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TTAG reader Mort wrote the following about his experiences with firearms-related background checks:

“Well, I have purchased a few firearms over the years, including fairly recently– and yet, the last time I underwent a background check was at a gun show in Florida, circa 1994 or 1995. However, I purchased these guns from licensed FFLs, at bona fide LGS gun stores… technically, maybe 80+% of my firearms have been purchased ‘without a background check.’

“Now, I know that we aren’t THAT ornery’n’outlaw in Arizona, nor are we that smart and original… but we have figured out that, generally speaking, it’s a waste of everyone’s time and resources to conduct background checks on citizens who are already vetted, licensed, and so permitted. Surely other states have long figured this out, too, I reckon. So, while I had to fill out a 4473 for a few firearms, the background check was ‘bypassed’ because…

“We already done been back-’rounded, y’all! And, it was a bit more stringent a scrubbing than the NICS checks that them ordinary non-special heehaws have to endure (e.g., we had to read about our state laws and surrender our fingerprints and so forth sinister infringements…).

“Point being, one has to wonder how many regular and lifetime sportsmen/shooters out there supposedly ‘don’t go through a background check’ when purchasing another gun. Technically, I suppose we could wait to resort to a seedy life of crime until AFTER we get our shiny CCW permits (and hope not to get caught in between renewals, I guess)… but all in all, how many of y’all don’t even do background checks anymore?

“Something tells me that the antiguns would surely figure it BOTH ways– cue the mythical ‘superowner’ of the 3% of gun-hoarders who has 546.8 guns all to himself, but yet why not count all that guy’s firearms as “having been purchased without a background check” (…even though all those 27 million background checks are supposedly for these aging white superfudds who already have more guns than wrinkles and bedsores put together). Yaaa, okay…..

“Now, I told my sister this– a California physician at the VA hospital– that I don’t have to undergo a background check at a gun show or in a gun store, OR even in Home Depot parking lot while buying evil assault weapons. Nor do most regular, serious shooters, since they are likely permitted. God almighty, she was completely (and genuinely) horrified. No waiting period, either? She said, ‘Well, then everyone should have to get a mandatory psych evaluation by law before being able to buy a gun.’

“I said, “Let me guess… Anybody who has a propensity towards violence or violent behavior, and anyone who feels that they really need to own a gun or several guns is therefore unhealthy and not suitable to own a gun. But, if one tends to be interested or fascinated by guns, and so one believes that they may want to own one or more guns for whatever reason, then by definition, they must have a strong propensity towards violence and violent behavior… and they should therefore not be allowed to own a gun at all. Is that sound reasoning?”

“Her response: ‘Absolutely right.’ Oh, for sure… she voted for Prop 63… said I was ‘in denial’ about gun control. It’s truly something to behold, this Alternate Universe of Crazy California…I seem to remember, as kids we spoke of this ‘Opposite Land’ from time-to-time. Huh.

“Be safe.”


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  1. Change “gun” to anything she may hold near and dear and see how she will change her tune.

    It’s telling that all “anti-gun people” have zero interest in guns, are media-trained to be hoplophobic, so it’s no surprise their default reaction is to want to ban something they think has no use for them, and therefore society.

    These same people go to sleep at night, relatively safe protected by armed men and women who fall into several categories: law abiding citizen, police, and military.

    The mentality is the same as where food comes from. Fried chicken is delicious, but god forbid you show me a picture of a chicken being killed and processed into the treat I just ate. That’s “horrific” for most snowflakes that have been shielded by reality of the food industry process. How many people today have grown up in farms? Most people have grown up today with Farmville.

    People are so far removed from the origin of the freedoms they enjoy everyday. All brought to you, by guns by the way. This entire country and the American way of life was enabled by…. wait for it…. guns! Guns in the hands of freedom-loving patriots in our case.

    I guess history is no longer taught or willfully ignored in schools.

