This week, the House of Representatives passed legislation requiring universal background checks for any gun purchase, but one of the leading defenders of the second amendment says there a whole lot more in the bill than meets the eye.
Universal background checks sound simple. The idea is that if you want to buy a firearm, you must go through a background check to make sure you don’t have a criminal record or present a threat to those around you. But Gun Owners of America Legislative Counsel Mike Hammond says there are all sort of transfer provisions that could turn any gun owner into a lawbreaker.
“If you transfer a gun to any other person for as little as a second and you don’t come with an exception, you are a criminal and can be put in prison for up to a year.
“So if you sell your gun to your son for a dollar, you’re a criminal. If you give your gun to your stepson, you’re a criminal. If you hand your gun to your neighbor to look at and go into the kitchen for a paper towel, you’re a criminal. If you go hunting with a friend and hand him your gun and he doesn’t have a hunting license or is a veteran with PTSD, you’re a criminal,” said Hammond.
“It’s simply an effort to make gun ownership so full of trap doors that no one wants to own a gun because every time you handle that gun or hand that gun to someone, you basically risk going to jail,” he added.
Hammond says no mass shooter in 20 years would have been stopped by this legislation. He says law-abiding Americans are the only ones who get stopped from buying guns with a background check.
“Most people who walk into gun dealers and fail background checks, their overwhelming reaction is absolute surprise. They’re people like veterans, people who haven’t paid traffic tickets, people whose psychiatrists have turned them in, people who had no idea in the world that the convolutions of federal law would prohibit them from purchasing a firearm.
“The murderers, on the other hand, just get their guns on the street,” said Hammond.
Listen to the full podcast to hear more of Hammond’s analysis of the House bill, why he thinks the legislation is already dead even before getting to the Senate, and what he thinks Democrats would push for if the universal background check bill ever became law.