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Oral arguments in Abramski v US will be heard by the Supreme Court this coming Wednesday, January 22nd. The case is challenging a very important part of federal gun law that prohibits people from buying a gun for someone else, who either can't pass a background check, or who seeks to avoid any record of their purchase. Understanding the issue of straw purchasers is important for everyone who seeks to mandate Universal Background Checks, nationally or at the state level.

Kossack TRPChicago will host an Open Thread Sunday evening at 7pm Eastern to chat about the case and what the Supreme Court might decide. He previewed the facts and arguments here.

Editor's Note: My journey into the "vast terra incognita" of gun law began in the fall of 2012. The diary below was originally published March 3, 2013 for Shutdown the NRA. I was shocked to discover that federal restrictions on gun sales go way beyond prohibiting felons and "the mentally ill" from buying guns. The diary below was my first effort to document what I was learning for my fellow Kossacks. It defines some important legal terms and provides context for the Abramski case.

Background Check 101: What is a Straw Buyer?

 

(originally published March 3, 2013)
Firearms per 100 people by country
The USA has 100 firearms per 100 people
Most of the 300 million firearms in the US start out in the hands of a law abiding gun owner. With ongoing daily shootings and recent mass murders galvanizing debate, many are asking themselves more urgently than ever before "How do so many guns find their way into homes and hands where injury and death result?"

Are you familiar with these three ways that guns change hands?

     • Straw purchaser
     • Lost or stolen firearms
     • Private party sales

The USA has 100 firearms per 100 residents, more than any other country in the world. But the burden of firearm injuries and firearm deaths is not spread evenly throughout the country. We look at death tolls simply because they are the easiest objective parameter to measure. It is a binary parameter; either the person died from the gunshot or they survived.

Regional variation deaths due to firearm injury - 2007
With 300 million firearms in circulation and more than 100,000 shootings per year we all need to understand who is NOT PERMITTED to own a firearm under current law.

The purpose of this diary is to provide a factual resource for gun safety advocates* who wish to understand the terms "straw buyer" and "background check" as they are defined under current federal law. The excerpts below list persons who cannot legally buy guns from a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL). Please take a look. You might find yourself as surprised as I was that current law already goes far beyond "felon" and "mentally ill."

See also:
The Geography of Gun Violence by Richard Florida, July 20, 2012
The Geography of Gun Deaths by Richard Florida, January 13, 2011

*A gun safety advocate is defined herein as anyone who seeks to reduce the risk of injury and death by accidental or intentional discharge of firearms.

Shattered Lives

The long term toll of gunshot injury and death is born by those who survive. It's the person who loses a limb or a major life function, such as eyesight or the ability to sleep through the night. It's those who can no longer earn a living. It's the family and friends who care for the injured. It's the children who grow up without a parent. It's the newly single parent who must pick up the pieces and support the whole family on one income. It's those who will be haunted by the violence. It's the community health services. It's the employer(s) who must absorb the sudden loss of a key employee. It's the elder person who relied on the victim for occasional help so they can continue living independently in their own home. It impacts the shooter and their families too; the one who in the heat of the moment thought they had a right to pull the trigger, but who now faces prosecution because their judgment was compromised in some way, or their understanding of the law was incorrect.

It's such an important point that it bears repeating. Accidental and intentional shootings leave shattered lives. A tally of firearm injury and death does not even begin to account for the myriad forward costs born by all those who survive, which includes:

     • Those who witness a shooting
     • Those who survive the deceased
     • Those who survive an accidental or intentional shooting

Guns and Suicide - Suicide rate as a function of the number of adults with a gun in the home -  Each dot is one state - NYTimes
Always remember, correlation is not proof of causation. But correlations can suggest where we need to do more research to identify common factors, and points where we might intervene. We may disagree about the underlying causes that influence suicide rates but we cannot deny that the burden of firearm suicides is not uniform across the country. As shown in the NYTimes plot, in 2010 there was a weak correlation between suicide rates and the number of adults with a gun in the home. The highest suicide rates, in Alaska, Montana, and Wyoming (23 deaths per 100,000 people) are double the suicide rates in Mississippi and North Carolina, and triple the lowest suicide rates in Maryland, New Jersey, and New York, (8 deaths per 100,000 people). Clearly there are many other confounding variables.

