“Like it or not, people have a right to buy guns. If you’re going to pass a law requiring them to wait for seven days — a perfectly sound idea — you have to provide enough staff to process the applications in a timely manner. By any standard, a 100-day wait for something as simple as a criminal background check is unreasonable.” – Dan Rodricks in Gun-buying frenzy in a summer of violence [at baltimoresun.com]

41 Responses to Quote of the Day: That’s Not a Bug, It’s a Feature Edition

    • We don’t even know what they are going to be now that B. Todd Jones is the Director of the BATFE and no longer just the interim. When he was the interim, it was pushing 9 mos.

      • I’m right at 9 months from pending,according to BATFE. Forms were submitted late April and approved late June. Should arrive march.

        Have forms going out at end of month so I expect them by July next year.

        • According to the NFA Tracker, it people who bought in 2012 waited just under six months. People who bought in January 2013 (the latest data available) waited about seven months. I suspect the bump was mostly due to panic buyers.

  1. Why is waiting 7 days a sound idea? Is there data to support waiting periods? If not there is no reason to keep it. 7 days could expand to 30, 90, 720 days. Some people would also see that as a reasonable wait.

    • Agreed. Look at the history of waiting periods in CA. They started at 1 day, then 5 day, now 10 day, and they’re currently trying to push it to 15 day.

      • It actually WAS 15 days at one point, and was reduced to 10 days IIRC. That doesn’t change the fact that waiting periods are a farce at best. I could *almost* be convinced if it was the very first purchase. Almost, but not quite. But the theory behind waiting periods is blown out of the water when purchasing your second, or third, or twentieth gun. Simply because if a person was that mad, they would just use one of the guns they already own to do the deed.

        • And should you be one of those who is suddenly the victim of a real threat of immediate violent harm (battered spouse who decides to leave, witness to a crime, etc.), there is no way you can get a gun to protect yourself, possibly until it is too late. And if the Legislature gets its way, you might have to take a 4 hour firearms safety class, pass the Hand Gun Safety Test, and pass a background check just to buy ammo. And they also want to pass a bill that will basically outlaw the loaning of firearms except for use on your own property or in your presence or at a range. So no chance for you to borrow a gun when in extremis either. (These bills are due for consideration in various committees next week.)

    • I think the ideal waiting period is the time between when he swipes my card through the machine and when the machine spits out a piece of paper for me to sign, just like it is for basically every other consumer good in the world.

      • Waiting periods dont make sense because if you premeditate the murder youre going to commit to the point at which you go out and purchase a gun, is making you wait another day, 5, 15 going to make a difference? Not likely.

        • They used to tout it as a “cooling-off period”, remember? As if 7, 15, however long was a guaranteed period to make sure you wouldn’t want to shoot some person. They’ve pretty much dropped that pretense.
          Now it’s “just because”.

      • Bloomberg tried to push that with his less known group, Mayors Against Immense Gulps.
        But some judge ruled that the government had no right to restrict somebody from buying a legal product in a specific quantity.

  2. How about that seven day wait on speaking your mind pending a thought crime background check?…oh wait.

  3. What is a clip? What is a round? What is a grip? What is semi auto? Etc. there are those who buy a guy who do no not know. There should be 7 days wait. Here in California it is 10 days. The buyer should be able to answer questions on what is bought. Like taking a drivers test you should know where things are like the spare tire etc…rules of driving etc…There is one somewhat of a test now, but nothing about what is a trigger etc… Safety questions a must. A 100 day wait that is wrong. Gun control laws now is an insult to the educated on guns. The lower the education level in California the more laws they need. In short, yep a lot of uneducated lower level iq at least in California. Teach about guns in school, they teach auto shop, why not teach about guns. My 2 cents worth. From CA

    • John – since you brought it up initially a ‘clip’ is a strip of metal with tabs on it used for quickly loading a ‘magazine’. The term ‘clip’ as used to describe a ‘magazine’ is incorrect. ‘Clips’ are in fact seldom used with modern firearms.

      7 days has always been unreasonable. A firearm is not a space shuttle. You don’t need to take a class on how to operate one. Classes are for tactical matters. Basic firearms safety & proper handling is most efficiently & expeditiously taught by Dads, Grandpas, & uncles. Or the drill instructor in the absence of such.

      • SD, as I’ve stated before here, my DI’s called them clips back in the day, and I still call them clips as do a lot of my fellow Veterans from days long passed. So get off your high horse about “correcting” folks who call them clips, it could just be some old codger who spent some time in the military back many decades ago!

