Did the Colorado Firearms Dealer Violate Federal Law When Sol Pais Purchased a Shotgun?

This combination of undated photos released by the Jefferson County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 shows Sol Pais. On Tuesday authorities said they are looking pais, suspected of making threats on Columbine High School, just days before the 20th anniversary of a mass shooting that killed 13 people. (Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

As we mentioned in our previous article, 18-year-old Sol Pais traveled to Colorado from Florida on Monday. The woman was reportedly obsessed with the Columbine massacre. She had made threats ahead of the shooting’s 20th anniversary this Saturday. She purchased a shotgun and ammunition when she arrived in Colorado.

Following an extensive manhunt by local and federal law enforcement Pais committed suicide.

The question is, did the FFL that sold her the shotgun, Colorado Gun Broker, violate Federal Law?

18 USC Ch. 44: FIREARMS §922. Unlawful acts

(b) It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or deliver—

(3) any firearm to any person who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in (or if the person is a corporation or other business entity, does not maintain a place of business in) the State in which the licensee’s place of business is located, except that this paragraph (A) shall not apply to the sale or delivery of any rifle or shotgun to a resident of a State other than a State in which the licensee’s place of business is located if the transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the transfer, and the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States (and any licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer shall be presumed, for purposes of this subparagraph, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have had actual knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both States), and (B) shall not apply to the loan or rental of a firearm to any person for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes;

Under federal law, it’s legal to sell a gun to an out-of-state resident so long as the purchase would be legal in their home state. So an 18-year-old from Missouri purchasing a long gun from a Colorado FFL is perfectly legal. But Florida law is different now.

Remember that after Parkland, part of the gun control package pushed through the GOP-lead legislature and signed into law by Rick Scott outlawed the purchase of long guns by anyone under the age of 21.

FL Statute §790.065 Sale and delivery of firearms.

(13) A person younger than 21 years of age may not purchase a firearm. The sale or transfer of a firearm to a person younger than 21 years of age may not be made or facilitated by a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer. A person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. The prohibitions of this subsection do not apply to the purchase of a rifle or shotgun by a law enforcement officer or correctional officer, as those terms are defined in s. 943.10(1), (2), (3), (6), (7), (8), or (9), or a servicemember as defined in s. 250.01.

As an 18-year-old, Sol Pais could not legally purchase a long gun in Florida. So under US Code §922, in conjunction with FL Statute §790.065, it appears that the FFL violated federal law.

I know this because until 2010, Florida had a law in place that barred Floridians from purchasing long guns in states other than Georgia and Alabama.

FL Statute §790.28 Purchase of rifles and shotguns in contiguous states.

A resident of this state may purchase a rifle or shotgun in any state contiguous to this state if he or she conforms to applicable laws and regulations of the United States, of the state where the purchase is made, and of this state.

This law was enforced on a corporate level by a number of national retailers like Walmart and Bass Pro Shops. I experienced this when I’d travel to Oklahoma to hunt. I remember seeing signs in Walmart’s firearms department listing the states whose residents were prohibited from purchasing guns. Florida was on that list.

In 2011, the law was repealed. Floridians could buy long guns in any other state and Florida was removed from those signs.

In my conversations with BATFE at the time, they explained that if any dealer outside of Georgia or Alabama sold to a Floridian at the time, they’d be in violation of federal law.

The same now applies goes to any other state law under Florida’s age restriction.

Expect this to be made an issue due in the current political environment. Traditionally, BATFE doesn’t crack down on these situations, but since this was such a high profile case and resulted in a suicide by an 18-year-old, this will be brought up.

Under federal law, culpable negligence isn’t a defense. It’s incumbent on Federal Firearms License holders to make sure they’re up-to-date on the laws of all of the other 49 states.

Update by Author:

It is not the responsibility of FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to see if any applicable laws are being violated. NICS simply checks the National Crime Information Center to see if the buyer is not prohibited from possessing a firearm (have they been judge mentally deficient, is the person a convicted felon, or convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, received a dishonorable discharge, etc. . .)