Let's get back to our original question: "How do so many guns find their way into homes and hands where injury and death result?" We can take a step toward understanding this complex problem by understanding a few basic terms, a background check, a straw buyer, and who is prohibited under current law from buying guns.

Federal Background Check 101:

What is a firearm transfer?

A firearm transfer is when a legal owner transfers possession of a firearm to another party. The gun owner might sell it, trade it, lend it, or give it away. A background check of a potential buyer can help to ensure that when the first legal owner of a firearm sells their firearm, trades their firearm, lends their firearm, or gives away their firearm, they will be transferring the firearm to a person who is legally permitted to own guns.

What is a private party transfer?

Under current law, most states allow firearm transfers between private parties without background checks. The intention behind the exemption was to allow individuals to transfer possession of a firearm from their personal collection to someone they know. In principle, lawful gun owners are trusted to be cautious about selling guns to people they don't know, and to avoid transfers to those who might not be permitted to own firearms.

The exemption for private party sales was not intended to enable unlicensed firearms dealers to buy and sell dozens, hundreds, or thousands of firearms without conducting any background checks. If the seller knows the buyer couldn't pass a background check a sale to that person is illegal for the buyer and the seller. If the seller doesn't know the buyer couldn't pass a background check then the sale is legal for the seller, but is still illegal for the buyer. In practice, many private party sales operate under a don't ask/don't tell policy. Under cover of personal ethics and a policy of "what I don't know won't hurt my bottom line" thousands of firearms are bought and sold at gun shows without background checks. All across the nation. Every weekend. Private party sales at gun shows are known as the "gun show loophole."

What is a straw buyer?

A straw buyer is a person who, knowing they can pass a background check, relies on information about themselves to buy a firearm for someone else. Straw purchases are illegal.

A background check for a potential firearm purchase:
• Screens the potential buyer.
• Form 4473—Firearms Transaction Record (information is supplied by buyer)
• Performed by a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL).
• Relies partly on accurate reporting by both buyer and dealer.
• Relies partly on matching information in the NICS database (National Instant Criminal Background Check System)

Many proposals intending to improve gun safety seek to decrease gun violence by expansion of background checks to private party transfers. Proposals for "Universal Background Checks" or "Comprehensive Background Checks" seek to simply require that firearms transfers be recorded through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) (aka a federally licensed firearms dealer) so that background checks can be conducted on every potential buyer (or new owner), every time a gun is transferred.

Do you know?
• Who is prohibited from purchasing a firearm? (under federal law)
• When is a Federal Firearms Licensee required to conduct a background check before transferring a firearm to someone? (some sales are exempt)
• What information is collected from the buyer? (Form 4473)

The links and excerpts below may help fill in some gaps so we can discuss existing and proposed regulations with other gun safety advocates. We all need to know what to ask for when we demand that our elected leaders allocate adequate funding to improve enforcement of existing law.

Federal Firearms Licensee Quick Reference and Best Practices Guide
(A few excerpts)

The Importance of Compliance with Federal Firearms Laws & Regulations

Ten Violations Having an Impact on Public Safety

1. Failure to Obtain a Form 4473—Firearms Transaction Record When Required.

2. Failure to Obtain a Complete and Correct Form 4473.

3. Failure to Conduct a Background Check When Required.

4. Sale or Transfer of a Firearm to Prohibited Person.

5. Improper Sale to a Non-Resident.

6. Failure to Obtain Appropriate Identification Documents.

7. Failure to Record Complete and Accurate Acquisition and Disposition Information.

8. Failure to Report the Sale of Multiple Handguns.

9. Failure to Report Lost or Stolen Firearms.

10. Providing False Information.

Background Checks

You must conduct a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check or appropriate State background check for each and every sale or other transfer of a firearm to a non-licensee. The NICS or State background check ensures that any person who purchases a firearm from you may lawfully possess firearms. A NICS or State background check MUST be conducted before:

1. The sale or trade of a firearm;

2. The return of a consigned firearm;

3. The redemption of a pawned firearm;

4. The loan or rental of a firearm for use off of your licensed premises; or

5. Any other non-exempt transfer of a firearm.

Failure to conduct a background check has a significant impact on public safety. You could be fined, have your license suspended or revoked, or be prosecuted.