  2. I don’t know about AZ, but in KY CCDW carriers’ backgrounds are re-run periodically to make sure we haven’t “crossed the line.” We don’t have to wait for the NICS check because it’s constantly updated as part of the state CCDW program. We fill out the form, show our DL and CCDW card and roll. But, we’re still having background checks–even WITHOUT a purchase.

  3. Which list is the shortest?

    Criminals sent to prison for failing a background check
    Identity Thieves busted after a failed background check
    The greatest Jewish defensive linemen

    • Let us see:
      1. David Binn
      2. Art Bluethenal
      3. Gabe Carimi
      4. Brian De Le Puente
      5. John Frank
      6. Al Goldstein
      7. Charles “Buckets” Goldenberg
      8. Randy Grossman
      9. Phil Handler
      10. Arnold Horween
      11. Kyle Kosier
      12. Len Levy, US, G[128]
      13. Erik Lorig
      14. Wayne Millner
      15. Ron “The Intellectual Assassin” Mix
      16. Ed Newman
      17. Merv Pregulman
      18. Mike Rosenthal
      19. Jack Sack
      20. Geoff Schwartz
      21. Mitchell Schwartz
      22. Mike Seidman
      23. Scott Slutzker

      But since you said “greatest”, the list may only be one name… and I pick Ron Nix.

    • Well let’s see. Jewish Defensive Linemen:
      1. Lyle Alzado, 2x All-Pro
      2. Noah Cantor
      3. Antonio Garay
      4. Bill Goldberg, 2x world champion
      5. Igor Olshansky
      6. Josh Taves
      But since you stipulated “greatest” the list must be singular. I pick Bill Goldberg; after all he was a two time world champion in two different leagues/federations.

  4. And right about “Nor do most regular, serious shooters, since they are likely permitted” is where it all falls apart.

    Not every state that has a permitting system for concealed carry, treats that as a background check substitute.

    Most of the regular, serious shooters I know from work, do have multiple guns but most don’t have CCWs because we can’t carry at work. (We do have to pass and maintain a far more stringent background check to get the job than NICS can ever dream of, though … Ironic, that.) Granted this is generalizing from personal experience, the same mistake as in the article, but it is a counterpoint.

    There may be a correlation between CCW permits, number of firearms owned and background checks performed; but ascribing causation needs to be done with caution, and extrapolation even moreso.

    • You are correct. I simply meant that statement (re: “Nor are most serious shooters…”) in the context of explaining how things are done in Arizona. In other words, to be clear, most of the regular shooters and sportsmen I know here (granted, a small sample size) are CCW holders and do not need an additional background at the point of purchasing a gun. I have witnessed this several times at sporting stores, too– that new buyers (people who are obviously new to shooting) or out-of-state buyers (e.g., military from the USAF Davis-Monthan base) are doing a background, while locals just fill out the transfer and walk away with their purchase.

      Anyway, my apologies if my extrapolation was not clear; it was a thought within the context of how things are done here, hence my elsewhere asking/guessing how it is done in other states. Bear in mind, the piece above was not intended to be an article at all– it was only a posting on the comment board which TTAG decided to highlight (which I don’t mind; and I appreciate them not editing at their own discretion). You are quite right that an article covering this subject would deserve a bit more research, attributions, and caution with generalizations and clarity.

      Thanks. Be safe.

  5. The truth is that in most states only the law-abiding need to be licensed to carry concealed.

    Criminals by virtue of their chosen occupation enjoy “constitutional carry”. ? (If you doubt me, you may want to consider how many criminals are actually prosecuted and convicted for illegally carrying a concealed weapon when, for example, they are convicted for an armed robbery.)

    It’s high time that we extend the constitutional rights of criminals even to the lowly law-abiding citizen.

    • My goodness… yes.

      Thank you for articulating a thought that has long bothered me… like a an itch on my back that I can’t ever quite reach. Criminals do indeed enjoy the freedom of Constitutional Carry everyday, and it is long-overdue that lawful citizens should be granted the same rights in practice.

