Background Checks and Firearms

So Joe pointed out today that the new battleground for firearms rights is going to be background checks.  Our opponents are realizing they lost the fight to ban the right to firearms.  His quote points out where much of the future fight is going to be.

Joe points out that background checks are teetering on the edge of registration.  If the FBI runs a NICS check on someone you can be sure they are in the process of buying a firearm.  If they maintain that record they know every individual who purchased a firearm and had a background check.  Currently all this would take is to stop the record deletion after 24 hours.  That’s it, just stop the delete call in their system.

My personal experience has transformed me from someone who would possibly ignore the inconvenience to someone who understands it’s pointlessness, how it allows for the violation of rights, and why it does nothing for the benefit for the security of society. 

For those who are unaware I was charged with 2 felonies, both non-violent, in 2005.  The charges were brought about because of a very bad auto accident.  Both of these charges were dropped and I have never been convicted of a felony.  There is no legal reason, or even social reason  why my right to a firearm should be restricted.  I have never done anything provocatively violent, I have never presented a reason that I am a threat or danger to society.  All that happened was I had a bad accident in poor weather and road conditions.

Now with that history in mind, whenever I go to purchase a firearm the NICS check issues a hold on the transaction.  I am not allowed to pick up the firearm for 5 days until they finish their “background” check.  I had my concealed weapon returned to me by Washington State Patrol after the trial, with a notarized letter from the prosecutor stating there is no reason to restrict my rights to a firearm, and yet I was given a full Deny while trying to purchase a weapon.  It took a full year before that issue was fixed.  I tested it once a month with a friend who has an FFL in Moscow.

It has been said, “A right delayed is a right denied.”

In the case of the year of 2006 however I had every right to a firearm yet I was denied.  Even today I am delayed in exercising my right to purchase a firearm.  I can file with the ATF and FBI to retain my NICS record so the hold will no longer occur.  For those that miss that translation, I waive my right to have them delete the record and enter the realm of having registered myself with them.

There are many who would claim that background checks are a wonderful thing.  Helping to stop domestic abusers from getting firearms and elevating their crimes.  Except it will also prevent a battered woman for seeking a tool that will level the playing field.  The blade cuts both ways and I care more about the cuts towards the innocent and law abiding.  If someone is considered to be such a threat to a person or society that they can not be trusted with a weapon they should be placed in prison.  The Lautenberg Amendment, while well intentioned, violates due process and allows for the confiscation and deprivation of rights of an individual without their facing their accuser. 

There are numerous other tools that can be obtained, without background checks, that are just as dangerous and deadly in the hands of an abusive spouse.  You can’t perform a background check on someone before they’re born.  Doing a background check does nothing to stop someone without a history.  Not only that, there are ways to avoid having a background check when buying a firearm.  Even if you make private firearm transactions illegal, it will still not stop the black market and back alley firearms sales.

I’m all for stopping abusive people from getting their hands on weapons.  My problem is anything can be a weapon and when the “solution” to the problem delays the innocent that the law is trying to protect.  Background checks are nothing but another tool to be used to infringe on a constitutionally guaranteed right, as stated by the SCOTUS in Heller and McDonaldNot that the constitution really matters in this fact anyway.

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5 Responses to Background Checks and Firearms

  1. Jacob Miheve says:

    Just out of curiosity, is expungement an option? That should clear any record of the charges from the system altogether, assuming your state handles it like Virginia does. The only question would be if they send the expungement to the federal database or not, which I’m not sure of.

    • It will not clear it out of the system.  The FBI will retain the record of the charges having been filed against you.

      I have zero issue in the State of Washington.  All of my problems are at the Federal level.

    • Also, technically since I was never convicted of the felonies there is nothing to expunge in in the legal sense.  About the only thing that would have possibly helped further would be a judgement from the judge with prejudice.

      The lesson is despite what people say, it does not take a conviction before your rights start being trampled.  The Feds rush the damn line when it happens too.  Once they take that mile from an initial inch they will not give it back without money coming in their direction and giving them something else beneficial.

      I am having the lesser charge I plead to expunged.  However there is a note that it means I just don’t have to disclose it.  It will still exist at the federal level and it will still be in the record.  They never actually delete it, it just can’t be “held against you” or used as evidence of prior history during another trial.

      The whole legal system is seriously F’d.  My incident destroyed any remaining faith I had left and cemented my opinion that it exists to destroy the honest and law abiding.  Doubly so when I watch all these state sponsored criminals get away with everything.

      F, now I need a beer and it’s only 1130 on Monday morning.

  2. seeker741 says:

    I am wondering what the deal is, I serve 15 yrs in military 10 of which were Military special agent were by federal law were “Federal Peace Officers” I went thru my initial life background histroy from 18 yrs up had couple of debt issues resolved, got clearance, TS SBI w/SCI level III access!  I went thru an up date in the 90′s no problem!  I medically retired in 1996 Honarably discharged etc., never had problems with law enforcement or any legal trouble except during divorce wife and boyfriend attempted to get me removed from home by falsely filinf DPO, I wnet and counterfiled and my with withdrew by dismissal the PO, I had the PO against the boyfriend for death threats etc, he with his lawyer requested dismisal, case closed adjudicated dismissed, I understand Maryland at the timehad some attroney fgeneral that was keeping a list of any and all DPO files regardless of out come, he had lists of people that had been cleared or cases dismissed, he was sued and the cleared list was to be purged fromm the system.  Is there possiblity that he did not remove the names and kept thse in data base? I will get to the reason in a few, i had a dwi that was adjudicated dismissed after attending driving school and no trouble for 6 months Contemplation of dismissal after 6 months! that was satified, i also hjad misdeameanor for loitering dimsissed and disorderly conduct removed from recordsas dismissed by judge when I was entering military, the dismissal was verified by my recruiter and the recruiting command, the background check only asks about convictions of felonies and misdemeanors that could get you over 1 yr in jail as I underrstand it!  Are dismissals considered blocks to buying handgun?  I was a sworn federal peace officer for 10 yrs and had been through LACS and NACS and NCIS and FBI and  DOD backgorunds so why would there be a hand check required on my application is it cause I lived in NY, Fla, Calif(military), Arizona(mil), Germany(mil), Maryland(mil),and Va(civilian) and it was sunday many of state agencies would have been closed is that a possible reason?
    and how do I get my record exponged, i have relative that had served time for felonies he has rights to buy and own pistols restored? what is the deal with misdemeanors? ATF over counter purchase asks only felkonies and domsetic violence/  does FBI look at DWI as bar?  how can guy prove he was cleared of non domestic non viloent misdemeanors?

    • Yet another example of the problems with the system.  I heard a story while at the local range from a lawyer.

      Evidently during divorces they would regularly get a DPO against the husband no matter if they had reason or cause.  The thing with a DPO is the husbands presence isn’t required and it results in the forfeiture of arms.

      The kicker was the husband was perfectly stable and no upset, until he was informed that his right to a firearm had been surrendered by the declaration from the wife and her attorney.  He ran over his (ex)-wife and committed suicide.  The guy was a competitive shooter and shooting was his life.  The DPO effectively destroyed everything he had left.

      There is no actual requirements to fulfill for a DPO, they can just request one and get it.  Your rights at that point become null and void.  That is a serious problem.

      I honestly believe that Latenberg was made as a gun ban that was passed by pulling at people’s heart strings.  It sounds great until you actually see how it works.  I hear more often about how it affects the law abiding than how it stopped some abusive spouse.