Universal Background Check

1. What is the policy?

This policy requires a background check to be done for every transfer of firearms in the United States. In this regard, a federally licensed firearms dealer must undertake a background check on the person wishing to acquire a gun prior to selling him/her a gun. In addition, it is illegal to sell, rent, transfer, lend or give a firearm to an individual who is not legally allowed to possess a firearm (Lexi, 2013). For instance, guns should be transferred to criminals, mentally ill individuals, drug or alcohol abusers or individuals who are mentally incompetent; therefore, the person issuing the gun ought to conduct a mandatory background check to determine whether the buyer is eligible to own a gun.

2. What is Congress contemplating and debating about it?

The universal background checks is a part of the gun control policy, which has been a subject of contention since its introduction. Those supporting the bill are of the opinion that it will play a pivotal role in reducing gun related crime and violence in the United States. At the same time, those opposing the bill are of the view that the Universal Background Checks are not “universal” in any sense and may be an instance of violation of civil liberties. Essentially, Congress is debating on the effectiveness of the policy in reducing gun-related violence without violating the civil liberties of Americans (Levin, 2013).

3. If it is to become law, who is going to implement it? How it will implement and which agency or department from the federal government going to implement it?

If the bill becomes a law, the department of licensing and consumer affairs will responsible for its implementation. The department shall have the responsibility of creating and making available an application for a firearms transfer for use by unlicensed individuals participating the purchase or sale of a gun. The application must provide the information required to buy a gun. The department of licensing and consumer affairs will also work together with dealers and the law enforcement agencies to undertake a background check on the person wishing to acquire a gun.

4. Analyze the law using the strategic triangle method, as follows:

  1. A.    The strategy must be substantively valuable in that the organization produces things to overseers, clients, and beneficiaries at low cost in terms of money and authority.

There is no doubt that this policy is substantively valuable in the sense that it establishes measures that can be used to evaluate a potential buyer of guns. The UBC policy seeks to address the loopholes associated with the firearm sales at places such as gun shows; therefore, the policy seeks to ensure that a person who is not eligible to own a gun does not get the means to acquire it. In addition, a background check is not a costly venture, which affirms the substantive value of this policy (Levin, 2013).

  1. B.     It must be legitimate and politically sustainable.

The UBC is a legitimate policy since it seeks to address an identified social problem in the United States: reducing gun-related violence. However, the restrictive nature of the policy makes the policy unsustainable as regards the political and legal factors. UBC will make gun control laws stricter, which will be a violation of the civil liberties spelled out in the Second Amendment in the sense that the right to own and carry a gun is protected under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

C. It must be operationally and administratively feasible in that the authorized, valuable activities can actually be accomplished.

With regard to the administrative and operational feasibility of the proposed policy, there is no doubt that the Universal Background Check policy can be implemented efficiently and effectively. The policy spells out the criteria for evaluating the background information in order to determine whether an individual is eligible to own a firearm. There are minimal operational challenges associated with the implementation of the policy since law enforcement agencies have most of the information relating to an individual, all that is need to verify if the individual is legally allowed to own a gun by cross-checking with the information already collected by law enforcement agencies. With respect to the administrative feasibility of the policy, there is no need to establish new agencies and structures within the federal government since the policy will be implemented using an existing agency as well as information that have already been collected. Therefore, the Voter ID laws in the Kansas State can be implemented efficiently and effectively without any administrative and operational challenges.


Levin, A. (2013). Hate Universal Background Checks? Meet the Gun Score . Retrieved May 19, 2013, from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-levin/hate-universal-background_b_3136222.html

Lexi, C. (2013, May 7). Gun Control Debate: Universal Background Checks Aren’t Universal. Retrieved May 19, 2013, from PolicyMic: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3016510/posts


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