There’s no question that U.S gun owners are fighting a losing battle against the de facto establishment of a federal gun registry—unless the question is “Are they fighting?” The average gun owner is completely oblivious to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ eTrace system. The ATF’s database maintains a record of all the gun sales information kept by federally firearms licensed dealers. Name, address, date, weapon purchased, the lot. Meanwhile, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) is “promoting” (i.e. bullying) membership in a front group called the Responsible Firearms Retail Partnership. The RFRP requires participating gun dealers to follow Wal-Mart’s lead and videotape all transactions. Here’s a story about a “straw purchase” that seems to justify that effort . . .

SHIRLEY v. GLASS is the sad tale of Russell Graham, a violent man who abused his wife and child, had his mother purchase a shotgun on his behalf, and then shot his son and killed himself. The Brady Campaign (not Center) to Prevent Gun Violence taking the lead in the wrongful death suit, attempting to hold Kansas’ Baxter Springs Gun & Pawn Shop liable for Zeus Graham’s murder.

The link will take you to the ins and outs of the purchase, wherein Russell Graham’s mother purchased a single-shot shotgun for her son. It seems pretty clear that the pawn shop’s owners knew that Russell was a convicted felon (he said so) and that he was deeply involved in the weapon’s purchase (he paid for it).

Here’s the bit that concerns our QOTD:

The Georges had a video monitoring and recording system at the pawn shop when the gun sale took place on September 5, 2003. Nevertheless, Patsy George testified that after they were contacted by the sheriff’s deputy about Zeus’ murder, they were unable to retrieve the surveillance videotape from September 5, 2003. The Georges stated that the recording system had malfunctioned and that the video recording system had “eaten” the tape.

Don’t you hate it when that happens? You know; except when you don’t. Anyway, how do you feel about being videotaped at the gun store? On one hand, you have the British philosophy regarding surveillance: if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear. On the other hand, Britain is the most surveilled nations on planet earth, with one of the more authoritarian democratic governments extent.

IMHO, this battle was lost a long time ago. In the Internet age, personal privacy is an outmoded concept. Still, would I like to be able to purchase guns without the feds and Dick’s Sporting Goods keeping tabs on me? Yes, I would. You?

6 Responses to Question of the Day: Should All Guns Sales Be Recorded?

  1. Given digital camera tech and cheap storage space, it's only a matter of time before almost all retail transactions are recorded. There may be value in a store selling a non-record policy, but I suspect that market may be small – especially given the growth in bank and debit card use (and the resultant fraud and theft).
    I suppose the state may step in here – although gun control liberals who want gun stores monitored like a Super Bowl may crap their pants when similar tech is deployed across retail in general.

  2. No.
    There will never be a way to record every sale. The black market won't being doing that.

    Recording gun sales prevents nothing anyway. It's all political posturing for votes.

  3. "Recording" (not neccessarily videotaping) all gun transactions has long been the desire of the gun controllers. Recording means de facto registration because if there is a record then all it takes is the time and effort to compile that record into a registration database. It wouldn't be perfect, of course (someone might move to a new address after buying a gun) but it would be a good start for the gun control crowd.

    A law requiring all gun sales to be conducted through a dealer (as some states now require) would also create two categories of privately owned guns: "Legal" guns i.e. guns that have "papers", and presumptively illegal guns, those without papers.

    IMO this is the next big gun control fight and sad to say, in many states, it's already been lost.

  4. The fight is never lost. The BELIEF that the fight is lost leads to a loss of will to resist. The very act of continual resistance in the face of tyranny is the only way to preserve our liberties!

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