Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Zombies- and more important gun issues

I have learned a lot about the whole zombie thing from my readers after my last post. Thanks for that, I guess. In doing a little further reading I found this interesting piece that is more reflective about what the zombie world is about. From the article:
"In America, the legends of zombies grew out of the cultures created by African slavery and colonialism in the Caribbean. Folklore experts have traced the idea of the zombi back to Vodoun practices in Haiti, where tales have long been told of people brought back from the dead as shambling shadows of themselves. Sometimes these zombis are under the control of a master, and sometimes they simply wander mindlessly."
(...) In the incredible 1940s film I Walked With A Zombie, which shares a lot of plot points with White Zombie (including the "let's turn this white chick into a zombie so she'll marry me" subplot), we see more blatant connections made between zombies and slaves. Here, a nurse has arrived on the island of St. Sebastian to care for the zombified wife of a plantation owner. She goes out for a drink with the man's brother, and overhears a calypso singer (played by an actual calypso superstar of the era, Sir Lancelot, from Trinidad) singing about the cursed family she's working for."
The question I asked on my post has revealed some interesting answers. My question still stands and, the zombie thing aside, remains unanswered to my satisfaction. In addition, it sent some unsavory, rude and offensive people to my blog who highlight why the gun rights extremists may be interested in zombies in the first place. I am not interested in engaging with people like this. We disagree. I am interested in changing the conversation into something positive and dealing with common sense.The whole thing was a total distraction from what's really important in our country concerning the gun issue.

Let's look at some real world insight into the pro gun world and the zombie-like adherence to their message that they need guns to protect themselves from criminals. How do the criminals get their guns? Gun shows, Internet sales, other places where private sellers offer their wares, bad apple gun dealers, straw purchasing, by stealing them from individuals or shops, etc. Guns start out as legal sales in the first place. They get into the market of illegal gun owners and people prohibited from buying guns legally easily. Now, NBC news has reported on its' findings about Internet gun sales and how they work. This report verifies everything that others who have done the same sorts of "undercover" work to expose the problem of the sale of guns to people who shouldn't have them. I have written many times on this blog about similar investigations. They are usually "shot down" by the pro gun extremists. They will likely do the same with this one but on what grounds, I am not sure. Let's take a look at some of the findings of this undercover investigation:
Some say it’s a major loophole in the law. At gun stores, you have to get a background check before you can buy a weapon. But online in most states, anyone from law-abiding citizens to dangerous criminals – even terrorists – can get just about any weapon they want, no questions asked. Our hidden camera investigation shows the deals going down in broad daylight, in suburban mall parking lots.
(...) NBC News hired Steve Barborini, a former supervisor for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to help with our investigation. Barborini said that the online sales loophole permits what he called “a weapons bazaar for criminals. There’s no background check: Anybody that has a murder conviction can simply log on, email someone, meet ’em in a parking lot, and buy a freaking AK-47.” 
Several guns were purchased from private sellers in Arizona by the investigators after contacting the sellers on their on-line ads about the guns. And then the reporter, Jeff Rossen, interviews the sellers. You can see their reaction to selling guns to possible felons. It's amazing that they don't seem to really care. That should tell us everything we need to know. And then:
But the scariest transaction came after dark in a pharmacy parking lot. The online ad was for a 50-caliber sniper rifle, the most powerful gun legally sold in the U.S.: bullet range 5 miles. It can pierce armored vehicles, even bring down a helicopter. But the seller was so laid-back, you’d think he was hocking a used bicycle.
And it’s happening nationwide. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg led another investigation, buying guns in 14 states, even after the buyers said they couldn’t pass a background check.
I remind my readers that this exposé was not done by a "gun control" group. And what Rossen found was identical to what the gun control groups have found in their own hidden camera investigations. So what will happen as a result?:
So what’s the government doing about it? It turns out there's a bill that would close this loophole, and require background checks for all gun sales, even online. But that bill has been tied up in committee for nearly a year. Its sponsor, New York senator Chuck Schumer, told us: “The NRA is one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, and despite the overwhelming evidence that we should do something … the odds of us being able to do something are not high.”
At the end of the story two Canadian women were interviewed. They lost a good friend when a stalker ( a resident of Canada) bought a gun across the border in Seattle from a private seller without a background check. This man could not have bought his gun from a licensed dealer because he was not an American citizen. He shot the woman point blank 11 times with this gun. These women know that closing the loophole in our gun background check system would have stopped this man from buying his gun and their friend would not be amongst the dead.