NICS does not check anything else. Nor does the State of Colorado’s Bureau of Investigations Firearms InstaCheck or even Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement Firearm Purchase Program check to determine if applicable laws have been violated.

The determination to know if applicable laws are being violated rests on the dealer. Additionally, if the BATFE decide to censure (fine) and not press criminal charges against the dealer for the failure to abide by US Code §922, then the dealer is open to civil litigation because they have been stripped of coverage provided by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Since they did not legally speaking, commit lawful commerce in the sale of the firearm since they violated §922 by not abiding by §790.065.

comments

  1. avatar Marty says:

    Good info. Up until now I thought under federal law, long guns could only be purchased from states which were contiguous to the state of the purchaser.

    1. avatar D.T.O.M. says:

      How can a state law have Federal consequences, when you are in another state? Why would the Fed’s pro-actively enforce state laws in other states? This is becoming utter madness… It’s like a citizen is a dog on a state held leash.

      1. avatar DesertDave says:

        So, you just noticed that?!

      2. avatar Marty says:

        Only reason I can think of is it’s written into the federal law. Makes zero sense, but then not too many federal laws do.

      3. avatar DonS says:

        How can a state law have Federal consequences, when you are in another state? Why would the Fed’s pro-actively enforce state laws in other states? This is becoming utter madness… It’s like a citizen is a dog on a state held leash.

        The restriction in 18 USC 922(b)(3) is not on the buyer. It’s on the licensed dealer. The 18-year-old Florida resident didn’t violate that statute – the dealer did.

        I would presume that federally-licensed business is (reasonably) expected to follow the applicable federal laws related to that business.

        And it’s not like this is something new. That particular provision of 18 USC 922(b)(3) has been there since 1968.

        EDIT: the language has changed since ’68, but the general idea was the same:

        the sale fully complies with the legal conditions of sale in both such contiguous States

        https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/STATUTE-82/pdf/STATUTE-82-Pg1213-2.pdf

        1. avatar Paul Hurst says:

          Non-residents buying rifles & shotguns in any out of state has been there since FOPA86. It replaced the GCA68 buying in contiguous states.

        2. avatar DonS says:

          [FOPA86] replaced the GCA68 buying in contiguous states.

          Yes, but the “obey the laws of both states” language has been there since ’68.

        3. avatar D.T.O.M. says:

          Is there any other Federal statue, besides the unconstitutional ’68 gun control act, that compels residents of one state to know of, enforce, and obey the laws of another state (as it pertains here)?

        4. avatar Big Bill says:

          D.T.O.M. asks, “Is there any other Federal statue, besides the unconstitutional ’68 gun control act, that compels residents of one state to know of, enforce, and obey the laws of another state (as it pertains here)?”

          In this case, it’s not “residents,” per se, who are required to know (etc) the laws of other states, but rather the holder of FFLs ( the businesses) who sell firearms.
          I can see the problem of individual agents of the FFL holder ( the person on the other side of the counter) being required to know all the pertinent laws. Lawyers and judges make mistakes about the law. The salesperson is also fallible.
          OTOH, my last purchase was made using a computerized system to fill in the form 4473; the computer is a whiz when it comes to knowing the laws, and would probably have caught the attempt of the young lady trying to make an illegal firearm purchase. There is, of course, nothing to stop her, if she hadn’t been able to make the purchase in CO, from traveling back to FL, buy the shotgun, and go back to CO.
          IOW, IMHO, the sale in CO was a procedural illegality, not one that would have prevented the ultimate outcome.

      4. avatar coyote hunter says:

        Just awoke from a long nap did you?

    2. avatar Anymouse says:

      The original ’68 GCA specified contiguous states only. ’86 FOPA expanded it to any state.

