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The Deep State Wants Your Guns

José Niño
December 12th, 2018
Mises Institute
Comments (38)

This article was originally published by José Niño at the Mises Institute

James Bovard notes the threat to private gun ownership posed by the “deep state,” the “officials who secretly wield power permanently in Washington, often in federal agencies with vast sway and little accountability.”

While such laws were made by elected officials, it is unelected bureaucrats who are largely left in charge of enforcement, and that can cause big problems for gun owners. Just before press time for this issue, it was reported that a California farmer who was simply trying to meet the state’s ever-changing restrictive gun laws by registering his rifle is being charged with 12 felonies after the state DOJ determined his AR-15 to be “illegally modified.”

Questionable Federal Background Checks

Bovard’s observations should not come as a surprise. As government agencies — unlike lawmakers — are able to directly access databases that relate to gun ownership, the agencies themselves are often in a position to abuse this information. These databases are under the control of gigantic bureaucracies like FBI that face little to no accountability from voters.

The National Instant Background Check System (NICS) is the pillar of all background check systems for firearms purchases and was a part of the 1994 Brady Act. Any time a prospective gun owner wants to buy a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL), they must go through a background check. Under this system, the FBI looks at certain factors such as criminal history and mental health to determine if an individual presents too much of a risk to own a firearm.

Although NICS is marketed as a speedy background check system, it comes with its own set of problems. NICS has gained notoriety for producing false positives. In other words, law-abiding citizens are mixed and matched with criminals who have the same name. In turn, these individuals are prevented from acquiring guns due to bureaucratic errors.

Particularly worrisome is the rate of initial NICS denials that turn out as false positives. Some estimates from the Crime Prevention Research Center indicate that in 2009 alone, 93 percent of initial NICS denials were false positives.

Regardless, NICS has remained intact even when evidence has shown that it is ineffective in combatting crime. For example, crime rates had already gone into steep decline by the mid-1990s, well before NICS went into effect in 1998.

Fear of Gun Registration is Warranted

Yet, the gun-control bureaucracy continues to grow. This was on full display when Fix NICS was recently signed into law— it was the largest gun expansion at the federal level since the Brady Act was enacted in 1993. Under Fix NICS, state governments are now being incentivized to share records with the federal government in order to streamline the background check process. Proponents of Fix NICS claim that these tweaks would have prevented the Charleston church and the Sutherland Springs mass shootings, in which both shooters supposedly fell through the cracks of the NICS system.

Certain gun owners worry that the federal government’s program to incentivize states to hand over their gun records could lead to the creation of a federal gun registry. And these fears are not without their merits.

After NICS came into effect in 1998, the federal government was eager to amass its own database. Even though the Brady Act prohibited the federal government from creating a gun owner registry, then Attorney General Janet Reno proceeded to keep gun owner records for 6 months — a clear violation of the Brady Act’s requirement to have all records destroyed immediately.

Bureaucracies are a Different Animal

The Reno incident shows yet again that bureaucracies have their own agendas. It is myopic to believe that bureaucracies will act in the public interest and abide by the rule of law when left unchecked.

Bovard thus raises an interesting concern: “While such laws were made by elected officials, it is unelected bureaucrats who are largely left in charge of enforcement, and that can cause big problems for gun owners”.

Exercising control over this sort of legal abuse can be exceptionally difficult when dealing with unelected bureaucrats. In the book Bureaucracy , Ludwig von Mises contended that the “worst law is better than bureaucratic tyranny”. There is considerable truth behind this assertion. A solid citizen lobby can vote out anti-gun politicians, but they will have much more work on their plate in order to put the clamps on bureaucratic overreach. In some cases it may require a wholesale abolition or defunding of a government bureaucracy — a tall order in today’s climate of ever-expanding government.

Jose Nino is a Venezuelan-American political activist based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Contact: twitter or email him here.

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Author: José Niño
Date: December 12th, 2018
Website: https://mises.org/

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    • TharSheBlows says:

      The Beauty of a Carry Permit here in FL, I can walk into any gun store, buy and gun I want, and walk out with the gun after the NICS background check.

      Also, any sort of taxes on guns or ammo purchases are illegal. It is just one more 2nd amendment infringement trying to tax the people’s right to protection. What if you were taxed 7% on every time you spoke freely? 1st amendment, people would be outraged. People need to be outraged on charging any taxes on guns or ammo.

      • Kevin2 says:


        Its beauty, beyond the obvious is it being “The MasterCard” of carry permits because its recognized by so many other states.

      • Menzoberranzan says:

        The BIG downside is that a man begs for permission to receive approval for the permission slip and pays the scum ass government crooks for a right already possessed and written into the Bill of Rights. Come and take my guns motherfuckers.


    Anyone who by now has not anticipated this move, is just plain stupid. There have been numerous straws in the wind ever since Billary was in office. All of your plans should now be in place. All of your needful things should have been acquired long ago.
    One thing to keep in mind and be vigilant about are the tactics and techniques of the Deep State. And, by Deep State, I do not mean just the FEDGOV. How will they identify and confiscate? After the school shooting in the Nutmeg State when Obozo was POTUS, confiscation laws were passed. Who went door-to-door to pick up the AR’s? I’m still waiting.
    Keep in mind, however, they can turn your children and grandchildren against you through the “Public Education System”. They can also pose innocent questions on patient screening documents when you go in for any medical procedure: “Have you been feeling depressed lately?” Stay aware and above all, STFU!

