We suspected from media rumors that there was going to be an, “In the event of gun control, break glass,” strategy from the stronger Republicans. Unfortunately, the Toomey-Manchin deal has given real legs to this issue once again, and given murmurs from the House, including my own Congressman (not surprised), I don’t feel particularly good about the House. Getting a “true conservative” like Toomey on board with the deal, unfortunately, makes a lot of critters think “Well, if Toomey is on board, it must be OK!”
And so Senator Tom Coburn floats an alternative that I think would be far preferable, if I’m going to be required to pick my poison:
Dr. Coburn’s amendment would require a NICS check or validation permit to be presented for non-FFL transfers, exempting family transfers, estate/will transfers, and all temporary transfers.
The requirement can be satisfied in one of four ways:
1) An FFL takes custody ofthe firearm in order to perform a background check on the transferee as mandated in Schumer original and Manchin-Toomey
2) Presentation oftemporary 30 day permit created by running a self-NICS check through a new consumer portal(details below)
3) Usage of a concealed carry permit or any other state issued permit that requires a NICS check to be conducted to obtain
4) Any other alternative that a state comes up with to satisfy the validation requirements for secondary and private market transfers. The amendment also includes a provision that places penalties on ATF agents that abuse records during audits, an IG report on the FBI’s 24 hour destruction rule compliance, a prohibition on records, a prohibition on centralizing records pertaining to gun ownership and a provision that allows states to assume primacy of enforcement of the background check law.
- FBI shall provide a consumer portal through its website, mobile application, or other applicable medium to allow a potential transferee to run a NICS check on his/herself
- A successful background check will provide potential transferee with a temporary 30 day permit that validates he/she is not prohibited from legally purchasing or possessing a firearm
- The temporary permit can be used by the transferee for any private transfers in compliance with state or federal law during the 30 day time window
- The permit will be made available to the transferee as an electronic printable document, via a mobile application or other appropriate means
- The 30 day permit will provide the name, date of expiration of permit, and a unique pin number that can be used to verify activation by transferor
- The consumer portal will be designed with privacy protections so that only a prospective transferee can run his/her own NICS check
- The documentation provided by consumer portal will utilize necessary fraud protections
- A valid 30 day permit provided by the consumer portal that is verified with a valid governmentissued photo identification would suit the law’s requirements
- Information provided by prospective transferee to conduct background check through the consumer portal must be destroyed within 24-hours as occurs for FFL conducted background checks
The new law will not go into effect until the consumer portal is up and running, and the law will be nullified if the consumer portal is permanently shut down or defunded.
Screw going through an FFL being an alternative though. The alternative should be that FFLs can issue a validation to a prospective buyer, to facilitate a private sale for someone who doesn’t want to use the portal. Also, this all has to be with the FBI. ATF can’t have anything to do with this portal. In fact, I’d be happier with an independent agency, separate from the DOJ, running NICS.
The concern here is that the requirement that records not be kept by the FBI from the check are worth about as much as Cypriot deposit insurance. There needs to be independent, and regular auditing. While in this scheme, the seller presumably would keep the buyer’s certificate, there can’t be any requirement to do so. The enforcement mechanism for this is that if you sell to someone prohibited, obviously you didn’t run the check, and also the fact that most gun owners, to the utter shock of anti-gun folks everywhere, really don’t want to sell guns to criminals. Also, do we still get some things in return for the Coburn proposal? That would be a necessary component.
Again folks, what our options are depends on how people are communicating with lawmakers. If everyone who was lining up at gun shows at the start of all this were calling lawmakers, we would not be here. We worked a gun show to get people to contact, and the number of people who wouldn’t, because they just didn’t think it mattered, was very discouraging. Don’t be those people. Also, just be emphatic that you expect them to vote against all gun control measures, and that yes, background checks are gun control, no matter what Senator Toomey says. You wouldn’t accept background checks for Internet access (to make sure you’re not, say, a child porn convict). Firearms rights should not be any different.
20 Responses to “Coburn Amendment: Breaking the Glass”
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