Bill Aims To Encourage States To Hold Up Firearm Sales

AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The magic wand of freedom-squishing legislation keeps swirling around the halls of congress. On June 30, 2021 Representative Madeleine Dean (PA-04), introduced H.R. 4246 the Background Check Point of Contact Act of 2021. While the text of the bill is not yet available, something that should be illegal, we can take the high points from Dean’s press release. The bill…

…will incentivize states to adopt stronger background check systems, and allow states 10 days to do a thorough background check and deny a sale if the eligibility can not be determined in 10 days.

The Background Check Point of Contact Act of 2021 aims to close the loophole that allows for a gun sale to occur if a background check is not completed in 3 days and implement a point-of-contact system to ensure that all sales and transfers are lawful.

We’ve seen this before. On more than one occasion bills have popped up to “close the loophole” when the NICS system cannot return an affirmative or denial in in three days. This loophole that is being referenced though is no loophole at all. It’s insurance to the people that the government will not usurp their rights by indefinitely holding up the transfer of a firearm. The way the law is now federally, the burden is on the government to prove one is not eligible to purchase a firearm. This system, while not perfect, it does embrace the innocent until proven guilty freedoms we’re afforded. This loophole is called civil rights.

The intent of the law would be to encourage states to pass laws which would be a work around of the federal statute. Talk about loopholes! Dean had this to say about the civil right she wishes to trample:

“This is a necessary and lawful way to ensure everyone’s background check is completed before they are able to complete the purchase of a gun,” Rep. Dean said. “We must keep guns out of the hands of people that should not have them, and my goal, with this legislation, is to limit the number of acts of gun violence that could have been stopped with a more thorough background check.”

Dean must not be up on her current events. The number of crimes committed with lawfully purchased firearms that fell through the cracks in the NICS system are very small. Further, the prosecutions of those that knowingly and willfully attempt to purchase a firearm as an ineligible person is also small. Most crime is committed with firearms purchased off the streets because the criminals that wish to advance in their careers as an outlaw would usually be ineligible to purchase firearms. They’d fail a background check. All these provisions that halt the sale after 10 days will act as a defacto ban on firearm purchases for the people that get trapped up in delayed status by the NICS system. In short, she’s encouraging states to remove the little due process we do have.

The press release ends off with:

The passage of the Background Check Point of Contact Act of 2021 would allow for safer gun sales and transfers to occur by closing the loopholes in the current background check system.

I’m not quite sure how this bill, if it were law, would “allow for safer gun sales and transfers”, but that does look good on paper at least. Credit should be given where credit is due though; Dean did not try to expressly twist and exploit some high profile terroristic shooting to fit her narrative, and I suppose we could give her another point for not calling the legislation “commonsense”. Aside from the legislation being an asinine attempt to have states do the dirty work the current congress cannot do, Dean’s argumentation lacks panache. Perhaps some of the lawmakers are realizing people are tired of their re-treaded rhetoric.