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Bill/Issue: Document circulating throughout Congress that calls for a national gun registry

On September 18, 2019, a purported “idea” document reportedly being circulated among Republican senators and congressmen was leaked to the media. The document, entitled “Idea for New Unlicensed-Commercial-Sale Background Checks”, is both frighteningly vague and callous in its disregard for the Second and Fourth Amendments, as well as the federalist principles that animate the Commerce Clause.

The document proceeds that “[c]onsistent with the Manchin-Toomey draft legislation, a background-check requirement would be extended to all advertised commercial sales, including sales at gun shows.” It proceeds to explain that the background checks on these “advertised commercial sales,” of which the definition remains unclear, would be required, and have to be performed either by an FFL or a “newly-created class of licensed transfer agents.” Put simply, this new class of transfer agents would be FFLs who did not carry firearm inventory.

“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.”

We urge you to use our Take Action tools to contact Congress and Pres. Trump. Tell them to reject the proposals contained in this misguided and dangerous idea document.