The real zombies here are those who continue to block efforts to stop people from walking amongst the living. Their grieving friends and family are real people who know something must be done. Talk about zombies is beside the point. Let's talk about real people, about a real problem in America and about those who have died while we have been having ridiculous discussions about zombies and gun rights instead of what we should be talking about. The NBC report, above, shows us how easy it is for people who shouldn't have guns to get them and how cavalierly the sellers responded when asked if it bothered them that a felon could have bought that gun. It's too easy for sellers to sell guns to those who shouldn't have them. It's too easy to access guns and it's too easy to shoot people dead with those guns. It shouldn't be easy. It should be hard. We have all become zombies when it comes to common sense about the gun issue. It's time to wake up and be among the living breathing Americans who care enough about real people to do something to stop the shootings of friends and family members.

In fact, 30,000 or so of the real dead people are not walking amongst us today because of bullets. We have failed to stop some of these people from losing their lives because we have failed to challenge the gun rights extreme culture and pass common sense laws that will keep these people amongst us. The nonsensical "discussion" on this blog about zombies and the undead is one way to deflect the real problems in America. We should fear more the attitudes of people who don't want to do anything about the real dead and would rather deal with the "undead." Any more talk about zombies is finished on this blog. Distractions like this are stupid and ridiculous considering that too many real lives are lost every day because we aren't doing enough to stop it.


  1. Thank you, Japete. I have never understood why pro-gun guys and the lobby groups would oppose background checks for all gun sales. Allowing guns to be purchased without even requiring an ID is madness. It's just cash and carry, no questions asked, whether online or in a parking lot.

    I once asked the gun guys how they know they aren't selling to a prohibited person, or if they cared. Here is a summary of their responses:

    Many of them say they demand the buyer show a conceal carry permit, but most gun owners do not have one, undercover reports do not bear them out, and none of the ads actually say anything about this. And, of course, it's not actually required to do so.

    Illinois has a FOID card system, which is basically states that the buyer has been through a background check and is free to purchase guns privately. It's a fine compromise, but not nearly as updatable and instantaneous as a full, 5-minute NICS background check by a licensed dealer.

    It's an embarrassment to the gun-owning community that this loophole exists. The gun guys are quick to suggest that "criminals will get guns regardless of gun laws", while at the same time perpetuating the way by which the criminals get the guns. Hypocrisy. And who benefits from these illicit and easy gun sales? Who suffers?

    It's time to demand background checks for ALL gun sales, every time.

  2. Serious question.

    I lived in Central Florida for three years. In Florida, private sales of firearms without a background check are completely legal.

    I have since moved back home to NJ temporarily, where private sales of handguns are banned, but long guns are legal.

    Florida has three times the population of NJ, issue's concealed carry permits and has no " assault " weapons ban.

    NJ does NOT issue carry permits and has an " assault" weapons ban and has the distinction of continually having one of the top 5 most violent Cities in the Country ( Camden ). While having a third of the population of Florida.

    Why is it that a State with supposedly " lax " gun laws yet three times the number of people has LESS gun crime and LESS violent crime over all then NJ with its strict gun laws ?

    I know one of the big reasons ( an Im not talking about concealed carry ) but I want to hear what the other side has to say to explain this dichotomy.

    1. Florida has a much higher number of gun deaths than N.J. That should explain things for you.
      In fact- 12.4 per 100,000 in Florida vs. 5.0 per 100,000 in NJ. I'm interested in how your side explains that one.

  3. Baldr: "a full, 5-minute NICS background check by a licensed dealer"

    That might sound more reasonable if many gunowners were not aware that many gun control groups (such as the BC) want to abolish 5-minute NICS background checks in favor of a mandatory minimum waiting period of 5 days or more.