Note: You may only deliver the firearm to the person on whom the NICS or State background check was conducted and NOT a spouse, relative, or other representative of that person.

Exceptions to the Background Check Requirement:

You are NOT required to conduct a NICS or State background check with respect to the following:

1. The sale or transfer of a firearm where the transferee presents a valid State permit/license from the State in which your licensed premises is located AND the State permit or license is recognized by ATF as a qualifying alternative to the background check
requirement;

2. The transfer of a firearm to another FFL (including collectors when transferring a Curio & Relic firearm);

3. The return of a repaired firearm to the person from whom it was received;

Prohibited Transfers

You MAY NOT sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition to any person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited from possessing or receiving a  firearm. Do not sell or otherwise transfer a firearm and do not contact NICS if you have reason to believe that a person seeking to obtain a firearm is prohibited from receiving or possessing a firearm.

Note: If a person answers “No” to Item 11.a or 12 of Form 4473, or answers “Yes” to one or more questions in Items 11.b through 11.l of Form 4473, that person has given you reason to believe he or she is prohibited and the transaction must be stopped.

You MAY NOT sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition to any of the following prohibited persons or in the following circumstances:

1. Straw Purchaser: A “straw purchaser” is a person who is not the “actual buyer” of the firearm; that is, a person who obtains a firearm for another person. Straw purchases are a primary source of firearms used in crime. If you suspect that a transaction is a straw purchase or there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the potential sale—such as one person picking out the firearm, handling the firearm, and providing the payment for the firearm while another person completes the Form 4473—you should not sell the firearm. Similarly, if one person attempts to purchase a firearm, NICS denies or delays the attempted purchase, and another person with him or her attempts to buy the same firearm, you must not complete this sale.

2.  Person Under Indictment: A person “under indictment” includes any person who has been charged by indictment or information in any court with a crime for which he or she may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding 1 year.

3.  Person Convicted of a Crime Punishable by Imprisonment for a Term Exceeding 1 Year: This prohibited person category includes any person who has been convicted of a felony or other crime for which the person could have been sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year—EVEN if the court actually placed the person on probation or sentenced the person to a term of imprisonment for 1 year or less.

4.  Fugitive from Justice: A fugitive from justice is a person who has fled from any State to avoid prosecution for a crime (felony or misdemeanor) or to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceeding.

5.  Unlawful Drug User or Drug Addict: This prohibited person category includes any person who unlawfully uses—or is addicted to—marijuana, depressants, stimulants, narcotic drugs, or other controlled substances. Alcohol is NOT considered a controlled substance.

6.  Adjudicated Mental Defective or Person Involuntarily Committed to a Mental Institution: This prohibited person category includes any person who has EVER been adjudicated by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority to be, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease, a danger to himself or herself or to others or to lack the mental capacity to contract or to manage his/or her own affairs. This category also includes any person who has been subject to a finding of insanity in a criminal case, including a finding that he or she is incompetent to stand trial. Also included is any person who has EVER been formally committed to a mental institution by a court or other lawful authority. This category does NOT include a person committed to a mental institution solely for observation or a person who was voluntarily admitted to a mental institution.

7.  Person Dishonorably Discharged from the Military: A person is considered dishonorably discharged only if he or she was separated from the Armed Forces of the United States as a result of a dishonorable discharge or a dismissal adjudged by a general court-martial. This prohibition does NOT include persons with a bad conduct discharge or any other less than honorable discharge.

8. Person Subject to a Restraining Order: This prohibited person category includes any person who is currently subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner, child of the person, or child of the intimate partner OR engaging in other conduct that would place the intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the intimate partner or child. The court order must meet the specific requirements of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8) to be prohibiting.

9. Person Convicted of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence: This prohibited person category includes any person who has EVER been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence regardless of the title of the offense. The offense must meet the definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” in 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33). Note: Unlike other prohibited person categories, law enforcement officers purchasing firearms for official use are NOT exempt from this prohibited person category.

10. Person who has Renounced U.S. Citizenship: A person has renounced his or her United States citizenship if he or she takes formal steps to renounce her/his citizenship before a diplomatic or consular officer or before an officer designated by the Attorney General during a time of war.

