Gun Control Facts: DMV Could Issue Instant Background Checks For Gun Buyers
I am concerned that legislative proposals regarding instant background checks for all firearm transfers will lead to problems.
First, any nationwide "per transaction" instant background check system and its attendant database establishes de facto gun registration by creating a computerized record linking law abiding citizens to specific firearms.
Second, such record information is currently private. Someone making a record inquiry regarding an acquaintance could abuse the system and then simply cancel the fake proposed transfer once the information was obtained.
Third, the instant background check system would allow the government instant arbitrary authority to prohibit gun transfers by simply switching off the data server. No background check = no transfer. By issuing an executive order or by a bureaucratic whim, prohibition can occur with the flip of a switch. The current National Instant Background Check System (NICS) has already suffered temporary outages that resulted in blocked transfers despite regulations stating that in case of system outage, transfers can be allowed to proceed. If it can happen by accident, it can happen on purpose.
Although I am against background checks for transferring private property on Constitutional and privacy grounds, if some compromise must be made, I propose the following.
Any citizen that wishes to be authorized to buy or sell firearms would simply pay a nominal fee to have a computerized instant background check run at his local DMV. They would then have their driver's license or state issued ID card stamped indicating they had passed the required check for authorization to engage in a firearms transaction. This participation would be absolutely voluntary and prevent fraudulent record checks, protecting the privacy of people who do not wish to participate.
A new record check could be run every time the license or ID came up for renewal.
After that, anyone engaging in a private firearm transfer would be required to record and maintain the driver's license information of both parties involved on a standardized form (similar to BATF 4473) with appropriate penalties for failure to comply. Retail firearms dealers would still be required to use a NICS check on the system currently in place, but in case of system outage they would follow the individual transfer protocol.
In case of a crime, standard-tracing procedures, currently in place, would ultimately lead to the citizens’ transaction form, absent government snooping into the lawful behavior of its citizens.
If you think this idea, or some version of this idea, might be workable, I suggest you make your wishes known to your senators and representatives.
Whatever the outcome, whatever your position, this issue is too important to allow them to proceed without our direct input.