The Problems With The Two Gun Control Bills Passed Today
Bills HR 8 and HR 1446 criminalize private transfers and extend wait times for purchase
Today the House passed two pieces of gun control legislation, H.R. 8, misleadingly titled the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, deals with the criminalization of private transfers. H.R. 1446, predicated upon the false premise that a “loophole” in Charleston allowed a racist murderer to obtain the firearm which he used to shoot up a church, seeks to establish a ten business day waiting period on background checks.
Eight Republicans voted for H.R. 8, which passed with a 227-203 total:
Vern Buchanan – FL
Brian Fitzpatrick – PA
Andrew Garbarino – NY
Carlos A. Giménez – FL
Adam Kinzinger – IL
Maria Salazar – FL
Chris Smith – NJ
Fred Upton – MI
H.R. 1446 passed 219-210 with two Republicans voting for and two Democrats voting against:
Brian Fitzpatrick (R) PA
Chris Smith (R) NJ
Ron Kind (D) WI
Jared Golden (D) ME
THE PROBLEM WITH H.R. 8:
The buzzphrase for criminalizing already-federally regulated private transfers is “universal background checks.” Advocates promote two major fallacies:
1) that we lack background checks
This is false. 18 USC 922 Furthermore, private transfers are still regulated, which is why there exist penalties for selling to prohibited possessors or transferring sans FLL across state lines:
2) that commission of a criminal offenses with firearms is driven by unaccountable private transfers, thus the need for this law
The law is redundant. We know this law is redundant due to the presence of penalty on illegal transfers and out-state transport. Contrary to anti-Second Amendment activists’s long-repeated claim that 40% of gun sales were performed without background checks, WaPo rated this as false.
Crime isn’t driven by criminals who obtain guns via legal private transfers. The majority (90%) of criminals do not obtain their firearms from a retail source. From BJS:
An estimated 287,400 prisoners had possessed a firearm during their offense. Among these, more than half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street or from the underground market (43%). Most of the remainder (25%) had obtained it from a family member or friend, or as a gift. Seven percent had purchased it under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer.
Criminals also obtain guns from illegal, or straw purchases. They don’t have to worry, because 4473 falsifications aren’t usually prosecuted anyway, for those rare criminals dumb enough to go that route.
Assuming that “universal background checks” work, to make them work there must be a “universal” registration of all firearms — a firearm registry. The very government that the left called “literally Hitler” these past four years would know about every single firearm in your possession. But that’s the thing, UCBs don’t work. California already showed us that:
“In the 10 years after policy implementation, firearm suicide rates were, on average, 10.9 percent lower in California than expected, but we observed a similar decrease in non-firearm suicide,” said Garen Wintemute, professor of emergency medicine and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at UC Davis, senior author on the study.
“This suggests that the policies’ estimated impact on firearm suicide may be part of broader changes in suicide risk around the time that the California policies were implemented,” he said.
The study found no net difference between firearm-related homicide rates before and during the 10 years after policy implementation.
Criminalizing private transfers will not stop crime because criminals are proven to not use legal channels to obtain their firearms. This law would not have prevented any of the rare, recent mass shootings because in the events where the government didn’t drop the ball, the murderer stole their weapon. As I have written about and discussed extensively, how do you monitor each and every transfer if the government is unaware of who owns what?
I broke down H.R. 8 on air today:
THE PROBLEM WITH H.R. 1446:
1) HR 1446 is based on a false premise relating to the Charleston massacre. The Clyburn-backed bill would use anti-Second Amendment groups for advice and establish a ten business days waiting period — which may take longer than the actual ten days highlighted. NICS checks are only valid for 30 days, as per the Brady Act, and pandemic delays have already pushed buyers beyond this period (at which point the application and purchase process must be restarted, with no guarantees against any further delays). Waiting periods also endanger the lives of those who need protection but can’t carry police officers on their hips.
The FBI didn’t need more days to accurately identify the murderous prohibited possessor in their custody, they needed competent protocol for verifying applicants (the district judge in the case blasted the FBI for disallowing Google searches to confirm the arresting police department in the Charleston case). Until 2018 NICS was barred from accessing the more comprehensive criminal databases like N-DEx.
Current law also doesn’t require social security numbers to process 4473s, yet were you to apply for a job you’d be required to provide you social for a more thorough background check.
Changing these two things wouldn’t require the additional delay of your right with any waiting period. It would remove from the government an a tool to indefinitely delay law-abiding gun owners from exercising their rights. Law-abiding Americans aren’t responsible for government incompetency or error — yet they, unlike us, are immune to prosecution for it [bold my emphasis]:
The government’s argument that the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, cannot use the agency’s own database because the unit doesn’t have a criminal justice purpose “is simple nonsense,” Gergel said. The FBI’s director could fix the problem “today” without waiting on the bureaucratic process for changing outdated regulations or tweaking policies that are “hopelessly stuck in 1995,” the judge added.
“The fault here lies in some abysmally poor policy choices made regarding the operation of the NICS,” Gergel said. “The most obvious of these poor policy choices was the decision to deny the examiners access to the most comprehensive federal criminal justice database.”
Gergel dismissed the victims’ lawsuits — 16 of them in all — under the FBI’s recommendation because the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which set up the background check system, gives the government immunity in most situations when it fails to prevent weapons from winding up in the wrong hands.
If Republicans cave and compromise on any registry creation or delay of right, I’m not sure if anything beyond confiscation is left when Democrats push for even more gun control.
I discussed this bill a bit also today:
These bills have yet to weave their way through to the Senate; I’ll discuss their progression more next week and have more on this later.