“Universal Background Checks” Could Unjustly Deny Millions Of People The Right To Armed Self-Defense

 

 

 

” Second Amendment supporters historically have opposed gun registration, fearing that it could ultimately lead to confiscation, something that has actually happened in places such as Canada, Great Britain, Australia, California, and New York City. While wholesale disarmament would be clearly unconstitutional in this country, confiscation of guns that legislators arbitrarily deem unnecessary or excessively dangerous is easier to imagine, especially given Obama’s support for a new, stricter ban on “assault weapons.”

Perhaps fear of confiscation seems paranoid to you. But consider what would happen if the federal government merely enforced existing law through expanded background checks and improved records—another step nearly everyone seems to think is self-evidently sensible. Such a crackdown would reveal the folly of current restrictions, which prohibit gun ownership by several absurdly broad categories of people under the threat of a five-year prison term.

One disqualifier is a felony record, whether or not the offense involved violence or even a victim. It is doubtful that check kiters, marijuana growers, or unauthorized farm workers (another banned category) are substantially more likely to go on a shooting rampage than the average person.

Federal law also bars “an unlawful user of…any controlled substance” from owning a gun. Think about that for a minute. If you smoke pot or use a relative’s Vicodin or Xanax, you have no right to keep and bear arms. Survey data indicate that nearly 40 million Americans have used “illicit drugs” in the last year, and the true number is probably higher, since people may be reluctant to admit illegal behavior even when their answers are confidential. “