J. Edgar Hoover, before the Warren Commission, in 1964:
Mr. HOOVER: There is argument, of course, that by passing firearms legislation you are going to take the privilege of hunting away from the sportsmen of the country. I don’t share that view with any great degree of sympathy because you have to get a license to drive an automobile and you have to get a license to have a dog, and I see no reason why a man shouldn’t be willing, if he is a law-abiding citizen, to have a license to get a firearm whether it be a rifle or revolver or other firearm. It is not going to curtail his exercise of shooting for sport because the police make a check of his background. If he is a man who is entitled to a gun, a law-abiding citizen, a permit will be granted.
[Fifty years later you can still buy a firearm at a gun show without a background check.]