    1. You have no idea what you're talking about.

  4. This article is wrong on more than one point...

    1) While anyone can "buy" a gun online (buy, as in pay for, not receive), the firearm must be shipped to a Federal Firearms License holder. So while I could buy a Ruger 10/22 (probably the rifle used in most Boy Scouts programs), an M1 Garand ( Primary rifle of the US Army is WWII), or an M16/M4, AK-47, etc, on gunbroker.com, I can't actually take possession of the weapon without it first going to an FFL. Before the FFL can release the weapon to me they must first run me through NICS and make sure I am complying with any state/local laws.

    The two exceptions to this are black powder guns, which do not fall under the 1968 GCA, and firearms designated by the BATFE as "Curios and Relics," if the receiver has a C&R license from the BATFE.

    2) While a .50BMG rifle is the "most powerful," as in the most muzzle energy, some other smaller calibers retain their energy more efficiently over distance, notably .416 Barrett. Not only that, pretty much any rifle could quite easily "bring down a helicopter," "pierce armored vehicles (with the right ammo)," and are capable of carrying lethal amounts of energy for a few miles.

    30,000 dead because of bullets? Don't misinterpret me, I'm not trying to belittle anyone who has been killed by a person with a gun, but how many millions have been killed by people in cars? Maybe we should require background checks for cars too?

    1. Wow- David. I can't believe that you, as many on your side do, try to argue about this one. You totally missed the whole point of the post- on purpose? What don't you get about private sellers who do NOT have to do background checks or do anything you said has to be done in your comment. YOU ARE WRONG. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to own a .50 caliber. We require licensing and registration for drivers and cars or did you forget that one. You are belittling the dead. I am not writing about deaths due to car accidents which are many. We sure as heck have instituted a lot of safety features on cars to try to prevent deaths- seat belts, child safety seats, air bags, speed limits. What have we done about guns? Virtually nothing. My blog is about gun deaths which is one of the leading causes of death in this country. Feel free to write your own blog about car accidents.

    2. A private seller in a transaction where the firearm crosses state lines must go through a federal firearms license holder.

      So buy something from a private individual in another state on gunbroker, for example, the firearm must be shipped to a FFL holder in your state, and then transferred to you after the NICS check is completed, etc.

    3. Do we require licensing and registration for cars? Yes. Is there any real qualifications for doing so? No.

      As for having no reason to own a .50 caliber rifle.

      How about a .49 caliber? .45? .40? .380? .357? .32? .25? .22? .17? The lowly little .22 Long Rifle has probably killed more people than every other bullet combined, if we exclude wars. I know for a fact that the .22 has killed more people than the .50BMG, as there is no recorded instance of a .50BMG rifle ever being used to commit a crime in the US. Probably because the rifles chambered in .50BMG weigh in about 25-40 pounds.

      On to your point about firearms being a "leading cause of death."

      In 2009

      554 were killed by accidental/negligent discharge of a firearm.
      18,735 were committed suicide by firearm.
      11,493 were killed in an assault by a firearm.
      232 were killed by firearms with the circumstances unknown.

      In total, 31,014 people were killed by firearms in 2009.
      Also, there were 31,347 reported non-fatal injuries caused by firearms.

      Firearms were involved in .5% of accidental deaths in 2009.
      Firearms were involved in 50.8% of suicides in 2009.
      Firearms were involved in 68.4% of homicides in 2009.
      Overall firearms were involved in 1.3% of all deaths in 2009.

      So, firearms were involved in .5% of accidental deaths (#5), 50.8% of suicides (#10), and 68.4% of homicides (#15).

      So, because firearms are involved in 1.3% of all deaths in 2009 they are a leading cause? I think we may have different definitions of "leading."

      And back to your first point.

      In many states, private sellers DO have to perform a background check on a resident of the same state who is buying a firearm, though in some they do not. In NJ, while there is no background check needed for a face to face transfer of a rifle or shotgun, you must already possess a FID.

      Now for a thought provoking question.

      If someone were to decide to do you harm, do you think that seat belts, child seats, air bags, or speed limits would matter?

