I realize that I’m commenting a full year after you originally posted this piece but…
Jim Roye

Fair points. Obviously one person can’t account for all the variables, so these sorts of challenges are necessary if we ever want a fully functioning system. In that spirit, I welcome your criticisms.

I didn’t make it explicitly clear in my description, but in my mind, my public NICS system would not entail all of the details of a 4473 Form. So, no, there wouldn’t be a de facto registry. From my point of view, and taking into account my desire to take baby steps rather than severely overcorrect all at once, there’s no reason for private sales to track the guns themselves. So, no serial numbers. If the prospective buyer gets a pass on the check, that’s all that matters in the transaction. The fact that Bob and Jim are linked in the history is more than enough to facilitate law enforcement in the event of criminal activity. (For example, if Jim is a felon, and gets arrested for armed robbery, the police can investigate Bob. It is up to Bob to be able to prove that he did not sell a gun to Jim upon running a failed check, or for law enforcement to prove that he did. And of course, a gun’s original owner per it’s 4473 records, can come into play. Either, just knowing that Bob and Jim had a potential transaction is a much better lead than nothing.) It is more than what happens now without going so far as to be ridiculous. It’s a baby step. See how it works, and go from there.

(From a certain perspective, I can completely understand why FFL dealers have to record gun specific information on 4473's, as those guns are brand new hitting the streets for the first time, so things should be handled slightly different between dealers and civilians. So I wouldn’t push for much to change on that end. This proposal is just for the public side of things.)

As for all of your other points… I think a more carefully planned and detailed approach along the lines of what I’ve laid out is enough to remove most of the motivations to go through such extreme measures that you’ve brought up.

There’s no such thing as a foolproof plan. I mean, defacing a firearm’s serial number is a felony, as is owning such a firearm, and yet, it happens quite a lot. So what good are they when it comes to dealing with crime?

I just think that the gun control side speaks largely from a position of ignorance in that they don’t understand the ins and outs of the topic at hand, while the pro gun side refuses to think creatively to adopt systems that would benefit society whilst still protecting their rights.

In short, the solutions are out there, there just aren’t enough people looking for them.

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