Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Good News, For A Change...

Senate vote nears, background check bill in peril
WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan effort to expand background checks is in deep trouble as the Senate approaches a long-awaited vote on the linchpin of the drive to curb gun violence. As the showdown draws near, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows ebbing public support for tightening gun control laws.
In the run-up to the roll call expected Wednesday, so many Republicans had declared their opposition to the background check measure that supporters — mostly Democrats — seemed headed to defeat unless they could turn votes around in the final hours. Supporters seemed likely to lose some moderate Democratic senators as well.
Yeah, that's what happens when people start reading the bill and actually realizing how bad it was. Take this past Sunday - under the terms of this "common sense" gun control bill, I would have needed to go to an FFL to have a background check done before I let Brad_in_MA shoot a magazine through my Conspirator AR-15. That's a "transfer" according to the language in the bill - or at least it could be viewed that way by an overzealous DA.

Certainly if, during his range trip with a new shooter, he were to borrow a .22LR revolver for the day, we'd need to go to an FFL and have a transfer performed. Think about that for a moment, will you? For an FFL to transfer a firearm, the cost generally ranges from $25 to $40. That's $50 to $80 so that a friend - who is a licensed gun owner in MA, so he's jumped through all the hoops - can borrow a six shot revolver for a day. On what planet does this make any sense? On what planet is this going to stop a damn thing?

You see "End the gun show loophole" is a great soundbite, especially when you lie and say that 40% of all transfers are off-the-record. You create this atmosphere where it seems like guns are being transfered to ineligible people (you know, like Mexican cartels) all the time - a strawman argument - and then propose this new law that will allegedly deal with the issue. Except that the issue is already dealt with - it is already illegal to transfer a firearm to an ineligible person, and it is incipient on the seller to ensure that the buyer is legally allowed to own a firearm. That's why, even in states where there is no permit required to own a gun and private transfers are allowed, the savvy seller will record the buyer's CHL number.

It drives those of us on the pro-freedom side absolutely crazy to hear proposals like "this law will make all firearms transactions performed over the internet go through a licensed dealer" - because that's already the law. It would be like President Obama taking the stage to give a State of the Union speech and announcing that he was outlawing murder. And then, upon a closer inspection of the bill, you realize that he's making all legal self-defense illegal - because that's "murder". Just like letting a friend borrow your shotgun for a round of clays is a "transfer".

We don't need new laws. We need actual enforcement of the laws on the books - something Vice President Biden, the person in charge of the gun control task force says we can't do now as it is - not more laws that will be ignored. Or, worse, laws that will only be used to punish otherwise lawful and peaceful gunowners who commit clerical errors like not realizing that letting a friend borrow a rifle for a day requires a $80 fee and two separate pieces of paper. This is madness. Even worse, this is absolutely ineffectual madness that will do nothing to stop any sort of actual, you know, gun violence.

"The government will never solve a problem that will put it out of business" - these words are never more true than when talking about gun control.

That is all.


Bob H said...

"That's why, even in states where there is no permit required to own a gun and private transfers are allowed, the savvy seller will record the buyer's CHL number."

I hate to sound stupid, but, What is a CHL?

Jay G said...

CHL= Concealed Handgun License. May also be known as a CCW (Carry Concealed Weapon); LTC(License To Carry); CHP (Concealed Handgun Permit); and probably a dozen or so other different acronyms across the US.

Your government-issue permission slip to pack a firearm...

Bob H said...

Thank you. I was confused at the assumption that every buyer would have a CHL/CCW in states where no license of any kind is required for the purchase or ownership of a firearm. Here in VA rifles don't even require an NICS check, and open carry is legal without any government intrusion.