      If someone were determined to do you harm, it is highly likely they would ignore the speed limit, and what is the survivability of a crash at 80 or 90mph, let alone the legal 65-75mph that most accidents occur at on an interstate.

      While cars may not be the ideal choice of a weapon, they can certainly be used as one. And if we are to learn anything from our history, it is that man is always inventing new and more efficient ways to kill each other. Guns aren't the problem, the problem is that people - as a whole, not individuals - are inherently violent.

    4. Gun deaths are among the leading cause of death in some age categories- particularly among young people ages 18-25 or thereabouts. The CDC WISQRS report used to have lovely charts with boxes showing how firearms deaths compared to other methods of death and other methods of violent death but I can't find them now because the gun lobby has made it almost impossible for any government agency to keep track of stats regarding guns. That is a real problem and shows how stupid things are. In total, about 100,000 people a year are shot, of those 30,000 die. That is real. 32 people a day are murdered by guns- 8 children a day. It is simply not true that you can't get a firearm if you are not a resident of the state. Have you heard of private sellers who sell to anyone with no ID just as they did in the video? This is a fact. It's happening. Cars are not weapons. They are designed to transport people. Guns are designed as weapons. Car accidents kill people accidentally. Guns kill people intentionally in many cases. Your analogy about someone ignoring the speed limit is specious and ridiculous. THis is a nonsensical argument. You do not have facts or reason on your side here.

  5. japete writes:

    "This man could not have bought his gun from a licensed dealer because he was not an American citizen. "

    US Permanent Residents may purchase and own firearms - and in most states, such as Minnesota, may obtain Permits to Carry.

    See MN624.714 and 18 USC 922

    1. Was he a Permanent Resident of the U.S.?

    2. japete writes:

      "Was he a Permanent Resident of the U.S.?"

      I have no idea. You were stating that he couldn't buy a firearm because he wasn't a citizen, which is not correct.

      One does not have to be a citizen to purchase a firearm - permanent residents may purchase firearms as well.

  6. What is the problem here Bryan? Private sellers can sell guns to anyone with no background check. Period. It doesn't matter where they come from. That is what the problem is. All of the hidden camera videos show private sellers selling to people often with no I.D. at all. Why do you think we want to close the loophole? You guys are in denial.

  7. Can citizens of other countries buy guns from FFLs in America?

  8. Here is the answer- the ATF rule just changed recently to allow non-citizens to purchase guns if they can prove they are residents, as you said, Bryan. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/us/atf-eases-rules-on-gun-sales-to-noncitizens.html

    I don't believe the rule had changed at the time of the shooting in question.

  9. "Private sellers can sell guns to anyone with no background check. Period. It doesn't matter where they come from."

    Not correct.

    It is not legal for a private seller to sell a firearm to a resident of another US state without that transaction taking place through a FFL in the buyer's state. There are a few exceptions to this around estates, etc. See 18 USC 922 for details.

  10. Bryan- private sellers sell to anyone. It's legal to do so. Some do not ask for driver's licenses, Did the sellers in the video I linked ask for I.D. from the buyers? Private sellers do NOT have to go through an FFL for anything. I would love it if they did. What about this do you not get?

  11. japete writes:
    "Can citizens of other countries buy guns from FFLs in America?"

    Under federal law, if they are a legal permanent resident of the United States, they may purchase a firearm from a FFL.

    State laws vary. Minnesota allows a permanent resident to purchase firearms and obtain a permit to carry.

    For example, a UK subject (citizen) legally residing in Minnesota as a US Permanent Resident, may legally purchase a firearm from a FFL or private seller in Minnesota.

  12. japete writes:

    "Private sellers do NOT have to go through an FFL for anything. I would love it if they did. What about this do you not get?"

    This isn't correct. Moving a firearm in interstate commerce in a private sale is prohibited by federal law in 18 USC 922 except through a FFL holder.

    I live 8 miles from the Wisconsin state line. I cannot go Prescott, WI and legally purchase a firearm from a private seller in Wisconsin. The seller would need to bring that firearm to a FFL in Minnesota - transfer the firearm to that FFL - who can then transfer the firearm to me following the regular Federal/State process.