11. Aliens Illegally or Unlawfully in the United States: This prohibited person category includes any person who unlawfully entered the United States or who illegally remains in the United States after his or her authorized period of stay has expired.

11a. Nonimmigrant Aliens: A nonimmigrant alien is an alien who is lawfully in the United States on a temporary basis for purposes of travel, business, study, etc. The term does NOT include a permanent resident alien (someone who possesses a “green card.”) A nonimmigrant alien may only purchase or receive a firearm if he or she: (a) was admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes or presents a valid hunting license or permit issued by a State; (b) qualifies as a foreign diplomat, official, or law enforcement officer as defined at 18 U.S.C. § 922(y)(2); or (c) has received a waiver of the prohibition from the Attorney General.

12. Sale of a Firearm or Ammunition to a Person Under Age 18: You may not sell or deliver a firearm or ammunition to a person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is less than 18 years old.

13. Sale of a Handgun or Handgun Ammunition to a Person Under Age 21: You may not sell or deliver a firearm other than a rifle or a shotgun—or ammunition other than rifle or shotgun ammunition—to a person who you know or have reasonable cause to believe is less than 21 years old. A firearm frame or receiver is not a rifle or shotgun and may not be sold to a person under 21 years old.

14. Sale in Violation of State Law or Published Ordinance: You may not sell or deliver a firearm to any person in any State where the purchase or possession would be in violation of a State law or published ordinance.

We recommend that you refer to the most recent edition of ATF’s State Laws and Published Ordinances–Firearms.
Age Restrictions

As noted above, under Federal law, the minimum age to purchase firearms and ammunition from an FFL is 18. If the firearm is other than a rifle or a shotgun—or ammunition for other than a rifle or a shotgun—the minimum age is 21 [18 U.S.C. 922(b)(1)]. However:

1. You may sell ammunition that is interchangeable between rifles and handguns to a buyer who is at least 18 years of age if you are satisfied that he or she will use the ammunition in a rifle.

2. Regardless of less restrictive State and local age requirements for firearms and ammunition purchases, you must adhere to the above Federal mininum age
provisions.

Transfers Between Licensees

Generally, FFLs may transfer firearms to other FFLs, including interstate transfers, without completing Form 4473 for these transactions. In these instances, the following procedures must be followed:

1. Transactions between licensees must be recorded in the bound book (Acquisition and Disposition or A&D) records of both licensees.

2. The FFL who is buying the firearm must furnish a certified copy of their license to the selling FFL prior to the transfer of any firearm. This certified copy may be emailed or faxed.

Questions for the potential buyer of a firearm on Form 4473-Part I

In addition to their name, address, and other identity information a potential buyer is asked the following Yes/No questions.
11a. Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: you are not the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If yo?u are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you. (See instructions for questions 11.a) Exception: if you are picking up a repaired firearm(s) for another person, you are not required to answer 11.a and in the proceed to question 11.b.

11b. Are you under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could imprison you for more than one year? (See instructions for questions 11.b)

11c. have you ever been convicted in any court of a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence under probation? (See instructions for questions 11.c)

11d. Are you a fugitive from justice?

11e. Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?

11f. Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective ( which includes a determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that you are a danger to yourself or to others were incompetent to manage your affairs) OR  have you ever been committed to a mental institution? (See instructions for questions 11.f)

11g. Have you ever been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions?

11h. Are you subject to a court order restraining you from harassing, stalking, or threatening your child or an intimate partner or child of such partner? (See instructions for questions 11.h)

11i. Have you ever been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?

11j. Have you ever renounced your United States citizenship? (If no, proceed to question 13.)

11k. Are you an alien illegally in the United States?

11l. Are you an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa? (See instructions for questions 11.l)

12. If you are an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa, do you fall within any of the exceptions set forth in the instructions? (See instructions for questions 12)

13. What is your state of residence?

14. What is your country of citizenship?

15. If you are not a citizen of the United States what is your US-issued alien number or admission number


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The Daily Kos Firearms Law and Policy group studies actions for reducing firearm deaths and injuries in a manner that is consistent with the current Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment. If you would like to write about firearms law or policy please send us a Kosmail.

