"That's the way reductions in liberty occur," Hatch said Thursday on Capitol Hill, the Huffington Post reported. "When you start saying people all have to sign up for something, and they have a database where they know exactly who's who, and where government can persecute people because of the database, that alarms a lot of people in our country, and it flies in the face of liberty."
One of the legislative proposals President Barack Obama is pushing for in the wake of the massacre at
Sandy Hook Elementary School in December is a national database that would track the movement and sale of guns. Obama is also asking for universal background checks for “anyone trying to buy a gun.”
Hatch, however, says existing law is proficient to stop criminals from buying guns—when the law is enforced.
"We do have a check system, and it has worked whenever they really implement it," he said. "I hesitate to go beyond that. Let's implement what we already have."
Since 1998, all Federal Firearms Licensees have been required to run background checks on all gun sales through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, mandated by the Brady Handgun
Violence Prevention Act of 1993. Gun control proponents, including President Obama, however, say a universal system is needed since federal law does not require background checks for private sales or transfers of lawfully possessed firearms.
But NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that “universal” checks are impossible. "When it comes to background checks, let's be honest --background checks will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them," he said at a hearing to explore gun control proposals.
Hatch said he is “very concerned” that the Second Amendment would be infringed upon by an “assault weapons” ban, which Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced last week, though he doubts the bill will have enough votes to pass the Senate.
"Most killings are not done with high-capacity – so-called – rifles," he said. "This is an express provision in the Constitution, unlike the penumbras and other conjured-up provisions that aren't there that the court has come up with over the years.
“This is express, and many people are very, very concerned about any infringement on it, and I'm one of them,” Hatch said.
"It's easy to blow these things out of proportion," he said. "But it's also not easy to stand up for the liberty rights of people that really are the basis for the Second Amendment to begin with."