Is Biden Attempting Backdoor Gun Registration?

Steve Helber

Gun registration is a significant concern for most gun owners. It’s one of those “line in the sand” kind of moments where people are ready to go to war–figuratively, if nothing else–to prevent it from happening. A lot have decided that’s the moment they stop being law-abiding gun owners.

It’s kind of a big deal.

After all, gun registration is a necessary step for gun confiscation. You can’t take what you don’t know about, after all.

Yet one columnist is concerned that President Joe Biden is instituting a backdoor registration scheme.

Liberals have long harbored a dream of implementing a federal database of gun owners.

For example, 55 years ago, Pete Shields, chairman of the National Council to Control Handguns, told the New Yorker in an interview that getting all handguns registered in some form was the bridge between slowing sales of such firearms and then outlawing their possession.

A decade after that comment, President Ronald Reagan slammed the door on that idea.

Reagan signed the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act in 1986. The law contained a clause that said no rule or regulation “may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established.”

Yet the Biden administration has once again found a way to skirt federal law to pursue a left-wing, and likely unconstitutional, policy.

The conservative Washington Free Beacon recently reported that in the past year, the Biden administration has “stockpiled the records of more than 54 million U.S. gun owners and is poised to drastically alter gun regulations to ensure that information on Americans who own firearms ultimately ends up in the federal government’s hands.”

The source for that claim was internal records compiled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

At the heart of the concern is the requirement that if an FFL closes up shop, they’re required to send all their records to the ATF, who then holds onto those records indefinitely.

These are the records used to trace firearms recovered at crime scenes.

The issue is that the number of records being retained seems way too high, all things considered.

Is there reason to be concerned? Well, yeah.

While we all have filled out Form 4473s prior to purchasing firearms from a licensed dealer, my concern has always been that such records represent a grave threat to our gun rights. It’s not the document itself that bothers me, but the fact that these records are required to be kept for a minimum of 20 years and, if the gun store closes, all those records must be sent to the ATF who apparently retains them indefinitely.

Despite laws against gun registration, this still represents something of a de facto registry…but only to a point.

The fact that I can buy and sell guns from individuals or build my own firearms negates the utility of this de facto registry to a significant degree. That’s part of why universal background checks are so concerning for me. That, coupled with a ban on so-called ghost guns and the United States government will end up with records as to just who owns what firearms.

That’s a registry.

“But they only have to send them in if the store closes,” someone might argue, and they’re not wrong. However, most gun stores are small businesses. Do you know the lifespan of the average small business? About eight and a half years. That means the vast majority of these records are going to end up in the ATF’s hands.

And with a push to digitize these records, you just get that much more fun.

But it should be noted that this is nothing new. These requirements have been there for a while now, and they’ve always been concerning. What elevates this to problematic levels is the anti-gun campaign rhetoric of Joe Biden.

No one is remotely interested in trusting him with records pointing him to who has what guns for some silly reason.

Nov 26, 2021 10:30 AM ET