OMG! Felons Buying Guns On the Internet! OMG!

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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 stateCorrelation 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.

comments

  1. avatar Marc says:

    591! 591! 591!

  2. avatar Jolly Roger That says:

    They show big numbers when numbers are scary and no numbers when they aren’t. The article would lose a lot of its punch if it said that “3 to 4” felons tried to buy guns online, as well as “up to 7” under restraining orders.

  3. avatar John L. says:

    “One murder is too many, but . . . that’s the price you pay for firearms freedom folks.”

    No. That’s what you get from having free will. Guns, per set, have nothing to do with it, any more or less than any other tool used in a homicide.

    1. avatar Tom of Toms says:

      +1

  4. avatar Daniel Silverman says:

    Ok so we start out with tens of thousands, and then hit 17,000. Even the wording of Everytown’s claims are a painful ready. Source? Yeah ok I doubt it. Identifiable information? People usually don’t post their names and addresses online. Least they shouldn’t. Data collection methodology? Yeah I figured nothing there..

    So they make it up as they go along then. Perhaps we should do the same thing, accept we have real numbers and facts on our side.

  5. avatar Bunny says:

    Here in california every firearms transaction goes through a FFL, including private sales. Our background check system goes through several other systems besides NICS to see if someone is prohibited (mental health, restraint order, etc.). .07% of transactions are stopped by our asinine, intrusive background checks. See the recent Silvester case out of CA to confirm that fact.

    1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

      And oh by the way that system allows ‘them’ to know what you have when ‘they’ decide you shouldn’t have it and come to take it away….

  6. avatar Gruney says:

    You should see the TV ads for 594 they are running. Biggest bunch of distortions and outright lies ever. Well, at least since the last presidential election.

    They never give any sources for their numbers, and never come out and say how many crimes were committed with firearms transferred face to face. I think “crime guns” come from robberies by a huge margin over private transfers. There should be a law against breaking into your house/car and stealing your firearms. Oh, wait……..

    I am a resident of WA, and hope to heck this steaming pile of feces doesn’t get passed.

    1. avatar Rick Testa says:

      Unfortunately, the ads do seem to be reaching those people who know nothing about guns other than what they’ve seen in TV/movies. As a resident of WA myself, I’d love to see I-591 passed, and I’m hoping that the voters on the east side of the state can make that happen, since I’m pretty sure the voters in the Puget Sound area have totally “bought into” the lies of Bloomy and his group.

  7. avatar RT says:

    “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.”

    What is an unlicensed dealer, and how does one become one?

    1. avatar LongPurple says:

      That had me shaking my head also. I guess they must consider any “seller” of a gun to be a “dealer”.

    2. avatar Rick says:

      “Unlicensed dealer” is what everyone but the gun-grabbing community calls “private citizen.”

    3. avatar Rick_in_NH says:

      “Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC (ARS PAC) today announced it will air two new 30-second ads in both of New Hampshire’s congressional races highlighting the opposition of NH-01 candidate Frank Guinta and NH-02 candidate Marilinda Garcia to closing loopholes that allow domestic abusers, stalkers and the dangerously mentally ill to buy guns.” They are tarring & feathering the Republican candidates for the House.

      After all, we know that NRA supporting neanderthals just love to see stalkers, felons, the mentally defective murder the defenseless innocent women and children.

  8. avatar Jack says:

    Gun prohibitionists love to use the term “online sales” in their propaganda. That term implies that anyone can go to an online store like Cheaper Than Dirt or Buds Gun Shop, buy a gun, and have it delivered without a background check. Which is not true, of course. Very frustrating.

  9. avatar Daniel says:

    Now let me get this straight. When they searched for backgrounds of 1,164 different people soliciting purchase of firearms, they found 81 records. What “public” records were these? Most obvious would be from the local courthouse?? I would be hardly surprised that a group of people with criminal records would have a significant number who were prohibited from possessing firearms. I seriously doubt this is representative of the entire 1,164 people or the rest of the population of people purchasing gun throuogh private parties.

    1. avatar Mark says:

      No, they identified 81 people who posted email or phone info in ‘want to buy’ ads, that they could find a reverse match for. So the total sample size was 81 individuals, not 1164. They then identified the 8 felons in that group of 81.

  10. avatar Brian says:

    Show me one of those tens of thousands of online firearm “sales” that doesn’t go through a background check. Just one. I dare you. If you mean Bud’s, I go through a check before I take possession. If you mean Armslist, that’s not a *!$@ing sale, it’s a people-matching service. uuuuuuugggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh.

