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Mike Weisser (courtesy

“If SCOTUS decides this case in favor of Abramski and the NRA, we might as well get rid of the background check system all together. But isn’t that what the NRA wants?” – Mike Weisser, The NRA and the Upcoming Supreme Court Gun Case [via]

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  1. The horror! Sadly, many gun owners would agree with him, thus are current situation. Most don’t understand that “background checks” and carry permits are of a piece with things like magazine limits, “sporting purposes”, cosmetic limits, etc, etc. Even writers for gun publications have been brainwashed.

    • I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. Background checks are a good thing. “Universal” background checks are not, because a firearms registry would have to be created in order to keep track of everything.

      I’ll reiterate: We don’t want to do away with background checks. Violent felons shouldn’t be handling guns, and anybody who thinks that, I’ve got to consider irresponsible. However, we just *don’t* want UBCs that create records of us and what we’ve got.

      • I am in favor of violent felons having their firearm rights restored.

        If we can’t trust them with a firearm due to a history, they shouldn’t be out of jail.

        • I second your position Travis. Correct-a-mundo! If they can’t be trusted to be among us, then they shouldn’t be among us.

        • This, 100%. It’s idiotic to say that they’re safe enough to have knives, blunt objects, cars, and access to deadly chemicals but that they can’t have a gun. Either they are safe enough to release back into society or they aren’t.

        • BINGO! Travis got the concept correct. Why so many fail to see that point that simply because you did something bad, did the punishment, paid your debt, and are now released back into society; does not mean you lose your natural right of self-defense. If they paid their due and are released into society, they obviously can be trusted. Unless the stipulation is, upon completion of the appropriate parole or probation, which to me seems acceptable. However, there are 10s of thousands (probably more) of potential felonies any citizen can commit on a daily basis, some border on the ridiculous.

        • It also warrants pointing out that there is nothing preventing a violent felony from getting a firearm if they truly wish to have one. Background checks only work on those willing go through the process and a barred felony likely won’t.

        • Two things: First, what a dishonest article. After reading Mr. Weisser’s article, and looking at the online brief SCOTUS has posted, it is clear that Mr. Weisser has misrepresented the facts in his article. SCOTUS isn’t trying to decide whether its OK for straw purchasers to circumvent the background check regimen we have in place for firearms purchases. It looks to me like they are debating the intricacies of the forms. I don’t know what Mr. Weisser is wearing, but I’m sure his lower half is on fire.

          Second, While I understand the ‘paid your debt to society’ argument about re-instating firearms rights and the ‘There are thousands of weapons to kill with in society, if they can’t be trusted they shouldn’t be out’ arguments. I have zero confidence in the rehabilitative effects of prison. Part of the punishment for committing a violent crime is to loose your RKBA rights and I am 100% for that. I’d support a due process approach to re-instating those rights after a period of good behavior out in society, but I think the loss of those rights as it currently stands are a good thing.

        • “Part of the punishment for committing a violent crime is to loose your RKBA rights and I am 100% for that.”

          Except plenty of people have lost their RKBA because they put one extra bullet in their magazine, or their AR has a bayonet lug, or they squirted a water gun at their domestic partner.

        • Yep… That’s my point. The list of felonies (on the books) that we can commit on a daily basis, is staggering. I will bet, a fair amount of money, that every one of us breaks the law (felony type) on a daily basis. That’s how over burdensome our laws have become.

        • At some point, “Paid their debt to society” should mean actually mean just that, and if they haven’t, they should still be paying.

        • Everyone’s cool with ex-cons, including violent ones, until one starts dating your sister or applies with you for a job. NIMBY strikes again!

          Better yet, how about setting up a parole office next to your kids’ school for ex-cons convicted of child molestation? Maybe their group therapy sessions could meet on campus, where boy & girl scout troops meet? Why deny the ex-cons their natural right to freedom of association? They’ve paid their debts, after all, right?

          Now, I could agree with restoration of gun rights for nonviolent felons after release. That’s more complicated than it sounds, so let’s set the details aside and just agree in principle for now. As to violent felons, the understanding is that these are people of fundamentally low character, poor impulse control, ongoing volent tendencies as a means of dispute resolution, and overall weak reasoning ability. The proof? Look at recidivism rates. Hell, look at how many felons attempt to pass a NICS.

          I might be ok with getting rid of background checks across the board, but not for allowing violent ex-cons to possess firearms.

        • “Except plenty of people have lost their RKBA because they put one extra bullet in their magazine, or their AR has a bayonet lug, or they squirted a water gun at their domestic partner.”

