Close the Illegal ID Gap

Gun control advocates constantly call for legislators to “close the gun show loophole.” They claim that felons (or their surrogates) go to gun shows to buy handguns and “assault weapons” on the DL from private sellers. The antis want all private gun sales to go through a licensed gun dealer to ensure a criminal background check. Yes, well . . .

Selling a gun to a prohibited person is a federal offense. Most sellers at private gun shows are licensed dealers. Gun show guns account for a statistically insignificant proportion of firearms used in crimes. And Americans cherish the right to sell guns to each other without federal notification.

In other words, FOAD. If the antis want to do something useful about prohibited persons buying guns they should crack down on illegal immigrants. Here’s the problem [via]:

Federal investigators were able to get fraudulent driver’s licenses in all three states where they tried, according to a report released Friday that shows continued problems with states’ ID programs more than 11 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks highlighted the problem.

States are particularly flummoxed by out-of-state documents, according to investigators from the Government Accountability Office who conducted the audit.

The investigators used forged birth certificates purportedly issued by Ohio and New York, and successfully submitted them in three other states.

“In most of these five attempts across the three states, we were issued permanent or temporary licenses in about 1 hour or less,” the audit says. “In only one case did a front-counter clerk appear to question the validity of one of the counterfeit documents, but this clerk did not stop the issuance process.”

Name names? No they did not. So much for government transparency and all that. Anyway . . .

Let’s think about this for a second. No, not the part where illegal immigrants use driver’s licenses to receive benefits that suck tens of billions of dollars out of American taxpayers’ wallets, over-burdening our “safety net,” degrading the quality of social services for legal Americans.

Let’s think about how people in this country buy guns.

They do so with a driver’s license. When a gun dealer runs a federally mandated NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) enquiry on the FBI database, the buyer’s immigration status doesn’t come into it. If the buyer has [what the system considers to be] a valid ID and no criminal record, the sale goes through.

Truth be told, I don’t see this as an enormous problem. Terrorists and criminals have plenty of extra-legal access to firearms. I’m willing to listen to arguments that undocumented Americans should be documented and then allowed the right to keep and bear arms.

But there’s no denying that illegal IDs are an issue of critical importance to homeland security (a term that never fails to send shivers down my spine). So what, pray tell, is the Department of Homeland Security doing about it?

A full verification system that would help states perform checks on out-of-state identities could be a decade away, the investigators said in their report.

The auditors also faulted the Homeland Security Department, which it said has failed to tell states how to carry out key parts of Real ID, the 2005 law that is supposed to tighten rules on how states issue identification cards and driver’s licenses.

In its official response, the Homeland Security Department rejected auditors’ recommendations, saying states are free to collaborate and come up with their own state-to-state systems. The department said it is using federal taxpayer money to help some states that are trying new methods but that it will not push them.

Click here to read a more official jargon-laden account of the inter-agency bunfight at Bottom line: the DHS may patrol our border but it doesn’t take the threat of illegal IDs and, thus, immigration seriously. At all.

Whether Uncle Sam’s failure to close the fake ID gap is due to unofficial pro-illegal immigration policy or the usual bureaucratic bloat, inefficiency and incompetence or all of the above doesn’t matter. Until the gun grabbers sort this shit out, they should STFU about gun shows.

Just sayin’.


  1. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    RF, can we please not encourage them to make this into more of a “Papers, please” nation than it already is?

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      Cracking down on illegal/counterfeit ID = “Papers, please”? Never had your identity stolen, have you?

      1. avatar AM says:

        I do want there to be a system to prove identity for things such as bank transactions. However, I do not want ID to be required for anything beyond that as it gives the government an easy way to track my actions (something goverments have proved they cannot be trusted to do).

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          I agree.

        2. avatar Anon in CT says:

          You don’t think you need ID to vote? Get welfare (defined broadly) benefits? Enter the country?

        3. avatar AM says:

          Ok Anon, I forgot about those. There are obviously some things that require proof if ID. Buying a gun is not one.

      2. avatar anonymous says:

        “Never had your identity stolen, have you?”

        I had my identity stolen once.

        After a few days, the thief realized that being me sucks, and gave it back.

