There is only one response for antis up in arms about the “unregulated” firearms marketplace, enabled by the Internet: great landing, wrong airport. There is no way to stop criminals from obtaining firearms. Any attempt to do so simply makes it harder for law-abiding Americans to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Yes, you can work to stop criminals from possessing firearms. And yes, you can work to stop criminals from using firearms in the commission of a crime (mostly by locking them up after the fact). But you can’t stop the ballistic signal. In what world do law-abiding citizens have free access to firearms where criminals don’t? No world. So check out this bit of anti-pistol pandering by washingtonpost.com . . .
Tens of thousands of guns will be sold through online portals in Washington state this year, and none of the buyers will be subject to background checks. That’s because of a loophole in federal law that allows unlicensed dealers to make sales online without conducting criminal records checks on those who purchase their firearms.
Loophole? As in “an ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of rules”? For one thing, there’s no ambiguity in the law. In Washington state residents are free to buy and sell firearms to each other without government supervision or intervention. Period.
As for the inadequacy of this “loophole,” Washington State’s murder rate (which includes non-firerarm related homicides) is 3.0 per 100k population. In Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania sellers must report all handgun sales to the state. Correlation does not equal causation – plenty of states with unsupervised private sales have higher murder rates than either Washington or the four named above. That said, Maryland has 6.3 murders per 100k population, Michigan 6.2, New Jersey 4.4, Pennsylvania 5.4. All higher than Washington State.
One murder is too many, but . . . that’s the price you pay for firearms freedom folks. And it should be pointed out that these are extremely low rates compared to, say, the entirety of Central America, where the murder rate is 26.2 murders per 100k population. In other words, Washington law is only “inadequate” if you think it is. And which independent organization did the Washington Post turn to establish this inadequacy? No points for guessing.
A new study suggests a significant portion of those buyers — at least 10 percent — would fail a background check conducted by a licensed dealer.
The study, conducted by the pro-gun control group Everytown For Gun Safety, examined sales through several Web sites that serve as online portals for firearms dealers. Sites like Armslist, Northwest Firearms, Outdoors Trader, Washington Gun Trader and Gun Listings all allow sellers to list their weapons for sale, and buyers to post notices searching for specific kinds of firearms.
Those sites featured advertisements for nearly 17,000 weapons during a recent five-month stretch, Everytown researchers found. At the same time, another 1,164 buyers posted advertisements looking for weapons. When the group matched public records with any identifying information the buyers posted, they found almost 10 percent — eight out of 81 identifiable buyers — would be barred from buying a gun from a licensed dealer.
Federal law prohibits anyone convicted of a felony or domestic violence or anyone deemed severely mentally ill from possessing a firearm. That law prevents only a small number of people from owning a weapon: In 2013, gun dealers in Washington state conducted 561,000 background checks and denied only 3,600 people.
Citation? * crickets chirping * Hang on. I’m confused. Is the Post saying that Everytown is better at stopping illegal firearms sales than Washington State? Or that Washington State would deny far more people from buying firearms privately if they could check and register private sales (with the possibility of confiscation that any such check would entail)?
You don’t have to be Nick Leghorn to see that Everytown sample size is small and not restricted to Washington State residents. How do we know that the ten percent stat would apply to the Evergreen state? And why were those Washington state purchasers denied? How many of them were felons, exactly, and how many were mistakes?
Among the identifiable buyers who sought weapons through online portals in Washington, several had been convicted of a domestic violence crime or were under a restraining order. Others were convicted felons, with rap sheets ranging from car theft to rape, burglary and robbery.
Several? Others? How scientific is that? Almost as scientific as this:
The prevalence of online sales, which are excluded from background check requirements, has shown up in licensed dealer sales: Since 2003, the number of gun sales denied because of a failed background check dropped by more than half.
What was that I said about correlation not equalling causation? That’s an outrageous assertion without any factual basis whatsoever, reported without question by a mainstream media organization.
Everytown is among the groups backing Initiative 594, a measure on the ballot this fall that would require background checks on the vast majority of gun transfers in Washington state, including online and at gun sales. Gun-rights activists oppose the initiative, which they say would unduly burden gun owners who try to transfer weapons legitimately, even to family members.
And wouldn’t do a damn thing to reduce firearms-related suicides or homicides. Same old you-know-what, different wrapper.