Paul Ryan Endorses Universal Background Checks: Time for Gun Owners to Negotiate? (VIDEO)

01/29/13 6:22 PM | by

Fiscal policy wonk and former GOP Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan sat down with the editors and writers from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Monday to discuss politics and, not surprisingly, the issue of gun control came up during the conversation.

Ryan, who is an avid hunter, was asked about Obama’s proposal to mandate universal background checks for all gun sales, including those made between private buyers and sellers.

Perhaps to the chagrin of the NRA and other gun rights groups, Ryan supported the idea of closing the inaptly named gun show ‘loophole’ so long as it doesn’t supplant one’s individual right to keep and bear arms.

“I think we should look into someone who is not legally allowed to buy a gun going to [a show], buying one, and let’s figure that out,” the congressman from Janesville said. “I think we need to find out how to close these loopholes and do it in such a way that we don’t infringe on Second Amendment rights.”

He iterated that the idea of requiring universal background checks was “very reasonable,” but as for details on how to make it pass constitutional muster, he said, “I don’t know the answer to how to make this work — that’s what committee hearings are for.”

As for the President’s other major proposals on the table, the ban on ‘military-style assault weapons’ and the ban on high-capacity magazines, Ryan was quick to shoot those down, saying that there are “legitimate reasons to own these guns” and that a ban on high-capacity magazines is more “cosmetic” than constructive in the fight against gun-related violence.

On Sunday, Ryan echoed the calls from his Republican peers to move beyond the superficial topic of gun control and examine the real causes of gun-related violence.

“Let’s go beyond just this debate and we get deeper. What’s our policy on mental illness? What’s going on in our culture that produces this kind of thing?” Ryan said on CBS Face the Nation. “We need to have that kind of discussion and debate and I hope we don’t skip past that and bring out political ideas that recycle failed policies of the past.”

Thoughts and Analysis

In talking with many gun owners at SHOT Show 2013, it became apparent that – at least anecdotally – the gun community supported the idea of universal background checks, in theory.

Pew Poll Gun Control

But like Congressman Ryan, they had more questions than answers on how to implement a law that would accord with the Constitution and the Firearm Owners Protection Act ( examined the constitutional Catch-22 with respect to universal background checks).

One idea that got kicked around was to add exclusions to the measure so that close friends and family were exempt.  In other words, background checks would be mandatory for every firearm transaction provided that the buyer and seller were not close friends or family members.

Does that make sense?

Politically speaking, with widespread public support for closing the ‘loophole’ it might be wise to concede this measure to Obama and his pro-gun control minions.

Yes, employ that dirty little word ‘compromise;’ let’s negotiate, let’s give them universal background checks with the aforementioned exclusion in exchange for them to leave ‘assault’ weapons and high-capacity magazines the hell alone.

What do you think?  Is it time to compromise/negotiate?  Could you live with UBCs under those conditions? In general what are your thoughts on UBCs?

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