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We have adopted Wee Mama's and akadjian's guidance on communicating.  But most important, be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 5:19 PM PT: TRPChicago is hosting an Open Thread on what options the Court might choose after they hear oral arguments.
Buying a Gun for Someone Else? What Should the Law Be?

Originally posted to Firearms Law and Policy on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:33 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for Background Checks (14+ / 0-)

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:01:52 PM PST

  •  This is an Open Thread (4+ / 0-)

    Please feel free to post announcements, news, links to your diaries and other projects.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    New readers of Firearm Law and Policy may want to begin with What the heck is a background check anyway? for an introduction to US Criminal Code, Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:04:20 PM PST

  •  Is there any difference between an "instant ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... background check" and any other?

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 04:45:32 PM PST

  •  Go Lilith! (7+ / 0-)

    "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

    by We Shall Overcome on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:22:00 PM PST

    •  LOL (3+ / 0-)

      Hi WSO, How's it going?

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:24:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bittersweet, 2 school shootings in past week, but (6+ / 0-)

        Sprouts Farmers Markets (a decent sized grocery chain in several red states and some blue states) has announced a policy of no firearms in their stores.

        "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

        by We Shall Overcome on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:36:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I can relate (5+ / 0-)

          I've been deep into reading about a case that was argued at SCOTUS this week US v. Castleman.

          Essentially a guy with a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction set his wife up as strawpurchaser to buy guns for him to sell into the black market. The more research I did, the more depressing it got and I couldn't pull it together for a diary. It's a side of Domestic Violence that almost never makes it into the news. Young women lured into gun running. And then if/when the gun gets picked up in a crime it gets traced back to her, not the felon she's in love with.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:47:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've read a little bit on that case ... has it (3+ / 0-)

            been argued before SC in its entirety and ready for a ruling?

            I can't fathom the SC siding with Castleman's argument. Seems several courts didn't, but one did?

            "Looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything." — Ray Bradbury

            by We Shall Overcome on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 05:52:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It was argued this past Wednesday (4+ / 0-)

              US v Castleman at SCOTUSBlog (docs and transcript available through their case page)

              Argument preview: Court once again considers when prior state convictions result in federal penalties

              by Amy Howe Editor/Reporter, Posted Wed, January 15th, 2014 7:19 am

              [...] Even though Congress generally defines terms like “violent felonies,” those definitions may not always match up with the elements of a crime under state or tribal law, requiring the courts to determine whether a particular state offense is a qualifying prior conviction for purposes of federal law.

              That is the question before the Court this morning in the case of James Castleman, in United States v. Castleman.  The federal government charged Castleman with a violation of a federal law, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), which prohibits someone who has been convicted of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” from possessing a gun.  The statute defines “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” as a misdemeanor under federal, state, or tribal law (1) by someone who (as relevant here) has a child with the victim, which (2) “has as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon.”

              Federal prosecutors relied on the fact that in 2001 Castleman had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor “domestic assault” in a Tennessee court.  The Tennessee statute prohibits “an assault” against someone with whom you have a child.  The statute defines assault as “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caus[ing] bodily injury to another” or “intentionally or knowingly caus[ing] physical contact with another [when] a reasonable person would regard the contact as extremely offensive or provocative.”  The statute defines “bodily injury” broadly, as “a cut, abrasion, bruise, burn or disfigurement, physical pain or temporary illness or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty.”  The indictment in that state case did not provide any details of the offense, but rather tersely recited the elements of the offense, stating that he had “intentionally or knowingly cause[d] bodily injury” to the victim, “WHO HAS A CHILD WITH HIM, thereby committing the offense of DOMESTIC ASSAULT.”
              [...]

              "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

              by LilithGardener on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:17:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, really. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, LilithGardener

      I would like to know what makes her tick!

      I've been upset about a few gun incidents in my life, but the experiences didn't leave me with her careful tenacity.
      Lilith, if you can explain this, please do.

      Then carry on.

      It seems to me that we humans take turns being dummies.

      by reasonablegunsplz on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 08:43:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Reasonable gun laws! (0+ / 0-)

        Welcome to Daily Kos, rgp! Thank you for the kind words.

        If I knew what made me tick, I would have to find someone to monetize it.