      I do enjoy such rights in Arizona (and strangely, I feel it a privelege to enjoy these rights)… but it is truly bothersome that in other states, lawful folks would be presumed criminals for exercising a basic right to defend themselves from actual criminals who take such rights for granted in order to commit real crimes. It’s so backwards and convoluted, it’s always difficult to understand, much less articulate. We can keep trying, though, whether or not it ever assuages the bother.

      Be safe.

  6. Just as I have multiple fire extinguishers throughout my home, I have one gun permanently residing on every floor of my house, and I actually have one in two of my four bathrooms. That’s not a propensity toward violence, that’s prudence.

    • If you have a house so expensive that it has four bathrooms, you probably could just hire a full time security force, and keep your guns in the safe.

  7. RF,
    You might want to change this; “806 of My Guns”, to this; “80% of my guns”.
    I’m no grammar nazi, but this is in a pretty large typeface…

    • I sure wish I knew this reader. I’ve never seen a collection of “more than 8031 guns” in one place before, not even at Cody, WY’s Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

      • Sure wish I had 8031 guns, too… I probably just got put on some list somewhere for saying that, huh….

        Well, really you can take me off that list… because hell, I don’t even have 8031 rounds.

        • Its 8041 guns today… Guess he bought ten more yesterday evening.
          What a collector! I have GOT to get on this guy’s BFF list…

  8. I would say a desire NOT to have a gun indicates mental instability, because they have logically (or emotionally) made the decision NOT to defend themselves, which goes against basic biology. Plants and animals all know to defend themselves, but only a mentally deficient person would not fight back when their life was on the line.

    • Ding ding ding, we have a winner.

      I love the genuine surprise antis have when that sentiment of “just do what they say/want” isn’t returned by rational/reasonable people.

  9. “I said, “Let me guess… Anybody who has a propensity towards violence or violent behavior, and anyone who feels that they really need to own a gun or several guns is therefore unhealthy and not suitable to own a gun. But, if one tends to be interested or fascinated by guns, and so one believes that they may want to own one or more guns for whatever reason, then by definition, they must have a strong propensity towards violence and violent behavior… and they should therefore not be allowed to own a gun at all. Is that sound reasoning?”

    There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

    • I love it. True Story: As it happens, today I am supposed to go shooting with an old friend of mine… from who I borrowed Catch-22 in 2007 and never returned… their old copy anyway. Around 2010 or so, the guilt had finally caught up with me, and for Christmas provided them with a new copy (…I somehow felt bonded to the old one, given the circumstances, right or wrong…). But how is that, some friend– getting cheated out of a Christmas gift because I didn’t return the book in the first place. The skeletons in our closets, they rattle something fierce….

      Thank you for providing the appropriate attribution to Heller. Be safe.

      • Mission Accomplished ha. First desert range day of the year, with impeccable weather on a glorious Sunday. Some random fun facts from today’s shoot:

        1. Number of years in the State Penitentiary of California, if only convicted of magazines and ammo possession (heck, never mind the “assault weapons,” which according to California, constituted six-of-eight of our guns): 23 Years.

        2. Number of generic Kroger sugary soda pop cans launched into the air: 36, of three different flavors.

        3. Total number of ball rounds fired (FMJ): 267 (…this ain’t YouTube, and with no audience, well, no magdumps today, folks….)

        4. Total number of revolver rounds fired: 10.

        5. Number of international countries represented in today’s truck bed arsenal: 4 (USA, Turkey, Italy, Russia)

        6. Number of calibers fired: 4 (well, technically 5… if one counts .223 Rem and 5.56×45 NATO as separate calibers; and indeed we did fire each)

        7. Number of people killed, harmed, or traumatized: 0.

        8. Total number of smiles (including hoots): 894

        9. Number of jackalopes spotted: 1 (twice)

        10. Number of FTF, FTE, and WTFs: 0 (woohoo)

        #MomsDemandtobeInvited #pickupyourlitter #gunsense

        Be safe, and enjoy yourself. Shooting is fun.

