In the wake of the McDonald ruling by the Supremes, anti-gun groups are (predictably) in a froth. Sadly for the rest of us, the McDonald ruling has left a whole lotta wiggle room regarding what is – and is not – permissible in the way of new regulations. While Messrs. Bloomberg and Daley and the Mayors Against Illegal Guns go after individual sales of guns through gun stores, sporting goods stores, and the like, the Brady Bunch seems to be focusing on the much-vaunted “gun show loophole.” They’re pressing for legislation that would require guns to be sold through an entity that holds an FFL (Federal Firearms License). Their argument: forcing sales through FFL holders will eliminate the sale of guns by private parties, and thus eliminate the transfers of guns “under the radar” of the Feds. Balderdash.
Any time you ship a gun from a dealer or manufacturer, you must go through an FFL-holder. The Brady Bunch wants to extend this to private sales and gun shows. This is, as they say, a pain in the lower posterior region. Especially because said transfers are always and inevitably between two parties who choose to obey the law.
If someone wants to violate said law, there’s not a lot anybody can do about it. Laws, like locks, are meant to keep honest people honest. Furthermore, if somebody is selling guns to someone they know to be a criminal, they are breaking the law to begin with.
Logic dictates that those that break one law in order to achieve a goal will likely break others, so it’s therefore doubtful in the extreme that forcing all gun sales to go through an FFL-holder will accomplish anything but to add expense and inconvenience to legitimate buyers and sellers lives.
Logic, sadly, is something of a foreign language to the Brady Bunch. They froth at the mouth about “straw man purchases,” believing that the FFL process will somehow put a stop to that.
Even the Scarecrow from Oz knows better.
The Brady Bunch has a far more agressive agenda at work with this effort. They don’t want to simply ban gun sales sans-FFLs. They want to ban guns altogether. Gun shows are just a stepping stone.
If you’ve been to many gun shows, you’ll already be aware that many – if not most – exhibitors already hold FFLs. It’s because they buy and sell guns for a living.
An FFL requirement would not stop so-called “straw man” purchases – where a third party makes an ostensibly legitimate firearms purchase for himself, where actually functioning as an agent for a third party who would not qualify to purchase a weapon on their own.
But even going through the FFL fandango, gun show exhibitors have no way of knowing if the buyer is really the buyer.
If you were to look at the typical evidence locker at any police department across the country, you’d see an assortment of weapons – cheap revolvers, polymer pistols, shotguns, sem–automatic rifles, and, yes, some fully-automatic machine guns. Wonder where they came from? Most of them were stolen. (An FFL won’t help there.) Some of them were purchased legitimately. (An FFL played a role.)
Exactly how will forcing private citizens to sell weapons they own through an FFL affect this equation? Answer: “It won’t.”
Again, the Brady Bunch’s goal: put an end to private gun ownership. Since they can’t do that (thanks, Supremes!), they will go after gun shows. Anything they can do to impede, inhibit, or destroy gun shows is just fine with them.
But make no mistake – the legislation they push isn’t just designed to hurt gun shows. It’s intended to make it just that much more difficult for you to own a gun.