    You can verify this by reading the statute or referencing the ATF FAQ on unlicensed persons.


    Q: From whom may an unlicensed person acquire a firearm under the GCA?

    A person may only acquire a firearm within the person’s own State, except that he or she may purchase or otherwise acquire a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee’s premises in any State, provided the sale complies with State laws applicable in the State of sale and the State where the purchaser resides. A person may borrow or rent a firearm in any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes.

    [18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and (5), 922(b)(3), 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30]
    Q: May an unlicensed person obtain a firearm from an out-of-State source if the person arranges to obtain the firearm through a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s own State?

    A person not licensed under the GCA and not prohibited from acquiring firearms may purchase a firearm from an out-of-State source and obtain the firearm if an arrangement is made with a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s State of residence for the purchaser to obtain the firearm from the dealer.

    [18 U.S.C. 922(a)(3) and 922(b)(3)]

  13. The thing is, Bryan- private sellers do not always do these things as we know from countless hidden camera videos. You would like it if they did but they don't. That is my problem with our gun laws. I guess you just don't believe that what happened in the videos happened. But they did.\

    It's past my bed time. I'm tired of you.

    1. So your argument is private sellers do not always follow the law when selling firearms?

      What is your solution to these people not following the existing laws?

    2. Anthony- it is widely known that private sellers do this all over the country except in states where they have to bring sellers to FFLs for their sales. The answer is very simple- background checks on all gun sales.

    3. so the answer to private sellers that do not obey the current laws is to pass another law.

    4. The thing is, Anthony- they are obeying the law. It is legal for private sellers to sell to virtually anyone. That's the problem. A law would stop that. What's your answer? I haven't heard that you have anything positive to bring to the table to do anything about this.

  14. Japete: “it is widely known that private sellers do this all over the country except in states where they have to bring sellers to FFLs for their sales.”

    Do you have any evidence of this? Is your assumption that there are fewer illegal sales happening in California vs. Nevada?

    The thing is, we are talking about a case where the law currently requires the sale to go through a FFL (interstate transfer), and they didn’t do it. There are always going to be some people who don’t follow the law, and it comes down to enforcement at that point.

    Say Bloomberg does a sting in CA, and posts videos of people making cash transactions without using an FFL. What new restrictions would you require of us in light of this evidence?

  15. TS- private sellers can't sell guns without background checks in CA, Hawaii, Mass. and several other states. There is a penalty under the laws in those states. They must go through FFLs. So if a prohibited purchaser wants a gun, they just go across the border to neighboring states where they know they can purchase guns without a background check. Guns in the illegal market come from other places as well. But clearly, private sellers account for some of the guns in the illegal market in this country. To deny it is to put your head in the sand which some of you do either intentionally or unintentionally. I can't tell which when you guys give me your lame excuses for this problem.

    1. I don’t deny that some illegal sales happen. I was just telling you that it surely happens in California as well. In the case that you gave, a felon in California who crosses the border into Nevada to buy a gun still has to undergo a background check and transfer via a FFL. There is a penalty under the law for that as well. You are implying that California residents won’t break the law, but Nevada residents will. What do you base this on?

      As a personal anecdote, I once tried to by a 10rd magazine at a gun show in Nevada and the vender would not sell to me (even though it legal). He told me his policy is to never sell anything to anyone from California. He made a joke about “CA” being the scarlet letters around here.

    2. Nope- they don't TS. Private sellers sell to just about anyone- no background checks, no IDs in some cased- because they can. That is my point. What about this don't you get? You keep trying to tell me they have to go to FFLs. They don't in states where private sellers don't have to do that. Come on, you know better than this. Why keep arguing the point when it is wrong? And the anecdote you gave is great. Some private sellers are doing the right thing. Others- not so much. We need a uniform law so they all have to follow it and stop selling to just anyone. It's clear in the video that those sellers asked no questions- no IDs or background checks. What in the video did you not see? This is happening all over our country.