  2. avatar David Bradford says:

    I was thinking the same thing when I first read she was only 18. I’m afraid that the individual who sold her the shotgun will be hung out over to dry their mistake. If they are convicted, I expect this to be just another talking point the left will throw at us ad infinitum.

    1. avatar Rocketman says:

      Your right. The FFL dealer had better hire himself a damn good attorney because the feds are going to be coming after him.

      1. avatar Rattlerjake says:

        Actually this would be a good time for this FFL, and the gun organizations to sue both the federal government and the state of FL over their unconstitutional gun laws. What most people don’t understand is that states and the fed do NOT have rights or authority unless it is given to them by the people, and the people cannot give the state or fed the right or authority that the people do not possess. In other words, NO INDIVIDUAL has the right or authority to infringe on another person’s rights, so neither the state nor the federal government have that right or authority, and any such laws are unconstitutional!

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      OTOH, it’s a real problem for their attempt to lower the voting age to 16.

  3. avatar DonS says:

    There’s another problem with the way the “sale, delivery, and receipt” went down…

    In 2018, Florida also enacted a 3-day waiting period for all guns. §790.0655. There are some exceptions, like of you have a hunter safety certification card, and it’s not yet known (publicly, at least) whether this 18-year-old satisfied any of those conditions.

  4. avatar TheBruteSquad says:

    Unfortunately more convoluted laws to attempt to catch gun owners and dealers violating a web of constantly changing and expanding regulations. This is the sort of thing gun rights advocacy organizations should be going after – a gun dealer in a free state like Indiana or Missouri shouldn’t have to care what sort of unconstitutional abominations are passed in California or Massachusetts.

  5. avatar C.S. says:

    Mens Rea doesn’t apply?

    1. avatar DonS says:

      The federal statute says “any licensed manufacturer, importer or dealer shall be presumed, for purposes of this subparagraph, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have had actual knowledge of the State laws and published ordinances of both States”.

      If the dealer wants to sell to residents of other states, the onus is on him to gain knowledge of those states’ laws – and then comply with them.

  6. avatar NORDNEG says:

    This happened to me in MT. One year I bought a Mossburg 500, from a shop… the very next year I went back to the same shop & tried to buy a KEL TEK KSG, the proprietor told me since My residency was in a neighboring state he couldn’t sell me the weapon because it has a pistol grip ,,, only reason for the denial was because of the grip, ,, long story short I bought one when I went home… those darn pistol grips sure are dangerous I guess, or they make you a crazzzzzy person.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      What is more dangerous are law makers making laws about things they know nothing about.

      Examples: the person who was video recorded stating magazines were consumable when used.

      The person who launched a thousand memes describing a barrel shroud as “the shoulder thing that goes up”.

      And one from downunder where a member of the greens described a firearm’s operation as a “semi semi-automatic”

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling saying he was going to fire an AR15 in “full semi-automatic” mode.
        Not a legislator, but an example of a “news” media pulling a 3 minute clip out of a 90 minute interview in an attempt to show how dangerous the AR15 is, while displaying utter ignorance of the firearm and its capabilities.

  7. avatar Bitter says:

    Would this limit a Californian who was buying in another state due to their restrictions and list of allowable guns?

    1. avatar No one of consequence says:

      Yep, sounds like it.

      And the simplest & safest thing for an FFL to do, given the changeable nature of CA gun laws, is to not sell any firearm to a CA resident. Or insist on shipping it to an FFL in CA to do the final transfer.

    2. avatar Luis Valdes says:

      In theory, yes.

      If California has a restriction on who can posses/purchase a firearm. Then it is possible that the sale in Arizona would be illegal for the dealer to process.

      Now, does this apply to actual types of firearms? That is a whole another question. Traditionally, this has been applied to the issue of can the person possess/purchase a firearm in their home state. Age restrictions and various criminal charges can result in some issues.

      For example, some states bar firearm ownership for certain crimes while others don’t because some states consider the same crime a misdemeanor while others consider it a felonly.

