WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 18, 2019) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) published a new Policy Memorandum addressing gun control proposals contained in a new document captioned “Idea for New Unlicensed-Commercial-Sale Background Checks”. FPC’s Policy Memorandum is available online at FPCPolicy.org.

The “Idea” document was first reported by The Daily Caller’s White House Correspondent, Amber Athey, in her story entitled “EXCLUSIVE: Here’s The Document The White House, [Attorney General] Barr Are Using To Push Gun Control On Republicans,” earlier today.

The “idea sheet circulating among Republican members” was reported to have been designed to “shop legislation on expanding background checks consistent with the Manchin-Toomey” gun control bill and “expand background checks to include all commercially advertised unlicensed sales.” The proposals in the document include creating a new class of “licensed transfer agents” and two new forms (“Bill of Sale/Chain of Title” and “New Form/Certification”), in effect a back-door, nationwide firearm registry, in order to force those engaged in the “commercial sale of firearms” to comply with the record keeping requirements of the existing Gun Control Act. But those who sell guns commercially must already comply with the Gun Control Act, regulations, and state and local laws, including by performing background checks.

“As we show, the ‘Idea’ document starts and finishes on a foundation of ignorance and nonsense. It has all the substantive value of a scrawling on a discarded bar napkin and poses neither novel nor meritorious solutions,” said FPC Director of Legal Policy, Matthew Larosiere. 

“It is vague and appears to regulate conduct that is already illegal. And if it were enacted and enforced, it would result in the creation of a back-door nation-wide gun registry. And these constitutional and policy problems come without any countervailing benefit to public safety. The ‘idea’ document should have never made it out of the trash can, let alone into serious policy discussions.”

“The gun control concepts promoted in the ‘Idea’ document are unnecessary and in part duplicative of existing laws,” explained memorandum co-author and FPC Director of Legal Strategy, Adam Kraut. 

“Individuals engaged in the commercial sale of firearms are already required to obtain a federal firearms license, have transferees complete ATF Form 4473, and complete a background check on that individual prior to transferring a firearm to them. Anyone who engages in commercial sales without a license violates federal law and is subject to imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of $250,000 or both.”

FPC strongly opposes these suggested gun control measures, "Universal Background Checks” (UBCs), and firearm/gun owner registration. For more on the dangers and impacts of UBCs, see FPC’s Policy Brief, "Universal Background Checks" & Burdening Access to Human Rights” at FPCPolicy.org

To oppose this and other such restrictions on human rights, people can send messages to President Trump, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, and other elected members using FPC’s Grassroots Action tools at FPCAction.org.

A related article by Larosiere, An Awful, Horrible, No-Good Expanded Background Check “Idea”, can be viewed at FPCNews.org.

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom.