February 13th, 2019

Universal Background Check Legislation Introduced in Congress

H.R. HR 8 bill private gun sales ban background check Congress democrat legislation anti-gun Pelosi democrat extreme anti-gun Second Amendment
Marlin 1895 Background image from Sportsmans Arms, Petaluma, CA.

Are the days of private gun sales numbered nationwide? Democrats in the U.S. House of Representative have introduced an extreme gun control measure, H.R. 8, that would regulate all private gun sales, circumventing state laws covering gun rights. American Military News reports: “A new bill restricting private gun sales is expected to move to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this week for a vote. The bill, H.R. 8, was introduced by [House] Democrats. H.R. 8 plans to stop Americans from conducting private gun sales as they have been since 1791. Instead, they will be required to conduct background checks on prospective buyers before they can sell their own property. The House Judiciary Panel is expected to send the bill to the floor for a vote on Feb. 13.”

READ H.R. 8 Full Text HERE »

Background Checks Would Be Required Nationwide for ALL Private Party Gun Sales
This new legislation would essentially require that ALL gun sales, even between private parties, be subject to Federal NICS background checks.* On the surface, this seems to have some appeal, but there is little convincing evidence that such legislation will produce a meaningful reduction in gun violence. Why? Criminals obtain guns illegally (though theft and the black market), and nearly all the mass shooters in recent years have used weapons that were obtained legally, AFTER the perpetrators had passed normal FBI background checks.

Despite these facts, supporters of H.R. 8, say it is time to outlaw private gun sales. Rep. Henry C. Johnson (Democrat, Georgia) claimed: “Because background checks are not required for sales by unlicensed gun dealers, guns end up in the hands of dangerous people. The failure of Congress to pass universal background check legislation has eroded our sense of safety on the streets, in our schools, and even in our places of worship.”

Conversely, gun rights supporters state that H.R. 8 will NOT have the desired effects. Rep. Doug Collins (Republican, Georgia) stated: “I appreciate the efforts of those who want H.R. 8 and many who have signed on, but similar gun control measures would not have prevented Columbine, San Bernardino, Charleston, or other tragedies. You go to the Bureau of Prisons, when they put out their statistics, most criminals — as you well know — do not get their guns from legal sources.”


* Some states, such as California, already require background checks, made through an FFL, for private-party transfers. But in many other states, a private party can still sell a firearm to another private party, provided there is compliance with applicable state and local laws.

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February 4th, 2019

Top Gun States — Trends in Gun Ownership Around the USA

state background checks gun ownership

Where in the USA are guns most popular, on a per-capita basis? Look at this chart. The states with darker purple have the most background checks per capita. The Top 10, in order, are:

1. Kentucky – 1012
2. Illinois – 198
3. Indiana – 123
4. West Virginia – 119
5. Idaho – 109
6. Montana – 101
7. Minnesota – 98
8. South Dakota – 94
9. Tennesse – 92 (Tie)
10. Wyoming – 92 (Tie)

Kentucky has a far higher number than any other state — 1012 per 1000 residents, and 4,508,298 overall per year. That’s not because the Bluegrass State has more avid gun owners (per capita) than elsewhere in the country. Rather, Kentucky has more background checks per capita because it is the only state that requires all concealed carry permit holders to undergo automatic monthly rechecks. That means 12 checks per year. Other states might have a single background check when the firearm is acquired.

state background checks gun ownership

Trends in Background Checks and Gun Ownership
The total number of background checks has risen steadily for nearly the past 20 years (though there was a slight decrease in 2017). In 2018, Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealers initiated more than 23 million background checks, with significant variations in how many requests came in from each state.

state background checks gun ownership

Gun Control Legislation on the Rise Nationwide
In 2018, the 50 U.S. states passed 69 new gun control measures. Those 69 new laws are more than three times the number passed in 2017.

The struggle between gun rights and gun control continues on both a state and a national level. Seeing this wave of new legislation makes one wonder, “how many of these new laws will really reduce crime or enhance personal safety?” Or, rather, are the vast majority of these laws merely intended to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens, banning new classes of arms or creating new costs (and hassles) for gun owners. The anti-gunners’ strategy is to work incrementally, banning one type of firearm after another. The goal, ultimately, is to ban handguns altogether, and to ban all semi-automatic rifles.

Information in this report provided by YourLocalSecurity.com.

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December 16th, 2017

Giving Firearms as Gifts — What You Need to Know

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF. This story is based on a recent NSSF Article.

‘Tis the season of gift-giving (and Christmas Day is nearly here). As hunters, shooters, collectors or just plain plinkers, it’s a natural instinct to want to share our enjoyment of firearms with others. What better way to do that than to make a gift of a firearm to a family member, close friend or relative?

The first thing to remember if you’re thinking about giving someone a gun is that … it’s a gun! You already know that ownership of a firearm brings with it some serious legal and ethical obligations that other consumer products don’t. So let’s look at some questions you may have about giving a firearm as a gift.

firearm gun gift law rules NSSF
Image Courtesy NSSF

ATF Firearms gun giftsThe first question you have to ask is whether the intended recipient can legally own the firearm where he or she lives. With more than 20,000 different gun laws on the books, even the kinds of firearms that law-abiding citizens can own vary from place to place. For example, juveniles (under age 18) generally speaking are precluded by law from possessing a handgun. Check out the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) website for an overview of local laws and, whatever you do, don’t forget that you can never under any circumstances transfer a firearm to someone you know — or have reasonable cause to believe — legally can’t own one. That’s a federal felony, so be careful.

There’s no federal law that prohibits a gift of a firearm to a relative or friend who lives in your home state. Abramski v. United States, a recent Supreme Court decision involving a “straw purchase” of a firearm did not change the law regarding firearms as gifts. The following states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington State) and the District of Columbia require you to transfer a firearm through a local firearms retailer so an instant background check will be performed to make sure the recipient is not legally prohibited from owning the gun. Maryland and Pennsylvania require a background check for private party transfer of a handgun. There are exceptions, so it’s important to check the law of your state or ask your local firearms retailer.

ATF Firearms gun giftsConsider a Gift Card Instead of Direct Gift
The ATF recommends that if you want to give someone a new firearm, rather than going to a gun store and buying the gun on your own, consider instead purchasing a gift certificate/card from your favorite gun retailer. Then give that gift card as the present. That way the recipient can choose the exact gun he or she wants, and there’s no question about who is “the actual buyer of the firearm,” which is a question any purchaser must certify on the Federal Form 4473 at the time of purchase. The Gift Card option avoids any “straw purchaser” issues.

Intra-Family Transfers and Antique Arms
What if you want to give “Old Betsy,” your favorite old deer rifle, to your son or daughter as a college graduation gift? Again, in most states, there’s no law that says you can’t, but some states require even intra-family transfers to go through a licensed dealer. Remember, you can never transfer a firearm directly to another person who is a resident of a different state. In that case, you must transfer the firearm through a licensed dealer in the state where the person receiving the gift resides. Using a gift certificate from a firearms retailer near where the recipient lives might be a good solution. Pre-1898 antique firearms are generally exempt from the dealer requirement. [But check with the laws in your jurisdiction]. Be safe and check with your dealer or local law enforcement before you hand over your prized possession.

Regulations on Firearms Shipping to Third Parties
When you intend to transfer a gun, there are important rules on interstate shipping*. Generally speaking, you can only ship a handgun by common carrier (but not U.S. Mail) and a long gun by U.S. Mail or common carrier to a federally licensed dealer, but not to a non-licensed individual. With all carriers, federal law requires you to declare that your package contains an unloaded firearm. To be safe, always consult your carrier in advance about its regulations for shipping firearms. Also check your state laws on transfers.


*Different rules may apply to shipping to parties IN-STATE or shipping firearms to yourself in temporary care of others. Always consult your own state laws, but here are some FAQs copied directly from the ATF.GOV website:

(more…)

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September 21st, 2017

Gun Sales Stay Strong Even under Republican Administration

We all know that ammo prices have dropped and gunmakers are discounting handguns and rifles. But have gun sales really dropped that much since the 2016 Presidential election? Actually not. Recently released data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) show that gun sales remain at near-record levels.

The expected drop in firearms sales has been minimal. Sales are at historically high levels, only a little less than the records set in 2016. If the economy continues to pick up, 2017 will be the second highest year on record for NICS background checks. — Dean Weingarten

According to Dean Weigarten: “Firearm sales and NICS checks are having a good year. In 2017, the overall NICS checks are at 92% of the all-time record through August.” 2017 will probably surpass 2015 as the second-highest year for NICS checks since 1999, when the program started. (2016 was the highest year ever). And notably, the trend is up: NICS checks were 1,925,146 in August 2017. That beat the August 2016 number of 1,853,815, the previous high mark for the month.

Report by Dean Weingarten
The Trump era of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) checks has had eight months of high sales. The record for NICS checks was set in 2016, with over 27 million NICS checks for the year. 2015 was the second highest year for NICS checks with over 23 million checks done.

This chart reveals that the annual number of NICS Checks has more than doubled in the last decade!

Source: www.FBI.gov

The high number of NICS checks reflects an expanded base of firearms owners and shooters who are buying more guns under the expectation of a prosperous Trump Presidency. Gallup released a poll on September 8th, that shows U.S. investor optimism at a 17-year high….

Now is a Good Time to Buy — Especially AR Platform Rifles
There is a high inventory of firearms for sale, and many good quality AR-15 types can be had for under $500. Ammunition prices have been slowly dropping.

AR15 AR-15 sale cabelas discount

Growth of Concealed Carry by Americans Drives NICS Numbers
The number of people with carry licenses continues to soar. There are over 16.5 million. At the time of this report, the number has likely surpassed 17 million. Carry permit holders are 5-15% of voters in many states [such as] Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. When a carry permit is obtained or renewed, another NICS check is done.

NICS checks are done for Federal Firearms License sales of used guns as well as new ones. The latest estimation of the ratio of NICS checks to the addition of private firearms stock is about 0.53 private firearms added for each NICS check done. If that ratio holds in 2017, about 8.6 million more firearms have been added to the private stock in 2017 thus far.

Concealed Carry Class training state NICS


©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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November 3rd, 2016

2016 Shaping Up as Record-Setting Year for Gun Sales

NICS Gun Sales Obama gun purchases background checks

By all indications, Americans are buying more guns than ever before. Some pundits have joked that President Obama is the “greatest gun salesman in history”. Looking at NICS (FBI instant check) records, Dean Weingarten of the Gun Watch Blog concludes that 2016 will see new records set, likely surpassing 2015 as the year with the highest number of gun sales ever. CLICK Link to Gun Watch.

Weingarten writes:

The private firearm stock in the United States will have increased by nearly 100 million firearms, or 30%, during the two terms of the Barack Obama presidency.

Many indicators show a soaring and diverse level of gun ownership. Carry permits are burgeoning, approaching 15 million and more. Gun ownership among women and minorities is at an all-time high.

This October continued the record-breaking pace to establish 2016 as the year with the most gun sales ever. The 2016 NICS checks are far ahead of those for 2015, the previous record holder. In October 2016 there were 2,333,539 National Instant Checks done. In 2015, the NICS done in October were 1,976,759.

In 2015, the total NICS checks for the year were 23,141,970. In 2016, through October, they were 22,206,233. That is less than 1 million below the total for 2015, with the two biggest months in 2016 yet to happen. Last year there were 17,584,346 by the end of October.

NICS Gun Sales Obama gun purchases background checks
A record number of NICS Checks may take place in 2016. Photo: Benton Co. Gunworks.

The numbers are 26.3% ahead of where 2015 was at this time. If this pace continues, 2016 will end up with 29.2 million background checks for the year.

Given the NICS numbers, there will probably be 17 to 18 million guns added to the private stock in 2016. That would increase the total number to over 400 million private firearms in the United States.

Who would have thought that President Obama would be the record-setting, all time champion, gun salesman? The total NICS checks will reach over 250 million by years end. That will be over 150 million firearms added to the private stock in the last 18 years (there are 0.6 sales per check on average). Over 37% of the private firearms stock will be less than 18 years old.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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November 30th, 2014

Black Friday 2014 — More Guns Sold Than Ever Before…

According to CNN, more guns were sold on November 28, 2014 (Black Friday), than on any other day in the history of the United States. Background check processing was running well ahead of Black Friday 2013 when the previous single-day record of 144,758 FBI-processed gun transactions was set. In fact, so many Americans lined up to purchase firearms on Black Friday 2014 that the FBI was processing three background checks every second.

Think about that — three gun sales per second. That’s triple the normal rate of gun sales. The website The Blaze reported: “The typical Black Friday boom in gun sales doubles the number of background checks handled by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), from one per second on an average day to two per second. By Friday afternoon, that figure had reached three checks per second … putting 2014 on track to blow past the prior Black Friday record of 144,758 FBI-processed gun transactions in a single day.”

FBI Background Check

An FBI spokesman said that FBI staffers would be working overtime all through this weekend to deal with the vast number of background check requests, working to ease the backlog.

Photo courtesy BullocksGuns.com, Flint, MI.

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October 7th, 2013

NICS Background Checks Available Despite Federal Shutdown

FBI NICS logo shield instant background check systemPlanning to buy a gun soon, and worried about the effect of the Federal government shutdown? Many government services have been temporarily terminated (and Federal facilities closed). However, the background check system for firearms purchases is still up and running. The NSSF reports that The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Section is remaining fully operational and maintaining normal business hours. Accordingly, if you go to a gun store to purchase a firearm, the shop should be able to run a NICS background check in normal fashion.