          You are absolutely right mark_anthony_78, When I’m against violent felons losing their rights to keep and bear arms, I’m against felons that actually used violence to commit an actual crime. As always, the Devil is in the details and the politics surrounding background checks is a little tricky.

        • The issue is, Democrats are the same ones who don’t want indefinite sentences for violent felons.

          It’s a screwed up world where a murderer can get a decade or 2 and a tax evader gets longer.

        • If we can’t trust them with a firearm due to a history, they shouldn’t be out of jail.

          Right. They shouldn’t be out of jail, because almost all of them will repeat their crimes, and worse. So I suggest that when we out the animals back on the street that they live next to you and your children, if you have them. I know some convicted rapists who would love that. And not all of said rapists like little girls.

        • I am in favor of violent felons having their firearm rights restored.

          If we can’t trust them with a firearm due to a history, they shouldn’t be out of jail.
          If they are no longer on probation, then yes, all rights should be restored.

          If you are under the care of another person, such as being in prison, on probation, under a mental health hold, then restricting rights is warranted, otherwise it is not.

          If someone is out on the street, and doesn’t have to report to someone, why should that person’s rights be restricted?

        • “Either they are safe enough to release back into society or they aren’t.”

          What about non-violent felons? Not everyone with a felony is a violent criminal incapable of understanding the value of life.

          They should have their rights restored, or at least provide a process for which they can easily have their rights restored.

        • I was just excused from circuit court duty for just this reason. 60+ year old man hunting turkey on his own land. Game warden heard the shot during deer bow season and went to investigate. Thinking a crime had been committed, the warden crossed from state forest land to his private land. Upon finding the man, he asked to run his name for outstanding warrants. Came back as a known felon. Bing, arrested for felon in possession of a firearm. When the judge asked if we could uphold VA law as written I alone raised my hand to give near identical statement to Travis’. I was excused. As the chosen 12 went into the jury room we’d collect our jury duty notice and ask the judge any questions we have. I asked about the details of the old guy. Held up a convenient store in his 20s. Got out, stayed clean, raised a family retired from a career. The perfect example of reintegration into society. But he’s facing 7-15 for ex poste facto punishment after his crime’s been paid for. I told the truth and stood on principle, but I almost wish I’d stayed silent and angled for jury nullification .

        • Oh? The old guy’s been a saint all this time? That changes everything. Fire up the time machine and let’s go back and apply that 20/20 hindsight. Oh? He was in his 20’s when he committed his felony? No problem! Every grown ass man is due one mulligan on major crimes, right? Good grief.

          Don’t do the crime if you can’t deal with the consequences. Everyone knows a felony is a major rap. No crying decades later and demanding a do-over. By the way, felon in possession is an obvious as sin crime, too, which your elderly angel readily and eagerly committed. I’m not buying his rehabilitation act. This is exactly what I’m talking about with these people: they think they own the world and the rules don’t apply to them, whether in their 20’s or 60’s. Lock his AARP butt up!

        • I, too, agree with this position. If they’re out, they’re out. If they are that much of a danger then they shouldn’t be out. Besides, it’s primarily the duty of the individual, not government, to protect ones self from violent criminals.

      • “Universal” background checks are not, because a firearms registry would have to be created in order to keep track of everything.

        This is simply not true. In fact, it’s a lie propagated by the gun control lobby (except they don’t call it a registry, they call it “proper record keeping” or some such). Right now the NICS and ATF 4473 form the retail tier of the Firearms Tracing System – but there’s no fundamental reason why it needs to be so.

        The gun control lobby wants to keep the two as tightly bound together as possible because it allows them to pursue a national firearms registry under the aegis of “background checks”. However, there’s simply no reason aside from this desire to keep the two together. You don’t need to know a weapon serial number to know if a buyer is prohibited from owning firearms. You don’t have to know its make and model. As a matter of fact you don’t need to know a firearm is actually changing hands at all.

        Nor is it necessary to keep that information available for enforcement purposes. There are well-established cryptographic methods that would allow individuals to prove they performed a check for a certain person for a certain firearm on a certain date – and have it check out with the government records – all without the government actually having access to any of that information besides the purchaser’s identity.

        So we certainly could have universal background checks without a national firearms registry. The reason we don’t is because the gun grabbers don’t want it. They don’t want it because they want the registry, not the background checks.

        • Well spoken DaveL and I will add only one thing to your words

          If you think you own a firearm that the government either can’t trace to you or doesn’t already know you own, you are a fool.

