Why Universal Background Checks Can’t Lead to a Federal Gun Registry
Opponents of gun safety laws have argued that universal background checks would be the first step toward creating a federal registry of gun owners. This memo explains why that’s not possible—practically, legally, or politically.
- Background checks must be destroyed within 24 hours.
- Gun sale records are kept by the 59,000 gun sellers in America who currently perform background checks—not the government, except in rare instances carved out by existing statute.
- Federal law explicitly bars the government from creating a registry of gun owners or the guns they own.
The NRA knows this—that’s why they were for universal background checks before they were against them.
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