Reader Ripcord writes:

A few days ago a reporter in Philly, went into a gun store and bought an AR-15 in less than 15 minutes. You can imagine her indignation that after filling out the paperwork, passing the NICS check, and plopping down her credit card, she was allowed to walk out the door, rifle in tow. The headline almost writes itself. And predictably, there have been some copycats around the country among other scribes bereft of original thought. A columnist from the Chicago Sun-Times, Neil Steinberg, among them.

On his blog, Steinberg says it was his editor’s idea. Just a couple of days earlier, Steiberg wrote a column, tongue in cheek piece calling for the legalization of hand grenade. In it he said:

“Guns are a kind of masturbatory aid in the elaborate heroic fantasies of millions of Americans, who imagine themselves supermen.”

So Mr. Steinberg dutifully trotted to a local gun store in his little quest to buy an AR-15.

After eyeing and pawing a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport II, he presented his FOID card, plopped down the dinero and filled out the necessary paperwork. Unbeknownst to the trolling scribe, Illinois is one of seven states that has a waiting period on long guns — 24 hours to be exact. Not a day, not a business day, 24 hours.

While the writer may have thought he was going to go unnoticed, the eagle eyed clerk at the store inquired if he was in fact the Sun-Times reporter, which he admitted.

After traipsing out the store with who knows what thoughts in his warped little mind, he probably felt pretty good about himself. Another hit piece on gun owners was virtually writing itself and things were just hunky dory. Well, not quite.

You see Mr. Steinberg has a bit of a colorful past.

On October 2 of 2005 the Chicago Tribune reported:

Chicago Sun-Times columnist and editorial board member Neil Steinberg could face jail time if he is convicted of domestic battery charges related to an incident involving his wife last week.

Steinberg, 45, of Northbrook was arrested about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in his home after his wife, Edie, called 911 and reported abuse, said Sgt. Michael Keady of the Northbrook Police Department. Steinberg spent the night in jail and posted bail Thursday.

Edie Steinberg had first tried to call emergency services on another telephone, but Neil Steinberg hit that phone out of her hand, causing minor injuries, Keady said.

She was able to call 911 on another phone, he said.

Steinberg was charged with one count of domestic battery and one count of interfering with the reporting of domestic battery. Both are misdemeanors and carry sentences of up to a year in jail, Keady said.

After completing alcohol treatment, the charges were dismissed. Which is the reason he was able to get a FOID card in Illinois. While Steinberg filed to have the arrest expunged, it’s unclear if that has taken place as it’s still within the Cook County system and can be looked up.

In 2008 he published Drunkard: A Hard Drinking Life, his story of being an old time hard drinking reporter and his decent alcoholism.

Long story short, the gun store, Maxon Shooters Supply, refused the sale. After pressing them as to the reason,

A few hours later, Maxon sent the newspaper a lengthy statement, the key part being: “it was uncovered that Mr. Steinberg has an admitted history of alcohol abuse, and a charge for domestic battery involving his wife.”

So his careful little plan for whatever hit piece or sexual innuendo-filled rant he was going to write wasn’t to be. The gun store, remembering his wife beating incident, his attempt at keeping his actions from being reported to the police and his history of intoxication and admitted drunkenness gave them pause. And so they cancelled the sale and refunded his money.

Shockingly, Steinberg sees darker forces at work:

Now I’ll state what I believe the real reason is: Gun manufacturers and the stores that sell them make their money in the dark. Congress, which has so much trouble passing the most basic gun laws, passed a law making it illegal for the federal government to fund research into gun violence. Except for the week or two after massacres, the public covers its eyes. Would-be terrorists can buy guns. Insane people can buy guns. But reporters . . . that’s a different story. Gun makers avoid publicity because the truth is this: they sell tools of death to frightened people and make a fortune doing so. They shun attention because they know, if we saw clearly what is happening in our country, we’d demand change.

Here’s a news flash for Steinberg: You’re a troll. A well-known troll, and after writing that hit piece earlier in the week, you’re lucky any gun store worth their salt lets you walk in the door. You somehow managed to play the system and avoid a conviction on a charge that has resulted in most others losing their Constitutional rights.  But hey, some animals are more equal than others, right?

The fact is, you got caught. Someone wasn’t going to play your game, and called you out for the wife-beating drunk you had admitted you are, and then refused to sell you a gun because of it. Yet now you want to play the victim, poor Neil couldn’t get his gun to write his nasty column, so he wrote another supposition-fueld rant instead.