  11. avatar Defens says:

    If it passes, it’ll be another unenforceable law on the books. Considering that half the police departments in the state didn’t know open carry or that actually using a suppressor was legal until it was pointed out to them – also telling is that the majority of rank-and-file law enforcement officers are opposed to 594.

    If this passes, it’s doubtful that anything would change at all. People will still swap guns at the range. Shooting classes will proceed as normal. Good friends will still sell guns to each other – all sans background checks. And they will seldom see a prosecution. It’s bad law that will remain ignored. Just like the when the activists showed up on the steps of the Colorado capital and swapped AR-15 mags around – nothing happened.

    1. avatar Colt Magnum says:

      I hope I-594 fails. I will not comply if it passes. I refuse to pay for background checks to go shooting with trusted friends on public and private lands. Not to mention the possibility of paying a 9.5% tax on the value of the firearms, if you can’t provide proof of ever paying the sales tax.

  12. avatar TT says:

    If you were not allowed to legally own firearm, Armslist would be an excellent place to find someone to buy a gun from.

    1. avatar Gruney says:

      Have you actually looked at Armslist? Most sellers want to see a CPL or at least a driver’s license before they will finish the transaction, at least in WA.

      Very few people want to risk selling a gun to a criminal – there is no upside and potentially a big risk for the seller. Guns owners are not a bunch of stupid red necks, despite what the gun grabbers would like you to believe.

      1. avatar TT says:

        Plenty of private sellers where I am. I’ve never looked at a listing that said the seller wanted to vet the buyer in some way.

        1. avatar MichaelB says:

          you don’t look at enough listings. there are many that say CPL/CCW/Driver’s License

        2. avatar ShaunL. says:

          I always ask to see I.D. and a CCW permit before making a person to person sale from anywhere online. I also need a signature and DL#(not SS#) to keep for my records when I buy a firearm from someone I don’t know.

          I tell them specifically BEFORE we set up to meet that I need this information, will run the numbers and IF the numbers come back stolen I will be giving their info to my local Sheriff to recoup my losses. I live in a small town so it’s easy for my sheriff to run the numbers(free) to cover my a$$. It also acts as a tell for me when people get shifty about the sale, if anything seems “off” I’m no longer interested.

          It never hurts to cover a$$ a bit and if I offend a few people along the way……. so be it.

      2. avatar TT says:

        Just out of curiosity, what would looking at someone’s driver’s license accomplish?

        1. avatar MichaelB says:

          it ensure that the person is from the same state, as selling firearms to out-of-state people is illegal.

        2. avatar TT says:

          That makes sense.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      And then what? Merely ‘finding’ a seller is not a crime. Besides, it’s even easier for a career hood to contact other career hoods and locate a fence to find him a piece (or to just come across one in the course of a robbery, or to just use a realistic replica which is nearly as effective in most criminal encounters as a firearm anyway). So basically, what you are proposing, is a limit on what you can advertise online. Anyone ‘buying’ a gun on Armslist is merely agreeing to terms fulfilled in person or through an FFL at the end of the day. That, or they are flagrantly breaking laws we already have on the books (interstate sales, etc.)

      If both parties, buyer and seller, are willing to evade the law to perpetrate an illegal transfer (stolen gun, prohibited person, out of state party, underage, etc.), how does a piece of paper requiring them to go to a store and pay even more money for a background check & possible rejection, incentivize them to cease their evasive behavior that would surely have them ignore the BCG requirement?

  13. avatar johnb says:

    With the ambiguity that online services offer the participants, I call BS on their ability to vet any of those purchasers with any degree of certainty.

    1. avatar pod says:

      The online stores don’t conduct the background checks, the receiving FFL does, often for a nominal fee. The gun you buy online ships to a local gun dealer (the online store requests to see a copy of the dealer’s licensing before shipment) who then does the background check on you. There’s no ambiguity in the end. Johnb purchases gun online, the Feds know it’s Johnb attempting to pick it up at the local gun store down the street.

  14. avatar Dave says:

    I would love to see the “back up” for the “8 out of 81” with identifying information being barred from firearms ownership. If their standards here are as high as the “74” school shootings then it’s probably zero!

    And who puts enough information in a public forum to enable themselves to be conclusively identified?

    1. avatar ShaunL. says:

      “And who puts enough information in a public forum to enable themselves to be conclusively identified?”

      You may be surprised how many you can track back to Facebook or a business profile because of the e-mail address. Some people aren’t internet savvy and some just don’t care.

  15. avatar Scrubula says:

    If this passes, I’m probably going to move out of state for college. I don’t want to be there when they copy the firearms laws of People’s republic of California one-by-one.

