Last week, I reported on a Massachusetts gun collector whose collection got collected by thieves. This despite the fact that Mr. Sokolowski had a gun vault that the police described as “extremely secure.” As Mr. Sokolowski was not held at gunpoint during the robbery, either the thieves were extremely sophisticated or it was an inside job. My money’s on the latter. Die-hard gun collectors are notorious for purchasing weapons outside established channels (e.g., gun stores and auction houses). Gun shows! Classified ads! Forums! Friend of a friend of a friend! That’s how you find a “real” bargain! Go to the source. Yes, well . . .
the further you get from the retail mainstream, the more dangerous the people you meet. I’m not saying that bricks and mortar gun dealers are beyond arranging a little raiding party. Just that they’re less likely to do so. To make the point that private sales with strangers are inherently risky, here’s an extreme example from chicagotribune.com:
Prosecutors said Escobar had agreed to sell a gun to Cuevas-Guevera, who was sitting in the back seat of Escobar’s car with one of his friends. As Cuevas-Guevera examined the weapon it accidently went off, wounding Escobar’s friend, according to court documents.
When that first non-fatal shooting happened, Escobar, who was in the driver’s seat, allegedly reached back and grabbed the gun. Cuevas-Guevara, of the 4600 block of South Sacramento Avenue in Chicago, jumped out of the car and took off running, court documents say.
Escobar allegedly chased Cuevas-Guevara and shot him four times. He then hid the gun in a garbage bin in an alley in the 2600 block of West Montgomery Avenue, according to court documents. Escobar then drove to a nearby hospital, where he dropped off his wounded passenger and fled, court documents say.
When people complain about gun store prices, I shake my head. If a gun dealer has been in biz a while, if they’ve got rent, salaries and a family to feed; they have a reputation to protect. And that reputation protects you. In other words, a seller’s premium can save your life. This is not the place to skimp.