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Defacto Registration for Private-Party Gun Sales: 
Why Background Checks for Individuals Selling Personal Firearms at Gun Shows is Bad Legislation

By Bob Templeton
President, National Association of Arms Shows

The Lautenberg Bill, the McCain-Lieberman bill and the Dingell bill all are a direct attack on the lawful gun owners of America. The bills all purport to be "reasonable legislation" to control individual collectors and gun owners who may want to buy, sell or trade a firearm at a gun show. The real motivation behind these bills is to restrict and regulate the gun shows in a step-by-step incremental procedure which will quickly lead to California-type restrictive gun laws. 

"What the Democrats and liberal Republicans in the Congress really want to do is restrict and eventually eliminate gun shows because they are a gathering place for people to assemble and share their views on the Second Amendment."

In California, every gun transfer must be processed by a licensed dealer and the government must approve any gun buyer. The buyer must wait ten days for government approval to purchase any firearm. Even neighbors of thirty years or more may not buy or sell a gun to each other without government approval. What this and all other legislation is to regulate activities at gun shows is about is restricting lawful Americans' access to firearms. 

What the Democrats and liberal Republicans in the Congress really want to do is restrict and eventually eliminate gun shows because they are a gathering place for people to assemble and share their views on the Second Amendment. Gun shows are viewed by the advocates of gun control as the places where gun owners gather and mobilize like-minded people to oppose gun control. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, and the Second Amendment protects our right to keep and bear arms. These restrictive bills would deny lawful gun owners both Constitutional freedoms.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms' own statistics confirm that less than two percent of all guns used in crimes can be traced to gun shows.

In order to obtain new guns from manufacturers and wholesalers you must be a federally licensed firearms dealer. Individuals may not, under any circumstances, obtain new guns for resale from these sources. This leaves only the few collectors and individuals who may sell used guns from their personal collections as the persons who will be impacted by this proposed law. It is simply the first step in the liberal Democrat agenda to require the defacto registration and, ultimately, licensing of all gun owners. Schemes such as the ones currently being considered by the U.S. Congress serve only to lay the groundwork for further invasive government action to register, license and eventually confiscate all privately-held firearms in America.

There is a very real potential for serious privacy violations if any of these repressive bills is enacted into law. In California, where individuals may not sell a firearm to another individual without conducting a background check through a licensed dealer, the story is told of a father who wanted to know more about the young man his daughter was dating. He offered to pay a licensed dealer to conduct a background check on his daughter’s friend, even though there was no firearm sale or exchange involved. If individuals have access to the Federal N.I.C.S. System, there will be nothing to stop these kinds of privacy abuses.

Before we subject law-abiding collectors and gun owners to this kind of intrusive government activity, we should insist that local, state and federal prosecutors aggressively prosecute felons, particularly violent felons, who attempt to buy a gun and are denied through a federal Brady check. Only when these known felons understand if they attempt to buy a gun or if they are found in possession of a gun they will go to prison, will we be able to keep guns out of their hands.

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How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual... as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of. — Representative Suzanna Gratia Hupp (TX)

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