I only skimmed his piece at the Corner this morning, and would have missed this bit if a commenter hadn’t pointed it out:
I have to say, though, that the second paragraph seems to be a step in the right direction for Bloomberg. He seems to be suggesting … that we require private firearm sales to go through license dealers so that background checks are performed. (Under current law, licensed dealers have to perform background checks, but once a private citizen owns a gun, he’s free to sell it without a check.) … requiring background checks for private sales is at least debatable — a fair number of crime guns seem to come from private sources, and it’s not unreasonable to ask someone who wants to transfer a gun to drive to a licensed dealer first. (California allows dealers to charge $35 for the service; another option would be for the government to pay.) [emphasis added]
This is the return of the (so-called) gun show loophole.
Laws requiring background checks on private transfers are on the books in California, Massachusetts, and presumably several other states (DC likely bans them all together, given the nonsense they make people buying guns from FFLs go through). New York City requires (I believe) all gun owners to be licensed.
And yet Bloomberg wants to criminalize (with VerBruggen’s support, apparently) all private sales of firearms. Straw purchasing is already illegal. The people these laws are trying to stop are already breaking the law. The only people this law would affect are the law-abiding. Want to sell your gun to your brother? To your friend? Tough shit. Go pay the man his cut.
Why is another law going to make any difference at all?