    3. Look above at Bryan’s post yesterday from 9:03 PM. This is a direct cut and past from the ATF website describing the laws against what you are claiming is legal. You have been going back and forth with us for years on this topic. Can you please read it, go to the website, look at the actual code of US law if you have to? I’d like us to come to a consensus on this issue so we can move forward. The part that is illegal is for a private person to sell to a resident of another state. It is legal, however, for someone to sell to a resident of their own state without a background check. That is the part that you want to change, and as you know I am not entirely opposed to that. But that is the issue you need to be debating- not buyers crossing state lines. Video of someone breaking the law is not proof that it is legal. One more time: Nevada resident selling to California resident- ILLEGAL. Nevada resident selling to Nevada resident- LEGAL. Can we agree on this?

      If you get the universal background check laws passed, you should understand that it does not even affect the CA/NV situation that you are talking about. The current law is more strict that your proposal. Even after the new law, I could not go to a Nevada gun show and buy a gun with a background check from a FFL at the gun show. The seller would have to ship the gun to a CA FFL, where I would undergo a background check, waiting period, and the rest of the California laws on firearm purchases. Your proposal DOES NOT affect interstate firearm commerce. Not at all. The interstate firearm transfer laws are already how you like them.

    4. I understand what you are saying about the law. The law is the law. What I am saying to you is that private sellers do not have to follow the law nor do they always follow the law. They can and do sell to people from out of their state all the time. The Iron pipeline comes from the states in the Southeast where there are looser gun laws up to NY and the Northeastern states where laws are more strict. People know they can get guns more easily out of state. If no one asks for ID or background check, it doesn't matter what state they are from. In one of our hidden camera videos, the seller asks the young man who is buying if he is a resident of the state. He says he is but he forgot his driver's license. The man sells to him anyway without seeing his DL. This is the problem I, and people on my side, are writing about. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. We have countless examples of this on videos. We know what the sellers are supposed to do. They are not doing it. Unless there is a penalty for their not doing it, this practice will not change. As you can see in the NBC video- times are tough and the young man needed money. He didn't care to whom he was selling.

    5. Japete: “What I am saying to you is that private sellers do not have to follow the law nor do they always follow the law.”

      Why do they have to follow a new law then?

      Japete: “We know what the sellers are supposed to do. They are not doing it. Unless there is a penalty for their not doing it, this practice will not change.”

      There is a penalty. It is a felony. It sounds to me like you are talking about enforcement. So why aren’t these sting efforts used to bust people instead of only to push more gun control? None of the people in the video saw consequences to their breaking the law. Maybe that’s a good place to start to get some change.

    6. Private sellers are not subject to the same scrutiny as FFLs. The ATF is obligated to monitor the activities of FFLs. How can they monitor private sellers who advertise on the internet and meet buyers in the parking lot? That is a problem. The ATF is vastly under funded, thanks in large part to the gun lobby. You guys are really not interested, as far as I can tell, in shoring up the loopholes in our laws. If private sellers were subject to the same penalties as FFLs for violating the laws, they would operate in a different way. Some gun dealers are bad apples as well but the ATF is doing more monitoring of their activities and tend to catch them more often. You know, these laws are working in the states that have passed them. They haven't prevented all illegal activity but they go a long way to making sure everyone has to have a background check before purchasing a gun in the state. Why not make it harder for people who shouldn't get guns? If you are law abiding, the only problem you will have is an inconvenience if you guy from a private seller. You would now have to have a background check. Since you get them anyway when you buy from an FFL, why not do the same from a private seller? Please tell me how this will be terrible for you.

    7. The terrible part comes in when two lifelong friends go to prison for trading guns with each other at the gun club. I am willing to work with you on background checks, because fundamentally I have no problem with it. It is the execution of your ideas that I have problems with.

    8. What is it about the execution of my ideas that you don't like?

    9. You are quite familiar with my stance on how to do acceptable background checks. It comes down to this: don’t require a FFL, make it cheap and easy (which will enable more people to use it), and most importantly don’t criminalize behavior that is not morally wrong.

