Politicians use the term “universal background checks” like peer pressure, suggesting that reasonable people should support expanded checks. In reality, these checks are an attempt to perpetuate another gun-control myth. Background checks don’t stop criminals from committing violent crimes. They certainly didn’t prevent recent mass shootings, where the guns were purchased with a background check. Criminals who will steal or murder to obtain guns don’t care about laws; that’s why they’re criminals.
Enforcing universal checks during the age of government furloughs creates a laundry list of ambiguities. Who would police the new laws? How would anyone confirm that a background check was completed for every single transaction? Guns that were bought or transferred under the new laws would still look and function the same as any one of the estimated 300 million guns bought or transferred under the current laws.
The only way to adequately enforce a universal background-check system is by creating a registration database. You don’t have to read very far into the history books to notice that registration always leads to confiscation — take a look at Canada, Australia and any number of European countries.