Universal Background Check Bill Passes Senate Judiciary Committee on Party Line Vote
A bill that would require universal background checks on all firearm transactions, even private sales between a legal buyer and seller, passed Senate Judiciary committee yesterday on a vote of 10-7 which was along party lines.
While some advocates of the bill say this is a great first step, proponents of gun rights see it as a victory in that no GOP Senator broke rank to vote for the bill in committee. This could mean the bill could have problems passing even the Senate if only a few moderate Democrats fail to vote for it. The chances of it passing the GOP controlled House are even smaller.
Republicans and Libertarians are concerned the bill is a first step in an attempt to build a national firearms database or registry.
“I have to tell you that demeans the arguments here. The bill explicitly says no registration, no confiscation,” Bill author Chuck Schumer said. “It is sad. Right after Newtown, there was a view that maybe the right place we could all come together was on background checks.”
Closed door talks to put together a bi-partisan bill were unsuccessful as some Republicans would only be OK with the background checks if no paperwork was generated by the checks, something Democratic Senators balked at.
It is our view that the bill will create a de facto registry. Over time, as guns change hands, maybe over a period of decades, eventually nearly every gun will be documented by a Form 4473. These forms must be turned over to the ATF whenever a gun dealer closes their business or the business changes hands. It is also with the ATF’s rights to inspect these forms at any time. All it would take would be a simple law, or possibly even an executive order, to demand gun dealers provide copies of all of these forms. Once the government has them they will have their gun registry.
Universal background checks are needed step to get a gun registry in place. We need to make sure this step is not implemented at a federal level.