The real problem, Neil, is that you’re living in the past. Gun owners will continue to remind the world what you are. You see, social media and Google work both ways. You and the birdcage liner that prints your columns no longer have a monopoly on what people call ‘news.’ And even though the comments have been turned off, we still get to have a say.

65 Responses to Sun-Times Columnist Denied AR Due to Alcohol Abuse, Domestic Violence Charges

  1. Hmmm… Me thinks that he lied on his NICS paperwork… I’m sure the feds will be along to prosecute him shortly.

    • LOL!

      What do you think he’s a bakery owner declining to make a cake for a homosexual wedding or something???

      Hes far far less dangerous.

      he’s a Violent alcoholic who lied to the federal government.

    • He may not have lied, if the wife-beating charges were dismissed. Sounds like NICS check might have come back OK, but the gun store employees recognized him and were exercising their right to refuse a sale.

      • How come the gun store has a right to deny a sale, but the bakery doesn’t?

        That makes no sense. You shouldn’t have to serve anyone you don’t want to; for any reason.

        And I’m saying this as a gay man.

        • Hearing you say that is refreshing and for the most part I agree, except when you remember what the segregated south must have been like back in the day, when entire towns and business centers wouldn’t cater to blacks, at least not through the front door. Beyond that though, if someone is gay, why would they want to give their money to someone else who may very well spit the cake or do a half assed job or at the very least feel resentment toward the customers?

        • Denying someone because they are gay, black, paralyzed, or anything else that is simply how they are due to circumstances beyond their control is discrimination.

          Denying someone because their past behavior– assuming it was within their control– makes you fear for the future safety of others doesn’t meet that “discriminatory” criteria, I believe. I’m sure Ralph and other Law Talking Guys will correct me.

          You do raise interesting issues though; if I support the gun shop guy in denying service based on a potential buyer’s past behavior because guns, aren’t I also saying that BC’s are okay on private sales of firearms because it’s not just an exchange of property, but of a gun?

          Now, some would say– and I agree– that alcoholism is also a medical condition beyond the individual’s control, and as long as the man wasn’t in active addiction, the gun store’s actions were discriminatory. But that is an argument for another time.

          The accusations of domestic battery are a different issue, but what he apparently did was bat the phone out of her hands, not burn her with cigarettes for ten years and push her down the stairs. No, I’m not defending domestic abuse.

          Personally, I think the store made the right call to not sell, but for the wrong (clearly gleefully looked up on Wikipedia) reasons.

          Don’t sell a gun to the guy because he’s an asshole with a habit of accusing gun owners of damn near every thing under the sun who was transparently itching for material to write a poorly researched, logically false hit piece on guns and specifically the AR15.

          Not selling to him and claiming its because he’s a recovering alcoholic with a domestic abuse charge that he has apparently owned up to and owned is weak.

        • The answer is quite simple, Steven. We currently live in a political climate where a) “gunz R bad!!!!1!!!” and b) the rights (both actual rights and imaginary, perceived “rights”) of a member of any of the special, protected classes automatically outweigh the rights of anyone else.

          I often wonder how that bakery case would have turned out if the baker had been a half-Vietnamese, half-black wheelchair-bound woman. Is there a hierarchy of whose rights are more important among all the “oppressed minority” classes?

        • Thanks Steven. As free men we are supposed to decide when..where…and for whom we work.

        • Being gay may or may not be within someone’s control. You’re thinking of gay strictly in terms of sexual attraction, but that’s the only element. There is sexual behavior and sexual identity, too.

          Even with attraction, it’s more complex and can consist of a purely physical attraction, but also a psychological attraction. Consider it analogous to physical and psychological addiction, in that there are two sides to the coin.

          At the bakery, the denial of service is due to the gay wedding being conducted, which very well is behavior within someone’s control, and not the gayness itself. So your differentiation from the reporter’s past actions does not hold.

        • They didn’t refuse to bake a cake for a gay person , they baked cakes for gay people all the time . They refused to participate in a ceremony , uniting a gay couple under the law , in marriage , by baking their wedding cake , a choice which should have been protected under the constitution because it usurped their religious beliefs , or at least they felt that it did .
          ……………… and as far as the little wife abusing , gun hating , 2nd amendment bashing , reporter >>>> hehehehe .
          I bet he could use a drink .

