How Universal Background Checks Get Abused


Background checks are a contentious issue. Anti-gunners want do a background check on everyone (and fail the check to keep guns out of law-abiding citizens’ hands). Many “moderate” gun owners still support background checks to prevent people with mental health issues or past history of real violence from being able to obtain a gun.

The problem, however, is that, even if background checks were able to keep guns out of the hands of mentally unstable or habitually violent people (which doesn’t appear to be the case), these background checks get abused and the information gets twisted and distorted for other purposes. Bruce Krafft gives a perfect example of how this, too often, works:

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office conducted an eight-month gun show investigation, uncovering “serious violations,” leading to ten arrests. This inevitably led the AG’s office to call for “a stronger law to hold show operators liable and increase penalties.”

That may sound reasonable, unless you dig into the meat of the story and discover that those “unlawful sellers” were actually show attendees, not dealers, and that the gun show operators had meticulously followed New York’s UBC law. They had signs posted at all entrances, at all ticket sale locations and at least four places within the show to make sure that everyone knew the law.

This is what I mean by [anti-gunners will] never [be] satisfied; even though show operators complied with every jot and tittle of the law, the AG’s office wanted to be able to criminally prosecute show operators for the unlawful conduct of their attendees. Think about that for a minute; this would be like criminally charging the Lipizzan Horse Show because a couple of their customers were caught violating the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act by sneaking a cigarette in the restrooms during a performance.

One of the major problems with universal background checks is that the data collected isn’t filtered for accuracy, isn’t taken into contextual consideration, isn’t vetted in any way. It’s taken at face value for the purpose of denying the Constitutional rights of people and, specifically, for abusing gun owners.


This is one of the many reasons that we must remain diligent about insisting on our full 2nd Amendment rights.



  1. Background checks are not going to do the job intended because it is way too easy to circumvent them. Besides, we do not have enough info yet on mental illness to really be sure we are stopping the right people. Therefore, a criminal past is the only issue that can work IF the person seeking a firearm is not smart enough to get someone else who can pass the background check.

  2. background checks are only as good as the information put on the form if the person neglects to completely be forthcoming with information then the check is erroneous

  3. Dr. Lott’s research found that more than 96 percent of NICS “denials” were actually what is known in the statistical world as “false positives.” That is, they found something to be true that in fact, was NOT true. In the case of background checks, this means that they reported applicants to be “prohibited persons” when they were not. Correcting the errors was extremely difficult, time consuming, and expensive.
    To put this in perspective: Suppose your doctor used say, a cancer test, with a similar 96 percent false positive rate. That means that 96 out of every 100 tests that said a patient had cancer, were mistaken. Can you even imagine any doctor, or medical insurance company, continuing to use such a test?! Yet we continue to tolerate this error rate in the case of background checks – why?
    Because the REAL intent of background checks is not, and never was, the prevention of acquisition of guns by “bad guys.” It was obvious from the outset that such a system could not possibly prevent criminals from acquiring guns, since they don’t abide by the laws anyway. The best you could hope for, with really stringent background check rules, would be to increase the already existing black market in firearms. The laws requiring them were passed simply as a sop to get anti-gun congressmen to go along with a vote. As in, “Well if we must give up something to the anti-gunners, let’s go along with background checks, since they look the most innocuous on the surface, and most people won’t see any problem with them.” It was a scam from the get-go, and that is why you never hear anyone reporting the statistics on how counter-productive, let alone ineffective, they actually are. In fact, the already existing (NOT even Universal), background checks are doing nothing but hurting law-abiding citizens. Given that the people undergoing such checks have signed forms stating “under penalty of perjury” (a felony) that they are not “prohibited persons,” it should be easy to prosecute them if they fail the checks, right? There are well over 22,000 such denials annually. The number that are not errors are in the mid-single digits. Even so, shouldn’t we be seeing easy, open and shut cases of prosecution of those few dozen cases that were not errors? Guess how many successful prosecutions there are? 1 or 2 a year, if that. Does that sound like an effective system to you? And keep in mind, that is without UNIVERSAL background checks – just the regular ones that have been in use for decades now. The whole idea has only been around since the late 1960s (the “Hippy Days”) and it has NEVER been effective. Far from imposing UNIVERSAL background checks, we should really be getting rid of them altogether!

  4. I strongly believe that background checks are a joke, serve no purpose except to continue to chip away at our rights. As far as keeping the guns out of the hands of the “mentally unstable,” I think we all agree that is a good idea, the BIG problem; WHO DECIDES WHO IS MENTALLY UNSTABLE. At this time the left claims anyone who voted for Trump is insane, the only problem with those who are saying this is they have proven themselves to be delusional and unstable. I will bet that it is not Trump supporters, conservatives or independents that are blocking traffic, burning stores, beating people with signs and violently attempting to deny anyone with a different opinion the right to voice that opinion. Many of these people who believe in strong gun control laws are the unstable ones who would willingly use violence to push for their agenda, these are the very people we need protection from, a bunch of flaming liberal hypocrites.

  5. Incremental citizen disarmament – step by step – piece by piece.


  6. The previous comments pretty well mirror my feelings. I would like to add that the 2nd Amendment dose not allow any wiggle room or tinkering. It plainly states, that all of us have the right posses and bear arms.

    Nowhere does our constitution say that certain frowned upon groups can be singled out, to be removed from, fair and equal treatment. The right to protect my family and myself, being the most important to me.

    Is it right or fair, or is it even constitutional, that a person who made a mistake over twenty years, actually finished paying their debt to society over twenty years ago? Someone who has had no further problems with the law, lived a decent life since then. The person that I am holding up as an example, also served more then two years in Vietnam, as a combat medic, with the infantry, and was awarded numerous meddles, and citations. I hope that “you the people” will agree with me, that this is an injustice.

    I believe that much of this is perpetrated by the Liberals to keep guns out of our hands, so that only the Elite, and the Criminals will have them.

  7. I don’t understand something. I’m an NRA member, ccw holder, and gun owner. I had to take a background check to get my permit and for every firearm I own. I don’t believe in keeping universal lists and I don’t believe Florida does, but I don’t see any sense in granting carry permits and selling guns to anybody and everybody without checking if the person has a felony record. What am I missing?

    • Fred:

      Re what you are missing, the following comes to mind. Creating as many hoops for the law abiding to jump through until the the number of hoops and the complexity thereof serves to discourage or makes obtaining arms by the law abiding so complex and difficult that the law abiding are discouraged from arms acquisition. Of course, the above referenced foolishness will not, in the least, bother criminals.

  8. The New York AG’s office and the individual currently residing there have one characteristic in common. Both are long on hot air, and terribly short on factual matter, where firearms are concerned.

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