So we know the gun grabbers aren't going to get what they want at the Federal level, unless we agree to give them something. So, if we were of the mind to give up something, what should we give and what should we ask for in return?
It's pretty clear the two things the gun control lobby wants most are universal background checks and magazine capacity restrictions. In my book, capacity restrictions are a non-starter, so that leaves background checks.
(Why? For one primary reason. The police have decided that 13– or 17–round Glocks and 30–round AR-15s are the best self-defense tools available for their officers—who normally travel in pairs—and these officers have the baddest, most heavily equipped reinforcements just a radio call away from helping them resolve a situation that may be getting out of hand. So, an individual citizen, who usually doesn't have an armed buddy covering their "six" (backside), and who really doesn't have the same kind of access to overwhelming backup, needs at least the same level of self-defense capability if not more.)
Background checks, if done right, could actually be a good thing. By done right, I mean revamping the NICS system so that anyone can access it over the internet or via phone, for free. You supply enough personally identifying information to the system to uniquely idenitfy someone, say full name, date of birth and Social Security number. Since this is the government I'd give them a little more time than the average credit card transaction to come back with a result. If the system can't get an answer within 60 seconds, the transaction is approved. If the person is not prohibited from purchasing firearms, the seller gets a receipt back from the system with a hash (number) that can cryptographically prove that the buyer was not a prohibited person given the information in the NICS database at that specific time. With this hash, the seller is legally indemnified against any and all liability claims, civil or criminal, if the buyer goes on to violate the law with that firearm sometime in the future. NICS keeps no record of the transaction, so there are no firearm serial numbers recorded, but that hash can mathematically prove that a check of the buyer's elegibility was done at a specific date and time.
So, with universal background checks done correctly, what should we get in return? I can think of several things. First, all state-level "assault weapons" bans could be preempted by the Federal government since the Second Amendment was incorporated via the 14th Amendment to apply to the States.
Second, silencers could be removed from Class III status so they no longer require special permission or a tax stamp to purchase. Again, the Federal government would need to preempt the States on this, but who in their right mind thinks it's a good idea to have to ask your local police chief for permission to pay a $200 tax to purchase hearing protection?
Third, we could get rid of the "sporting use" clause that's used to prevent foreign manufacturers from importing some kinds of firearms. This has turned out to be a bit of crony capitalism that protects domestic firearms manufacturers from competition, but it also significantly infringes on our ability to get quite a fiew firearms that are very popular elsewhere in the world.
Fourth, we could make concealed carry licenses as universally accepted as driver's licenses. The States have already done a pretty good job of establishing reciprocity, but much like the Restoration South, there are some hold-outs that need to be nudged along the civil rights path.
Lastly, we could use univeral background checks to nullify all current magazine limitations and prohibit any new ones. I put this last because I'm not a big fan of spending all the political capital from background checks on preventing a law that isn't currently on the books. I'd rather see us use that capital to roll back some of the egregious restrictions that have already been enacted.
But those are my thoughts. What are yours?