Dave Kopel has a great piece over on the Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blog that details just what so-called “universal” background checks mean for safety training and self-defense. Make no mistake, the gun ban lobby’s version of background checks is not what most people think of when the term is used:
The Bloomberg system applies to every firearms “transfer.” In normal firearms law, a “transfer” means “a permanent exchange of title or possession and does not include gratuitous temporary exchanges or loans.” Chow v. State. 393 Md. 431, 473, 903 A.2d 388, 413 (2006).
However, the Bloomberg laws create a very different definition. For example, the Washington state law says that “ ‘Transfer’ means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.” Rev. Code Wash. § 9.41.010(25). In other words, it applies to sharing a gun while target shooting on one’s own property, or to lending a gun to a neighbor for a weekend hunting trip.
Under the Bloomberg system, transfers may take place only at a gun store. The transfer must be conducted exactly as if the retailer were selling a firearm out of her inventory. So the transferee (the neighbor borrowing the hunting gun) must fill out ATF Form 4473; the retailer must contact the FBI or its state counterpart for a background check on the transferee; and then, the retailer must take custody of the gun and record the acquisition in her Acquisition and Disposition book. Finally, the retailer hands the gun to the transferee and records the disposition in her Acquisition and Disposition book. A few days later, after the hunting trip is over, the process must be repeated for the neighbor to return the gun to the owner; this time, the owner will be the “transferee,” who will fill out Form 4473 and undergo the background check.
Kopel goes on to explain why this is bad for self-defense and safety training. Read the entire article and file it for use when explaining why we oppose this move by the gun ban lobby.