          If you didn’t make it yourself and have never told anyone that you did, or are 100% certain that it has been sold several times, face to face only, with no electronic communication about any of those sales, and with no reciepts kept by any party involved, then Big Brother knows you have it.

        • If you think the feds don’t already know about your guns, think again. First, they have the NICS and that doesn’t get deleted no matter what lies they tell you. Second, they have the owner permits and carry license data, where applicable. Next, they have all the FFL logs of transfers.

          And let’s not forget your credit card records and UPS/Fedex records of shipments from firearms related retailers. Every magazine, sling, box of ammo, etc, resides in a transaction history. There’s also the membership rolls of NRA, SAF, GOA, gun club/ranges, hell even Ducks Unlimited, they can snatch up readily.

          The government may not know about the revolver you just bought from your buddy at work, or that the AR you bought in ’05 from Academy you’ve since sold on armslist (or do they?) But they don’t have to. They know you personally have guns and they can find whatever the particulars are when they show up.

        • Correction: The only way a universal background check can be of any benefit is to couple it with a registry. The governments own study concluded as much.

        • I agree. The proof that background checks have nothing to do with keeping guns frim bad guys, and everything to do with eventually taking everyone’s guns, is that the Democrats refuse to open up NICS to the public. Going back to 1994, or even to 2013, they only want FFL’s to have access. Why?

          It’s because FFL’s are a channel they can throttle out of existence. FFL’s are a fatal legal funnel, if you will, where the entire legal distribution of firearms for the civilian market can be restricted, constricted and priced/regulated into extinction. If all they wanted were to keep bad guys from getting guns (naive, I know, but hey, it’s the motive they allege), then the answer would be to open NICS to every private seller and require its use. Instead they seek to ban private sales themselves and force them through FFL’s. Curious, that.

        • @Jonathan — Houston, you are correct. The whole “background check” business has little to do with the check and everything to do with the records.

      • Yep Cortney, We didn’t have back ground checks for almost two hundred years of our countries history; and yet it was for most of that time we had a much lower murder rate, DOH!

        Chicago has had a complete gun ban for decades, and yet they have one of the highest gun murder rates in the country, DOH!

        Wow, you mean gun bans and back ground cheacks only stop law abiding citizens, that criminals ignore the LAW. DOH!

        But I will ignore experience, history, natural law, human nature, and the constitution and continue to support useless and ineffectual laws that only grows government power because I FEEL so much safer. Group hug everyone.

      • You contradict yourself. As long as there is not universal background checks, background checks do nothing. How many “violent felons” go to a gun store to get a gun? We don’t ban convicted DUI offenders from owning cars, what makes a gun different from a car? My brother is a felon, not a violent felon. He got caught on a drug charge, a stupid mistake for a generally law abiding person. He spent a year in prison. I can’t take him to the range with me and spend a day of quality time with him doing an activity he used to love. This is why our prisons fail to rehabilitate. We punish criminals indefinitely even after they have “paid their debt!” When you treat someone as less than human, they become less than human.

        • I agree. So, let’s eliminate the useless expense and discontinue the NICS system and all requirements thereof. Hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars and something like 40 prosecutions as a result? And I’d bet that most of those are being punished for something else, which can’t be proved or is not against the law, ie political persecution.

      • Cortney, feel free to put me in your “irresponsible” registry.

        1. Background checks are unconstitutional. There is no provision in the Second amendment giving any government agency the authority to determine who is ineligible to purchase, own, keep or bear any arms. So under what Constitutional authority does any agency create and administer a list of such people? There is none. The closest they can come to claiming this is that to date SCOTUS has not had the balls to say that prohibiting felons and mental patients from owning guns is unconstitutional and so has not invalidated such laws already on the books. That in itself does not make those laws Constitutional.

        2. Background checks are political theater. Criminals do not go to gun stores and fill out background check forms. Even if they did they would just lie. The only people, to great percentage, who submit to background checks are people who are already pretty certain that they will pass such a check and are generally pretty pissed off and demand a re-check if they are rejected. Even if a criminal were for some outrageously foolish reason to submit to the background check, what would be the outcome? He would be denied the purchase and told to go away. No one is coming to arrest him. No one at the shop is going to detain him. He just goes away and finds his guns the old fashioned way, on the street or in your house while you’re at work.

        Like all of the other unconstitutional anti-Second Amendment laws on the books none of these have any measurable effect on criminals. They live a life of crime and risk. Owning and carrying a gun, however they manage to obtain it, may in their minds mitigate that risk. They will therefore find a gun, buy a gun, and CARRY a gun, and the cops and the BATFE and every other law enforcement agency can go to Hell, or better yet, waste their time and resources harassing law-abiding citizens with disarmament laws.

