The Hidden Danger of Universal Background Checks

From The Truth About Guns:

Robert Farago
November 1, 2016

Mark Bruscke writes: I anticipate an insidious threat from so-called Universal Background Check (UBC) laws requiring that all firearms sales and transfers be subject to an FBI background check. UBC’s generate ATF 4473 forms for each transfer. These paper forms remain in an Federal Firearms Licensee’s (FFL or legal gun dealer’s) possession and as entries in the FFL’s “Bound-Book.” That’s the only way they’re available to law enforcement in the course of an investigation.

Set aside the much-touted, unproven proposition that UBC’s prevent firearms sales and transfers to prohibited persons. Consider the fact that the new laws does nothing to aid criminal investigations and everything to pave the way for greater infringement on Americans’ gun rights.

That’s because the current Form 4473-based system is entirely ineffective for tracing a “crime-gun” to the last buyer in the secondary, legal market. Yes, the feds know which dealer sold a given gun initially. But, by law, the feds can’t maintain an electronic record of FBI NICS checks information. Any and all records of any and all secondary transfers are in paper form only, stored at the gun dealers’ premises and recorded in their “Bound-Book.”

Even if a “crime gun” was the subject of a secondary “universal background check,” law enforcement looking to track-down the transferee would have to know which FFL last officiated in the last secondary-market transfer. Again, under the current system, they can’t know this information without searching the dealers Bound-Book and/or countless Form 4473’s.

A couple of years after Congress mandates a federal UBC, gun control advocates will be shocked – SHOCKED I tell you – to discover that tracing secondary market firearms transfers is impossible without ONE MORE change: a new law requiring FFLs to computerize their Bound-Book records. Much like the legislation that now compels medical doctors to computerize their patient records.

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