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          LOL +1

        2. avatar speedracer5050 says:

          Must be the same guy/gal that stole mine!!
          They didn’t even keep it a day and the bank called to say that the ID thief deposited $50 in my account ’cause they felt sorry for me!!! LOL!!

      3. avatar Henry Bowman says:

        Implementing REAL ID and requiring it for almost every action in your everyday life = “Papers, please”

        1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

          I didn’t see anything in RF’s text that advocated for Real ID (a disgusting piece of legislation that, it would appear, will never be implemented). The Real ID part was in a quote from the article he was citing.

        2. avatar Henry Bowman says:

          You’re right. And I didn’t mean to imply that RF was advocating for Real ID. I just don’t like encouraging statists to “fix” things, because it always leads to less liberty.

      4. avatar Mr. Lion says:

        In the current climate, yes. A sane policy maker would see this and conclude, okay, we need to step up enforcement on the possession and sale of forged documents, and increase penalties related to it.

        Virtually every policy maker we have at the moment would instead see this and conclude, okay, here’s an opportunity to monitor the movement of citizens, for the Common Good ™. So along comes a TSA-grade “double plus extra secure” form of ID that is forged a few hours after being released. The people you don’t want to have documents still have them, and everyone else has their liberties stomped on just a little bit more as a result.

  2. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    does this go along with the guy who went to vote and claimed he was Eric Holder (at Eric’s polling station) and didn’t have ID,but they gave him a ballot anyway??

  3. avatar Jason says:

    Processing article……..does not compute…..must shut gun show loophole.

    Well illegal immigrants vote don’t you know. People like Holder don’t care if the votes are legitimate or not as long as they go in his chosen direction. I can’t believe how this guy still has a job. Anyhow, you don’t want to mess with the ID of an illegal because how else is he supposed to vote? Oh yeah Holder doesn’t want to require IDs.. never mind.

  4. avatar Curzen says:

    Why are you so bent on singling out undocumented immigrants? If fraudulently obtaining a drivers license is that simple it is reasonable to expect in the vacuum of actual data that citizens convicted of felonies or otherwise by law prohibited from owning guns will make just as if not more use of this scheme to obtain firearms quasi legally.

    Then again whenever I hear about any person arrested and unlawfully in possession of firearms there is no mention or indication that they went out of their way to go the route of first obtaining a fake ID to then buy a gun in a store. And I’m quite sure that if that were to happen our friends of the Brady campaign would have already been yelling about it at the top of their lungs.

    So, do you have anything to back your theory up that this is actually happening?

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      we are not singling out undocumented immigrants, we are singling out illegal aliens. There IS a difference but some choose not to see it.

      1. avatar Curzen says:

        The difference being?

        Additionally, singling them out is relevant given the alleged problem how exactly?

        1. avatar GS650G says:

          The difference is undocumented immigrants are immigrants who are awaiting processing or other news to finalize their status. It’s a narrowly defined category.
          The rest BROKE THE LAW and remained here or entered without any pretext or application to be here legally.

          Calling them all undocumented aliens ignores the illegal act and softens opinion towards people that are at best economic refugees from failed states and at worst criminals who would never be allowed into this country.

          But I think you already know all this and prefer to just look the other way when our sovereignty is disrespected.

        2. avatar Curzen says:

          actually, there is no way to immigrate and be legally undocumented, you might not have a greencard but in the interim you need the appropriate visa. source: me immigrating and researching the process ad nauseam.

        3. avatar Accur81 says:

          @ Curzen

          It isn’t that hard – Germany figured it out. You are basically not allowed into the country without a work visa / invitation. Every body pays taxes. If your job doesn’t work out, or your visa expires, out you go. It’s pretty shocking that Germany is doing well, whereas other European nations with liberal immigration policy are doing very poorly financially. It’s much like California the bankrupt state / sanctuary state.

  5. avatar pk in AZ says:

    All of this talk about fake ID’s and what dhs (small letters on purpose) will or won’t do is completely meaningless as long as we have a border that is NOT secure.

