Friday, October 9, 2009

Gun Show Loophole II

So, lets say a hoplophobic friend/neighbor/coworker lights upon THIS video and shows it to me, knowing I am gun-type-person, then harangues me with, "How can you be against closing that HORRIBLE and dangerous Gun Show loophole?!"

I bring up the fact that the private seller was a felon for selling to a guy that he had reason to believe couldn't pass a background check.

They would respond, "Well, a slightly smarter criminal wouldn't mention that and the same damage is done, criminal gets a gun and only they have broken the law. And a gun is in the hand of a criminal that wouldn't be there if all private sales required background checks."

And I am wondering about the private seller that sold 348 guns and claimed HE couldn't pass a background check either. How do I explain to a non-gunnie how 348 guns a year ISN'T a dealer? Sure, I probably have met people with a personal collection of over 600 guns, and there are still some residual "kitchen table dealers," and those guys sometimes want to stop owning guns and sell off their accumulation, but that isn't easy to convey to a non-gunnie. What is illegal is if he, the dealer, can't pass a background check now, he probably shouldn't possess his collection. And the ATF and police should have already have fixed that. And if he is using collector-sale status to sell guns he recently obtained then he is abusing his status and the ATF should have fixed that and either yanked him, or require him to become an FFL, or desist. (All under current law. Whether the ATF should be involved at all is another argument that the more hardcore enthusiasts make, but that's out of scope of this blog entry.)

But regardless of all the illegality of the buyer and these sellers, a NICS check would be a hurdle that would be preventative. (And, again, the seller isn't currently breaking laws if he is really selling/liquidating a bonafide collection and if the buyer doesn't give him a reason to suspect.) Sure Bloomberg wants to end ALL sales at ALL shows, and the laws he proposes would make shows difficult, if not impossible, AND hamstring a part of legitimate gun culture. Similar to the ways guns shows are gimped in my state, Maryland. But that doesn't change the fact that an extra hurdle would almost certainly lead to fewer sales to prohibited buyers, along with more hassle to legit buyers.

Still, felonies in this video were being committed/simulated. (I'm assuming that the hired 'felons' are local to the show private investigators, otherwise even MORE laws are being broken.) Those transactions were already illegal, and changing the law will only make them 'illegaller,' making, in most situations, a private sales 'loophole' closure superfluous.

And a hoplophobe is still gonna come back with, "Why make it easier for a smart/quiet criminal to have this source of gun supply? A little inconvenience for the legal buyers is a small price to pay for keeping even ONE gun out of the hands, for a while, of one criminal. It's not like the NICS check is a bloody registry, as the law forbids it being used as such. And I know how you gunnies hate gun registries." [That last part is true, but us gunnies don't trust that that law is being adhered to by the Feds. We don't have actionable evidence that they are violating it.]

Also: And where did the stat "30% of crime guns are linked to gun shows" by the ATF come from? The data I've seen is attributed to the FBI and is in single digits. Where does 30 come from?

Anyway. I don't know how to respond to this hypothetical hoplophobe, and in a 3 way converstation between me, the hoplophobe, and an apathetic-until-now person on the fence on the issue... I don't think I'd win that argument. I need something more. What say you?

[Update: I guess there is the true statement that you don't need to close any loophole because there is no legal means for a prohibited person to purchase a firearm. It's already illegal, another law just makes it illegaller. I could use that. But that's not the goal of the banners. They don't want to make it impossible for prohibited person to illegally purchase a firearm. They want to make it impossible for a prohibited person to GET a firearm. The only way to do that is to stuff the genie back in the bottle and make it impossible for anyone, prohibited or not, anywhere, to HAVE a firearm. Fantasy. You have to wish guns out of existence. Then daggers will be the problem.]


Anonymous said...

Any law creating a special case in the law applicable only to gun shows is doomed to failure for the simple reason that the unscrupulous will simply go across the street to complete the sale without oversight.

It is impractical, would increase costs, ciminalize the ignorant or unsuspecting, and have zero, no, zip, zilch, nada impact on the ability of criminals to get guns.

I prefer laws that work rather than feel-good, do nothing laws that serve only to inconvenience the law abiding and ciminalize the unwary.

Also: And where did the stat "30% of crime guns are linked to gun shows" by the ATF come from? The data I've seen is attributed to the FBI and is in single digits. Where does 30 come from?

Please see today's blog entry at the VCDL blog. (full FCC disclaimer: I am the VCDL blogger who wrote the linked post. I receive no monetary compensation for my contributions to said blog, claims of "wheelbarrows full of cash" raining down from the evil gun lobby notwithstanding).

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

It wouldn't be special case for gunshows. It's a trojan horse. To close the gunshow issue they will make ALL private transfers subject to background checks. If a law actually gets written to do so.

And we all know it will restrict criminals not at all, but we also know it will restrict criminals access along THIS avenue. They will, of course, pursue other avenues they currently use more prevalently after passage.

Ride Fast said...

Two things:

There is no loophole. They're tagging the crime with that to get support to close private sales, which are legal.

Once private sales are banned, it will be the parking lot loophole, or the living room loophole. The end goal is a total ban on transfers, then ownership.

That might help, but educating people that do not want to learn is neigh impossible.

Frozen said...

I mean come on...the US only has more laws on the books than any other country in the world. What's 1 more? It will only make us safer! I mean look at us now! Having all these laws have resulted in a perfect, stable economy which is constantly growing, everyone is employed, crime is non-existent, and best of all, we don't have to take responsibility for anything! The government loves us and frees us from the burden of decision making!


I'm too young to be this cynical...