      1. avatar Serpent_Vision says:

        Question in that case is whether CA prohibits “assault weapons” possession by its residents, or only prohibits them in CA. If the prohibition is only on ownership within CA, there seems no legal reason a CA resident couldn’t have a vacation home in AZ and buy “assault weapons” in AZ to be kept and used there, but never brought into CA.

    3. avatar guest says:

      Californians cannot purchase guns out of state.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        IANAL (not even in my dreams in a Red Roof Inn), but I believe the law you’re talking about doesn’t allow a resident of CA to purchase a gun out of state, and then bring it into the state of CA. The illegal act isn’t buying the gun, but bringing said gun into the state of California, AIUI.

  8. avatar Jason Statham says:

    This may be an unpopular opinion – but the FFL dealer should be charged. They broke the law. We should expect those who carry great responsibility (as an FFL does) to live up to the law.

    We should also expect anyone with 4473 violations to be prosecuted as well but that never happens.

    That said – the laws should also be changed – it is an undue burden to keep up with laws of 49 other states, and gun rights groups should push for this.

    Also – it is likely the “safest” policy for an FFL to take to outright deny sales to anyone out of state (unless perhaps they make an exception for a neighboring state they know 100% there are no restrictions on – and even then I wouldn’t do it since it would be easy for that state to slip in a law about prior convictions around misdemeanor or something as a disqualifier). Not customer-friendly but CYA for sure.

    1. avatar Kenneth says:

      You do realize that the letter of the Statute is not relevant in this case, since the FFL must have received the federal OK for the sale from the BATF’s NIC system, don’t you?
      There’s no way he would have transferred the gun without that, or he’d be in jail already. And once the BATF OKs the sale, the actual language of the Statute doesn’t matter. It’s the ATFs job to stay up on the various, ever changing Statutes, since it simply isn’t possible for the dealers.
      This is what the whole multi-billion dollar NIC system is for(supposedly). IF there is a legal failure here, its on the part of the feds, not the dealer. OFC this doesn’t mean the ATF won’t try to blame the dealer anyway, to cover up their own failures. They have a long, sorrid history of such unlawful behaviors. One more shouldn’t surprise anybody.

      1. avatar Luis Valdes says:

        It is not the responsibility of NICS to see if any applicable laws are being violated. NICS simply checks NCIC to see if the buyer is not prohibited from possessing a firearm (ie have they been judge mentally deficient, is the person a convicted felon, or convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, received a dishonorable discharge, etc. . .)

        NICS does not check anything else. Nor does the State of Colorado’s CBI check or even Florida’s FPP check.

        The determination to know applicable laws are being violated rests on the Dealer.

        1. avatar Kenneth says:

          That’s not what we as FFLs were told back when the NIC system was set up. But it might well be the excuse they use now. How in the hell is a FFLee to know every firearms law, in every State, when they change every time the wind blows? It is just not possible.
          Every FFL would have to have dozens of employees that do nothing but stay on top of all 50 States Statutes, and that would make all gun prices double, at the very least. OFC, that might well be part of the unlawful plan.
          Perhaps you should also research what the differences are between Laws and Statutes. I think that’s contributing to your confusion. Not that I always use both terms correctly at all times either, but I do know the difference. i make mistakes too, just like everybody else.

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          “But it might well be the excuse they use now. How in the hell is a FFLee to know every firearms law, in every State, when they change every time the wind blows? It is just not possible.”

          You expect a law to make sense, or even be physically possible to obey. Why?
          Although, with computerization, it becomes not only possible, but trivial to follow this particular law; as the 4473 is being filled out, the computer system checks all pertinent laws that would apply to that particular purchase. (Yes, I’m well aware that computers (or rather their programmers) make mistakes, but they make such things much, much easier.)

      2. avatar Tiger says:

        That is not correct.