    • Agreed. Given the demonstrated inability of the current NICS system to stop people with known issues from acquiring firearms, the money and manpower resources would be better spent elsewhere. The time has come for us to wrestle back this chunk of our RKBA from the ‘infringement zone’. (Cue Twilight Zone music here.)

  2. What nonsense. The issue in Abramski case is not background checks. It was whether you could buy a gun for a non prohibited person and then use an FFL to transfer it to that person, i.e,, whether the question 11a pertains to a legal purchaser transfers to another legal purchaser.

    • I think this case goes much further than the “prohibited persons” aspect:

      Abramski bought a firearm for himself, knowing he would “own” it for a very short period of time, and then legally transfer it through an FFL to his uncle.

      The ridiculousness of this case hinges on the length of time one must “own” a firearm before legally selling or transfecting it.

      What is to stop Abramski from arguing that he actually bought the gun for himself, and quickly realized he didn’t like it?

      And going further, I shudder to think what this means for people who have buyers remorse. God forbid you sell a pistol or rifle “too quick”, you might be accused of straw purchases.

      • Right. The intent of the law appears clear enough, but the language is muddy. Hopefully the court will rule according to intent rather than taking the Clintonesque approach of debating what the meaning of the word “is” is.

      • Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I understood that Abramski got the money from his uncle that he used to purchase the firearm–and therefore he was acting as an agent for his uncle. If he’d used his own money and then sold the gun, there should be no issue. It should not matter how long he “owned” the gun.

        But it is also true that BATFE is cracking down on various transactions it deems to be straw purchases. Here in California, two officers in Sacramento and two in Southern California (LA I think) were arrested for making straw sales. Although I don’t know all of the facts–not yet released–it appears that these officers were purchasing firearms with their LEO discount (as did Abramski) and then turning around and reselling them in private sales. As I understand it, the guys in LA were buying Kimber “LA SWAT” special issue pistols for about $800 and reselling them for double. The guys in Sacramento were essentially taking orders for “non-roster” pistols and selling them to non-exempt civilians (the transfers themselves were legal–civilians can purchase non-roster firearms in face to face transactions at an FFL), all claimed to be illegal straw purchases, notwithstanding that all transactions were processed through an FFL (as required by California law).

        • Mark, disregarding for the moment the Constitutional aspects of this entire incident and the supposed laws against it,

          “…Abramski got the money from his uncle that he used to purchase the firearm–and therefore he was acting as an agent for his uncle. If he’d used his own money and then sold the gun, there should be no issue.”

          Is there any evidence that his uncle handed him actual money and that Abramski walked into the FFL and handed that same money to the gun dealer? Or did Abramski pay for the gun with a credit or debit card like most of us do? If the money was first deposited into Abramski’s bank account and then the gun was purchased what evidence does anyone have that the purchase was made with the uncle’s money and not Abramski’s? If you have a jar of nickels and someone gives you a handful of nickels that you put in that jar, then you buy them a beer with nickels from that jar, did you use your money or theirs?

          This whole argument is crap and needs to be thrown out on that basis alone.

          I am conflicted on one point, however. Somebody needs to be the arbiter of the constitutionality of legislation and/or enforcement. Historically this has been the SCOTUS even though the Constitution itself does not specify this authority and they have been often times egregiously wrong in their rulings (Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade, etc.), but if not them, who? And one other thing; even if SCOTUS decides that a law is in fact unconstitutional there is no penalty for the people who created and voted for that law, nor the people who enforced the unconstitutional law. I thought the Nuremburg trials set the precedent that “I was under orders” was not a valid legal defense.

        • In the quoted cases, do we know how ATF knew anything about the motivations, financial arrangements, or details of the non-FFL portions of these transfers? Were all aspects accomplished within the time frame allowed before records are REQUIRED BY LAW to be destroyed (what? 24 hours? 48?), or is the whole deal just more evidence that the ATF itself is committing felonies hundreds or thousands of times a day?

      • And why couldn’t the son claim he had accepted an IOU for the gun from his father, but had momentarily forgotten where he’d left it? Does the law prohibit IOUs or “installment” payment?

  3. Hmmm…

    While the background check system can be a pain in the ass, and while in certain states it’s downright onerous, it’s not unconstitutional.

    The second ammendment states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but nowhere does it mention a quick and speedy purchase.

    The Constitution does provide for the curtailment of the free exercise of certain rights through due process, including those of free travel, association, speech, KBA and in extreme instances even to breathe.

