By: Teresa Mull
The NRA has reportedly warned Trump to take it easy on federal background check legislation.
The Greenwich Time reports:
NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre spoke with Trump on Tuesday after the president expressed support for a background check bill and told him it would not be popular among Trump’s supporters, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss internal talks. LaPierre also argued against the bill’s merits, the officials said.
The NRA, which opposes the legislation sponsored by Sens. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., declined to comment.
Advisers to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he would not bring any gun-control legislation to the floor without widespread Republican support. Trump has waffled, current and past White House officials say, between wanting to do more and growing concerned that doing so could prompt a revolt from his political base. Even some supporters of the Manchin-Toomey bill, which would expand background checks to nearly all firearm sales, say it is unlikely to pass.
"I don’t think the president or his Republican allies are going to become out of nowhere advocates of aggressive gun control," said Matt Schlapp, who leads the American Conservative Union and is a close ally to Trump.
Not only are background checks ineffective – a recent study from UC-Davis found that comprehensive background checks have not affected California’s homicide and suicide rates over the past decade – they’re also unconstitutional and disproportionately punish military veterans:
GPM’s José Niño reminds us:
The assertion that the Brady Registration System (NICS) is an effective crime-fighting mechanism is wishful thinking. Former Democrat president Bill Clinton has credited the Brady Law of 1994 for lowering crime rates during the 1990s, arguing that it took “guns out of the hands of criminals.” But in More Guns Less Crime, Lott noted these decreasing crime rates started in 1991, well before the Brady System was implemented.
What’s more, for the vast majority of its history, the United States did not have national background checks. Contrary to what gun controllers would have you believe, the sky wasn’t falling during the years leading up to NICS, so it’s safe to say that the doing away with the Brady System would not be a social disaster of catastrophic proportions.
But there’s a much more fundamental matter at stake when discussing background checks—the integrity of the Second Amendment itself. Any kind of regulation the government passes on gun rights is an infringement on the Second Amendment.
The current background check system violates numerous parts of the Bill of Rights.
The Ron Paul Institute is correct in its assessment that background checks violate the First and Fifth Amendments because they “compel people to speak [and] provide information about themselves,” and “because you have to provide evidence against yourself in order to [acquire] a gun.”
The Brady System is also unconstitutional on Tenth Amendment grounds because the mandate to provide this information is not one of the federal government’s constitutional functions.
Last but certainly not least, background checks turn the presumption of innocence on its head. Instead of being free to acquire a firearm without government duress, law-abiding citizens are forced to submit records proving their innocence to a faceless bureaucracy. On what planet is this requirement not a violation of the very civil liberties enshrined in our legal tradition?
Criminals are not concerned about following gun laws; what makes us think they’re going to go out of their way to adhere to even more onerous rules background checks instill?
The Brady bill effectively established a gun registry containing records of every American who purchases a gun from a dealership, available to the government on demand. Gun owners should not be defending background checks; they’re another form of unconstitutional gun control. Plain and simple.
Compromising for the sake of appearing reasonable or “common sense” will not score brownie points with the political establishment. For the liberal elite, the Brady System is just one piece of their puzzle that, once complete, will strip us of our gun rights completely.
Virtue-signaling will not keep power-hungry gun controllers at bay.
To win this fight, pro-gun activists must take a firm, principled stance on the Second Amendment. Nothing meaningful is ever won in the comfort zone of compromise politics.
To fully restore the Second Amendment in America, we must target egregious violations such as the Brady System and work tirelessly to repeal them.
A citizenry is not free until all infringements on their right to self-defense are abolished.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.