    2. avatar Paul Hurst says:

      No they should not be charged (criminally). They should be given a violation notice on their FFL. Repetitive violations will lead to a loss of FFL.

      1. avatar Luis Valdes says:

        If the BATFE decide to censure (fine) and not press criminal charges against the dealer for the failure to abide by US Code §922, then they are open to civil litigation because they have been stripped of coverage provided by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Since they did not legally speaking, commit lawful commerce in the sale of the firearm since they violated §922 by not abiding by §790.065.

  9. avatar DKW says:

    Is it just me but the pictures I have seen of her (including the ones in this post), she looks closer to 30 years old instead of 18.

    1. avatar N8thecowboy says:

      Just you. Really though, 18 and 30 are both adults, and there isn’t much difference. At least not in the people I hang around. I suppose your neck of the woods could be different.

      1. avatar Specialist38 says:

        You hang with a weather-beaten crowd.

        She damned sure looks older than 18.

        I guess crazy ages you.

        1. avatar guest says:

          Great in the sheets though.

      2. avatar Big Bill says:

        “Really though, 18 and 30 are both adults, and there isn’t much difference.”
        Except in the law.
        The age of majority was changed federally to 18 for just about everything several decades ago, except for a few things (most notably drinking alcohol). The alcohol exception was, as I remember it, because 18-year olds aren’t mature enough to handle the effects of it; they can buy a house and vote and buy a gun (except in certain states), but can’t drink a glass of champagne to toast their marriage.
        So lets change the voting age to 16. Makes perfect sense, in a sense.

  10. avatar Thinker1 says:

    Odd the FBI did not catch this on the background check.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      Does the FBI even look at state laws during the NICS check? Or do they just check to see if, according to information they have available to them, the transferee is allowed to possess firearms under federal law?

    2. avatar Luis Valdes says:

      Colorado’s CBI check and FBI’s NICS check does not see if applicable laws are being violated. They (FBI’s NICS) only check to see if the person is not Federally barred from possessing a firearm. Colorado’s CBI check does the same on the state level.

      It is the dealer’s responsibility to determine if applicable laws are being violated.

    3. avatar Gun Momma says:

      The FBI was already ‘Investigating’ her (that is what the “I” means in FBI) for possible terrorist actions when she bought the gun. A national manhunt and she still bought one right under their noses. The Federal Government struggles with everything they do. If they could actually and effectively enforce the current gun laws it may be all that is necessary to curb gun violence instead of creating more unenforced laws. The law provides the Front-Man (FFL dealer) in a gun transaction to ultimately make the decision whether or not to conduct the sale.
      Even when there is concern it seams like greed will still win over.

      1. avatar Steven King says:

        The FBI was investigating her, the FBI had contact with the Orlando Pulse night club shooter, the FBI had the Boston Marathon bombers on their radar, the Parkland shooter had been referred to the FBI…. See a pattern? Hell the FBI has been in contact or received referrals to any number of mass killers and Terrorist threats and missed the boat on way too many of them… Confidence is not high in the “INVESTIGATIVE” prowess of the Federal Bureau of INVESTIGATION… Unless of course you want to overthrow a duly elected POTUS and thwart the will of the people based on entirely bogus information provided by a bunch of bitter disgruntled political hacks and a failed foreign agent…

        1. avatar EnDangerEd says:

          You left out Accidental Dischares while doing backflips on dance floors and other assorted foolishness. That’s why FBI stands for Freekin Buncho Idiots.

        2. avatar Steven King says:

          Don’t know how I let that one slip my mind… That guy was my number one contender for dumbass of the year…..

  11. avatar Steven King says:

    Has anyone determined whether or not she actually might have possessed a Colorado ID?

    1. avatar mrvco says:

      She arrived in Colorado the previous evening, so no, highly unlikely that she managed to (legally) procure a Colorado ID.

