4 years, 2 months ago
Here are my own thoughts. A ban on private sales will be unenforceable in the near future, since guns being found will have been initially sold before its effective date, and thus a lawful private transfer before the ban went into effect cannot be ruled out.
But even after, say, ten years pass, the ban will still be unenforceable in practice unless Congress also either:
1) Enacts national firearm registration, requiting FFLs to report all sales so they can be placed in a national database, and requires such reporting backdated to the effective date of the private sales ban, or
2) Makes firearm possession illegal, period, providing for a defense if the gun owner can prove they bought the gun before before the effective date of the ban, or bought it from an FFL after the ban.
Visit Dave’s site for the rest. He is making a legal and technical point, one that I have seen before. Perhaps he’s right, but be warned. First of all, I am concerned about prosecutorial overreach and discretion. But second, holes in any universal background check law can be plugged in the future once the basic framework is constructed.
Finally, here is the most serious warning. I work with the federal government on at least a semi-regular basis, and when not, I am doing things that follow federal regulation, even though highly technical (the specific nature of what I do is not the subject and won’t be discussed).
For most people who never work with federal agencies and departments, ignorance is bliss. But for those who do, they know that the nasty little secret about the federal government has to do with lawmaking by regulation.
Laws are passed by the Senate and Congress. But after laws pass, thousands of lawyers inside the beltway go to work writing regulations based on those laws, or not, using the law as a pretext for further regulation that Congress didn’t specifically intend. At times, Congress has even had to pass laws undoing regulations because the regulations don’t meet the intent of the law, and yet the executive branch won’t stop enforcing that regulation (or class of regulations).
Regulation is passed merely by entering them into the federal register, allowing a waiting time for public comments (which are nothing but a chance afforded to the authors of the regulations to ignore them or write sarcastic rebuttals), and then after the waiting period, it takes on the force of law including prosecution, fines and imprisonment for failure to follow them.
This happens every day, all over the nation, and in the DOT, NRC, EPA, DOJ, ATF, DHS, and other departments and agencies that the reader cannot even name and didn’t know existed. Any law giving the executive branch the authority to further regulate firearms will be an opportunity for abuse, overreach and exploitation.
Take it from someone who has seen it. Don’t trust the Leviathan. It is a monster and it has monstrous intentions.