By: Teresa Mull
House Democrats unveiled a bill in January to further regulate the purchase of a firearm by requiring onerous background checks on nearly all gun sales, thus creating a universal gun registration.
“If passed, H.R. 8 would ban virtually all private firearms sales, requiring your guns to be registered through the Brady NICS system at YOUR expense,” the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) reports. “Furthermore, simply lending a rifle to a family friend for a day of recreational shooting without going through bureaucratic red tape could become a criminal offense.”
The U.S. House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 8 on February 27, 2019.
Writing in The Washington Post today, Ryan Costello and Carlos Curbelo, two former congressmen and current strategic advisers for Everytown for Gun Safety, declared, “We are conservatives. We urge our fellow Republicans to support this gun safety bill.”
Increased background checks do not, however, contrary to the anti-gun advocates’ talking points, make society safer. They are, as Gun Owners of America (GOA) has declared, “ineffective, unconstitutional, and dangerous.”A background check system is already in place, and of the firearm sale denials the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) comes up with, GOA reports, approximately 95 percent are “false positives,” meaning “…people who are being denied are not the people that want to hold up the neighborhood grocery store.”
The U.S. Constitution protects citizens’ unalienable rights, and forcing law-abiding Americans to get permission to exercise these rights is a violation of the Constitution. Background checks, the Ron Paul Institute has noted, are a “violation of several parts of the bill of rights,” including the First, Fifth, and Tenth Amendments.
Not only do the background checks we have in place not work to prevent mass shootings (most of the most infamous shooters, including the man who shot Giffords, passed background checks), they also disarm good people who deserve the right to self-defense, and set a dangerous precedent that can quickly lead to gun confiscation on a huge scale, as GPM’s Ted Patterson has noted:
Background checks are nothing more than a firearms registration system, which has historically been a precursor to full-fledged firearms confiscation. Many point to Nazi Germany as one of the best examples of what comes of gun registration. Most people probably do not know that it was not the Nazis nor Hitler who initiated gun registration. It actually was the preexisting Weimar government’s initiative put into law because of their fears of the Communists and Nazis. The Weimar government implemented laws that the Nazis would later use to oppress the German people, namely, German Jews.
Although Hitler rapidly expanded upon what the Weimar government had instituted, this historical event reminds us that well-intentional laws passed by good people can be used by the next round of political operatives to devastating effect. This is why it is so important to stop any hint of universal background checks: such a measure could open the door to a disastrous future.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.