A heated dispute over background checks erupted at the Gun Rights Policy Conference last week between Second Amendment Foundation leader Alan Gottlieb and gun activist Jeff Knox.
Knox, the son of gun rights pioneer Neal Knox, challenged Gottlieb over an initiative that Gottlieb is supporting on this year’s ballot in Washington State (I-591). The measure, which Gottlieb wrote, prohibits background checks in the state “unless a uniform national standard is required”.
As Knox pointed out at the GRPC, this language leaves the door wide open for a federal background check system. After Knox asked Gottlieb to defend this portion of the bill, Gottlieb launched into a full-scale support of background checks.
Gottlieb’s argument – which he has also made in the past – is that gun rights supporters should embrace background checks because they are inevitable. Pointing to polls stating that a majority of voters support background checks, he says that gun rights supporters are only hurting themselves by opposing them.
I have mentioned before my disappointment with Gottlieb’s stance on Background Checks. I am a believer in compromises when they are stepping-stones and we keep moving forward, not when these compromises are suddenly set on concrete, cannot be undone and will be used as gateways for restrictions.
This Background Check thing is nothing more than the Manchin-Toomey-Schummer bill that was tried to be shoved down our throats after Sandy Hook. It is clearly the basic framework for the Universal Firearms Registration we all fear. If we compromise for the sake of compromising (we are dealing with lawyers here at SAF, they love to make deals) we are not going to get the benefit of another Sunset provision like with AWB but this law will never be undone short of setting shit on fire.
As I told somebody in the Twitterverse long ago, you want UBC? I will sign on it if GAC 68 and NFA 34 are deleted from the books and there is no compulsory registration of guns acquired prior to the enactment of the bill or registration of any new firearm other than what it is in the books now.
Only then, maybe we will talk.