Resolved: The US should require a Universal Background Check for all Gun Sales and Transfers of Ownership
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After 4 votes and with the same amount of points on both sides...
- Publication date
- Last updated date
- Number of rounds
- Time for argument
- Two days
- Max argument characters
- Voting period
- Two weeks
- Point system
- Multiple criterions
- Voting system
Definitions of the resolution and terms of debate:
Universal Background Check- Any system that would require a background check be performed, under threat of fine and/or imprisonment, upon purchase of, or transfer of ownership of, a gun.
For example, the NICS system for FFL sales, but expanded to include and any all sale or non-sale "transfers of ownership."
It is also pertinent to note that *require* in the resolution relates to the *under threat of fine and/or imprisonment* aspect of the definition of UBC.
Also that *The US* in the debate resolution implies adherance to the framework laid out by the founding documents and subsequent legislation/legal rulings of the United States. This isnt a debate on the validity of the framework itself, it is a debate on whether that framework and system would permit the implementation of a federally mandated universal background check for any and all transfers of ownership. As well as a debate upon the harms/benefits of any such implementation.
Gun Sales- The sale or exchange, and necessary "transfer of ownership" that entails, of a gun between one party and another.
Transfer of Ownership- The exchange of ownership between one party(individual, group, or business) and another party through sale or gift(voluntarily giving).
Non-voluntary transfers of ownership are not to be included as non voluntary transfer of ownership is theft. And the legal expectation of a person performing a background check in the midst of a theft is facially absurd. Also, that transfers of possession, such as lending, leasing, etc. As those transfers automatically imply that the possession of the object in question will be at some point, returned back to the *owners* possession.
This debate pertains to a UBC and not any other form of gun control, unless it be directly related to implementation of a UBC. Extensive policy planning should be viewed as grounds for disqualification. General advocacy plans are of course permissible, but should be kept relevant to the resolution.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. - The Second Amendment
Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.
Criminals want to avoid background checks and guns that can be traced to them. Surveys of offenders consistently show that a vast majority did not obtain their firearms from licensed dealers, thereby avoiding background checks.
When background checks are required, they are extremely effective at keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous, prohibited persons. Since the federal background check requirement was adopted in 1994, over 3 million people legally prohibited from possessing a gun—mainly convicted felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill—have been denied a firearm transfer or permit.15 In 2014 alone, 147,000 prohibited people were blocked from acquiring guns by NICS, the federal background check system.16
researchers found that a 1995 Connecticut law requiring gun buyers to get permits (which themselves required background checks) was associated with a 40 percent decline in gun homicides and a 15 percent drop in suicides. Similarly, when researchers studied Missouri's 2007 repeal of its permit-to-purchase law, they found an associated increase in gun homicides by 23 percent, as well as a 16-percent increase in suicides.
18 USC 926(a)(3)- “No such rule or regulation prescribed after the date of the enactment of the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions be established.”
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized"
a search and seizure by a law enforcement officer without a warrant and without probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is present.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
"that a proper claim of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination provides a full defense to prosecutions either for failure to register a firearm under sec.5841 or for possession of an unregistered firearm under sec.5851."
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
"To regulate commerce with Foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
The very process and operation of the background check system intentionally makes it impossible for the federal government to use those records to create a registry of gun owners or the guns they purchase.Right now, when a person buys a gun at a federally licensed dealer (where a background check is already required), the first thing the store does is to give the buyer a blank copy of ATF Form 4473. The buyer fills in his name, address, and birthday, and affirms that he is not prohibited from having a gun and is not buying it for someone else.4 The store clerk takes the form, looks at the buyer’s photo ID, and then either picks up the phone to call the National Instant Check System (NICS) or logs onto their secure website. It takes an average of 7 seconds for someone at NICS to answer the phone,5 and the gun dealer reads the name and date of birth from the form or types it into the computer. Typically, within a few minutes NICS can search its database to make sure the buyer is not prohibited from owning a gun. If no records are found, the dealer is told he can proceed with the sale.6Here’s what happens next: The buyer leaves the store with the firearm. The NICS system destroys all records of running a check on that buyer within 24 hours.7 On the 4473 form, the dealer marks that the buyer passed the NICS check, writes down the transaction number and the serial number of the gun that was sold, and files it away, where it must be kept in a paper file by law for 20 years.8Thus, there is only one official record of the sale, and it resides in the individual gun dealer’s files. Currently, there are approximately 59,000 gun dealers across all 50 states,9 each of which keeps individual files of the approximately 16 million 4473 forms that are filled out every year.10 There are only four ways the government can ever even see this record: during a compliance inspection of dealer records, during an ongoing criminal investigation, if your gun is found at a crime scene, or if the gun store goes out of business.
Our constitutional rights are not an all-or-nothing deal. We can uphold the Second Amendment and still pass reasonable regulations that further the public’s interest in safety. So don’t feel you need to choose between protecting our Second Amendment rights and supporting sensible gun regulations. Why should you? The Constitution doesn’t.
The purpose of universal background checks is not to limit the right of an individual person to own their guns, but to keep those who are legally forbidden from obtaining firearms
The average price of a handgun is out of reach for a lot of poor people (including me). Are we to then say guns must be provided for free or cap how much a gun can cost?
Secondly, a gun background check takes only seconds and is usually provided at no cost.