        Seriously? I've come to enjoy reading judicial opinions, including the background of each story. Understanding each story involves learning about the specific laws being challenged in each case. Not being a lawyer, I can just scratch the surface.

        The Firearms Law and Policy group was formed so anyone interested could study law & policy together and leverage the "brain trust" available at Daily Kos.

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 09:31:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wisconsin Concealed Carry Comment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea

    Wisconsin just recently (comparatively speaking) passed shall issue concealed carry. Going through Green Bay stores/eateries right after that showed a LOT of "No Weapons" or "We Ban Guns" or other similar signs.

    I visited GB this last weekend. It looks like a lot of those signs came down. I was able to grab a burger from a place where I wouldn't eat before and damn, it was a good burger.

  •  Speaking of background checks (3+ / 0-)

    I picked up a rifle I had ordered over the internet today from a local gun shop. My driver's license recently expired, so they couldn't transfer the rifle initially. I asked if a passport would work, but only a Texas ID or Texas CHL would cover the transfer. I ended up going up to the DPS office and renewing my license, but I was initially surprised that a passport wasn't sufficient for a FFL transfer and background check. After thinking about it, the dealer who was transferring the rifle to me had to verify I was a resident of Texas before he could legally sell me a gun and my passport doesn't show state residency, only where it was issued.  

    "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

    by Texas Lefty on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:09:13 PM PST

  •  Darrell Issa's only witness, John Dodson? (3+ / 0-)

    Question: What is a Straw Buyer?

    Fast and Furious Scandal: Rogue Agent Lies in Gunrunning Case

    Apparently, there has been only one agent, John Dodson, who purposely, and against orders, let guns go across. Turns out Dodson is the sole witness who saw gun walking, and he reported it to Representative Darrell Issa’s House Republican Oversight Committee.
    Answer: Darrell Issa's only witness while trying desperately to prove a Fast & Furious witch-hunt to be true

    I'm on a tangent and half way snarking because gun running is another aspect to straw purchasing, but still, since the republican's "Fast & furious" scam is one of three issues proven to be fake scandals the GOP is threatening as the heart of their 2014 - 16 campaign platform.  
     • IRS
     • Fast & Furious
     • BENGHAZI !#%@

    so whenever I think of a republicans and any of these "issues"  I react with.. bullshit

    Debunking each one as best I can then repeat as called for

    Thx LilithGardener - really organized research on this  

  •  I wouldn't try to require background checks at (5+ / 0-)

    gunshows. Or even for private sales situations.

    It makes far more sense to me to try to prohibit gunshows. Oh, and, uh, also, private sales. (Both implicate the Commerce Clause.)

    And then try to bring things back under control from there.

    At least the challenges to these proposals would only be political, and not Constitutional.

    The reality is that 2A creates only a pipsqueak right, a "mini right" something that clearly can be regulated into manageability.

    There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

    by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 06:50:13 PM PST

    •  Welll... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, WakeUpNeo

      NY went the other way and worked with the gun show industry to develop some "best practices." A simple inventory system tags every gun going into a show venue and collects/checks the tags of every gun coming out to make sure that background checks were performed on every gun.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:21:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay. Tell me how that can possibly be better than (3+ / 0-)

        having no Gunshows, and no private sales.

        In fact, tell me how that's really good, in any sense, except that it's arguably a margineable improvement over what existed before.

        Are you willing to throw in the towel before even having the fight!

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 07:56:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's better because... (3+ / 0-)

          it's more than an idea.

          You may consider it only a marginal improvement, but the improvement is real.

          It was actually accomplished in NYS last January. It came at at then end of a long investigation by NY Attorney General  into dealers at gun shows illegally skirting the state background check requirement. About a dozen were charged, IIRC.

          Granted it's only one state. But it's a start.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:04:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The trouble with bans (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener

          The trouble with banning gun shows and banning private sales is that the behavior will continue but in a more underground, hard to regulate way, and potentially more violent way.

          Think about banning marijuana use: did that stop MJ sales and use?  No - it only drove it underground.

          I suggest it is better to bring these things into the open: bring all gun transfers into the open, and use background checks on all gun transfers.