  2. ” And even though the comments have been turned off, we still get to have a say.”

    Speaking of locked comments, the comments are locked on that FN gun review a few hours ago….

      • This website rutinely deletes and censors comments and hides behind a troll label…

        Like this comment will be deleted, prove me wrong boys!

        • Cry baby or no, he’s not wrong, Jack.

          The editorial and deletion policies of this website are haphazard, sloppily applied, and inconsistent.

          It’s almost as if some guy were running it out of his garage, and instead of hiring folks to do the day to day grunt work of policing ads for malware, autoplay and trackers and moderating the comments even-handidly and consistently, he drives a Mercedes and EDC’s a Wilson Combat. has other priorities.

  3. I’m assuming he has his foid or the LGS wouldn’t have let him touch that rifle. Illinois state police, keepers of the foid system, are supposed to check DAILY if those people with foids pass NICS and revoke as necessary. So if he still has his foid, then NICS should have ok’ed him, and the LGS took it upon themselves, which is their right, to deny him.

    • I think in all honesty the gun store figured (most likely correctly) that the guy was buying it for a hit piece, and could have denied him just based on that; its icing on the cake that the troll has domestic violence and alcoholic tendencies. Exactly the type of person that shouldn’t have a gun.

      • That’s what it smelled like to me.

        They made the sale, after he left, Googled his sanctimonious FLAME PRO-ACTIVELY DELETED and killed the sale.

        I love the way the woman at the store who called him later told him the sale wasn’t gonna be happening and kinda blew him off by telling him they don’t have to tell him *why* the sale was canceled.

        I bet that *really* had to have pissed him off… 🙂

        • And yet I’m sure he approves of denying guns to those on the no-fly list, where the government also gives you no reason or recourse.

          Gun owners, remember, are one step away from flying off the handle. They should be denied guns so a simple phone-slapping doesn’t turn into a wife-shootin’ followed by a school rampage. So this gun store did the nation a solid. Thanks!

  4. Want to bet that he could walk into any car dealership, kitchen equipment shop, hardware store, etc… and walk out owning any one of many thousands of potential deadly tools. No NICS, no FOID, no waiting periods, and nobody even raising an eyebrow.

    Why do you suppose that is?

  5. I often ask the “it’s so easy to buy a gun” crowd just how long they think a person should have to wait for a transfer after they’ve been cleared by NICS? Once I establish a timeframe, I press them to explain what additional checking should be done and how that would be accomplished in this extra time. The answers are all over the place, but I try to get them to always quantify their position before pointing out the flaws in their reasoning. It makes it easier to deconstruct their position.

  6. Anti Gun Vote Today 3 PM . Call Now . I got put through to my Senators office in less than 3 minutes , do not hang up….. Hang Tough and send a message …… NO NEW GUN LAWS — 202-2253121.

    Be LOUDER than the NRA !!

    • No conviction, just a charge. Interestingly, if he had his way I’m sure just the accusation itself should be enough to ban any one of us from gun ownership for life. Ironically, it seems “due process” saved him from being on the official “list”… also, the rehab was a condition of the charges being dropped, so that wouldn’t be reported as alcoholism to NICS… another thing I’m sure he wishes for. And now, at long last, he gets to learn the error of his ways, as his dirty laundry gets aired out there just exactly the way he dreams ours should be.

  7. Typical anti gunner. Violent and abusive to those weaker than him and a substance abuser.

    What is it 2asux says, “the ends justify the means”. With that philosophy this is the type of person you attract.

  8. LOL LOL LOL!!! Yeah I know who this azzwhole is. The real question is “why is the Sun-Times still in business”??? Gee I got a FOID. Good to know it isn’t checked daily. BTW the state of ILL is beyond broke and it’s a pretty small place for having 10000000 residents…also bravo MAXON!!!

  9. So… he’s complaining because the gun store did what antis have been howling for – using their judgment – forever?

    Translation: gun manufacturers, retailers and owners shall be in the wrong, no matter what we say, do, don’t say or don’t do.

    Check. We pretty much knew that but it’s nice to have it confirmed – we can never win by their rules.

  10. I’ve never commented before on this site, but I consider Maxon Shooters my “home range.” I just wanted to say, they are without a doubt the most observant and professional range representatives that I have ever met. It’s the norm around here for the local gun store guys to be grade-A motherfuckers, but the people at Maxons have found that good balance between stern and polite.