    Background checks are not intended to infringe the right to keep and bear; they are intended to limit initial access to arms to those who may freely exercise that right.

    Yes, the system is broken and no, it doesn’t do a lot of good — although it probably does some — but it does pass Constitutional muster.

    If you want unconstitutional, look no further than the NFA or the Sullivan Law.

    • So. By that logic. There should be background checks or limits on free speech?

      We should apply for paperwork stating we don’t have to house soldiers in our homes?

      A limit is an infringement, my friend.

    • “Background checks are not intended to infringe the right to keep and bear; they are intended to limit initial access to arms to those who may freely exercise that right.”

      Russ, you have just refuted your own argument. The exact “intent” of background checks is to limit access to arms to those who may freely exercise that right. And if any government agent or agency creates and administers a list of persons who may NOT freely exercise a right, how, precisely, is that NOT an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms? And by what Constitutional authority do they create such a list and determine who, in their opinion, is to be denied a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right that states absolutely that the government has no authority to infringe?

      If any government agency has the authority to make a list of people who MAY NOT exercise a right, it is NOT a right, it is a privilege and the government has the sole authority of granting license. Today it is Felons and Mentally ill. In some places it is anyone who has been ACCUSED of domestic violence. In too many states the lists of who can purchase or even handle firearms is ridiculously restrictive.

      “They came for the Jews and I did not protest, for I was not a Jew…”

  4. Someone may want to consult with an attorney before making statements about the legal ramifications of a legal case. Just saying. . .

    • Dirk, your musings over Moms are amusing, and they are absolutely within your rights under the First Amendment.

      So long as none of us are claiming to give legal advice, we are all within our First Amendment rights to voice opinions on legal matters, even when we are woefully ignorant of the law. No one says you have to be right in order to have an opinion. 😉

  5. “Abramski could have avoided the entire problem by having his Virginia dealer send the gun directly to his uncle’s dealer in Pennsylvania; licensed dealers do this all the time. ”

    Isn’t that exactly what Mr. Abramski did?


      He DID do that! He bought a gun through an FFL, “owned” it for a couple days, and then mailed it to an FFL where his Uncle accepted the transfer (WITH a NIC’s background check).

      Sorry, this case really gets my goat because this guy did literally every step legally, and is STILL getting reamed.

      • A, that is not what the facts of the case are–he purchased the gun from his dealer, drove to Pa. and sold it to his uncle. B. what these guys are suggesting is that the uncle would have just bought the pistol himself–what they don’t seem to realize is that Abramski got a LEO discount that was not available to the uncle. C. Some of these guys seem to think that an interstate transfer of a handgun requires two FFLs, one to ship the gun to the buyer’s FFL and another in the buyer’s state of residence to handle the paperwork, which isn’t true–Abramski is not being prosecuted for an illegal interstate transport or sale of weapons, only for lying on the 4473 as to who the “purchaser” really was. D. I believe there is evidence that the uncle sent Abramski the money with which to buy the gun, which seems to fall squarely within the definition of a “straw purchase.” And what the NRA wants the court to conclude that the purpose of the straw purchase law is satisfied when the person who ultimately obtains the firearm undergoes a background check or is otherwise a lawful recipient.

  6. The Constitution prohibits indefinite sentences so unless you want make every violent offense punishable by life in prison subject to pardon if the prisoner shows that he is rehabilitated we will be letting unreformed violent felons back on the street. You also don’t know if the “reformed” criminal is truly reformed until he has been back out on the streets subject to temptations that might cause him to revert to violent behavior. If you want to advocate for the return of gun rights to a felon a more realistic approach would be to allow the felon to petition for the restoration of his gun rights after some period time. Say 5 years for a non violent felon and 10 years for violent felon..

    Meant for Travis

    • ^This

      I don’t think a paper trail free background check is something that’s an infringement. The system as it currently stands is an infringement. It is inefficient, and the definition of a prohibited person is overly broad.

      I’ve read suggestions for revamped systems that were less burdensome to gun owners and FFLs however I think the main opposition to these laws being passed were antis who want Universal BC and registration.

      • These people have no problem with convicted DUI offenders or even ex-cons out from a alcohol-related vehicular manslaughter conviction from buying booze. It’s illegal, but there’s no background check.

        Why can’t we just mark drivers licenses with a “no guns” restriction, just like we do for “no night driving” or “no driving unaccompanied by an adult licensed driver” and be done with it?

        They show it to the seller, whether private or FFL, and if they’re not restricted, then the sale goes through. No NICS on the spot, no 4473, no transfer log to keep a record. Licenses themselves can be updated monthly or in real time, just as concealed carry licenses are today, and it’s nobody’s business what you just legally bought.

