Tag Archives: UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS

Anti-gun AGs Push “Universal” Background Checks for Ammunition

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Gun control laws aren’t about stopping violent criminals, they are about burdening law-abiding gun owners. Few pieces of legislation illustrate this fact better than H.R.1705/S.1924. READ MORE

ammo background checks

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

H.R.1705/S.1924 would extend anti-gun lawmakers’ cumbersome so-called “universal” background check proposal to cover the commercial and private transfers of ammunition. On September 23, this onerous plan received the support of 21 politically minded state attorneys general, who signed a letter to congressional leadership advocating for the proposal.

H.R.1705, introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (D-Fla.), would treat commercial sales of ammunition in the same manner as the commercial sale of firearms. Under the legislation, any person seeking to purchase ammunition at a store would be required to undergo an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check before acquiring the ammunition.

Moreover, the legislation would encumber nearly all private transfers of ammunition. The bill provides,

“It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to transfer ammunition to any other person who is not so licensed, unless a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer has first taken possession of the ammunition for the purpose of complying” with the NICS background check requirement.

The legislation provides a minor exemption for ammunition transfers between immediate family members. There are other narrow exemptions for transfers “at a shooting range or in a shooting gallery or other area designated for the purpose of target shooting,” “while reasonably necessary for the purposes of hunting, trapping, or fishing,” or “while in the presence of the transferor.”

It is difficult to overstate how burdensome this policy would be for gun owners. Forcing all ammunition sales through a Federal Firearms Licensee would put non-FFL ammunition sellers out of business. This would severely curtail the availability of ammunition to the average gun owner. Gun owners would no longer be able to order ammo through the mail directly to their home, as they would need to have an FFL run a background check before taking possession of the ammunition.

Every law-abiding gun owner would be forced into a potentially lengthy background check procedure each time they purchased ammunition. A shooter couldn’t pick up a box of .22lr from his friend on the way to the range. A reloader couldn’t give a friend a new rifle load for them to try out on their own property.

This inconvenience is not a trivial matter. According to the 2018 NICS Operations Report, only 70 percent of NICS checks result in an instant determination, while 10 percent result in a significant delay. Only 1.2 percent of checks result in a denial.

Many individuals experience a delay for merely sharing a personal characteristic similar to that of someone with a potentially prohibiting record in NICS. FBI notes that “A delay response from the NICS Section indicates the subject of the background check has been matched with either a state or federal potentially prohibiting record containing a similar name and/or similar descriptive features (name, sex, race, date of birth, state of residence, social security number, height, weight, or place of birth).”

It is bad enough that such delays are so prevalent when Americans purchase firearms, which are a durable good. Extending this to ammunition sales, which occur with far more frequency because ammunition is a consumable good, would compound this injustice.

Despite being the top law enforcement officials in their respective states, it does not appear as if the anti-gun attorneys general know anything about existing federal gun laws. According to their letter to congress, the proposed legislation — would make it illegal for individuals who are already “prohibited purchasers” under federal law — including convicted felons, domestic abusers, and individuals with serious mental health conditions — from purchasing or possessing ammunition.

The attorneys general might find it interesting to learn that prohibited persons are already barred from purchasing or possessing ammunition. 18 USC 922(g) provides that it is unlawful for a prohibited person — to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

A prohibited person found in possession of a single round of ammunition faces up to 10 years imprisonment.

The attorneys general also appear unaware that the U.S. has already experimented with federal ammunition control. The Gun Control Act of 1968 required all ammunition dealers to be federally licensed. Moreover, the GCA required all ammunition dealers to keep a record of sales of — ammunition to any person unless the licensee notes in his records, required to be kept pursuant to section 923 of this chapter, the name, age, and place of residence of such person if the person is an individual…

The experiment was not a success.

In 1982 .22 caliber rimfire ammunition was removed from the record-keeping requirement. In 1984, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee concluded that ammunition dealer licensing “was not necessary to facilitate legitimate Federal law enforcement interests.” In 1986, the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms supported eliminating the record keeping requirement: “The Bureau and the [Treasury] Department have recognized that current recordkeeping requirements for ammunition have no substantial law enforcement value.” As a result, the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 repealed the ammunition restrictions.