However, some other firearms-related services of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have been halted for the time being. The ATF’s Office of Enforcement Programs and Services (EPS), which includes the imports, firearms technology, NFA branches, and the licensing center and firearms industry programs branch now processing marking variances, is effectively shut down, operating only with minimal staff.

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November 23rd, 2012

Record Gun Sales Forecast for ‘Black Friday’ 2012

NSSF story By Bill Brassard
Post-election reports indicate a rising demand for firearms nationwide. If 2012 follows past trends (based on federal background check data), gun sales on the day after Thanksgiving — Black Friday — will hit record levels.

Black Friday NICS gun background sales

Over the past four years (November 2008 through the December 2011), four of the top 10 most active days for background checks were Black Fridays. (See Chart.) The single-day record for most background checks was set on November 26, 2011, when more than 129,000 were made by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The second highest Black Friday total was on November 28, 2008, only weeks after President Barack Obama was elected to his first term. That total of 97,848 was a record number of background checks at that time.

Given the president’s reelection and also his call in the third debate for renewed restrictions on semi-automatic firearms, will a new record be set this Black Friday, November 23?

A background check is mandatory prior to the purchase of any firearm at retail. Background-check statistics are indicators of sales activity, though it’s important to note that for a variety of reasons a one-to-one correlation cannot be made between a background check and a firearm purchase.
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June 2nd, 2010

ATF Reverses Policy on Gun Shipments for Testing and Review

ATF logoReversing an interpretation of the Gun Control Act (GCA) that has been on the books for more than four decades, on May 20th the ATF posted a New Ruling declaring that ANY shipment of a firearm by a manufacturer (FFL) to an authorized agent or contractor (e.g., an engineering firm, patent lawyer, testing lab, gun writer, etc.) is to be treated as a “transfer” under the Gun Control Act of 1968. As a consequence, legitimate business-related shipments will now require the recipient to complete a Form 4473 and undergo a Brady criminal background check. And, in some jurisdictions, a testing engineer or patent lawyer will have to sit out a waiting period before they can access the firearm and start working with it.

The 5/20/2010 ruling states: “The temporary assignment of a firearm by an FFL to its unlicensed agents, contractors, volunteers, or any other person who is not an employee of the FFL, even for bona fide business purposes, is a transfer or disposition for purposes of the Gun Control Act, and, accordingly, the FFL must contact NICS for a background check, record a disposition entry, and complete an ATF Form 4473.”

ATF officials have acknowledged this is a radical change from ATF’s long-standing interpretation that shipments to agents were not a “transfer” under the Gun Control Act that was set forth in a 1969 Ruling (“Shipment or Delivery of Firearms By Licensees to Employees, Agents, Representatives, Writers and Evaluators.”) and further clarified in a 1972 Ruling. ATF is now saying that its own long-standing rulings, issued shortly after the Gun Control Act was enacted, were wrong. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) believes this new interpretation should be challenged:

ATF should be required to explain why it took 42 years to decide that its original understanding and interpretation of the Gun Control Act is now somehow wrong. ATF appears to be under the mistaken impression that the Brady Act of 1993 changed what constitutes a “transfer” under the Gun Control Act. Even if this were true — and it is not — then ATF should be required to explain why it took 17 years to figure this out. ATF itself admits that neither the Gun Control Act nor the Brady Act defines “transfer”. There is simply nothing in the Brady Act or is there any other legal reason that compels ATF to now reject 40 years of precedent.

For more than four decades manufacturers have shipped firearms to agents for bona fide business purposes, such as testing, engineering studies, or reviews. According to the NSSF: “ATF is unable to identify a single instance during the past 40 years where a single firearm shipped to an [authorized] agent … was used in a crime.” Changing the rule on shipping to a gun writer, patent lawyer, or testing lab will only waste time and money, and make it harder to engineer improvements in firearms designs. We wonder if this new policy was “cooked up” under pressure from political leaders in Washington.

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November 3rd, 2009

FBI Announces NICS Background Check Holiday Schedules

NICS background checksThe FBI’s National Instant Background Check System (NICS) hours of operation for federal firearms licensees (FFLs) will remain the same as their current hours of operation during this year’s NICS busy season. NICS Call Centers will be available daily from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern. The only deviation to this schedule will be Nov. 27, the Friday following Thanksgiving, when the hours of operation will be 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Eastern. These extended operational hours will be available only to those FFLs who use the FBI Call Centers. NICS is managed through the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

The NICS Section will cease operation at midnight on Christmas Eve and remain closed on Christmas Day. The NICS will resume normal operations on Dec. 26 at 8 a.m. Eastern. NICS is managed through the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division in Clarksburg, West Virginia.

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