Bob S, one problem with background checks is that someone has to write the "rules" for what disqualifies someone from owning a firearm. Those rules can be changed to become as restrictive as the writer of the rules desires. There are plenty of people in government who believe that only law enforcement and the military should be allowed to own guns. There's no legitimate reason for the government to know if I own a gun, what kind of gun I own or how many. Required background checks gives the government all of that unnecessary information. Buying guns from private sellers avoids the issue altogether.
Roger Ek wrote: "Robert, Find yourself a copy of the book, "Unintended Consequences". It is fiction, but based on real people like any historical novel. It is a real scenario that could happen to correct the situation we find ourselves in today. The book is selling for upwards of $150, but some libraries have them. Then look up "The Battle of Jake's" on line. It's free and Maine figures prominently in the story. It's only about 300 pages. Those two are enough to give a dedicated progressive the heebie jeebies."
I know several of the people UC was based on. It is an excellent read and created a LOT of uneasiness in the "Gun Culture" and dealings with BATFE in the sad days of Ruby Ridge, Waco, etc. I have spent some time talking with Randy Weaver and have visited the Waco "compound" remains. I spoke with one of the survivors of the raid not long after it happened and it was a terrible thing to have a "front row seat" at. It was a very sad and somber time in our not-too-distant past.
Thank God things are much different now. I was a licensed firearms manufacturer back in those days and it was uneasy and uncomfortable. There was a thick "us vs them" feeling all the time and it was actually quite scary. Phone tapping was not uncommon and no one knew when it would change. I am happy to say that the last decade has been much different. All the BATFE people I deal with on a regular basis (I have several licenses they oversee) have been helpful, friendly and courteous. It is NOTHING like it was in the early 1990's.
In 1968 I bought some firearms through the mail. They were delivered to my house. It was legal. We'll get back there some day.
"No free man shall ever be denied the use of arms"
"It is NOTHING like it was in the early 1990's.'
Bigshooter do you think that had some to do with "the good ole boy" mindset retiring, and a younger class of agent, or just executive directed policy from DC
I think it has been because of a lot of outreach on both sides. There was a move from Dept. of Treasury to Dept. of Justice and a physical move from DC to W. Virginia. Things immediately got better with the move. I also think your theory could ring true. Lots of new Agents and Examiners and all I have dealt with have not only been professional, but have a genuine interest in the industry. Maybe it was full of people who got "promoted" there in the past and now it is people who applied specifically to work there. I am not sure but it is certainly better. :-)
At least in Portland, the agents I have dealt with realize that "we are the customers", not the enemy. It might be different in other regions or in DC.