Isn’t the concept of “Universal Background Checks” rather moronic? It’s an “Honor System Law” and there’s absolutely no way to enforce them. Under the 5th amendment you cannot be forced to incriminate yourself, which would be about the only way law enforcement could ever prove you bought or sold your gun to another person with out a “background check”, which is really none of their damn business in the first place.
On a further note “Prohibited Persons” who are banned under federal law from owning firearms are also protected by the 5th amendment from these laws. You can’t force a criminal or somebody who is mentally ill to undergo a background check, register a gun or prosecute them under these laws as that would also be an attempt to get them to self incriminate; which is also a violation of the 5th amendment. The only charge you can get them on is being a “Prohibited Person in possession of a firearm.” This was decided almost 50 years ago via Haynes Vs. United States which is summarized as such (thanks Wikipedia) –
“The National Firearms Act of 1934 required the registration of certain types of firearms. Miles Edward Haynes was a convicted felon who was charged with failing to register a firearm under the Act. Haynes argued that, because he was a convicted felon and thus prohibited from owning a firearm, requiring him to register was essentially requiring him to make an open admission to the government that he was in violation of the law, which was thus a violation of his right not to incriminate himself.”
“As with many other 5th amendment cases, felons and others prohibited from possessing firearms could not be compelled to incriminate themselves through registration. The National Firearm Act was amended after Haynes to make it apply only to those who could lawfully possess a firearm. This eliminated prosecution of prohibited persons, such as criminals, and cured the self-incrimination problem. In this new form, the new registration provision was upheld. The court held: ” To eliminate the defects revealed by Haynes, Congress amended the Act so that only a possessor who lawfully makes, manufactures, or imports firearms can and must register them”, United States v. Freed, The original Haynes decision continues to block state prosecutions of criminals who fail to register guns as required by various state law gun registration schemes.”
No to mention the fact that thinking that you’re going to get a criminal to abide my these laws is idiotic, or that you’re going to stop a criminal who wants a gun in a nation of 350 million plus firearms is idiotic. A tracing system is already in place for guns and it’s called a serial number and much like background checks or registration, once the gun is lost or stolen any chances of tracing it beyond that point are all but made impossible.
Now I’m sure some of you will point out Oregon and California already have “Universal Background Checks” which they do or that these laws didn’t and won’t work for a number of other reasons. But one thing I think all people can agree on after being armed with reading “Haynes Vs. United States” is that “Universal Background Check” legislation is nothing more than feel good legislation for the simple minded who likely think “no guns signs” and “gun free zones” keep criminals from bringing guns into those areas or that “duck and cover” might actually help them survive a nuclear attack.
Photo Credit: By Fiorellino (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons