One of the two measures that Democrats are pushing to be passed in the Senate is universal background checks. The other is red flag orders. A lot of digital ink has been spilled at this site on both of those topics and, I suspect, still more will be spilled in the near future. After all, we’re still far from done with this nonsense.
However, universal background checks comes with a big fear for a lot of gun owners. They fear that such a system would turn into some form of gun registration.
Sen. Chris Murphy, a notorious anti-gunner from Connecticut, swears that it won’t.
Sen. Chris Murphy assured gun owners that a universal background check law will not lead to a registry of firearms.
Gun rights advocates say that in order for universal background checks to be effective, a gun registry of some kind will be needed in order for law enforcement to check against to ensure the firearm was bought in accordance with the law.
“Law enforcement is able to trace gun sales, today, without a registry,” Murphy said after his remarks at the “2020 Gun Safety Forum” on Wednesday.
“Right now guns are traced back through the manufacture. The problem is when a gun is sold through the secondary market without a background check, you lose the ability to be able to trace that gun,” the Connecticut Democrat continued. “So the importance of applying background checks to private sales and the gun show sales is, first and foremost, to make sure that we don’t sell guns to criminals and people who are seriously mentally ill, but also to make sure that we can trace back crime guns more effectively.”
Murphy said the government does not need an “online registry” in order to enforce universal background checks, pointing to his support of the 2013 Manchin-Toomey bill, where there would be penalties if authorities created a registry.
“And I would imagine in order to get Republican support for a background checks bill this year or next year, you’re gonna also have to create some assurances that there’s not going to be a national registry,” he said.
The problem is, he’s wrong.
First of all, there are so many guns in circulation that have been bought and sold in the secondary market that no one has a clue where most of these guns actually are. As it stands there are a number of people who prefer to buy from those markets for a variety of reasons, all of them lawful. There’s just too many to believe you can enforce those laws without knowing where every gun is.
If Joe has a number of guns he bought from someone else directly and universal background checks go into effect, he can still sell to Bob without anyone knowing about this illegal transfer. Murphy’s claim that the authorities somehow will is absolute nonsense and anyone with half a brain knows it.
Second, the fact that there will be a paper trail for who owns what is, by its very nature, a registry. Universal background checks would, over time, create a record of just where every single gun in the country is. All that would be necessary moving forward to create a formal registry is to just dictate that the records need to be centrally stored rather than kept at with the FFL.
Murphy cannot guarantee that will never happen.
“Oh, but there would be penalties if one was created.”
Not if Congress did it. Those penalties prevent agencies from creating a registry, but it does nothing to prevent Congress from passing a law that simply takes universal background checks from a de facto registry to a formal registry. If it did, they could just pass a law nullifying those penalties in the process. With a friendly president in the White House–and sooner or later, there will be one–it’s a slam dunk.
Murphy can’t promise that will never happen. His attempts to do so? Lies. What’s worse is that the knows it.
You see, he’s trying to sell this legislation because it’s simply the next increment. He won’t stop here. He doesn’t want to stop here. He wants to keep adding gun control regulations bit by bit until there’s no real way to exercise your right to keep and bear arms. There might be the possibility of using a gun to hunt and maybe a handful of people will be able to keep a pistol in their homes for self-defense, but that’s it.
This is nothing more than a stepping stone toward that future for Murphy.
Meanwhile, there’s absolutely nothing being offered gun rights supporters in return. There’s no compromise except false assurances that there won’t be a registry.
If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.