Recently the anti firearms group Moms Demand Action, part of Everytown for Gun Safety (both funded by Bloomberg) have been in full press mode in several states. One of those states being Florida where I live.
They have of course been pushing for any kind of anti firearms legislation they can get but in Florida they say all they want is “universal background checks”. Well let’s address that very issue with some interesting myths verse facts. You know those things you can verify and check to see if they are true are called facts, those things that are just made up by someone can be a myth (or an outright lie depending on intention).
First myth, you can by a firearm over the internet without a background check. The answer is actually yes, and no. What it really boils down to is who you buy it from and where the seller and buyer live.
If the buyer and seller live in different states then you must go through a FFL (licensed to sell guns, and requires a background check to transfer it). This is from the ATF website FAQ:
“Under Federal law, an unlicensed individual is prohibited from transferring a firearm to an individual who does not reside in the State where the transferee resides. Generally, for a person to lawfully transfer a firearm to an unlicensed person who resides out of State, the firearm must be shipped to a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) within the recipient’s State of residence. He or she may then receive the firearm from the FFL upon completion of an ATF Form 4473 and a NICS background check. More information can be obtained on the ATF website at http://www.atf.gov and http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/unlicensed-persons.html.“https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/docs/0813-firearms-top-12-qaspdf/download
If the seller is a FFL (regardless of location) then you have to have it shipped to a local FFL holder and a background check must be run.
If the seller and buyer are in the same state and are not FFL’s then you can buy it without a background check, BUT, if you sell a firearm to someone who lives in your state you are responsible for knowing they are not a prohibited person. This is federal law:
“18 U.S.C. § 922(d) makes it unlawful to sell or otherwise dispose of firearms or ammunition to any person who is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition.”https://www.atf.gov/firearms/identify-prohibited-persons
If you do sell to a prohibited person, you not only violate federal laws but most of the time also violate state laws and they are serious crimes and felonies.
Second myth: Criminals get guns from Gun Shows or Private sales. This also is true and false, except that the numbers that get them from these transaction is less than you think and most criminals get them from illegal transactions.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics, Survey of Prison Inmates from 2016, a survey of over 1.3 million prisoners in US Prison found some very interesting facts. Only 1.2% of ALL prisoners who used a firearm in a crime got them from a “flea market” or “gun show”. That supposed “gun show loophole”. Now of that number we do not know how many required a background check since the majority of sellers at those locations are FFL (licensed and required to run background checks on sales) holders. What is really eye opening in the study was that 85.9% of criminals reported getting the firearms from illegal means. 9.1% got them legally and had background checks run.
So what this all basically says is that criminals either get the guns illegally or legally, but background checks did not stop any of the hundreds of thousands from committing a crime with the firearm.
So what would requiring private sales do to help curb crime? nothing of course. Criminals will just get the firearms through illegal means. What will requiring these background checks do to those that follow the law? It will just make it harder and more costly for them to acquire a firearms for self defense. What most who support UBC’s (Universal Background Checks) do not even think about (or worse do not care) is that the segment of society that are the most preyed upon by criminals and who need self protection the most are the lower income, sometimes minority groups. So by placing additional cost of background checks and making private sales (which are sometimes cheaper) out of their reach the proponents of UBCs are actually hurting the most vulnerable demographic section of society.
Now of course this does not take into account that they are trying to place more restrictions on a Constitutionally protected right. The one and only in the Bill of Rights that has the words “Shall not be Infringed” as the emphasis in it.
So to all of those out there that support Universal Background Checks you may want to rethink your priorities. It is kind of like the people that want to ban those nasty scary assault rifles. Those kill far fewer people each year than even hands and feet (The Ban Assault Rifle Movement is Misled, Lied to and Down Right Manipulated), yet there is such an outcry about them. It all comes from an ignorance of the subject matter. Maybe we should be looking at those things that cause violence and mental health issues in our society. Maybe we should use actual research and numbers to direct our efforts.
So to Moms Demand Action, Everytown for Gun Safety and Michael Bloomberg and the like, you really are misinformed and misdirected. Maybe just maybe you might think abot those you are going to hurt the most, law abiding citizens who want nothing more than be left alone and defend themselves, and those you will affect the least, criminals.