Originally Posted by somethingbenign
Please explain why you can't organize gun sale records. Is there some law on the book or just too much data flow?
Without veering into the political I'll state the facts:
it was written into the firearm owners protection act. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire...Protection_Act
This act was created in response to what lawmakers thought was an over reach and punitive measures against gun owners and dealers after the 1968 gun control act https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_Control_Act_of_1968
the GCA regulated interstate commerce of firearms setting up a way of tracking a path of firearms from manufacturer to dealer. It was also as lawmakers claimed a way for ATF agents to harass dealers about record keeping.
When politicians say they want "universal background checks" they mean they want to make a digital database that's searchable (a registry).
Gun record keeping is very manual. When law enforcement runs a trace they contact the manufacture who looks in their records for the distributor who then checks their records for the federal firearms dealer who then checks who the final purchaser was. All these records are kept by the businesses unless they go out of business. Then the records must be surrendered to the ATF and kept in paper form in ATF warehouses. Because the records are starting to decay they've made allowance to digitize the picture form only (still non searchable).
As a gun owner if you've sold a gun to a private party you may at some point get a call from the ATF that has you on record as the original purchaser. If you ever private sale a gun its up to you to keep record of who you sold it to.
The FOPA wasn't all in favor of gun owners, it was the act that banned sales of machine guns made after the date the act was passed. Before FOPA anyone could pay $200 for a stamp and buy a machine gun legally.
On one side of the debate people think it's asinine that in the digital age it takes weeks to trace a gun used in a crime. On the other side gun owners are always worried the assault weapon ban https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fede...lt_Weapons_Ban
or other gun bans will be reinstated, but without grandfather clauses forcing people to give up very expensive gun collections for destruction. Having a registry would facilitate compliancy of a ban of certain models of firearms.