  16. avatar pod says:

    Technically the online dealer doesn’t do a background check. The receiving FFL does. It’s this technicality that they are exploiting for their propaganda. Nonetheless, the firearm is not released to you unless there’s a background check.

    Gun show loophole? What gun show loophole? Every firearm I’ve purchased at a gun show, I’ve had to have gone through a NICS check. Which takes forever because there’s 80 other people in front of me getting a NICS check too.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Gun show loophole is their propagandist euphemism for private sales that happen to occur somewhere in the vicinity when a gun show happens to be occurring.

      It’s a calculated lie to manipulate people that believe whatever they hear without any vetting.

      That that same sale would magically not be a ‘loophole’ any longer if it took place the day after the gun show is a bit puzzling.

      1. avatar pod says:

        True. It’s like how they consider a gangland killing by teenage thugs a “school shooting” because it happened after the kids left school property for the day.

        God, by that metric I drank beer in school because I had a Budweiser with a friend at his house on my way home from school one day. I must have been a teenage alcoholic.

  17. avatar LarryinTX says:

    Everytown *researchers*? Say what? The “group”? Would that be the “Everymom for nonsense gun control” group employed by Bloombooger? Their research consists of making up numbers that impress them. Quoting fools makes you a fool. Try doing your own research.

  18. avatar Patrick says:

    Uhh… What info were they getting from armslist? I have browsed the site a ton and never seen anything more than a phone number or email, both of which can be false information as to the user. I have an email that I would use for that kinda stuff, one entire email dedicated to nothing but “potentially spammable” sites or what-have-you. Has a fake name (hint to those spamming that email, my name isn’t actually “name”) and has a fake DOB and no ties to myself. Someone could make one with “john smith” as the name. There has to have been a felon named john smith SOMEWHERE who would fail a background check.

    And phones? Who’s to say the number isn’t under a business account and the owner of the business is the felon, and not the guy using the phone? (Look up Dave’s killer bread, budy works there and has a company phone). Bam. Instant fail on a check! Wait… My buddy hasn’t been arrested before… So no.

    Unless they can show that users added in social security numbers and full names and a DOB, I don’t buy it. At all. Is there a chance someone was not able to legally buy? Yeah, no doubts there. But in those numbers? Doubt it. Most criminals either a) want to stay out of prison, so don’t go buying guns or b) probably have some gang/back ally hook up to use. I would bet that the vast (VAST) majority of criminals buying a gun won’t be using armslist or a similar website.

  19. avatar Icabod says:

    One of the 594 ads claimed that universal background checks has (dramatically? Significantly? I never caught the adjative) the number of Colorando police offices killed.

    Factcheck researched it and found
    “According to FBI statistics, in Colorado, four police officers were killed by intentional gunfire in the line of duty between July 2010 and July 2012, the month of the Aurora shooting. Since that time, one officer has been killed by intentional gunfire in the line of duty. But we don’t know that the drop is directly related to background check legislation passed in Colorado in the wake of the Aurora shooting.”

    Once again, a very minute number used to make huge claims.

  20. avatar Tom says:

    Here are my ideas which I say in pure sarcasm. If the state of Washington can potentially abridge the Second Amendment by ballot initiative, then how about this? Getting a ballot initiative to require licensing for all reporters, newspapers, editors, etc.Can`t complain if its passed because it was decided by the majority. Or voting to expel Bill Gates and the other billionaires supporting I-594 from the state of Washington. After all its democracy in action.

  21. avatar DaveL says:

    So out of 1164 ads, they believe they’ve identified 8 prohibited persons. But they won’t say on what basis they believe they’ve identified them and they apparently haven’t gone to the police with this information.

    Of those 8, we have no idea how many actually obtained firearms illegally.

  22. avatar Mediocrates says:

    In Washington state residents are free to buy and sell firearms to each other without government supervision or intervention. Period.

    And we are not going to grant the Federal government this undelegated power otherwise.

    I am pretty sure in every state it is illegal to sell a felon a weapon. Ignorance is no excuse. Just like failed background checks, of which I actually witnessed one at a gun show, prosecutions are few and far between. Unless your black. And you drive into NJ with your EDC.

  23. avatar James Taylor says:

    I am pro firearms. I have enough respect for anti-firearm folk to listen to what they have to say. However all that respect is gone when they decide to use false information, made up statistics, fear propaganda and outright lies. Just the lack of honesty alone from these folks, should be enough for people to see what their real agenda is.

  24. avatar Neil D says:

    “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.” I have a high school education and 2 Associate degrees (not in English though) and I have NO idea what the above actually says. Can anyone translate this statement for me ? I must be dumber than I thought because I really don’t get it.

  25. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    “…that allows unlicensed dealers ”

    What is an ‘unlicensed dealer?’