      1. avatar DonS says:

        The time frame was shorter than that. She arrived at DEN on Monday and bought the gun that morning. The “approve” response came back from CBI at 11:43:58 MDT on Monday, based on the dealer’s printout shown in the local news interview.

      2. avatar Steven King says:

        I didn’t say anything about legality, but she was probably too stupid huh, would never think to look for a questionable web site on the internet that could provide her with a bogus state ID card, hell I just renewed my concealed carry permit on line in Fl, took the picture myself with an Iphone, used their template to crop it and sent it with a digitally signed form, done.. But, I’m 70 a very mature looking 18 year old girl planning something like this for who knows how long could probably never figure that out…

    2. avatar DonS says:

      Whether or not she presented a Colorado ID… from the dealer’s own statements in a local news interview, he knew (or had reasonable cause to believe) that she was not a resident of Colorado. He said she asked about laws, including taking it back to Florida.

      https://kdvr.com/2019/04/17/littleton-gun-shop-owner-says-he-legally-sold-shotgun-to-woman-behind-school-threats/

      1. avatar mrvco says:

        Interestingly, the anti media here in Colorado are still beating the ‘there was nothing preventing her from buying guns’ drum… which is consistent with the Columbine 20 Year Anniversary stories bemoaning the (categorically untrue, e.g. 15R mag limit, no private sales) fact that gun laws haven’t changed since Columbine.

  12. avatar Stan says:

    Did she buy from a dealer?

  13. avatar Arc says:

    Why don’t all these dooer-guds just raise their corporate or state limits to 256 years of age, then no one can ‘legally’ buy a gun. More victimless process crimes and they wonder why people don’t give two hoots what the opinions of old men in a far away land, aka, ‘the law’ says anymore.

  14. avatar strych9 says:

    So it comes down to federal law basically saying “If state law is applicable, see list”.

    IOW there’s a seldom enforced law on the books here that requires an FFL to not only know their own state’s laws and federal law but also the law in 49 other states, something most lawyers couldn’t honestly claim they can recite off the top of their head.

    And this is why we see failings.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      requires an FFL to not only know their own state’s laws and federal law but also the law in 49 other states

      No, just the laws for states whose residents the FFL wants to sell rifles and shotguns to, over-the-counter, without sending to an FFL in the buyer’s state.

      If a 21-year-old resident of Florida shows up at a CO FFL’s store wanting a handgun, the CO FFL ships it to an FFL in Florida – because that’s what 922(b)(3) requires.

      If the FFL wants to avoid the hassle of knowing other states’ laws, he can either refuse to sell long guns to residents of other states, or he can handle such sales just like he handles handgun sales to out-of-state buyers. That is, he can stop availing himself of the “rifle and shotgun exception” in 922(b)(3).

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        Yeah, that’s a long way of saying what I said.

    2. avatar Anymouse says:

      Yes. This is why many FFLs won’t sell to out of state buyers. They need to know the laws of the other buyer’s state, which many include needing an account in that state to run background or permit checks, administer written “safety tests” the buyer needs to pass, holding the gun for X days, etc. Unless it’s a neighboring state with frequent buyers, it’s not worth the hassle.

  15. avatar AGuyWithAGun says:

    Given that the .gov law enforcement crew was “manhunting” this young lady couldn’t they have made her a fugitive from justice based on her threats?

    Florida requiring you to be 21 to purchase a long gun violates the US Constitution so IMHO the dealer broke no laws. Her ability to acquire a firearm from a licensed dealer is a failure of government action. It’s almost like they wanted her to buy a firearm.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      “…so IMHO the dealer broke no laws.”

      But your opinion doesn’t count here, except in so much as you’re allowed to express it.
      While the law may be unconstitutional (and in my opinion, it is), until it’s declared so, it’s still the law.
      IOW, regardless of our opinions, the dealer is still liable (apparently) for breaking the law. Whether there’s any official action taken against the dealer is still to be seen.

