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Helmke vs. Feldman, Part III

In the LA Times.

UPDATE: Feldman says:

Finally, Paul, I never said I favored background checks on all gun transfers. It’s no wonder the NRA leadership doesn’t want to meet with you — it could cost them their jobs. I stated very clearly that I support instant criminal background checks at gun shows where sellers do not know who the buyer is — and only at gun shows. Last year, I sold an AR-15 rifle to my buddy in Vermont; he’s a former Chittenden County prosecutor. I know who he is. There are four kinds of people to whom I might ever sell guns outside a gun show: a friend, a neighbor, a relative or a co-worker. In each case, I know the person, period. If your “gun show loophole bill” overreaches to everyone at all times, I’m dead-set against it. It wouldn’t work, would create another bureaucracy and would put off those already suspicious of your real motives because you aren’t limiting the solution to the actual problem: sellers who don’t know the buyers.

The only guns I’ve ever sold are to people I know.  Regardless, I don’t agree that a “gun show only” bill is acceptable, because gun shows have never been shown to be a serious problem in terms of availability of firearms for criminal purposes.  I don’t think that is a smart trade.

If the Brady Campaign wants a compromise on the issue, they can work on making the NICS system more available to people other than FFLs.  Anti-Gun folks would probably do a lot more than bellowing nonsense if they set up booth at guns shows, and ran free NICS checks for anyone who asked, no questions asked.  No gun owner wants to sell a gun to a criminal or a whack job, but we don’t want to be forced to go through the FFL dance either.  We’d use a free system voluntarily, if it just gave a thumbs up or thumbs down.  If the Brady Campaign is really concerned, what could be the objection to a system like this?

4 Responses to “Helmke vs. Feldman, Part III”

  1. Matt says:

    The Brady’s objection would be the “voluntary” part. They don’t want “voluntary” background checks; they want all firearms to go through a check.

    They aren’t interested in “common-sense” gun laws, they’re interested in making firearm ownership more and more onerous and hassling to the law-abiding.

    The problem with NICS, as we all know, is it isn’t designed for private use. Who do we get to run the booth? A special government-designated FFL? The government?

    I’m in agreement on the “voluntary” part. Any proposal that doesn’t preserve the option for two individuals to sell firearms privately sans background check in accordance with Federal/State law is non-starter.

    And that’s why the Brady’s will never endorse it. Because they don’t want anonymous firearms ownership. They want the government to know who these dangerous gun owners are.

  2. Joe Huffman says:

    The objection would be it’s an invasion of privacy and it would, in essence, open the system to a denial of service attack. “Everyone” would check up on their neighbors, the people their kids date, etc.

    The DOS could be mitigated by charging a small amount, say $5.00 (or probably even $1.00) per check. But the privacy angle would probably still encounter some resistance. I’m pretty sure the ACLU has already taken a stand against such a thing.

    I’m sort of undecided on the issue. A conviction is a public record, so what’s the problem of what is, in essence, a collection of public records? But I do get a little uneasy with a universal database of records on people. And the worst part is that if you have a common name or the data gets messed up, I know people with both situations, people are temporarily denied a specific enumerated right.

  3. Sebastian says:

    You’re right Matt. They aren’t interested in voluntary. I wouldn’t have offered a deal like that if I thought they’d actually take it.

  4. Maxpwr says:

    We can’t give in on this issue at all because the gun prohibitionists won’t be satisfied, anyway.

    They want ALL purchases to have a background check. No more selling to a friend. No more loaning a rifle to your brother to hunt with.

    If they get the “gun show loophole” background checks, next time someone shoots someone with a gun they got from a relative, they’ll try to close the “family gun sale loophole”.

    It’s kind of like the “hunters” versus “assault weapons” owners. Well, I don’t own an “assault weapon” so who cares if they are banned, until they go after “hunting guns” next.

    You may never want to sell a gun at a gun show to a stranger and only to a family member, but they’ll come after the family members sales after they ban other private sales.

    Banning private sales is half way to gun registration. No way to dispose of or acquire a firearm without a 4473.

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