  6. avatar A Brit in MI says:

    Actually a gun buyers immigration status does matter. The form you fill in at the gun counter (or on the computer now, at least at Cabela’s) requires you to state whether you are a US Citizen or not. I have a Green Card (so am a permanent resident) so had to jump through a couple of extra hoops ie verify address with 3 months worth of utility bills plus there was an extended (delayed) background check which meant that I had to wait a day before I could pick up the AR. Funnily enough that didn’t happen when I bought my handgun, a question for another day…

    However, if you’re illegal enough to use a fake drivers license to purchase a firearm, I’m sure you would have no qualms checking the ‘yes’ box to the Citizenship question.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      In late December 2011, the ATF revised its rule for gun purchases by legal resident aliens because the old rule lacked a rational basis.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      By the way you should go out and get your concealed carry license if you don’t already have one. Michigan used to have a United States citizenship requirement that went away after some recent court cases. (Legal resident aliens are now eligible; illegal aliens are not eligible.)

    3. avatar Anon in CT says:

      My otherwise excellent LGS didn’t believe me that the “3 months of bills” requirement had been dropped, so I had to have my wife fax copies to the store. They were nice about it, but it was silly. Since I’ve had a CT drivers license AND a CT pistol permit for more than three months, I couldn’t see what value was added by a messy fax of a few cel phone bills.

      1. Haha ya because it’s not more difficult to forge a 1 page bill with some numbers on it than it is to forge an ID.

  7. avatar gabba says:

    isn’t any extra legal method of obtaining firearms categorically a “private sale”?

    1. That’s what the “gun show loophole” is. It’s simply when people execute private sales at a gun show venue. It’s the same thing they could do on their own, but the gun show helps bring sellers together with customers. By calling it a gun show loophole, it sounds much more dramatic and way worse than it is. They advertise it as if to describe a situation where every gun purchased at a gun show is some mythical purchase that should not exist.

  8. avatar jwm says:

    illegals with little or no ID and no mandatory ID at the polling places equal votes for the Dems. Also, just as with the jews who hate guns and vote accordingly, what of an influx of people who’ve been through the hellish violence south of the border. How will these people vote on the issue of gun rights.

    Yes I’d like to see the border tightened up and ID required for voting.

  9. avatar JSIII says:

    But its for the children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    They have a cross state means to identify people by the way…its called a social security number.

    1. avatar Curzen says:

      my understanding is that numbers have already rolled over and are being reused. coupled with the SSA having a bad record at figuring out who is actually deceased that doesn’t make for a reliable system.

      1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

        We’ve already gone through 1 billion (with a “b”) SSN’s since November 24, 1936? Wow.

        1. avatar Accur81 says:

          Yep. That’s pretty curious, given the US population and such…

          Maybe that explains why I had my ID stolen?

          If you’re worried about the government tracking your business, wait until the awesome Obamacare / upgraded IRS machine goes into full effect.

  10. avatar IdahoMan says:


    Since we will all be “prohibited persons” to the state someday, maybe you should be GLAD that their are ways to create illegal IDs and keep “illegal guns” flowing.

    NO ID cards…
    NO Fatherland Security agencies…
    NO “watch lists”…
    NO “prohibited persons” lists…
    NO FLLs…
    NO NICS…
    NO permits…
    NO “keeping guns out of the ‘wrong hands'”…
    NO militarized “Law Enforcement”…
    NO gestapo ATF…

    And you know very well that The Government has not an iota of interest in fighting terrorists, catching illegals, protecting the border, preventing “gun violence”(anti-liberty terminology), or anything else. They only use their power to “crack down” the peaceable citizens and their liberty, and keep “Reichstag fires” an other “problems” alive so they can increase themselves all the more. 1984.

  11. avatar Jose says:

    We all have one primary and inescapable document: Our birth certificates. And that is where the whole problem starts – easily forged and/or reissued. Fix that one and all the rest of the ID problems go away. The government knows this full well.

    I wont get into the details but even as little as 15 years back my last name used to be very rare, and all of us with that last name were related. Not anymore. Scares the cr?p out of me.


  12. avatar Rick says:

    I just don’t want to see a federal version of Illinois’ FOID card imposed nationwide.

    Unless of course there is absolutely no tracking of purchases and it allows me to buy a handgun anywhere in the U.S. (I only want that last part to make Bloomberg’s head explode.)

  13. avatar theaton says:

    “Selling a gun to a prohibited person is a federal offense.”

    Knowingly selling a gun to a prohibited person is a federal offense.

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