  16. avatar former water walker says:

    Wellllll…I’ve bought my last 9 guns from Indiana. Several transfers and several rifles & shotguns. You better believe all the Indiana FFL’s know the law and are up to date(like the putz ILL governor Rauner making a3 day wait for ALL guns). Yes I think the Colorado FFL is guilty. But I don’t care if he’s charged. These laws are BS!

  17. avatar American Patriot says:

    What difference does it make….You either pass a background check or you don’t. I don’t remember anything in the 2nd amend. that says where you live dictates on whether or not you can buy a gun.

    1. avatar clst1 says:

      I don’t see where a background check is part of the 2nd.

  18. avatar Billary O'Clinton says:

    There may be other details that would qualify her to purchase the firearm that have not been disclosed. She may had a legal connection with Colorado at one time. She obviously had issues and so to what extent would she lie or falsify information.
    Also: The FBI does not do background checks for gun purchases, this is done by DOJ at the state level. The DOJ does not have the resources to investigate every gun application on any given day. They do not ‘Approve’ gun sales per say, they actually are only looking to ‘Deny’ the unlawful ones. They have 10 days to do this, 2 of which are weekend that they don’t work. If they don’t speak up in 10 days, the sale goes through regardless. At some point they may discover a disqualifying sale and so this information is passed to local police for resolve. NICS is only a data base of known offenders that have been processed through the legal system. If one was never convicted of a crime that would exclude them from firearm ownership, they would not be on the list. A convicted shoplifter, no… A convicted wife beater, yes. People with mental health issues that are not under direction of the courts will also not be on the list citing medical privacy. (She had no past convictions that would have placed her on the NICS or exclude her from gun ownership) Not to mention that she made the purchase while under the spotlight of a well reported, nation-wide search for her. FBI & ATF aren’t involved with the gun sales process until after something goes wrong.
    Wal-Mart has been cited making thousands of illegal gun sales. None of them where ‘Denied’ during the process. It was only discovered after the guns where used in crimes and traced back.
    There may be miles and miles of looping red tape, but buying a firearm is still quite easy.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      The FBI does not do background checks for gun purchases, this is done by DOJ at the state level. The DOJ does not have the resources to investigate every gun application on any given day. They do not ‘Approve’ gun sales per say, they actually are only looking to ‘Deny’ the unlawful ones. They have 10 days to do this

      That description sounds like it comes from California, where the state DOJ is the point of contact and they have 10 days (the CA waiting period) to do the check.

      Colorado, where this event occurred, is also a “point of contact” state. FFLs contact the CBI and submit (some of) the info on 4473. CBI contacts NICS (FBI). An approval will generally come back in a few minutes. In case of a wait/delay response, the CBI has 3 days to come back with either approval or denial; otherwise, the transfer may proceed.

  19. avatar Old Hawg says:

    Positing that no firearms dealer could possibly know the firearms laws for EACH and EVERY state is a specious argument. You are reading this on a vehicle to do just that right now. If someone from another state comes into a gun shop and wants to purchase a long gun or shotgun, it’s relatively simple to look up their home state’s firearms laws to ascertain if the sale would be legally compliant.

  20. avatar Alan says:

    Tradition aside, the selling dealer might well be in water a lot warmer than I would enjoy.

  21. avatar 5yo Cat with Claws no background ck wats dis. says:

    Why do we need such laws to exercise a God given right to sharpen our claws?? Does a cat have to get a license or fill out a 4473 and pass a background ck for their claws or a dog 4 teef?

    To those of us that can read know it does not violate federal law. State laws do vary but, in Colorado it was legal. Had the FFL been aware of the illegal gun grabber laws in Florida he might be liable if u admits he knew FL laws…but, its not his job to know all laws of 60 states(obama math).

    1. avatar Tiger says:

      Then get out of the gun sales business. If you can’t play by the rules, get out the game.

  22. avatar Mad Max says:

    The complexity of these laws, in and of themselves, is infringement.

