In a prior posting on Federal Firearms Laws, I mentioned that I am in the process of writing a book about firearms for newbies and anyone who wants to learn more about guns. As I said in one of my comments on that article, I really like the book that Nick wrote last year. It was clear, concise, and loaded with a lot of good info. I’m not trying to improve on his work – like that’s even possible – rather, I’m covering a lot more ground to really give newcomers and experienced hands a one-stop reference to the whole firearms culture . . .
One of the section of my book is going to deal with gun control myths. I’m interested in filling that section out and am wondering what the Armed Intelligentsia has to say on the matter. I’ll start the discussion off with a couple of my favorites. Please help me with this and I promise to credit those additions that I include.
So without further ado here is what I have so far:
According to the most up to date statistics as of this book’s publication date, the percentage of homes that have at least one gun ranges from 32% – 45% depending on the survey. Gun sales may be up every year, but recent surveys would suggest that a large portion of those sales are to existing gun owners simply increasing their collection. It’s clear therefore that as a gun owner, you are in the minority.
While adding new gun owners to the community is certainly an important and worthwhile goal, it is more important to convince our fellow non gun-owners that citizen ownership of guns is not the threat that the Gun Control crowd paints it to be. Anti-gun proponents are very passionate with their respective messages and sometimes specifics and accuracy is overlooked (or outright ignored) in their quest to ban firearms. There are a number of myths that I have often heard repeated on television and in print. As a gun owner, you are an advocate for guns to your family, friends, and acquaintances. This section will help you identify and correct some of the misconceptions surrounding guns.
People can buy guns over the Internet without a background check.
Partially true. Federal laws dictate that all firearms that cross state lines must be sent to a Federally Licensed Firearms (FFL) dealer in the state of the buyer. The buyer must then present himself/herself to the FFL, complete the BATFE Form 4473 (Background Check) and go through the state mandated online criminal records check process. From the perspective of the gun purchaser, the process is no different than if they had gone to a gun store and purchased a gun from that dealer.
For intrastate transactions, the rules are bit more complicated as the Federal government does not have the Constitutional Authority to regulate Intrastate Commerce. State laws dictate what process must be followed for intrastate firearms sales and these laws do vary considerably from state to state. Furthermore, the laws are often different for handguns versus long guns (rifles and shotguns) with the laws covering handguns more rigorous.
So, depending on the laws of your state, it may in fact be perfectly legal to conduct a firearms transaction over the Internet. Just because you can however does not mean that you should. In most cases, you should at the very least make the transfer face to face and if you don’t know the person you are selling your gun to, it might not be a bad idea to go through a FFL to get a background check done.
One other note – weapons that fall under the Curios and Relics definition (more on this later) can be sent directly to a Curio and Relics license holder without a standard FFL. I’ll talk about what a Curios and Relics FFL holder is in the next section.
40% of Guns are sold without a Background Check at Gun Shows (The Gun Show Loophole)
Misleading. The gun control crowd likes to quote the statistics regarding the high percentage of guns that are sold at local gun shows and to further suggest that these sales enable people who wouldn’t be able to pass background checks to get their hands on a gun. First of all, most of the vendors who frequent gun shows hold Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL). As holders of FFLs, they are required to conduct a background check before a gun is transferred irrespective of the venue in which the gun is sold. This means that FFLs at gun shows must subject buyers to the same background checks they would otherwise undergo if they bought a gun from the FFL at some other venue.
What is true is that there is no Federal law that requires private sellers to conduct a background check if they sell a gun to another person. There are however many state and local laws that regulate such sales. As an example, in the state of New Hampshire, it is illegal to sell a gun to someone that you know is a “prohibited person.”
Prohibited persons are defined in USC 922(g) and additional prohibited persons are defined in New Hampshire state laws. You can transfer a long gun (rifle or shotgun) to any other New Hampshire resident, but to transfer a pistol, the buyer must either be “personally known” to the seller or else must produce a valid New Hampshire pistol permit. New Hampshire is a very easy state where it comes to resident to resident transfers. Other states such as neighboring Massachusetts, not so much. It is critical that you familiarize yourself with local and state laws before engaging in any firearms transactions that don’t involve a FFL.
That’s what I have so far. What are your faves?