        • Because to create ANY class of citizen who is not authorized to exercise a Constitutional right is to infringe on that right and allow the government to administer it as a privilege. To create such a list or the explicit purpose of demanding background checks that will deny them the exercise of a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right is the exact definition of “Infringed”.

          I will keep repeating this.

        • Hmmm…….then keep repeating, too, that the prisons are full of people whose rights are being infringed, starting with their liberty, and that the Constitution is cool with it.

          The difference between infringing on those people’s rights, versus those of law abiding people, is that the criminals self selected by committing crimes and forfeiting rights. That’s not the same thing as the government arbitrarily classifying people for infringement.

          An I.D. notation as I described merely communicates in another medium the fact that a given person is a felon and is already barred from possessing firearms. An I.D.’s silence in the case of non-felons preserves the non-infringement default status and creates no new status, all while cutting the government out of the gun purchase information loop.

          I don’t understand your objection, unless you flat out believe that all ex-cons must have their 2A rights restored. If that’s the case, then we’ll just agree to disagree, as I believe there are some individuals who’ve demonstrated they can never be trusted with firearms.

    • I see what you’re saying, but you are missing the point Travis made. If you don’t know if the felon can be trusted, why are we (as a society) releasing them on an unsuspecting (and in some places, defenseless) civil society? If they aren’t rehabilitated, they should not be released, period.

      • I hear you. While this will sound rather liberal (and thank God that neither my feelings nor anyone else’s should dictate policy or law), I don’t feel comfortable with violent felons owing firearms, given their history. I would consider that restriction as simply another consequence of their poor choice.

        But I do see what you’re saying about rights restoration…and my opinion on the matter is still very formative.

        • Okay, but does that consequence go beyond the punishment of “time served”? At what point does that person get “trusted” again? Words are pretty dangerous, freedom to express religion can be dangerous. People have died because of both, including arms. However, if people are born with the natural rights to free speech, free religion, defense from tyranny and oppression, free to be secure in one’s home and possessions; committing a crime does not change any of that. Some of these felonies that are on the books are simply ridiculous. Eat the wrong size lobster, no more ability to adequately defend yourself or your family from other crime or from tyranny. Yes, it does change the loss of those rights in the short term, hence why we have incarceration. They lose those rights while incarcerated and for a short period of time when they get out (parole/probation). But, at the conclusion of that, their debt to society has been paid. The presumption of innocence is again restored. Innocent until proven guilty.

          Honestly, I do get it, I get what you are saying. But where your thought process breaks is, how long are these people to be punished and denied a natural right? Especially over some of these absolutely ludicrous laws that can slap a felony on someone in a heartbeat.

        • And therein lines the conundrum. That is simply my first, probably emotional, response to the issue. I haven’t thought too much about it, or done a lot of research – so I’ll hold off on calling myself an expert. 🙂

      • I understand Travis perfectly and have two points of disagreement. First, the Constitution does not allow indefinite sentences. That is effectively preventive detention. Second, You don’t know if someone is truly reformed until he is out in the world and subject to temptations.

        • Ahhh, but the denial of the right is a form of indefinite sentence, no? I’m proposing that felons are allowed to restore their rights, at the conclusion of probation/parole. If probation and parole are the “test periods” to see if felons can be trusted, subject to being returned to incarceration, at the conclusion of that parole or probation they have met the burden of showing some level of trust. How much trust, remains to be seen, but certainly they have paid their debt to society. This approach to continually mistrust someone that has done a crime and paid the debt to society, is by proxy, an indefinite sentence of some sort.

        • As a point, I’m not proposing that the instant some felon gets out of jail they get all their crap back, I’m simply saying if the parole period is used to determine any recurrence risk, at the conclusion of that parole period the offender goes through a restoration process automatically. How long have we been considering guilty until proven innocent? We are hip on saying their aren’t two laws, one for one set of people and one for another, but now we are; one for felons and one for not. I could argue that single offense felons are, and rightly should be, entitled to their rights being restored quickly. Equally, repeat felons should not be afforded that (think a 3 strikes thing). However, aren’t police more apt to “look for” stuff when they have a past convicted felon as a suspect, even though the evidence exonerates them?

        • The Constitution certainly does allow life and liberty to be denied; provided due process is maintained. There’s no constitutional proscription against indefinite punishment, other than that no punishment may be cruel or unusual. That’s a separate issue, however.

          Insofar as it allows the taking of life as a punishment, the question of whether indefinite punishment is permitted is settled.