  11. Good on the gun shop. Although he was a domestic abuser and an alcoholic I think I would have preferred playing the “We will not be part of you using the first amendment to trample the second” card. Then again it may have been better to actually let him go through with this, record it and Katie Couric him. He is technically legal on the 4473 as it sounds like he was not actually convicted.

  12. Read the article. He exposed himself by saying what he intended to do with the rifle (which was to get rid of it the next day), which was the tipoff to the Maxon staff.
    He also fails to mention the process for getting a FOID, misleading the uninformed reader into thinking you can just walk into a LGS & come out in an hour with a firearm.
    Lastly, a nod to Maxon – they are a classy operation. I go there often.

    • No one denied this asswipe his right to keep and bear arms, they just exercised their right not to be the ones who provided those arms. He is still perfectly free to give his patronage to any other gun store in Illinois or to buy on line and have it shipped to an Illinois FFL for pick-up.

      On the other hand, buying a firearm that you do not intend to keep is a violation of Federal law, is it not? The wording of Question 11a is confusing and would seem to apply unless the buyer donated or gave the weapon to some person or agency legally allowed to accept/own it. On the other hand, if he used Sun Times money for the purchase or was reimbursed by Sun Times at a later date then he was not purchasing for himself under any circumstance and even giving the thing away would be a violation.

      I am not defending the unconstitutional background check NICS system, only pointing out the apparent illegality of these types of purchases.

    • I’m leaning towards that being what really happened. The gun store folks recognized him as being the sh– stain he really is and essentially, in a professional method, told him to take a hike.

      That had to have been VERY satisfying.

    • Ditto. That silly little growth on his face says “charged with beating his “wife” Eddie/Edward”.

  13. “I found that Illinois has a 24-hour waiting period between buying and taking possession of a gun. Unearthing that fact alone made the exercise seem worthwhile. I was learning something.”

    Wow, what a brilliant investigative journalist! He “unearthed” a fact that is public knowledge and takes almost 60 seconds of internet searching to discover.

    He also trots out the well-worn, thoroughly-debunked “40 percent of gun sales have no background checks” horseshit, so I guess he’s not that great at “unearthing” facts after all.

    • Well, he was once investigated, which I have on good authority from several liberal sources ought to be enough to deny his right to bear arms.

  14. Even though I hate to say it, he should be able to buy the rifle and write whatever nonsense he wants to. Shall not be infringed doesn’t just apply to people who like guns.

    • Sorry, but “shall not be infringed” is a restriction on government, not on private parties. The G didn’t deny that schmuck a gun. The gun store did, and was well within its rights to do so. I applaud the action of the gun store. So should you.

      • So he’ll have to go to a “gun show” and find the “loophole” he claims exists. It might be worth it to see if he survives his first trip to a gun range.

        • Yes, but how will he earn his living as a writer with his shoulder all bruised and having to hide in a closet until his PTSD wears off?

  15. Answering no to the misdemeanor…domestic violence question on Form 4473 is a felony. They need to lock him up.

    These stupid reporters always think gun laws are too permissive until they run afoul of them.

    • Question 11.i. asks whether the applicant has ever been CONVICTED of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. AFAIK, he was not convicted, so he didn’t lie on the 4473.

  16. Let me get this straight…
    His editor told him to go spend $800+ of HIS OWN money to buy a gun that he would soon give to the police or sell at a substantial loss.

    Bull. Excrement.
    Newspaper offered to bankroll his happy little excursion into liberty land. Under the table, of course. He was being paid to buy a gun. But he can’t admit that, what with it being a felony and all.

    This is the state of the newspaper industry in America today. This is what they call “news.” Any wonder they’re losing readers every day?

    • The really surprising thing is that rags like the Sun-Times still have any readers left to lose at this point.

  17. It’s completely unsurprising and incredibly infuriating that the man is so two-faced. He came in to roll another worthless “look how easy it is to buy a gun” piece, and was PREVENTED from doing so. But is that a good thing? No. The fact that it’s harder than he thought is also bad.

    I for one am glad that the store didn’t play along with his bull plop and sent him packing. They deserve much praise, not another hit piece by an ignorant doofus.

  18. Steinberg…….hmm I wonder what ethnicity that name is? Another leftist, progressive Jew in the media spewing out propaganda. Nothing new there.

  19. So he just became a republican. Went to one of those kiddy porn baby fkr churches and got one at the gun swap bible meetin

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