Sen. Manchin needs to stop peddling his gun-control legislation or make some serious changes to it because right now it is awful. Current law requires licensed gun dealers to keep the completed background check form 4473 for 20 years and to turn them over to the government if the dealer goes out of business. These forms are available to the government anytime, contain details on the buyer as well as details on the specific firearm purchased such as caliper, serial number, make and model. The ATF routinely during their inspections of gun dealers, copies in some manner the records of that gun dealer. Their database may not be complete, but it is certainly in existence. I just listened to a PBS radio show discussing law enforcement tracing firearms and without some registry, that would be impossible.
Manchin's attempt at expanding background checks allows further building of the ATF's database by requiring more form 4473s to be completed. In this manner virtually all gun sales can be traced. The language is full of loopholes that do not prevent or stop a firearm and/or owner registry and in some ways, makes a registry easier. If Manchin was truly serious about making sure a firearm registry was not enacted, he should strip out the requirement in current law about what is recorded on form 4473 and turned over to the government upon request. A check of someone's background does not require knowing each and every firearm purchased down to the serial number. Strip out the registry and gun owners will be much more receptive to having background checks run.
One may wonder what is wrong with a registry of guns or gun owners. A right guaranteed in the Constitution should never require a permit or the requirement to be entered into a government database. Secondly, there are four liberal justices on the Supreme Court that would happily rule the Second Amendment does not apply as an individual right but only in some twisted logic, to state-run militias. Additionally, throughout history, gun registration leads to confiscation of some sort, and a well armed population serves as a final check of the people against an oppressive government.
Canada tried a registry and gave it up after the cost was tremendous, it solved not one crime, and everyone hated it. The government has proven over and over it cannot be trusted so why give them more power when not one thing in this legislation would stop crime?