  10. I’ve used Armslist a lot for private party transactions with no check and haven’t had a bad experience yet.

  11. I live in small town in NC and have purchased several rifles and handguns in the past few years. I’ve had a background check on *all* of them.

    In NC, if you don’t have CCW, then you must get a permit to purchase a handgun from the local sheriff’s office. That’s the background check. Also if you don’t have a CCW, the FFL will run a background check on every rifle/shotgun purchase since you have not previously been checked through the sheriff’s office.

    If you have a CCW, you can buy whatever you want without a background check. The CCW serves as your check. If you don’t have a CCW, then you must have a background check and they are vigilant about it. I’ve purchased from a few different stores in the area, and they are *all* like that.

    In fact, I couldn’t take home the last rifle I purchased just a few months ago because the background check system was running super-slow. I had already filled out all of the paperwork and paid for it. But the background check system was slow and I stood there for an hour waiting. Finally I just told them I’d come back and pick it the next day.

    I came back the next day, the background check had cleared and I went home with my rifle. But I could not take possession of it until the check was cleared.

  12. Let’s see, looking at my own logbook,

    17 firearms
    7 purchased w/background check
    59% acquired without BG check.

    Also I never registered any handguns when living in Cali. lol.

  13. How many states allow purchase with your CCW as the background check? I know some do but I’ve never lived in one.

  14. Mort’s sister is a doctor at the VA… a place where veterans get medical attention. Veterans who used guns to defend our freedoms. Freedoms that include the right to keep and bear arms. Yet she doesn’t think anyone should have a gun.

    This world is f-ed up.

  15. In Indiana a Carry License (Its a license to carry however you want, open or concealed) does not get you out of a background check. It is also not a photo ID.

  16. A holder of a FFL-03, Collector of Curio&Relics doesn’t require a background check either. Some C&R firearms are less than 50 years old like the CZ 82 or the Polish P64.

  17. Who here has had a “Background check ” for a pocket knife? How about a “Background check” for kitchen flatware. Such as, an 8″ chef’s knife, a meat clever, a meat tenderizer mallet, etc…How about a “Background check” for a Chainsaw, hatchet, Axe, Machete, or other portable, and deadly manual/power tools from HOME Depot..? What about a “Background check” for matches, lighters, and accelerants to stem arson !?! Even better, how about “Universal background and mental healthcare checks” for civilIan cars and trucks!!? Very deadly machines with way to much access! Anyone over the age of 18yrs can get one…Definitely can be used as a “Terrorist Weapon” of choice! Mental defectives can purchase one.Some can even have State Drivers licenses !?! And there is NO Constitutional right to protect against prohibition! What about “Universal background and mental healthcare checks” for the 1st Amendment. Free speech can be very dangerous. A person, or people could get a “following”. Interfere with ” government operations”. Create a “free press” without official press credentials. Disseminate “Fake News”. If we continue, we might be able to “reason away” every constitutional right that makes America free….

  18. If “Universal background and mental healthcare checks” help keep us all “safe.”
    An were all so trusting about the conduct of our Local/State Police Departments…Then why hasn’t anybody asked the question ; “Why don’t Police Departments in the USA issue their own “warrants”?! If your NOT doing anything wrong. Then why not just make a duplicate keys to the front and back door to your home…And bring them to your local friendly Police Department, or State Police Barracks??!!? Tell to go ahead and perform a “visitation” at anytime of the day. To show “THEM” you have nothing to hide…That your NOT doing anything wrong….

  19. This is great, I smile when reading that the leftists have no valid or rational argument. I love debating the anti-gunners, it’s funny destroying them with facts!

    I see snowflakes melting. Waiting for Jan 20th and the great snowflake meltdown.

  20. 3d print/drill/press/lathe/mill and dremel your way away from background checks.

    The files are all there for the taking.

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