Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Buy Ammo Day 2008

Today is Buy Ammo Day. I did ok. Got some staples, mostly, to top off lowish levels of practice ammo in .380 (not pictured) and .45. Some 20 shotgun shells, just because. And the ubiquitous .22LR 550 to a box pickup. What is new is the .40. I don’t have a pistol that shoots that. Uh-oh. Why did I get that? Well, there is reason. I want to have some in case I get that SIG next year. If I don’t end up getting it, I know plenty of people I could unload it on at cost. I can also use it to bring to the range when I borrow Chuckles’ or MBtGE’s .40 for fun.

Yes, I bought ammo, AGAIN, for a gun I don’t yet have. It happens quite a bit with gun type people.

There is actually some risk doing that in this state, supposedly. Buying ammo for a gun you don’t have. Really. There was a Marylander a few months back that got called on by the local constabulary. Seems he bought ammo of a type that didn’t match any of the guns Maryland knew about, so the po-lice assumed he had some kind of straw-purchase going. His real reason was that he has some guns that the State Police didn't know about as they weren't required to be registered.

Kinda scary. You buy bullets and the cops pay you a visit assuming you are up to no good and question you…

(Now it’s not illegal to buy ammo in Maryland in a caliber that they don’t know you own. They just think it’s a possible indicator of other crimes. You can even legally have a pistol they don’t know about. Say you moved to Maryland 20 years ago and had bought a gun legally in a more enlightened state. )

How was that supposed to work? How did the cops KNOW? Well, some places here won’t sell you ammo without taking down information on your ID. I avoid these places. And Maryland law doesn't require ammunition purveyors to do so. The cops haven’t resorted to checking your credit card purchases, yet, and I don’t think they are able/allowed to be that intrusive, but you never know. Apparently the store the guy in question bought from regularly forwarded the info to law enforcement, and apparently there are resources at the police to check the names against state-controlled firearms permits/purchasers. Sort of like crime speculators. Maybe it’d be good policework if they didn’t snare legitimate gun purchasers and shooters.

Here’s a thought, Maryland State police… Check the list of ammo purchasers against lists of FELONS. That’s an actual crime, not just a suspicion of a possibility of crime. Same with the ATF. The ATF reject purchasers of firearms via the National Instant Check System for being a forbidden person, like being a felon. Isn’t being a felon and ATTEMPTING to buy a gun a crime? And you have the proof, dead to rights, that an attempt was made. Seems like state and federales types could go a good way to taking a bite of crime that way.

The practice isn’t universal here as I said, though some Wal-Marts participate, apparently. Other shops as well. Again, I’d not shop at one that does unless it become universal. And I would complain through channels if universality was contemplated.

Sounds like a crazy made-up story posted on the inernets by paranoids worried about intimidation of the innocent, doesn’t it? It may be made up, for all I know, but there are cites, just all off of gun forums. And forum rumor isn't something you bet the house on. Some forums/comments-types are sure that the CIA executes hippies and makes it look like street crime, others are sure the UN has a fleet of black helicopters, and train cars, and concentration camps set up in South Dakota to round up adn detain Republicans and other undesirable classes. My source for ammo issues is a lot more reasonable than the bat-shite crazy stuff I just mentioned, but it is still just Joe Schmoe gun enthusiasts like me on the internet, talking, with second hand information, so I take even trusted sources with a grain of salt. The Maryland shooters forum even talks about it being unverified. If anyone knows some actual confirmation on the ammo registration harassment, I'd love to see a link. To see the original forum info, google: "Very Disturbing MSI email" or look here.

[and, truth be known, I bought my ammo-day ammo weeks ago, before the election. i had a feeling an Obama win would make the prices go up as folks made a run. and I was right... Just bought 100 rounds of .40 on the ACTUAL day, today.]


JB Miller said...

200 Rounds of .308 for me!

Tam said...

"The cops haven’t resorted to checking your credit card purchases, yet, and I don’t think they are able/allowed to be that intrusive, but you never know."

A lot of folks who don't work in retail have a mistaken idea of how credit card purchases work.

If you buy $100 worth of ammo at Gander Mt. tomorrow and put it on your Visa, all Visa knows is that you spent $100 at Gander Mt. They have no idea whether it was $100 worth of ammo, fishing lures, wool underwear, or beef jerky.

Jay G said...


Can't they subpeona the records from Gander Mountain, though?

I mean, sure, it would be a collosal waste of time and resources, but since when has that ever stopped our nanny-state overlords?

(WV: pirglock. Heh)

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I wasn't thinking the credit card company was the vector. I was thinking the scanner that got the ammo barcode at the register is married to the scanner that the visa card got swiped through and has my info on. But I should have been more clear.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

and if you are REALLY paranoid and pay with cash, the floor sensors got the RFID scan from the chip in your shoes. No one shares shoes. And the RFID cloud you walk around in has a dozen or so OTHER RFID chips (DL, Credit Cards, Cellphone, etc.) with your name on it, so it associates them all together. You thought the purchase was anonymous, but unless you carried no ID and borrowed your clothes and shoes... The Man knows what you bought. And the Man gets suspicious if people buy ammo with no associated identifying RFID, too.

Good luck evading Cyberdyne Systems.

Save the cheerleader, save the world.


Or something...

GunGeek said...

Uh, um, WalMart is working on a system to use facial recognition to tie together all of your purchases at their stores, regardless of your method of payment. And they do keep track of every single item you have ever bought there.

They can connect all of your credit cards and checking accounts and if they were to hook up with any other businesses (or if some company came along to keep all your accounts connected for the benefit of their retail store customers), there is at least a possibility that someone will be able to piece together all your purchases. In the future, of course, but still...

As for trying to arrest felons for buying ammo or attempting to buy guns, I'm pretty sure that the case has already been made (literally a court case) that you can't bust a felon for attempting to buy a gun if he lies about his legal ability to purchase one because that would be violating his right against self-incrimination. If there's any kind of similar prove-you're-legal process involved in buying ammo I would think the same rule would apply.