Read the FPC Policy Brief: "Universal Background Checks" & Burdening Access to Human Rights (PDF)
The so-called "Universal Background Check" (UBC) would require that individuals submit to federal oversight for purely private, intrastate transfers of firearms.
The two primary justifications that some use in promoting the passage of UBC legislation are: 1) closing the “gun show loophole” -- i.e., private sales -- and 2) preventing incredibly rare mass murderers from obtaining firearms.
The UBC legislation currently being proposed addresses neither of these issues; less than 1% of firearms used for criminal activity were acquired at gun shows, and nearly all mass shooters passed background checks.
Not only are UBCs ineffective, they punish ordinary people by preventing otherwise lawful transfer to friends, family, and employees.
UBCs would require all transfers, even just loaning a gun temporarily, to go through a federal firearms licensee (FFL), also imposing significant costs. This is especially problematic in rural areas where the nearest licensee may be several hours away.
Parents may also be prevented from transferring handguns to young adults due to federal regulations preventing FFLs from conducting such transfers, despite state law allowing it. Furthermore, since current UBC legislation fails to sufficiently account for emergency situations, it would also prevent people from loaning firearms to another individual for self-defense in a critical situation.
To learn more about universal background checks, their problematic historical roots, and FPC’s position on currently proposed legislation, you can read more in FPC's Policy Brief here.