House Democrats plan to introduce legislation criminalizing private gun sales once the new Congress is in session.
Mother Jones reports that Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) met with gun control groups that included the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, the Center for American Progress, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, and Gabby Giffords’ group. He asked them what they wanted, and a bill to criminalize private gun sales was on their wish list.
So Thompson will sponsor legislation requiring a background check before someone may buy a gun from his neighbor, a co-worker to get a background check before buying a gun from a co-worker, and so forth. The bill will go so far as to require a son to get a background check before a father can give him a gun as a gift.
Private gun sales are legal and have been an American tradition since 1791, the year the Second Amendment was ratified.
Ironically, a ban on private sales would not have stopped a single mass shooting witnessed to this point in the 21st century because nearly every mass shooter acquires his guns at retail via a background check. The exceptions to the rule are the mass shooters who steal their guns.
While the Democrats’ gun control push will not prevent mass shootings, it will criminalize a grandfather for passing his goose gun to his grandson without government permission. It will also criminalize a mother who gives her college-age daughter a revolver for self-defense without first getting government permission.