President Trump opened the door Thursday morning to a national gun registry via his proposed “comprehensive background checks.”
He called for such checks via Twitter:
I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks! Congress is in a mood to finally do something on this issue – I hope!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018
Although there is a lack of clarity on what Trump means by “comprehensive background checks,” as to whether he is referencing an overhaul of our current system or is pushing the universal background checks lauded by Democrats, it is important to note that this represents a turning point which opens the door to a national gun registry.
This is so because universal background checks are not enforceable without a gun registry.
For contemporary, real world proof of this danger just look at California, where universal background checks led to registration requirements which resulted in gun confiscation laws. This has all played out before our eyes and is evident to those who pay attention.
For evidence from law enforcement, just consider the way New Mexico Sheriff’s rallied to defeat universal background checks on the grounds that such checks would have led to a gun registry in that state. On February 9, 2017, Breitbart News reported that 32 of New Mexico’s 33 sheriffs signed a letter opposing the universal background checks that were being debated in the state legislature at that time. They described the checks as a “scheme” that “would be unenforceable without creating a gun registry.”
In addition to the contemporary evidence from California and the evidence from law enforcement, common sense proves that a gun registry is necessary if the government is to know who is selling a gun, when they are selling it, and to whom they are selling it. In other words, government officials cannot know that gun sales are being universally monitored unless they know the name of every gun owner and have identifying information about every gun possessed by those owners.
Would a gun registry prevent mass shootings? No, but it would set the stage for the kind of confiscatory actions seen in California. And it would be another step toward narrowing the means to acquire firearms, thereby empowering the government to more easily restrict the guns law-abiding citizens can or cannot own, as we have seen in California.
On August 8, 2016, Hillary Clinton used a Newsweek column to call for “comprehensive background checks.” On February 22, 2018, Trump tweeted his support for “comprehensive background checks” as well. The question before us is whether Trump is voicing support for the same checks Clinton had in mind. If so, a gun registry will be necessary to make them work.