Opponents of common-sense background checks have spent a great deal of effort attempting to make “transfers” a distinct and separate issue. Their goal: to mislead, confuse, and undermine common sense background checks.
Once and for all: handing someone a firearm, touching someone else’s firearm, handling a firearm at a gun show, training course, or display case – none of these are transfers and do not require a background check.
Transfers are a well-established part of the existing background check system. There are other seven other states that have laws like Washington State’s and require background checks on transfers as well as sales. And in those states, none of the fears opponents are raising have been borne out.
The FBI has made clear that simply handing your gun to someone to shoot or examine is not a transfer and would not require a background check under current law.
This is what we’re referring to when we argue that the opposition is focused on creating confusion.
When Washington State closed the background check loophole by passing Initiative 594, the transfer provisions addressed barter, trade, and other non-traditional sales. These transfers are very much part of the way that guns make their way into dangerous hands.
Want more information? Check out these reports from news agencies and testimonials from law enforcement officers who talk about the importance of addressing transfers when closing the background check loophole. And check out BackgroundCheckFacts.com to learn the truth behind Gun Lobby Myths!
- “One of the arguments against requiring background checks for private transfers is that prohibited persons don’t acquire guns this way. But that’s assuming all criminals buy guns from gang members in dark alleys. Many domestic abusers live an otherwise normal existence and wouldn’t dream of cruising rough neighborhoods in search of guns. But the unregulated secondary market allows them to buy guns from a friend at work or someone they just met on Craiglist, people who likely have no idea that the buyer is prohibited.” – Detective Joseph Bielevicz, Pittsburgh Police Department (Pennsylvania)
- “Colorado passed reasonable legislation that requires background checks on private sales and transfers in much the same way that Initiative 594 would in Washington State. In just under one year, Colorado has conducted 11,143 private sale background checks under the new law – and 227 prohibited purchasers were denied. That’s 227 dangerous people who were denied access to firearms. Put simply, we’ve made it harder for criminals to get access to guns even as 98% of all private purchasers who are checked pass without incident. In addition to being a police officer, I am a hunter who has twice gone through background checks under our new law – once as a seller, and once as a buyer. The experience could not have been easier.” – Sergeant Dave Hoover, Lakewood Police Department (Colorado)
- Spokesman Review: “What they say they’re going to do – ‘openly exchange firearms’ by handing them to someone else – isn’t against Initiative 594.”
THE GUN LOBBY’S OBSESSION WITH DICTATORSHIPS
Our friends in the Gun Lobby have never heard of Godwin’s Law: the principle that, “if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism”. In fact, there’s no firearm-related law, no matter how reasonable or common-sense, that the gun lobby won’t tie to a heinous historical regime. There’s even a paper about it!
Below, we’ve cataloged a few choice examples of the Gun Lobby’s obsession with oppressors. For a fuller-but-by-no-means-complete accounting, visit The Archive[link] – and feel free to Search, if you dare.
Oh, and just in case there’s any doubt: the Gun Lobby’s dictator myths are completely untrue. As scholar Michael Holbrook writes, the theory is rife with “factual inaccuracies” stemming from proponents’ tendency to “cherry-pick” facts to fit with their preconceived notions. As Slate reported in an epic takedown of the comparison to Nazi policies, “the notion that Hitler confiscated everyone’s guns is mostly bogus.” Shocking, right?
NRA LOBBYIST BRIAN JUDY COMPARES BACKGROUND CHECKS TO NAZI POLICIES
Read more about NRA gun lobbyist Brian Judy here[link].
“I don’t see anything wrong with those remarks… Gun owners don’t like the idea that Jewish people had to have numbers tattooed and registered on their arms. They don’t like the fact that they as gun owners have to get registered either.”
“There are a slew of reasons why I-594 is more than just a bad idea; it’s a travesty. It’s not just a small step but a leap towards our very own Kristallnacht; it’s a gun rights disaster of epic proportions. And if you believe these words to be an exaggeration, you are either uninformed or on the side of the gun control crowd. This is why.”
NRA & WAYNE LAPIERRE GOES FOR THE DICTATOR TRIFECTA: CASTRO, HITLER, & QADAFFI
- Wayne LaPierre in Guns, Crime, & Freedom (1994): “In Germany, Jewish extermination began with the Nazi Weapon Law of 1938, signed by Adolf Hitler.”
In 1986, the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre breathlessly compared gun policies to the laws of an all-star lineup of then-Soviet bloc states: “The experts have always agreed that gun control is the single best way to take freedom away from the people. It worked in Nazi Germany, and gun control works today in Cuba, Libya and the Soviet Union. Today, a bunch of do-gooders, politicians and their friends in the media are trying to make gun control work in America. These people feel that if you aren’t allowed to own a gun, our nation will be a ‘better’ place. And they’re very close to making it happen.” (Bernard E. Harcourt, On Gun Registration, the NRA, Adolf Hitler, and Nazi Gun Laws: Exploding the Gun Culture Wars (A Call to Historians), 73 Fordham L. Rev. 653 (2004).)