Try this: they want to keep criminals and prohibited people from having guns.
We want to be sure that good people can always get guns without bureaucratic delays or mistaken denials.
The only way to meet both these demands is to refuse universal background checks while keeping a closer eye on prohibited people.
I suggest adding a prohibited stamp to the driver’s license of anyone who cannot legally buy or own a firearm. The seller should always check the buyer’s ID when they sell a gun. If the prohibited stamp isn’t there, they’re good to go. Jot down the date and the DL number, and you have your proof of a background check — without bureaucratic nonsense and with no possibility of registration.
No registration required. No bureaucratic bottlenecks.
The big problem you’re going to have with something like this is implementation. The federal government doesn’t control drivers’ licenses, the states do. What’s more, as the Supreme Court has stated in Printz v. United States and more recently in NFIB v. Sebelius, the federal government can neither commandeer state officials, nor can it coerce states. The only policy option that federal government has is enticement. So in order for this to work, it would require the cooperation of all 50 states. You likely can’t threaten highway or other funds if the states do not cooperate, given the ruling in NFIB. The only federal policy option would be federal licensing, but let us agree to not even go there.
Currently you have to produce some kind of state-issued identification to purchase a firearm at retail, and most private sellers will ask as well (to insure you live in the state). So if such a system were be put in place, and all paperwork and NICS checks eliminated, it would be a better option than the status quo. However, I do not believe the gun control advocates will go for this, because background checks are how the issue is sold. Background checks sound like a great thing to a lot of Americans, and it polls well. The primary purpose of banning private transfers is to implement a universal registration scheme through the 4473. Registration has never polled as well.