Yesterday’s headlines were all about how the so called “compromise bill” failed to meet the 60 vote requirement in the Senate and thus failed.
Even within the gun rights community the idea of background checks on private sales is a divisive issue. Some gun owners who want to see every transaction go through a federally licensed dealer and others who want guns to be treated like just about every other consumer good and sold off the shelf no questions asked.
I am nether. First let me explain my position so you can see what my potential bias may be.
We already have a system where guns bought from a dealer go through a background check. In most states this is done by using the NICS database. I’m fine with that. Also in most states I can legally sell a firearm to another private party as long as neither of us are prohibited from legally possessing a gun and we reside in the same state. ( this is what the anti gunners refer to as the gun show loophole )
Also right now gun purchased through the Internet on such sites as Gunbroker MUST BE SHIPPED TO A DEALER and then transferred to the buyer just as if they bought that gun from that dealer. So the recent arguments that Internet purchases arn’t currently being checked fails as well.
So here is what I propose and I’m pretty confident that it would pass congress.
1. All dealers continue to sell firearms just like they have except we remove the field on the form 4473 that asks for the guns serial number. This prevents a registration database from being created.
2. Anytime ownership of a gun is transferred from one individual to another the seller must run the buyers name through a new expanded background check system. The system would consist of an online or phone based check using the same information as the form 4473 has. Each transaction will be given a unique transaction ID. This id number is good for the transfer of up to 5 guns between the same to people within 7 calendar days. This provision will cover the vast majority of inheritance and gift transactions. I’m ok with saying this receipt with this ID number needs to be retained for 1yr from the purchase.
3. If more than 5 guns need to be transferred (such as a collection being inherited ) the transaction goes through a dealer who can list up to 100 guns on the same 4473 form.
4. If a state issues their concealed handgun permit/ concealed weapons permit / whatever your state calls it and that permit meets a basic set of requirements namely that it has a picture and your vital stats on it and that it’s issues by a city, county or state government then it is deemed valid in all states. This reciprocity treats your CHL like a drivers license. If you go to a different state you have to obey their laws just like driving. But it fixes the issue with so many of us having to maintain multiple permits and with states refusing to issue non-resident permits.
They way I see it this bill will calm the current political fears will update the system to be more in line with modern technology and will give both sides something that they would have a difficult time accomplishing otherwise.
Yesterday I saw a lot of “we won the fight is over ” mentality on the pro-gun side. I think that view is wrong at the moment I believe the political left still wants this and they might be beaten up now to accept national reciprocity as a barter tool.
Of course the problem with any legislation is that the original text and the version that gets voted on are often worlds apart. But let this serve as an outline for a bill that would garner support from both sides.