If the U.S. Senate gets its way, it could end up turning half of all law-abiding citizens into felons with a proposed universal background check.
You have to hand it to these folks. Congress, if nothing else, has a sense of humor.
It’s now beginning to dawn on the public that Obamacare – officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — has nothing to do with protecting patients or making health care affordable.
Now, the Senate Judiciary Committee has given its blessing to a “universal background check” on all firearm transfers. The measure, S. 374, called the Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013, does anything but — especially after New York’s Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer got through adding his own amendments, turning a nuisance into an abomination.
As originally envisioned, S. 374 would have required anyone taking possession of a gun to submit to the same FBI criminal background check that a gun buyer now goes through. That means when Dad gives a favored shotgun to his daughter or when a private sale is made between friends, that transfer must be conducted through a licensed dealer or law enforcement.
The Schumer amendments, however, have expanded the definition of “transfer” to include damn near anything.
If, for example, your live-in girlfriend leaves her firearms with you while on a business trip lasting more than seven days, Schumer considers that a “transfer” and she’s a felon — five years in the hoosegow for her. How’s she look in stripes?
Let’s say you’re visiting your brother and you want to maintain your shooting skills. You don’t bring your own firearm so you can avoid the hassles of taking it on the plane. He loans you one of his personal weapons so you can target shoot at the local range. Now your brother’s a felon and could serve the same five years.
If you share guns with a friend on a hunting trip, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is Schumer calls that a “transfer” and you could spend the next five years in the clinker. The good news is maybe the judge will take heart and let you to serve your sentence with the girlfriend who took that unfortunate business trip.
As noted by the National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke:
But the real genius of Schumer’s bill is the permanence of its effects: Once you’ve proven yourself the sort of monster who might teach your neighbors’ children to shoot targets in the garden, you’re a felon, and you can’t own firearms without the explicit permission of the state.
Of all the gun proposals pending in Congress, the general public views universal background checks as the most benign — certainly more so than bans on assault weapons and magazines over certain capacities.
In confirmation, a CBS poll conducted in January indicated the 9 out of 10 Americans approved a universal background check for all transfers of forearms. If that poll’s respondents had a clue as to what that provision would entail, I’m confident in saying those results would have been reversed.
As a general rule, any universal background check that includes the mere possibility of leaving a permanent record of the transfer will end up as a universal gun registration. Universal registration is one step away from confiscation.
Read more at The National Review.
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