      • +1000. The X-days waiting period is not used to instruct anything. Never did, never will.
        It’s about WAITING, PERIOD!!

      • I actually often use ‘clips’ to reload ‘magazines’ for my AR. (Yes such a thing as 5.56 NATO on stripper clips exists.)

        That said, While in firearms terminology a clip is properly an ammunition storage device for rapidly reloading a magazine and a magazine is a device for feeding ammunition to a firearm the interchangeable use of clip for magazine is so widely accepted in the vernacular that objecting to it’s use is like pointing out the difference between a cap and a hat or bullet and cartridge.

        While there are times that precise terminology matters these are rare and no one is going to misunderstand a request for a clip and some bullets as meaning anything but a magazine and cartridges.

    • You don’t need a license to buy a car. You don’t need to prove you know anything or have anything (beyond cash) to buy a car. No one needs to know what a strut is to buy a car. No one needs to know what an alternator is to buy a car. No one needs to know what a radiator is to buy a car.

      Cars are not Constitutionally protected, quit comparing the two.

  4. I’m sure that creepy ex boyfriend who suddenly decided to ignore the restraining order would be happy to wait 7 days to come around if you just asked.

    In his defense he’s probably just trying to sound reasonable to all the commies in Maryland.

  5. What was that bumper-sticker saying that the abortionists kept repeating when their opponents wanted a waiting period before a woman could have an abortion?

    Oh, yes, I remember now: “A right delayed is a right denied!”

  6. Dude fails to understand that the understaffing is deliberate. They are in no particular hurry to process any of this paperwork, especially in places where there’s no deadline.

  7. I wait ten minutes. In that ten minutes I know Im not going to “change my mind” or whatever they think will happen in a few days. In that ten minutes I find out that I am not a crimminal.

    • Am I the only one who has an “Oh, goodie, I didn’t become a convicted criminal without realizing it!” moment whenever the NICS check comes back clean?

      • I’ve certainly felt that. It’s similar at airports, where you wonder if some dead guy with the same name got you on the no-fly list (also known as the “hidden terrorist watch list”).

        Except a leering perv doesn’t feel you up at the gun store, or steal your iPhone.

  8. His math is also wrong:
    30 prohibited persons out of 70,000 sales is .9996, not .996. He’s off by a factor of 10.

      • Rd, your math is correct, but due to context, you can be correct and still be wrong. In the article, the author uses the .996 figure as a “batting average,” and in that case, he’s wrong. 70k out of 70k would be a 1.000 batting average (where the phrase “batting a thousand” comes from).

        69,970 out of 70k is a 0.99957 batting average, which rounds to the .9996 that Brett came up with, not the .996 that the author did.

        Actually, if we stick to the three decimal places that baseball uses, then mathematically the number would end up rounding to 1.000. In other words, so close to perfect that the difference is in the rounding error.

        The net result is that you’re right, and Brett is also right, and the author is wrong. He could have said “99.96% accuracy” and left the batting average part out of it, and been perfectly correct.

  9. Let’s think this over. I’ve decided that homicide is what I want to do. I want to break the internal and external prohibitions against murder but I just don’t have the means. So I walk out of the house where my hammer, bat and knives are located and get in the car where I keep my tire iron and gasoline. Drive past the hardware store and walk into the Walmart. I go past the pool supplies and cleaning chemicals and down the hardware isle to sporting goods. Just beyond the rack of metal bats I come to the gun and knife counter but alas, I must wait 7 days to purchase a firearm!
    So I get back in the car and drive home, cursing all the houses I pass thinking “I bet THEY have guns, but I have to wait 7 days, no fair!” Then about day six I forget that I was so bent out of shape that I premeditated and planned a homicide and the world is once again safe. Got it, makes perfect sense.

  10. I have to reapply for my firearms license soon. The last time I had to wait about 3 months from lodging the application to actually having my license. This time I received a form saying “if nothing has changed since your last application, fill out the form and return to FireArms Registry Murwillumbah”.

    The longest waits I’ve heard of are 6 and 8 months. That is because the applications were literally at the bottom of the pile and and newer applications were put on top. Gotta love bureaucracies.

    In theory, and according to the firearms regulations, the license is still considered valid after the expiry date and the re-application is in-process. But everyone I know stops shooting because they don’t want to encounter a picky cop who thinks he IS the LAW and he has just caught a major criminal responsible for gang-land driveby shootings.

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