Federal ammunition control is a proven failure. Of course, that’s if the goal was to prevent criminal violence.

The current legislation pushed by Wasserman Schultz and the attorneys general is aimed at harassing law-abiding gun owners to further burden the exercise of their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. If enacted, H.R.1705/S.1924 would achieve this detestable intent.

 

Democrats Now Opposed to Safe Neighborhoods?

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Supporters of the Second Amendment have always known that gun control laws have a fatal flaw– criminals don’t obey the law! READ MORE

pelosi

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Ever since taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats have been waging an unprecedented assault on the Second Amendment. Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.), the caucus has been an entity in virtual lock-step promoting a laundry list of today’s most popular anti-gun proposals. Whether it is banning semi-automatic firearms and placing limitations on magazine capacities, pushing “universal” background checks, imposing potentially endless waiting periods, or trying to use financial institutions to drive their political agenda, anti-gun Democrats are looking to exploit every opportunity they can to promote their attacks on our freedoms.

At every step, Pelosi and her minions push anti-gun legislation with the lie that each proposal will be the death knell to violent crime committed with firearms. Of course, we’ve all heard this mantra for decades. And for decades we’ve seen every anti-gun law that has passed fail to put a dent in crime, only to be followed by a new proposal that the gun-ban extremists insist will get the job done…this time.

Supporters of the Second Amendment have always known that gun control laws have a fatal flaw — criminals don’t obey the law. They ignore or circumvent the new laws just as readily as they ignore or circumvent the old ones. If they are willing to commit robbery, why would they not also be willing to commit armed robbery? If they are willing to commit assault, why would they not be willing to commit assault with a deadly weapon? And if they are willing to commit homicide, again, why would they not be willing to commit homicide using a firearm? One more law will not stop a violent criminal from being a violent criminal.

The people actually impacted by gun control laws are, of course, law-abiding gun owners, who were never part of the problem to begin with. They may not agree with anti-gun laws, but they tend to obey them while working to change them.

This doesn’t mean that there are no options for addressing violent crime. The secret, which isn’t really a secret, is to go after the actual offenders. One good example is Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).

Started in 2001 under President George W. Bush, PSN is a collaborative effort, utilizing the resources of federal, state, and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and community leaders to target violent crime at the local level. Specific priorities are identified based on the local environment, and solutions are developed, with the primary objective of going after the most violent offenders and putting them in prison.

It should come as no surprise that the simple concept of getting violent criminals off the streets to keep them from committing violent crimes has proven to be a very effective tool for law enforcement. While violent crime in the US has been in a state of general decline since its peak in 1991, PSN programs have shown to accelerate declines. According to the United States Department of Justice, from 2000 to 2006, PSN program areas saw overall reductions in violent crime from 4%-20%, and specifically-targeted violent crimes were reduced by up to 42%. By comparison, locations where PSN was not implemented saw reductions, but of only 0.9%.

There is, of course, little evidence to indicate that gun control reduces violent crime, and plenty of evidence that indicates fewer restrictions on law-abiding gun owners leads to such reductions. But even if Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats cannot be convinced of this, one would at least think they would support a proven law-enforcement program like PSN, which has clearly been shown to reduce the violent crime they claim to want to see reduced.

Then again, maybe not.

Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies recommending de-funding PSN. Chaired by U.S. Representative José Serrano (D-N.Y.), the subcommittee’s recommendation seems to indicate a continuing trend by House Democrats to oppose President Donald Trump whenever possible.

The program, as previously stated, started under President George W. Bush and continued under President Barack Obama, even when Democrats controlled the House and Senate during Obama’s first term. So why is there an issue now?

It may simply be that Democrats are reflexively opposed to anything Trump supports, and the current administration has promoted the program. It would be a shocking abuse of power if Democrats actually chose to end a program that has been so successful at reducing violent crime simply out of spite for a president the party clearly loathes.

