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Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:50 PM

This seems like an absurdly easy way to achieve universal background checks on gun purchases

Make a Federal Firearms Operator's License. Go to the ATF office, give them a passport photo and $50 (or whatever). They verify your identity, run the background checks, maybe administer a safety/handling test, whatever else. In a few weeks (bureaucracy being what it is) you get a Federal Firearms Operator's License Card in the mail.

Now when the gun store owner or the private seller want to sell you something, they just have to call a number or go to a website and check that your license hasn't been revoked, and you're clear. Also, the range can demand to see it before they let you shoot, and if the police find a weapon in your home they can ask for that license from you (not that it's necessarily required, to have one in your home, but it would be presumptive evidence that you legally acquired it).

Registration scares some gun owners; I don't agree with that fear but I understand that it is there. This isn't registration. The government still has no idea how many guns you own, just that you have been found competent to own them if you choose to.

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Reply This seems like an absurdly easy way to achieve universal background checks on gun purchases (Original post)
Recursion Feb 2013 OP
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #1
Recursion Feb 2013 #2
DainBramaged Feb 2013 #3
nick of time Feb 2013 #25
Kalidurga Feb 2013 #4
nick of time Feb 2013 #5
JohnnyBoots Feb 2013 #6
nick of time Feb 2013 #7
Recursion Feb 2013 #8
Swede Atlanta Feb 2013 #9
Recursion Feb 2013 #10
nick of time Feb 2013 #11
Recursion Feb 2013 #12
Duckhunter935 Feb 2013 #14
nick of time Feb 2013 #15
Recursion Feb 2013 #18
nick of time Feb 2013 #19
Duckhunter935 Feb 2013 #13
Recursion Feb 2013 #16
nick of time Feb 2013 #17
Recursion Feb 2013 #20
nick of time Feb 2013 #21
hack89 Feb 2013 #22
Recursion Feb 2013 #24
hack89 Feb 2013 #32
Recursion Feb 2013 #33
hack89 Feb 2013 #34
kudzu22 Feb 2013 #23
Recursion Feb 2013 #26
kudzu22 Feb 2013 #30
Recursion Feb 2013 #31
CreekDog Feb 2013 #27
Recursion Feb 2013 #28
ecstatic Feb 2013 #29
hack89 Feb 2013 #35
Recursion Feb 2013 #39
Daninmo Feb 2013 #37
elleng Feb 2013 #36
Recursion Feb 2013 #38
elleng Feb 2013 #40
nick of time Feb 2013 #41
elleng Feb 2013 #42
nick of time Feb 2013 #43
Duckhunter935 Feb 2013 #47
galileoreloaded Feb 2013 #44
Recursion Feb 2013 #45
galileoreloaded Feb 2013 #48
TheKentuckian Feb 2013 #46
galileoreloaded Feb 2013 #49

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:53 PM

1. Once the license is issued, scan the bar code like a lottery ticket machine does

takes seconds to see it it's revoked. If they can do it with millions of lottery numbers, they can do it with gun licences.

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Response to DainBramaged (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:55 PM

2. Sure, gun stores could definitely have that

And gun shows could set up kiosks with those scanners. And some guy selling his old shotgun at a yard sale, who didn't have the scanner, could just make an automated call or go to a website, enter in the FFOL ID off the card, and be told "yes" or "no".

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Response to Recursion (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 02:57 PM

3. It ain't hard. All the gun dealer needs is a phone line or internet connection.

AND he can CHARGE a coupe of bucks for the check too, covers the cost of the equipment.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:40 PM

25. Or if they have those new scanners

 

that are used on smartphones for transaction, they could swipe the barcode on the license and walla, sale or no sale.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:02 PM

4. Makes too much sense.

So, as an idea it is most likely doomed.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:04 PM

5. I like it.

 

I think that's kinda like the IL. FOID card is set up.
Nice post.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:08 PM

6. Brilliant.

 

I really like that idea and think it could work. I suggest you try and get it out into the real world and see if it gains any traction. The only issue that I could see with this is the ATF being a dick and not issuing as they should or putting a cap on the number of permits issued per year or something.

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Response to JohnnyBoots (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:11 PM

7. Congress could address that in the new law.

 

ATF would have to follow the law as written and passed and signed into law by President Obama.
All in all, it's a brilliant idea, that's why the NRA would oppose it.

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Response to JohnnyBoots (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:11 PM

8. There's that, and there's always privacy issues

But I think there are ways to deal with that. The law can specify that it must be issued if the applicant meets whatever the criteria are. And there can be HIPPA-like safeguards on the information in the database itself.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:14 PM

9. Unless each gun carries a registration similar to a vehicle this will fail....

 

That is the way it should be treated....each gun has a title/license which, in order to transfer ownership you must follow the same steps as for a car. Similarly there should be an annual registration for all firearms.