    Hopefully, some day the SCOTUS will rule it so.

  23. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    Sad story. This is the first I’m hearing of the suicide ending. Last I’d heard, she was obsessed with Columbine and the subject of a manhunt in CO, possibly armed. Then I was out of pocket for a while and fell behind the story.

    I’ll catch up, but for now I’m just shaking my head wondering what the hell went wrong in her life, evidently repeatedly, to arrive at this ending.

  24. avatar ATTAGReader says:

    Amazing (again) that an 18 year old in a state thousands of miles from her state of residency can pass an NICS background check in a matter of a few hours, but a couple of months ago mine was delayed nearly a week in my home state on a puny .22 rifle in spite of having a resident CHP and a non-resident CHP from an adjacent state. I have gone through enough fingerprint checks that it is sickening. By my recollection I have purchased 3 other guns through FFL’s and never had this kind of delay. Some years ago before I got the CHP’s I purchased a rifle in an adjacent state, and the check went through in about 2 hours. Interestingly, it was my first firearms purchase, as was hers. You would think that the check system would be more strict on first time purchasers, in case they were loons like this girl and the Navy Yard shooter, and much less strict on people like me (us?) who have CHP’s or are frequent buyers and have not committed any crimes in spite of having bought more than one gun. But that would be logical and actual “common sense”.

  25. avatar 10x25mm says:

    Two questions come to mind:

    1) Do out of state dealers have to comply with removable magazine capacity restrictions of the home state? Magazines are not firearms, but are generally included with firearms when they are sold.

    2) Do out of state dealers have to impose waiting periods, one gun a month limits, and other non hardware transaction rules imposed by the home state or locality?

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      IANAL,and you should check with one…
      However, IMO:
      1) (Thinking of CA here) Yes, you can’t knowingly sell a “large capacity” magazine to a CA resident of CA if you know that person will take it back to CA.
      But this begs the question, “How do you know that?” Well, a store in Yuma, AZ, might well wonder if that person they’ve never seen before comes in and buys two dozen AR15 30-round mags is from CA. I would think the “reasonable person” rule would come into play here, and the seller might be wise to ask for ID. But a store in Gallup, NM would not have the same burden, being farther from CA. (Remember, I’m not a lawyer, and it might show.)
      2) Yes, said dealers must, by law, follow another state’s laws when selling to a resident of that state.

      If anyone can add to this, please do.

    2. avatar Tiger says:

      Yes. That why online sellers state on web pages buyers from states with mag limits may not purchase.

  26. avatar GlockMeAmadeus says:

    Thank goodness this loon could only legally buy gas, propane, matches, a car.

    Gun laws keep us safe!

  27. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Did she use a fake ID to buy the gun? I know legally that’s not an excuse. Because bartenders are held responsible when the buyer of alcohol is underage.

    I had this happen to me. I was just the server not the bartender. I didnt sell the drink. But the alcohol investigator who observe me handing a drink to an underage person said I was responsible and that I should have checked her ID.

    1. avatar Tiger says:

      No reports about a fake ID.

  28. avatar Tiger says:

    Being a frequent buyer does not make you less of a crime risk. Just one sale will do.

  29. avatar RandallOfLegend says:

    I didn’t know you could buy guns from other states (and take them with you). I figured it had to be shipped to an FFL in your home state. But I am from NY, so it’s usually best to just assume everything is illegal.

  30. avatar Big Joe says:

    This all seems verrrry fishy…like false flag bullshit…did she use the shotgun to kill herself? Birdshot or 00 buck? In the face?…sounds like anti-gun garbage…

  31. avatar Steven says:

    The thing about statute law is that you must read it all. You can not cherry pick particular items to fit your agenda. The sale was legal.

    F.s.790.065 (1) (c) This subsection does not apply to the purchase, trade, or transfer of a rifle or shotgun by a resident of this state when the resident makes such purchase, trade, or transfer from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer in another state.

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