The U.S. Senate returned from its summer recess on September 9, 2019. It has been widely reported that the Senate’s Republican leadership has caved in to media pressure. They have promised to create a Senate version of H.R. 8 — the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019”. (It already passed in the House, back in February.)
The phrases “Universal Background Checks” and “Comprehensive Background Checks” sound all warm and fuzzy to the leftists. But here is what they really mean: “We’ll make you a felon if you sell a gun to your next door neighbor”. Please don’t allow this blatantly unconstitutional bill to become law. Turning a fundamental right into a felony is the worst sort of legislative tyranny.
In the Senate version of the bill, they’ll probably carve out an exemption for transfers within immediate families. And they might make an exemption for holders of current CCW permits. There will of course be a compromise version of the House and Senate bills, in Conference Committee. So the exact wording of the finalized law is uncertain. But if the effective date stipulated in the House version is left intact, then the new law will take effect 210 days after it is signed. (“The amendments made by this Act shall take effect 210 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.”)
President DJT has made repeated public announcements that he wants to see a “universal background check” law. So there is a very high probability that he will sign the bill, if it crosses his desk. Once that 210-day window opens, watch out. I predict that we’ll witness the biggest gun-buying frenzy in U.S. history. President Obama was jokingly named Gun Salesman of the Year for a couple of years, but Donald Trump is about to become The Gun Salesman of the Century. And his signature on that law may even cost him getting re-elected.
If it enacted, here are some Implications of the new law:
- It will ruin gun shows as we now know them. All gun sales–except for pre-1899 antiques–will have to go through dealers. That will make most “Mom & Pop” sellers will want to retire, leaving gun shows to just licensed dealers. It also means that gun store retail prices will become the norm for gun shows. No more bargains!
- It will make Pre-1899 Antique guns (which are exempt from the law) much more valuable.
- Similarly, 80% complete frames and receivers will become much more popular. That is, until they ban those, too.
- It will create an absolute frenzy of private sales and trades, during the 210-day window of opportunity. Gun shows will be jam-packed. Armslist.com will have its private party listings stripped clean–even for .22 rimfire guns.
- The prices of some Private Party guns will double or triple. I can foresee private party stripped AR lowers selling for $350 or more, and complete ARs selling for $1,200 to $4,000. I’m not kidding!
- The buying frenzy will only increase as the 210 Day window comes close to closing. The last few weeks of gun buying privacy will be particularly memorable. I can foresee that there will be some $5,000 AR-10s sold, in those final weeks.
- After the law’s effective date, it will create a huge black market, with chronically inflated prices.
I’m no prophet, but I can fairly safely predict that the last few gun shows in November and December of 2019 will be jam-packed spectacles. The licensed dealers will be fairly busy, but the private party sellers will have their tables absolutely stripped clean, by eager cash buyers. To call it a “Seller’s Market” will be putting it mildly. If you have a table full of private party guns at a gun show in December of 2019, then you will be able to get your “dream price” on any black rifle on your table.
Your Legislative Action Plan
This law can possibly still be stopped. Starting today, please repeatedly contact both of your U.S. Senators and your congressman about this, and remind them that they have NO AUTHORITY to control intrastate commerce of used goods, under the interstate commerce clause! No Federal nexus means no Federal jurisdiction. A fallback position will be to say to your Senators: If you cannot stop this, then at least load this bill up with as many amendments as possible. These should include:
- Changing the Federal definition of an “antique” gun to one that is 70 years old, instead of the arbitrary cut-off date of December 31, 1898, which has been frozen in place since 1968. Properly, the definition of “antique” should roll forward one year, every year.
- Exempting holders of CCW permits from any background checks. Anyone who holds a permit has already passed a background check!
- Exempting sales in rural counties from any background checks. Rural areas are by definition low crime areas. Private sales in any county with a population of less than 100,000 should be exempt from any background checks.
- Exempting any transfers (gifts or sales) within extended families. This should include children, parents, cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and in-laws.
- Exempting anyone who has been the victim of stalking or domestic abuse. If a protective order has been issued by a court at any level, then that protected individual should have carte blanche to buy a gun from anyone, without delay or any hindrance!
- Delaying effective date of the law for one full year, to allow time for a Supreme Court challenge.
While you have your congressional staffer on the line, please also tell them that you also oppose Red Flag laws, magazine bans, and so-called assault weapons bans. Those too are all unconstitutional.
Your 210-Day Gun Collection Re-Balancing Plan
Even though H.R. 8 is blatantly unconstitutional, odds are that it will indeed become law, most likely in April or May of 2020, and most likely without any significant amendments. You should take full advantage of this brief window of opportunity to round out and re-balance your family firearms collection, as follows:
- Make a list of the guns that you presently own.
