the state governments.

Except the first 9 Amendments are individual rights in which State, local,and federal laws cannot infringe upon (even though the Supreme Court) has a history of doing)

booger71 on January 30, 2013 at 9:57 AM

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