Hawkins: Universal Background Checks Unenforceable Without Gun Registry

Wednesday, August 14, 2019
By Paul Martin

13 Aug 2019

While universal background checks are pushed as a response to the El Paso and Dayton shooting attacks, it should be remembered that such checks are unenforceable without a gun registry.

In other words, once such checks are in place, it is only a matter of time before lawmakers — in one party or the other — suggest a loose registration scheme. They will most likely do this in the days after the first mass public attack that occurs once universal background checks are the law of the land.

Think about it — universal background checks presume that the government knows about every gun sale, everywhere, at every time. That is the very meaning of the “universal” system — that all sales are covered by one background check.

The problem is that the government does not know where the vast majority of guns are at this very moment. Thus, as mass public attacks and/or high-profile shootings continue, they will claim we need a registry so the government knows where every gun is and can, therefore, know if any gun is changing hands without a background check.

We saw this scenario play out in California where universal background checks were adopted in the early 1990s. That state now has firearm registration requirements and a confiscation law as well. Moreover, California has a ten-day waiting period on gun purchases, a requirement that would-be gun buyers first get a gun safety certificate from the state, a one-handgun-a-month purchase limit, a minimum firearm purchase age of 21 years, a ban on campus carry, gun controls on ammunition sales, and more.

The lesson: It is all downhill once gun controllers secured universal background checks.

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