      Right now the law says it is illegal to provide a gun in any way to a known prohibited person, or have a reasonable belief that a crime will be committed. If the buyer is a stranger- we don’t know. I am ok with removing the “known” word so long as there is a way to know (the NICS check reporting directly to the seller). So the example I gave above of two friends trading guns at the shooting range would still be legal, as it should be since there is nothing morally wrong with what they did, and it is in no way contributing to crime. It is only a crime if you provide a gun to a prohibited purchaser. If the government provides a way to know, saying “I didn’t know” is no longer a valid excuse. Simple.

    10. There have been exemptions in most of the proposed laws for family members. Friends are another story. Anyone could say someone was their friend. Will you know for sure that that friend is not a domestic abuser? We have gone around with the FFL thing vs allowing just anyone to access NICS, that is a problem which I have discussed before on this blog. No one is talking about whether or not trading guns with friends is morally wrong or right. This is about safety. I'm sure friends trading is perfectly moral. But is it perfectly safe? Doing a NICS check will at least give an assurance that the "friend" is indeed not a prohibited purchaser. I do agree with your last statement about making sure you can't say "I didn't know". I am not sure your way will fix that problem.

    11. FFLs do not have access to the NICS. The FBI does. The FBI simply reports back to the FFL "go" or "no go". There is no legitimate reason why the FBI can't directly tell the private seller "go" or "no go". For someone with such a can-do attitude as yourself, I don't understand why you are making this such a big obstacle for getting private sale background checks.

    12. I don't think this is as simple as you suggest TS. There are reasons why not just everyone can call in for the "go" or "no go" . I have raised this issue with people who know about this stuff. We have gone around about this before on my blog.

    13. Japete: “No one is talking about whether or not trading guns with friends is morally wrong or right. This is about safety. I'm sure friends trading is perfectly moral. But is it perfectly safe?”

      The friend already owns a gun. Now they own your gun, and you own theirs. Where is the change in safety?

  16. I have asked someone in my state who purposely tested the system of private sellers at gun shows to share the experience of buying 2 guns. Here it is:

    "The assault rifle, with 4 - 30 rd. magazines, I purchased for $500 cash and NO questions asked. That's the guy I told "there's no way I can pass a background check." His response was "no problem, I'm not a licensed dealer." That was in 2005, at the MN Weapons Collectors' show at the State Fairgrounds.

    In 2009, also at the MWCA show at the State Fairgrounds, I purchased a Springfield XD 9-milimeter semi-automatic pistol with a 10-rd. magazine and a 15-rd. magazine, for $500. In this case the seller wanted to see my driver's license. He wrote out a receipt for me and kept a copy for himself, showing my name and address, date, description of pistol.

    (Applies to pistols and assault weapons, only) MN statute 624.7132, subd. 14, "Transfer to Unknown Party", requires the transferee to present evidence of identification to the seller. The statute says nothing about the seller even having to look at it, much less write it down or keep a record of it. Ironically, only the transferee is guilty of any crime if the statute is not complied with - a misdemeanor.

    Also, Subd. 12 (1) specifically excludes anyone not a FFL from the transfer report requirement, or transfer permit, background check, etc."

    I do not make things up on this blog. In addition, when talking about internet sales, it is true that if you order a gun from an FFL in one state and he/she ships to another, it must be picked up at an FFL in the state of residence. That is how Cho got one of his guns before he shot 32 people at Virginia Tech. In the video shared on this post, the guns were sold by advertising on the internet and transferring them personally to the seller in parking lots. One of them brought his 7 year old son along. Great example. That is different than transferring by an FFL. We are talking private sellers here.

  17. So Cho followed the rule you want implement for all sales yet he passed a background check and got a handgun. He then went into a "gun Free Zone" and shot a bunch of people. It seems like none of those polices worked very well.

    I think MN actually has an ok setup with the Permit to purchase. All the private party sales have had the seller ask to see that or my permit to carry. It seems like that would be a good compromise to require that as a condition of sale.

    1. As you know Anthony, Cho's name should have been in the NICS list of prohibited purchasers which would have made it much harder for him to get a gun. We were now too slowly working on this. As to Mn. Law, if all private sellers were required to ask for the permit to purchase by law with penalties if they don't it would be great. I've not seen your side asking for any sensible laws like that.

    2. Actually I think when talking about this in the past this and many other options have been given some sensible and some not.