    • reper sleepr says:

      In other news, MEXICO HAS MASSIVE SEWAGE SPILL into California’s waters and shores. But no problem nobody will notice cause of all the homeless crapping on the sidewalks and streets. Ye-haa they surely do deserve it.

      • Deplorable Neal Jensen says:

        A sewage spill in the septic tank of Commifornia….

        Who cares, the state thrives on its perversion and dung hole created by defying the Federal laws on immigration. Who cares? they can drown in it being that they live with it voluntarily..No loss no quarter no pity. EFF them..

    • George says:

      EVERY COUNTRY THAT HAS IMPLEMENTED GUN LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF WHICH THE DEMOCRATS Have proposed, have ended up with millions of innocent, honest and hard working individuals to get murdered, while the criminals and ruthless people, are untouched. Any Representative that wants to implement GUN Laws and Regulations wants to get guns out of the hands of law abiding patriots and kill them in the future. It is the only reason to have these gun laws and regulations.

    • Historian says:

      Dweezil, SHTFplan is mostly recycled Drudge and Shemitah Boy Snyder. WRSA has more relevant news and commmentary.

      • DWEEZIL THE WEASEL says:

        Thank you, sir. I regularly post on WRSA. It is the last refuge of true patriots. If, God forbid, it goes dark, then I will know for sure it will be time to fight. I do believe, however, that TPTB know they are playing with fire. The big question is WHO will be coming to take them? The members of the Amerikan Communist Party such as Hillary, Pelosi, Schumer, et. al. can bloviate and posture all they want. They will still need legions of ORCS and ORCETTES to do their dirty work. Time will tell.

  3. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    Dweezil, good points. Civil War 2 is still coming and the deep state will find themselves buried in a crater. I’m not giving up anything.

  4. Beaumont says:

    Gun shops in their present form are intended to cater to police and military, overtly hostile to voluntaryists.

    • rellik says:

      Of all the guns I own
      (well over 30) only 5
      were bought in
      a gun shop. The rest were obtained
      at gun shows, private purchases, or
      Those five traceable guns were lost
      years ago when I was drunk and gambling.

  5. rellik: Ours (gun shop ones) were lost on a trip, someone broke into our camper, or sold to others way back, who now rest in the cemeteries. Yaay!!

  6. Stuart says:

    The above comments are exactly the type that are becoming increasingly foolish to post. No matter what, they are enshrined on the internet forever. They can only cause you harm.

  7. Bonefortoona says:

    They wont try to come and get them. They will garnish your wages to pay a $1000 a day imposed fine until you turn in whatever they think you have. Anyone who keeps their money in a bank is vulnerable.

    • laura ann says:

      Bonefortoona: scary indeed. Best those with heirs and elderly, like a friend did, passed money down incl buying daughter a car and G’daughter a chunk of money for down pmt on house.

  8. reper sleepr says:

    Same ‘ol song, second verse.

  9. reper sleepr says:

    Good to see the nice pony that the guy had in his hand though.

  10. jakartaman says:

    When they abolish the 2nd amendment – I will get concerned.
    Until then I will do what I want where i want when i want.
    And Nobody – regardless of uniform will take my guns

  11. ANGRY FROG says:

    They tried this back in the sixties.

    It did not work…….

  12. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    So someone wants my guns? Not going to happen. People in hell want ice water and that won’t happen either.

  13. I found myself thinking about the mass shootings that started with the incident in Las Vegas in physics terms like Frequency & Period.

    Seems like the US went into a higher gear, mass-shooting wise, in October 2017. Since then we’ve averaged about 1 mass shooting (more than 10 people killed) every 2 months.

    I don’t expect that average incident frequency to decrease in the near future.

    The obvious response is to harden our soft targets. a la American courthouses.

    One state set an example – harden their schools – and then in a friendly way challenge other states to follow suit.

    That could have been done by the end of spring break 2018, as part of a response to the Parkland shooting.

    Hardening schools is an Urgent Short Term Task. Debating firearms law is something that will go on forever, and the changes the gun-grabbers want will come slowly, state-by-state.

    Knowing the difference between a short term task and a long term task … seems like that should be required of all elected & appointed officials.

  14. The Preacher says:

    The CREEP State can kiss my a$$

  15. Want my Guns? Come and get em…..I triple dog dare you.!!!!

  16. Dave says:

    The line in the sand is where we are now. If I were a gun owner, I would not cooperate with any form of gun confiscation. And I know for a fact it is coming. I would not want to be the legislators who start that war.

  17. moses strongbear says:

    The Sioux were disarmed and look how well that worked out for them. Once they owned all the land and were free to go anywhere and live and free to do want ever they wanted. Where will your reservation be located. You are being replaced by new immigrants and are in the way and not wanted any more