Mandatory Background Checks Take The 5th

Making the universal background check system mandatory for gun ownership amounts to giving up one constitutional right to be able to exercise another explains industry news specialist Max Slowik. Many of the expanded uses of the NICS database currently on the table, would require giving up rights under the 5th amendment in order to purchase or hold a firearm.

The 5th amendment, in order to protect citizens against government abuse, gives individuals the right to not incriminate themselves. This is the amendment behind the prohibition on firearms registries that connect owners to non federally regulated firearms  in the Firearm Owners Protection Act(FOPA). Currently, under the Federal Licensing(FFL) background check system, firearms dealers must keep ATF accessible records on who has applied for a background check and whether that background check resulted in a firearms purchase or not. If these records become more integrated and universally distributed, as suggested by the presidential memorandums and actions on gun control, they would amount to a federal firearms registry — precisely the kind of watch list that the 5th amendment and FOPA protect us from.

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