        • Interesting assertion, but it seems to me that “life without parole”, or “not less than 25 or more than 150 years” are pretty damn indefinite.

    • tdiinva, I agree, and for two somewhat different reasons. First, having dealt with a few violent felons released from prison, my impression is that some of them simply can’t see freedom as anything but another chance to try predation as a way of life. Others, though, clearly benefit from the “restoration of rights” approach. It is an encouragement to non-violent life, a motivator. It works in my state. For non-violent felons the waiting period should clearly be shorter and the restoration should probably be automatic after a NICS check.

      • I’m missing that “restoration should be auto after a NICS check”. A NICS check will come up with a denial until the NICS system is changed to accept restoration (a problem in itself-remember Obamacare). Restoration can not be the result of a NICS check, or there will never be restoration.

  7. One of the posters on HuffPost with the tag Juna provided this little nugget. I copied it here to illustrate what we are dealing with on the gun control side:

    “Let’s keep in mind that guns are for killing. All the legal niceties can’t hide that fact. The Second Amendment was written unclearly and should be reworded at the very least. Sorry but our 18th century founding fathers could never have foreseen the disastrous uncontrolled police state we now have due to the practically uninhibited availability of these easy to use lethal weapons.”

    This poor woman actually believes that our descent into some kind of police state is because WE own guns… I tend to avoid ad hominem attacks, but good God how in the name of brain cells can we have any kind of discussion with these kinds of morons?

    • You can’t. It’s that simple. Folks like that will NEVER change their mind. They didn’t use rational thought, or facts, to choose that opinion, and no amount of thought will change it.

      I’ve only ever seen two things that will change the mind of a gun-grabber and talk is definatly NOT one of them. Taking them shooting and being the victim of a crime are the only things, in my experience, that ever change an Anti’s mind about firearms.

      • That’s the only thing that worked for my brother, and several other brothers are STILL impossible to convince. Our father’s influence, I’d guess. The one brother was absolutely unreachable even after several thousands of bucks worth of stereo equipment was stolen from his remote house in a burglary, some 30 years ago, even somewhat happy that he could replace the gear using the knowledge of what worked best gleaned from use of the stolen system. So it wasn’t all bad for several months until the (more expensive) replacements were stolen in a second burglary identical to the first. THEN the bitching started, and when I pointed out that a bad person knew where he lived, and that he had no gun (or it would have ben stolen) and that his nearest neighbors were too far away to hear him or his wife screaming even if it went on for hours, he jumped straight to a 12-guage pump, along with alarm systems, deadbolts, reinforced doors and barred windows, etc. FINALLY got his attention.

    • It’s amuses me when people think of the founders as a bunch of bumbling, uneducated hack-jobs who wrote poorly…

      Simply having iPhones and/or computers doesn’t make us smarter than generations before, technological advances don’t necessarily equal intellectual ones. I doubt many people today could write as eloquently or deliberately as the founders, let alone without the use of spell check, Microsoft Word, and the Internet.

    • They could not have forseen the police state?? That’s hilarious… The Founding Fathers saw the police state crystal clear, being that they had just overthrown one and whatnot. That’s WHY they put all those “rights” in the Constitution; to stop that from happening again.

  8. When I was a youth you could mail order a gun from the dealer straight to your door. Every outdoor and gun magazine had adds in them. Cut the order form out of the mag, sign that it was legal for you to purchase said gun and mail the order off with a check or money order(very few people used plastic then) and wait on pins and needles 6-8 weeks for your new toy to arrive.

    Or you could go to just about any hardware store, Western Auto, or even your LGS and buy a gun. No waiting periods and no background check.

    To the best of my knowledge waiting periods started in CA. About 1970. They were called cooling off periods. The theory was that in a moment of anger you’d buy a gun and kill somebody.

    By and large America was a pretty safe place until we started following California’s lead on gun control.

    • Well, not so much if you happened to be a minority . . . let’s not forget what happened to Japanese Americans during WWII and during the civil rights movement. In fact, I find it interesting that a lot of new laws popped up in CA around the time of the Rodney King riots.

      • It was a general statement about the overall crime rate and random violence in America. I’m well aware of the injustices to minorities. I’m old enough to remember “whites only” signs.

  9. The only good side I can see to background checks is it should release gun dealers from lawsuits of angry families who might say they sold a gun to a bad guy, at least the dealer can say the government said he was good so it should put the blame on them.

    • The result of a background check does not equal the government saying “you’re good.” At best it says, “You are not bad, in our opinion, just now.”