    Is that code for individual selling a firearm?

  26. avatar Sc says:

    They are assuming that the percentage of restricted individuals that post ads to buy, would match the percentage of restricted individuals that would successfully purchase firearms from people that post ads to sell. Are you kidding? Maybe the restricted people are posting ads to buy because no one is willing to sell to them.

  27. avatar DNS Guns says:

    Here in Fl the “Tampa Times” is about as anti as you can get. However they continue to allow “unlicensed dealers” sell firearms without any background check. Money is king and they are not about to give up the ad revenue. Considering the number of articles they run every year about the gun show loophole you would think they wouldn’t allow gun sales in the classifieds. Guess again.

  28. avatar Ing says:

    And this is what passes for journalism in the legacy media. Any day now, Edward R. Murrow is going to rise from the dead and choke these incompetent partisan hacks to death.

  29. avatar RT says:

    Everything I’ve seen for sale on Armslist is priced way higher than your average criminal would pay for a gun. Plenty of cheap, hot guns for sale in just about every back alley in the US.

    I’m sure a 4473 is filled out for those purchases as well. /sarc

  30. avatar Argon the Antiquarian says:

    At least I’m safe here in good old Europe where we don’t need guns like you dumb brain-dead inbred american guntarded yokels need.

    Real men fight with fists, Not with your penis extenders.

    And go ahead and debate me you morons cause I’m a yale grad that makes more money that you imbeciles will over make in your lifetime.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      A Yale University graduate recently said –

      “The best thing about having a degree from Yale is that never again will you be impressed by an degree from Yale”

      That quote was made by Dr. Benjamin Carson, the recently retired director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. (A baby brain surgeon.)

      That qualifies him as being smarter MODERATED

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        Should have read:

        That qualifies him as being smarter than a nitwit like yourself.

        Just replace nitwit with f*ckwit.

    2. avatar Gruney says:

      Well I’m a Harvard grad in good old Russia, and real men fight with vodka shots. I make more money in a day than all the Yale grads put together make in a year.

      See how easy it was to make that up? Go crawl back under your bridge.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        One bit of wisdom I’ve picked up over the years…

        The louder someone brays about their intellectual superiority, the less likely they actually are.

        Mr. Regular Guy

  31. avatar T-DOG says:

    It’s been said here before and I’ll say it again. If the anti’s were really interested in background checks then the NICS background check system would be opened up to any person who wanted to do one on a fire arms sale. 594 is not about background checks. It’s about adding to the states gun registry since all handgun sales though a FFL have to be logged with the Washington state department of licensing since 1994 (long guns and shot guns do not). And look at what good that has done other then another government money hole. One would think if they solved any number of crimes with that data base we would be hearing about it now. The ads on TV are geared to the uninformed voter plain and simple.

  32. avatar J- says:

    What the heck is an “unlicensed dealer?” I thought the word for that was “felon?”

  33. avatar sanju says:

    Why not Louisiana? A state which has reaffirmed the 2nd Amendment with 14.3 murders per 100k?

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      The best that gets anti-gun efforts, when taken with the rest of the evidence, is that there is no correlation between gun laws and homicide rates. One corollary of the idea that correlation does not imply causation is that non-correlation implies non-causation. That is, if two things are unrelated, the first can’t possibly cause the second or vice versa.

      So if Louisiana has few restrictions and a high homicide rate, and DC has many restrictions and a high homicide rate, and Wyoming and Vermont have very few restrictions and a very low homicide rate, then the answer to homicide rates lies somewhere other than gun laws.

  34. avatar MattV2099 says:

    594 is a pile of you know what. it regulates all “transfers” and not just sales. Hey bro wanna come shoot with me and check out this AK? Nope. illegal under 594

  35. avatar RT says:

    Intersting. I guess WA is going to invent their own definition of transfer? Even NFA’s definition of a transfer is less strict than 594.

  36. avatar G. Snyder says:

    I-594 is a psychological campaign designed to grasp raw emotion. In order for it to be a success it must create a sense of panic yet appear credible.

    The real truth and indeed fact is the USA has millions of guns in the possession of its citizens. Given this fact, gun safety and responsibility is obviously practiced. The laws in place work, law-abiding citizens understand. If this were not true, the mayhem would be prolific; it is not.

    The “loophole” is a strategy not a credible gaping hole in the law 594 would lead some to believe. Again, this is about a perception and a belief, not fact.

  37. avatar FckSociety says:

    You people are doomed. The government are criminal and you worried about lil timmy who got a felony for stealing money having a gun?? FEMA hurry up and kill these people, so you can show these sheep minded fucks who the real enemy

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