- Highlight those that you are willing to trade or sell, to fill gaps and achieve better balance in your collection. Do so with the next two or three generations of your family in mind. Try to stick to common calibers, for your modern guns.
- From these lists, make a prioritized list of what you need. If in doubt, then just picture Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer standing next to you, as you open your gun vault. Would they scowl if they saw any particular guns? Then those are what you need to buy.
- If you live in one of the 37 remaining Private Party Sales States, then start by searching local newspaper classified ads, Armslist.com, Gunbroker.com, and GunsAmerica.com for private party guns (or receivers) that match your “want list” criteria.
- Start checking gun show calendars, and making travel plans inside of your state, for September of 2019 through March of 2020.
- Quietly start withdrawing cash from your bank or S&L. But beware of the $10,000 limit, triggering a Cash Transaction Report (CTR).
- Liquidate some precious metals or other liquid tangibles into cash. If you took my advice and bought Rhodium in 2016 back when it was under $700 per ounce, then this is a good time to sell. Rhodium is now up to around $4,700 per Troy ounce. If you bought silver as I recommended, then it is a good time to sell perhaps 20% of your holdings. (Sliver was at $19.20 per Troy ounce when I last checked.)
- Pay with cash or in Bitcoin out of your hardware wallet. Avoid buying from Federally-licensed dealers, if that is legal in your state.
- If there aren’t many gun shows in your region, then consider hosting “Itty Bitty” livingroom gun shows for between September of 2019 through March of 2020, if that is legal under your local and state laws. Trade among your trusted friends, neighbors, and church congregants.
- If you have more than 10 extra guns to sell, then rent a gun show table in your state a few weeks before the law goes into effect. Print up some prominent signs that read: “Private Party Seller.”
- I generally shun going into debt, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 is signed, then seriously consider taking a cash advance on your credit card or even a modest home equity loan (in cash), to finance your private party acquisitions during The 210 Days of Freedom.
- Buy some 80% complete AR lowers and 80% complete Glock frames. Do so soon, before the small available supply dries up, and new production is legislated away.
- If you decide to trade a gun, then trade it only for a gun that you or your children will need and that will appreciate in value.
- Worry about buying magazines, uppers, spare parts, caching tubes, ammo, et cetera, after the 210-Day window closes. For now, concentrate on getting the hardest-to-find serialized guns and receivers, sans papiere. But again, look for ones that are in common calibers, like .308, .223, 12 Gauge, 9mm, and .45 ACP.
- The full significance of the Federally-exempt status of pre-1899 cartridge guns probably won’t be recognized until around April of 2020. So buy or trade for yours soon, while they are still affordable and widely available. Most shooters will be shocked to see pre-1899 guns double or triple in price, in the next few years. Presently, a Swedish Mauser dated 1898 on the receiver ring is worth $400 to $900. But by 2022, we can expect to see a $2,500+ price tag. The law of supply and demand is inescapable. While the supply of antiques is fixed (absent imports), demand will become tremendous.
- In the long term, plan for successive waves of legislation. California is the Bellwether state to watch. As goes California law, then so will go Federal law, if the Democrats gain control. This may mean: A FEDERAL 11+ round magazine ban, a FEDERAL “ghost gun” (80% receiver) ban, a FEDERAL background check on ammunition sales, a FEDERAL “approved safe guns” list, a FEDERAL gun registration law, A FEDERAL one gun per-month purchase limit, a FEDERAL ban on most detachable magazine semi-auto rifles, and so forth.
- Do not break any laws. Use every loophole that you can, but do not run afoul of local, state, or Federal law. Make your private purchases of modern guns and receivers inside of your own state. Remember: Sales of modern guns across state lines have required an FFL since 1968. Violations of that law are felonies.
- Just before the private party sales ban law takes effect, type up separate letters with lists of guns with descriptions and serial numbers that you are giving to your children and grandchildren. (“On today’s date, December 25, 2019, I am hereby giving the following firearms to my son Johnny B. Smith: 1.) A Glock Model 19, serial number…”) Have those letters notarized, by a local Notary Public, BEFORE the law’s effective date.
- Remember: Once the 210 Days of Freedom window of opportunity has closed, it will probably be closed permanently–at least in our lifetimes.
Don’t snooze on this, folks. The U.S. Senate is back in session, so the clock is now ticking… – JWR
Note: Permission to re-post this article is granted, but only if it is re-posted in full, with credit to James Wesley, Rawles and a link to SurvivalBlog.com.