      Back to the point – where does the FBI or any other government agency claim the authority to make up a list of who is “good” and who is “not good” as far as exercising their Second Amendment rights? There is no such authority allowed by the Second Amendment and in fact such actions by the government are specifically prohibited. The purpose of the 2A is to allow the people to protect themselves from the government, not grant the government the power to license your RKBA. Kind of defeats the purpose.

  10. Everything is the NRA’s fault,Liberals continue to make me laugh with their grade school logic.These folks do not know a lick about firearms except the don’t like them and they are evil and they continue to criticize organizations that are experts in the field,and could HELP solve problems of GUN crime,but instead choose sarcasm and criticism as their man correspondence with the public.
    It’s like arguing with teenagers,you never win cause cause they know it all!

    • Teenagers do not believe they know it all, but the one thing they believe they know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that YOU don’t know shit.

  11. The Abramski case is a weird one. Abramski bought a gun for his uncle with his uncle’s money. It was not a gift by Abramski to the uncle.

    Because the handgun sale crossed state lines, FFLs were required, and Abramski and his uncle complied with that. Neither Abramski nor the uncle were disqualified buyers; in fact, both cleared required background checks at their respective FFLs.

    The reason for all these shenanigans was that Abramski was able to get a LEO discount for the handgun, so by having Abramski buy the pistol, the uncle would save a couple of hundred bucks.

    The way that the cops got wind of the whole mishegoss was that Abramski later came under suspicion for bank robbery. During a search pursuant to a warrant, the police discovered the receipt for the handgun with a notation in Abramski’s handwriting that the gun for was his uncle.

    It’s pretty clear that a purchase by a qualified person for another who is unqualified is a straw purchase. But that’s not the case here.

    The question in Abramski is: can the purchase of a handgun by a qualified person pursuant to a background check for another person who is fully qualified and who also clears a background check be considered a “straw purchase?”

    Expressed another way, did the second background check “cleanse” the original transfer, which clearly involved lying in response to question 11a?

    A prior commenter inquired as to the length of time that purchaser #1 would be required to hold the gun before transferring to purchaser #2. The answer is that time is irrelevant. The violation occurred when the original purchase was made or the violation never occurred at all.

    If a Mexican cartel member named “Pancho,” who has a clean record, buys a rifle in Texas with the intent of arming the cartel, Pancho broke the law even if the rifle falls from his hands into the Rio Grande during the trip back to Sinaloa.

    • Nice summary of the facts. I wonder if he would be clear of the law if he’d purchased the gun with his own money and not his uncle’s. As to your concluding hypothetical, if Pancho buys the rifle for himself with his own money, how are we ever to discover whether his intent at that moment was to keep the rifle or to sell it someone else? If he is using his own money, isn’t he the “purchaser” under the law? For example, I go out and buy a firearm, getting a great deal. That evening, I am showing it to my brother-in-law, who has wanted one of this particular firearm forever and makes me an offer I can’t refuse. The next day we meet at the FFL and I transfer the firearm to him. Is this a straw purchase? No. Should it be any different if I have a source for certain firearms that I know I can resell for a profit–is it a straw purchase simply because I intend to resell? This is the crux of the question. Or for example I buy a firearm, intending at the time of purchase to give it as a gift; is this a straw purchase? Under the current language of the 4473, it would seem so, even though gifts of firearms are perfectly lawful. When I buy, I am the purchaser, and remain the purchaser until such time as I sell or gift the weapon to another. As long as the ultimate transaction complies with the law, my “intent” at the moment of purchase, to keep, to gift to another, or to resell, should be irrelevant.

      • “…is it a straw purchase simply because I intend to resell? This is the crux of the question.”

        NO! this is misdirection. The crux of the matter is simply this – no government agency has the constitutional authority to determine who may keep and bear arms, nor the circumstances of purchase or subsequent transfer of those arms. To agree to or submit to such authority is to surrender this right and allow it as a government administered privilege.

        Your intent when you bought the arms, whose money was used, where you transported it, how long you kept and bore it before you sold or transferred it to someone else, is none of the government’s goddam business. It says so right here: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

    • “The question in Abramski is: can the purchase of a handgun by a qualified person pursuant to a background check for another person who is fully qualified and who also clears a background check be considered a “straw purchase?”

      This may in fact be the question SCOTUS addresses in this case, more’s the pity. The REAL question is and should be; Does the FBI or any other government agency have the authority to maintain and enforce a list of persons (citizens) to whom they disallow the exercise their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms? This authority is nowhere contained in the clear and unambiguous wording of the Second Amendment; “…shall not be infringed.”


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