Alan Gottlieb: Background Checks Are a ‘Stalking Horse’ Toward Gun Registration, Ultimate Ban

Andrea Schry, right, fills out the buyer part of legal forms to buy a handgun as shop work
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

In the wake of horrible shooting incidents in Buffalo, New York, Uvalde, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma, the gun prohibition lobby and their friends on Capitol Hill have resorted to the same rhetoric and brought out the same agenda they’ve been promoting for a long time.

Chief among items on the gun control wish list are “expanded background checks.” But the killers in Uvalde, Buffalo, and Tulsa all passed background checks for their guns. That much is indisputable because all three purchased their firearms at retail. Just how much more detailed or invasive can a background check be in order to satisfy the people whose ultimate goal is not gun safety, but gun prohibition?

“Expanded background checks” is a stalking horse talking point for the creation of a gun registry that anti-Second Amendment activists can use to ban firearms. And by the time they get around to doing that, they will know who has the guns.

Joe Biden and other proponents of “expanded background checks” use the phrase as though the country does not now have background checks, yet the U.S. has had background checks on retail gun purchases since 1998.

Biden is the man who repeatedly claims the Second Amendment, when written, never allowed people to own cannons, when in fact they could. He has been called out on this canard by the Washington Post Fact Checker, yet he insists on perpetuating what amounts to his own urban legend.

More recently, his gaffe about how a 9mm bullet “blows the lung out of the body” was just another example of Biden’s fundamental ignorance about firearms, and people trust him to establish gun policy. Seriously?

We have already watched “expanded background checks” lead to gun registration in California, and that appears to have been by design, as proponents of gun bans were unlikely to achieve their goals all at once. But if they carefully erode Second Amendment rights rather than try crushing them all at once, theoretically they will be able to lull the public into accepting just a slight inconvenience time after time until a right has become a privilege regulated into the wastebasket of history.

Gun owners and politicians faithful to the Second Amendment must remain on alert and resist these notions of invasive “expanded background checks.”

Gun owners should regard “expanded background checks” as a code name for federal gun registration.

Alan Gottlieb is founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.


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