How Everytown’s background check law impedes firearms safety training and self-defense

Posted: November 4, 2015 by gamegetterII in anti-gun asshattery
Tags: , , , , , , ,

How Everytown’s background check law impedes firearms safety training and self-defense

November 2
Today, many gun control advocates are pushing for what they call universal background checks. In this and future articles, I will explain the strange system of “universal background checks” being promoted by Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety lobby. These laws  severely obstruct ordinary activities that do not involve gun sales, such as self-defense and firearms safety training.

Laws based on the Bloomberg system have been enacted in Colorado, Oregon and Washington. They will be on the ballot in 2016 in Nevada, and perhaps in Maine. A similar law (Fix Gun Checks Act, S. 374) has been repeatedly proposed federally by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

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.

Self-defense

How does this affect the Second Amendment’s “core lawful purpose of self-defense”? (D.C. v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 630 (2008)). Under the Bloomberg federal model, there is no allowance for lending a firearm to a citizen in case of emergency. S. 374, § 202(2) (exceptions only for family gifts, inheritances, transfers in the home, and for “hunting or sporting purposes” with various limitations).

Under the proposed Nevada initiative, a firearm may be lent if the loan is “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” and the loan “lasts only so long as immediately necessary to prevent such imminent death or great bodily harm.” Whatever “imminent” means, the loan is allowed only as long as “immediately necessary.”

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