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Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:17 PM

10. I don't see why that is required for this to help

I'm personally all for complete titling and registration of all firearms, but there's some very serious pushback from a lot of gun owners on that.

But even if cars weren't registered, drivers licenses would be helpful; I think the same thing applies here.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:19 PM

11. And your idea is pretty much what that is

 

a drivers license for a firearm.
I really like this idea, you should forward you idea to your congresscritter.

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Response to nick of time (Reply #11)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:22 PM

12. I am drafting a letter for my (non-voting) Congresswoman. People who don't live in DC...

... will have more pull here.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:24 PM

14. taxation

without representation, got to love it.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:24 PM

15. If you don't mind

 

I'd like to use your idea and send it to my congresscritters. Of course, I'll reference your user name as the originator.

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Response to nick of time (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:26 PM

18. No need for credit; I think this is a good idea and I'd love to see it implemented

Feel free to suggest this; that goes for anybody.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:27 PM

19. Thanks.

 

I'll send your proposal to every one of my congresscritters.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:23 PM

13. Yes, good idea

As a start I would make it voluntary (less push back). If you have the license it would expedite the background requirement. I would go further and have type license. IE revolver, semi-auto pistol, shotgun, bolt action, semi_auto rifle. All other sales would have to be completed via FFL dealer or a new type license just to cover individual sales.

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Response to Duckhunter935 (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:25 PM

16. I like that, too: start it, at least, as just a simplification rather than a requirement

All current options stay in place, but the ATF is offering this as an expedited way for everybody to know that all the relevant ducks are in a row.

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Response to Duckhunter935 (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:25 PM

17. Isn't it amazing what honest and sane

 

people can come up with when the extremists on both sides stay out of it?

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Response to nick of time (Reply #17)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:30 PM

20. Unfortunately solutions hurt lobbyists of any stripe

That's the biggest problem with K street: the various groups perversely need the exact problems they are chartered to combat.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #20)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:32 PM

21. True.

 

And somehow this problem has to be dealt with also. You seem to come up with good ideas, maybe you have some ideas on this problem.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:36 PM

22. What gives the Federal governement the power to do that?

I seriously doubt they can do such a thing - I would like to see what Constitutional power you think could be invoked.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #22)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:39 PM

24. Power to pre-clear people? The same thing that currently gives them power to clear them in real-time

I'm not envisioning this as being a requirement for owning or buying a gun, just as a very simple way to prove that you are currently eligible to do both of those things. If a gun dealer wishes to continue with the current system, he's free to.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #24)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:52 PM

32. NICS is a requirement levied on FFLs

the Feds used their power under the commerce clause to regulate interstate commerce. Nearly every Federal gun control legislation revolves around the commerce clause - that is why the AWB is really a ban on manufacturing and sales. It is why the NFA is really a taxation scheme.

My question is about the Constitutional underpinnings of your plan. Where does the Constitution give the power for the Federal government to require a private citizen to obtain a license to exercise a civil liberty?

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Response to hack89 (Reply #32)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:55 PM

33. The war on drugs is a taxation scheme, too

that cocaine being sold is illegal because it doesn't have a tax stamp.

Where does the Constitution give the power for the Federal government to require a private citizen to obtain a license to exercise a civil liberty?

Nowhere, which is why this doesn't do that. It will still be legal to buy and own firearms without this license, but with this license both the dealer and any LEOs you run into will be able to presume that you are in fact eligible to possess that weapon. This is just a nationalization of the same logic by which many states say if you have a CCW, we don't need to run the standard full background check.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #33)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:03 PM

34. Nearly all drug prosecutions are state prosecutions

there are very few federal prosecutions.

The federal government convinced the states to implement state drug laws based on federal laws.

If your scheme is purely voluntary and there is no penalty for not complying then it could be legal. I certainly would have no interest in though - I don't see any advantage to me.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:39 PM

23. I like it, in principle

But it's not universal. There would be no mechanism for catching sellers that did not follow the rules. Licensees would have to be required to keep a book of all weapons bought and sold, and would have to allow ATF to raid your house to check your book with no prior announcement, just like they do for FFL dealers.

I think you're part way there, just needs to be thought all the way through.

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Response to kudzu22 (Reply #23)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:42 PM

26. No, it's not universal, but it's wider

There would be no mechanism for catching sellers that did not follow the rules.

No, and that's no worse a situation than there is now. This would let the guy selling his shotgun at a yard sale at least do *some form* of background check, while currently he can do none.

