Over at The Federalist the other day, Ryan Checkner had a article listing the Top 9 Reasons Democrats' Latest Bill is a Terrible Idea (Again). It is hard to know whether anyone actually believes that these bills will do anything proponents say, or whether Democrats are simply pandering to their base.
So, what are the 9 reasons? Well, the first is a dozy: that proposing yet another gun control bill is an admission that gun control doesn't work.
Background checks are used to ensure that a potential firearm possessor is not one of a class of “prohibited persons” who are prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law. This class includes felons, fugitives, those subject to certain restraining orders, those convicted of crimes of domestic violence, and more.
This means current gun control laws already make it illegal for these people to possess a firearm. Requiring more background checks is an admission that the current law prohibiting these people from possessing firearms is not enough to prevent their possession. This is true for all gun-control laws, because if we know one thing about criminals, it’s this: they do not care if they break the law.
Of course, gun dealers already conduct background checks, as many new gun buyers are finding out. It isn't true, in fact, that it is easier to buy a gun that buying a car, or a book, or...And there is no "gun show loophole," because gun dealers must run a background check even at gun shows. Oh, and there is no "on-line loophole" either, because gun dealers must run a background check before they turn over a weapon to a customer. Yes, you can pay for it on-line. But it must be shipped to a local dealer, who will run...oh you get the idea. You should go read Checkner's article for the rest.
I wanted to highlight number 9 of the reasons, though. Universal background checks set up the ability of government to create a database of gun owners and their weapons. It's another terrible idea:
It is currently illegal for the federal government to maintain a database of ownership of standard firearms (not including silencers, machine guns, etc. that require an FFL to have an “SOT License”). There is a good reason for this ban on a federal gun registry: a tyrannical government can only confiscate firearms if it first knows where they are all located.
Although a registry is not mentioned in the bill, it is a logical conclusion. After all, how could such a universal background check law ever be enforced absent a national gun registry showing who passed a background check, when, and for which particular firearms?
Go read Checkner's article for a good read.