It is pretty clear that the Trump White House supports expanded background checks for firearms sales. At the 2019 Gun Rights Policy Conference, one speaker noted there was a one-page “Idea Sheet” being floated around the Hill about this issue and this supposedly “acceptable” policy would be something the President might agree with. Apparently Barr has been taking this to R legislators in order to get some sort of policy in place.
We found the idea sheet here.
It is very bare bones at the moment and has many parts that are unclear. What, exactly, is a “commercial sale?” Who are these licensed transfer agents? How much would they cost? What would the cost be to have an FFL or transfer agent keep the paperwork? What penalties would they face if they lost your paperwork?
At first blush, this suffers from the same weakness all of these proposals seem to have – it does not take into account the difficultly for people in poorer communities or who do not otherwise have access to transportation to get to one of these transfer facilities. Especially if the idea is to make the the transfer agents be law enforcement agencies, this burdens of this proposal once again fall more heavily on the backs of the poor and people of color. But it is not as restrictive as some proposals and does use an existing system, which is a good choice.
We will be watching this proposal carefully and will update as we know more. We will also be reaching out to the DOJ in the next week to give input and hopefully get more answers on the scope and details of the proposal.