Licensees would have to be required to keep a book of all weapons bought and sold, and would have to allow ATF to raid your house to check your book with no prior announcement, just like they do for FFL dealers.

I don't see why. This isn't a registration of firearms, and doesn't try to be. This is simply a licensing that verifies that the person satisfies the Federal requirements for purchasing a firearm.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:50 PM

30. I agree it would be better

It's like the FOID system in Illinois. But even with a FOID we still have to have a background check every time we buy from an FFL. I think if we had a national FOID card like you propose, combined with opening the NICS system to private sellers, that would make a big difference in terms of stopping sales that shouldn't go through.

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Response to kudzu22 (Reply #30)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:52 PM

31. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking of

This does presume we find a way to pressure the states to keep the databases up to date. And obviously it doesn't stop the fence in the back alley from selling a stolen pistol to a drug dealer, but literally nothing stops that. This is a way to standardize and extend to as much of private sales as possible our national check system.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:44 PM

27. gun registration shouldn't scare gun owners any more than car registration scares car owners

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:46 PM

28. I don't think it should either. Machine guns have been registered for 80 years...

... and haven't been confiscated.

That said, it does. This is a way to make the results of background checks more widely available, without requiring the registration of any guns.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 03:49 PM

29. Good idea. Maybe it could be an optional add-on when renewing car registration,

license, or passport. "Would you like to pay an additional $50 to get an FFOL card?" Or do you think that would encourage more people to buy guns? I think it is good to do it that way because circumstances can change so quickly (example: a woman has a dangerous ex that the courts refuse to lock up, etc.).

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:05 PM

35. As long as it is purely voluntary with no penalty for saying no. nt

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Response to hack89 (Reply #35)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:10 PM

39. Right. There would still be a NICS system

And you could still use it. States would now have a rubric for regulating private sales if they choose to (many would say "private sales are only legal to a licensee", others would not).

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:09 PM

37. Might work

It could be set up like several states already have in place. If you have a Carry conceal license and show it then you don't need to do the background (NICS) check. This could also be used for voter ID. Both constitutional rights.

OK, I am being sarcastic, but that is the approach many pro gun people with take.

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Response to elleng (Reply #36)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:09 PM

38. Hey, I have been shouting that from the rooftops

We need about 10 times the manpower and 20 times the money at the ATF than we currently have.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #38)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:14 PM

40. And a CHAIR, with authority,

NOT an agency whose role has been undermined by NRA's manipulation.

How Republicans and the NRA Kneecapped the ATF
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/atf-obama-gun-reform-control-alcohol-tobacco-firearms

Good that you've been shouting that.

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Response to elleng (Reply #40)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:17 PM

41. I agree

 

the BATFE need a director like yesterday, much better funding and more agents.

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Response to elleng (Reply #42)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:20 PM

43. Thanks.

 

I'll read this later.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #38)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:32 PM

47. Same here

but some fail to hear that part from us

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 04:39 PM

44. Would that have stopped Lanza?

 

Just wondering.

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Response to galileoreloaded (Reply #44)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:27 PM

45. I've never thought mass shootings should be what we "aim" at, personally

And, the answer is probably no.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #45)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:54 PM

48. The answer is in fact no

 

and it would do nothing.

Results.

Complete ban and confiscation get results.

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Response to galileoreloaded (Reply #44)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 05:31 PM

46. Legislation is not a magic spell. Almost no matter what is done would not eliminate the risk

Even the countries with the most stringent gun control have the occasional outburst and even if it was possible to replicate the laws you'd have hundreds of millions of firearms in the country and the same culture and it isn't possible.

If that is your measurement then you will know nothing but failure and before long you will find yourself in a fringe from a majority in no time flat. Support for some measures does not even roughly approximate the required position to make that dream come true and even that wouldn't actually cross the bar set in reality. Substantial reduction in the number but 100% stop forever??? Probably not.

Of course even magic level gun control may well have not stopped Lanza from slaughtering as many (or even more) kids. Even without a single gun but with the same intent and commitment the children may have still ended up dead. Some methods may have meant more dead and more injuries while others may have had more survivors but more injuries. There is no way to know for certain.

What we can do is continue to make strides against violence. The greatest impacts would come from ending the drug war, decreasing poverty, increasing opportunity, cease making mental health care stigmatized and start making it readily available without shame or blacklisting, and changing the women as property mentality.

You fix the broad strokes and hope anomalies are either reduced holistically or become the primary driver of violence which would mean a very widely peaceable and safe society.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #46)

Sun Feb 3, 2013, 10:55 PM

49. Brother, the events you are attempting to broad stroke

 

ARE the anomalies.

We are smarter than this.

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