BIDS, instead of gathering names and private information of millions of innocent people and then storing it in some vast federal database, would simply provide gun dealers with a current list of those already determined to be denied the right to purchase a firearm. It would allow those holding a Federal Firearms License (an FFL) access to an encrypted database through a frequently changed password, with a query option. The information would be provided by the FBI. A brief search by the dealer would reveal if his potential purchaser is on the list, or not. Go, or no go.
BIDS, if implemented in place of the NCIS, would greatly improve privacy, eliminate the creation of a massive database of law-abiding gun owners, and end a massive bureaucracy funded with tax dollars taken from the very people whose names are currently being stored.
The differences between the two systems are remarkable:
A BIDS check would be performed by the gun dealer instead of by a federal employee under NCIS;
The cost of a BIDS check would be infinitesimally small compared to the costs of maintaining the NCIS infrastructure: computers and their ongoing repairs, maintenance and upgrades, office space for the thousands of agents taking calls from gun dealers, personnel management and administration expenses, health and retirement benefits, and so forth.
Most importantly, the government does not learn who owns a firearm or who is trying to purchase one under BIDS. The dealer would not be required to keep records, open to drop-in visits by agents of the BATFE under the current NCIS.
BIDS was briefly considered by Congress back in 2001, but it never gained traction. There apparently was simply too much interest on the part of Congress in wanting the government to know where all the guns were and where their owners lived. There weren’t enough congressmen who understood or appreciated how precious rights of innocent citizens were put at risk by implementing a system that wouldn’t have tagged real criminals such as Stephen Paddock in the first place.
Is now the time for another hard look at the Blind Identification Database System as an alternative to the NCIS?

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