Three lawmakers are quietly pushing legislation that would require law-abiding citizens to go a Federal Firearms License holder (FFL) and undergo a background check before one individual sells a gun to another individual.
In other words, the private gun sales that Americans have enjoyed since 1791–the year the Second Amendment was ratified–would be abolished and replaced with a requirement that buyers and sellers meet with an agent of the state and get permission before a gun can change hands. Ironically, it is through this very means of firearm acquirement–background checks–that almost every mass attacker gets his or her gun.
For example, here are just a few of the mass pubic attackers who acquired their guns via background checks:
- the New York City bombing suspect (September 19)
- the Orlando attacker (June 12)
- the UCLA gunman (June 1)
- the San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015)
- the Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015)
- the Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015)
- Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015)
- the Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015)
- the Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015)
- the alleged Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015)
- the Muhammad Carton Contest attackers (May 3, 2014)
- the Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015)
- the Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014)
- the Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014)
- the Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013)
- the D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013)
- the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012)
- Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011)
- the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
- the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007), and many, many others.
But despite the evidence that background checks pose no deterrent to determined attackers, New Mexico senators Richard C. Martinez (D-5) and Peter Wirth (D-25) are pushing SB48 to require law-abiding citizens to undergo background checks before selling a gun to a friend, neighbor, or co-worker. They are joined in this effort by state representative Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-43). Richard is sponsoring HB50, a House bill to require universal background checks for law-abiding citizens.
In their benevolence, the Democrats make a few exceptions so a handful of private sales can go forward. Those include, but are limited to, sales: “(1) between family members; (2) by or to a firearm dealer; (3) by or to a law enforcement agency; (4) by or to a law enforcement officer, a member of the armed forces or a level three security gurard licensed pursuant to Section 61-27B-15 NMSA 1978, if the officer, member or security guard is acting within the course and scope of employment and official duties.”
It is ironic that the Orlando Pulse attacker was a licensed security guard in the state of Florida, and he also had a “statewide firearms license.” So if Florida had the exact same law that the Democrats are proposing in New Mexico, it would have done nothing to hinder the attack nor to prevent the attacker from acquiring his guns. He would have complied with all gun control, then killed 49 people, just as he did on June 12, 2016.
The point has already been made, but it warrants repetition–universal background checks do not prevent determined attackers from acquiring the guns they need to carry out public attacks. They never have and they never will. However, such checks do make it more burdensome for law-abiding citizens to acquire the guns they need for self-defense.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.