Fortunately, there are still many steps left in the process for approving the U.S. Department of Justice budget, through which PSN is funded, so we can only hope that cooler heads within the Democrat leadership will intercede and ensure PSN remains fully funded.

That is, if there are any cooler heads left.

 

Keep Telling Your Members of Congress to Oppose “Universal” Background Check Bills!

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Two bills recently introduced into Congress are no more than traps for law-abiding gun owners. READ WHY

gun control

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On January 8, two bills were introduced in Congress to impose so-called “universal” background checks. The bills, H.R. 8 and S. 42, are being misleadingly described as simply requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but this is just a small part of what these overbroad pieces of legislation would do.

A vote on this gun control legislation could take place as early as the first weeks of February. Therefore, it is vital that gun owners immediately contact their members of Congress to urge them to oppose this legislation, and that gun owners encourage their freedom-minded family and friends to do the same.

Both bills would make it a crime, subject to certain exceptions, to simply hand a firearm to another person. Any time gun owners carry out this simple act, they would potentially be exposing themselves to criminal penalties. While the bills do create some exceptions, they are overly complicated and create many traps for unwary gun owners. Accidental violations of these complicated provisions are not excused under the proposed legislation.

Ask your Representative and Senators to oppose H.R.8 and S.42. Additionally, you may call your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators using the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

This legislation is not about public safety. These bills attack law-abiding gun owners by placing further burdens on gun ownership and use. For the anti-gun groups and politicians intent on criminalizing the private transfer of firearms, this legislation is just another step in their effort to extinguish America’s vibrant and legitimate gun culture.

Expanded Background Checks Don’t Work
Proponents of so-called “universal” background checks claim that this legislation is the “most important” thing that can be done to stop dangerous people from obtaining firearms. This is a lie. There is no evidence that expanded background checks are useful for this purpose.

Just last year, a study by anti-gun researchers confirmed that expanded background checks in California did not reduce gun homicides or gun suicides.

This finding is consistent with a review of past studies on expanded background checks by the RAND Corporation that found that “evidence of the effect of private-seller background checks on firearm homicides is inconclusive.”

In 2013, the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice researched so-called “universal” background checks and determined that they would be not be effective without further harsh firearms restrictions and efforts to combat straw purchasing.

Criminals are not deterred by background checks. ATF has reported, “[t]he most frequent type of trafficking channel identified in ATF investigations is straw purchasing from federally licensed firearms dealers. Nearly 50 percent …” A Chicago-area inmate explained this reality to researchers from the University of Chicago in relation to Illinois’s stringent firearm licensing regime for a 2015 study, stating, “All they need is one person who got a gun card in the ‘hood’ and everybody got one.”

A 2016 Department of Justice survey of “state and federal prisoners who had possessed a firearm during the offense for which they were serving” found that the most common source of prisoner firearms was “Off the street/underground market.” This was defined as “Illegal sources of firearms that include markets for stolen goods, middlemen for stolen goods, criminals or criminal enterprises, or individuals or groups involved in sales of illegal drugs.” Less than one percent had obtained their firearm from a gun show.

The research confirms that anti-gun members of Congress aren’t interested in actually addressing violent crime; they’re just trying to deflect the blame on law-abiding gun owners. Please use this link to let your elected officials know that you won’t be blamed for the actions of violent criminals. Ask your Representative and Senators to oppose H.R.8 and S.42. Additionally, you may call your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators using the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

 

Democrats’ Exciting New Hope Adheres to Tired Old Anti-Gun Dogma

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In 1997, Charlton Heston lamented: “We’ve reached that point in time when our national social policy originates on ‘Oprah.’” Here it is again! Keep reading…

oprah

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Democrats searching for a standard-bearer in the 2020 presidential election lit on long-time entertainment, media, and publishing figure Oprah Winfrey last week, following a speech Winfrey gave at a televised Hollywood extravaganza. Winfrey received wide acclaim for her remarks, but amidst the #oprah2020 mania that has followed, questions have arisen over what Winfrey stands for politically and whether she has the desire and skill set to lead the Free World. Some of those questions remain unanswered, but for gun owners, one thing is crystal clear: Oprah Winfrey embraces the staunchly anti-gun posture of contemporary Hollywood.