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:18:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Think carefully about what you're saying. If every (3+ / 0-)

        firearm going in (meaning magnetometer screens on the entering public, as well as on the vendors) was checked, and every firearm leaving was screened and catalogued (meaning magnetometer screens on the departing public, and full after show security screening on all vendors), do you honestly think that there would even be any more gunshows?

        These "Shows" are all scams, and are all designed to be scams, and if that scam was ever defeated, then the NRA types would merely all move to "Plan B" ( whatever that is).

        There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

        by oldpotsmuggler on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:10:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You might be right (3+ / 0-)

          I'm not in a position to actually know whether the approach is executed effectively.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Fri Jan 17, 2014 at 08:24:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. There would still be gunshows. (0+ / 0-)

          Why would you think there wouldn't be?
          How are gunshows "scams"?

          Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

          by FrankRose on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:21:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why does The Right so viciously oppose (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Glen The Plumber, WakeUpNeo

            background checks at Gun Shows? If you answer any way other than that "there would be fewer sales" you have no credibility.

            There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

            by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 10:27:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I would hate to lose credibility with someone (0+ / 0-)

              called 'oldpotsmuggler', however:

              1) It has more to do with proposing a gun ban alongside the background check bill.

              2) Many states already require FFL dealers at gun shows & they still have gun shows

              3) Your conclusion assumes that the majority of sales at gun shows must be nefarious. Do you have any evidence of this, or do you just "know stuff"?

              Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

              by FrankRose on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:08:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Most dealers at gun shows want checks done. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Glen The Plumber

              The UC Davis study (300 pages) found this consistently.

              But little "higher road" motivation is involved.
              FFL's have to charge more to legally do background checks.  The "private dealer" guy in the next booth is offering cheaper guns.

              It seems to me that we humans take turns being dummies.

              by reasonablegunsplz on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:48:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  yes, that is one of the core issues (0+ / 0-)
                FFL's have to charge more to legally do background checks.  The "private dealer" guy in the next booth is offering cheaper guns.

                Gun show operators took the flea market concept and created a distorted market place where unlicensed dealers can underbid legitimate dealers.

                They thrive because "private sales" are exempt from doing federal background checks, and "dealer" is not defined in the law.

                "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 09:44:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Naw, not a "scam", a scene, for selling guns. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber, LilithGardener

          Total sales at gunshows run around 2% of national sales.
          That said, both Canada and Mexico have both formally complained about them. And we had a local felon released who garroted the grandparents who raised him within six hours, then sat at their computer and did a search for "gun shows" in two particular states...

          Here's a good read about the gun show loophole.  
          A UC Davis study took cameras to 278 gun shows in 19 states, and came back with a glimpse at a curious culture. Um, a community which Timothy McVeigh found nurturing.  Many photos of straw purchasers are included. Evidently misogeny runs deeply in the culture.

          The author of the study, Dr. Garen Wintemute, and Dr. Arthur Kellerman, are both emergency room MD's who counted more gunowners than perps on their operating tables. Both became committed gun researchers. The NRA came after his job unsuccessfully circa 1994, and within months went after the CDC successfully. Kellerman works in another field now, there being few paying jobs in the field of weapons behavior epidemiology.

          Back to your post. OPS, private sales represent around 40%
          of national sales.  It would precipitate not discussion, but Amageddon, civil war, to ban private sales. I personally wouldn't miss private sales, but it seems more of an infringement to ban them than to regulate them. The challenge to either legislation would become a second amendment issue, no?

          It seems to me that we humans take turns being dummies.

          by reasonablegunsplz on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 12:38:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No such thing as a gun show loophole. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FrankRose, Kasoru

            FFL sales are regulated by the federal government. They require a background check no matter where they sell their firearms.

            PRIVATE sales are left up to the states to decide. This isn't a loophole; this is how the legislation is meant to work.

          •  You're talking political issues, and I undertsand (0+ / 0-)

            that perspective. Quite frankly, that's why I appreciate the perspective of the RASA Group to that of this Group. Muster enough support to make any sufficient change on the political front, and there would be enough support to go after a Constitutional rewrite. The job of focusing on Constitutional change, then, is no harder, and potentially far more rewarding.

            There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

            by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Jan 18, 2014 at 07:49:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Expand this comment into a diary, plst (0+ / 0-)

            Thanks for the links.

            "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

            by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 09:46:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

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