Winfrey’s anti-gun activism dates back to at least the 1990s when she was closely involved with the rabidly anti-gun group CeaseFire, Inc. The now defunct group’s website, still archived online, attests to its fanaticism. It’s Mission Statement, for example, explained:

Through a coordinated public service announcement (PSA) print and broadcast campaign, our mission is to mobilize a broad cross section of American leadership to educate and promote handgun-free homes and families. By highlighting the public health implications of handgun violence, Cease Fire can educate Americans to view handguns as the inherently unsafe and dangerous products they are, and not appropriate to have in any home. [Emphasis added.]

Oprah Winfrey was part of this “education” campaign, appearing in CeaseFire’s print and broadcast ads and in its fundraising materials.

CeaseFire pioneered elements of the modern anti-gun publicity playbook, heavily promoting dubious factoids and inflating statistics about firearms’ supposed toll on “children” by including statistics pertaining to 18- and 19-year-old adults (a common age for gang membership). Its ads featured actors such as Winfrey and Paul Newman gravely recounting media stories about gun owners accidentally killing their loved ones. Even gun safes, according to the group’s ads, weren’t to be trusted. Taglines included, “Before you bring a gun in the house, think about it” and “A Home is no place for a handgun.”

The legendary Charlton Heston, who would go on to be one of the NRA’s most iconic presidents, lamented in 1997, “We’ve reached that point in time when our national social policy originates on ‘Oprah.’”

Indeed, in 2000, Winfrey promoted the so-called Million Mom March (the march) on her popular daytime talk show. The march was actually a Mother’s Day rally of women in support of gun control on the National Mall. Although the actual number of “marchers” who attended the D.C. rally was considerably less than a “million,” the event received a major boost from Winfrey’s free publicity. The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence — which later merged with the anti-gun organization that formed around the march — recounts that the march’s website crashed from the crush of traffic generated when its online address was published during Winfrey’s show. Winfrey told her viewers that if they didn’t “do something” to stop “children” from being killed by firearms, they were “part of the problem.”

Insisting that she is “apolitical,” Winfrey nevertheless became a staunch supporter of Barack Obama’s hyper-partisan political career. Wikidpedia states that “Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama was one of the most widely covered and studied developments of the 2008 presidential campaign.” One paper by two economists from the University of Maryland estimates that Winfrey’s endorsement “was responsible for approximately 1,000,000 additional votes for Obama,” potentially swaying the 2008 Democratic primary in the two-term president’s favor. “Winfrey, for her part, described Obama’s political ascendance as “beyond and above politics” and “something new.”

Obama’s strongly pro-gun control views clearly did not diminish Oprah Winfrey’s support for him. Rather, she repeatedly used her vast public reach to support Obama’s gun control agenda during his presidency. At Harvard’s commencement in 2013, for example, Winfrey plugged the administration’s #1 gun control initiative, “universal background checks.” In 2016, she indicated support for an “assault weapons” ban (another Obama-backed measure) in the wake of a mass murder in Orlando, Florida. “Are we a country that really believes that assault weapons should be made available to anybody?” she commented. “Are assault weapons necessary? I … just say, ‘enough.’”

Fortunately, unlike most of her other high-profile endeavors, Oprah Winfrey’s gun control activism has been a failure, at least as measured by additional federal gun control laws. But it’s hard to overstate the immense cult of personality that surrounds her, as well as the reflexive adulation she engenders from her fellow elites in entertainment and media. Like Barack Obama — with whom she remains close — a President Oprah Winfrey could count on their unconditional support, as well as their protection against any serious scrutiny or criticism.

Gun owners know that the last thing America needs is another gun-control absolutist as president. Because while Oprah Winfrey is wrong that handguns do not belong in the home, it’s true that handgun abolitionists do not belong in the White House.