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August 05, 2013

Here They Come Again: The Internet Gun Sales "Loophole"

Sigh.

You can't even get through the first paragraph of the piece of crap WaPo piece linked above without getting bombarded with lies, but I'll fisk a little of it anyway.

First, let's set the stage. All purchases of guns from or through federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) are subject to the Brady Act, which established the background check requirement (Note: a permit is allowed to substitute for a NICS check in certain states). All of them.

And the BATFE provides the following helpful tidbit about interstate private sales in language so plain even a reporter should be able to understand it: "Please note that if a private person wants to obtain a firearm from a private person who resides in another State, the firearm will have to be shipped to an FFL in the buyer’s State. The FFL will be responsible for record keeping."

Private sales between individuals residing in the same state do not require a background check. The left's rallying cry against all such sales used to be "gun show loophole", regardless of where the sale actually took place, but since that didn't work, it looks like it's time to try "Internet loophole".

So, on to the first graf ...

The marketplace for firearms on the Internet, where buyers are not required to undergo background checks, is so vast that advocates for stricter regulations now consider online sales a greater threat than the gun show loophole.

Oh, my aching head. If you buy from an FFL or out-of-state seller over the Internet, you have to undergo a background check. If you buy from an in-state private seller, you don't. How f'ing hard is this?

More help from BATFE: "A person may only acquire a firearm within the person’s own State, except that he or she may purchase or otherwise acquire a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee’s premises in any State, provided the sale complies with State laws applicable in the State of sale and the State where the purchaser resides."

A new study by Third Way , a centrist think tank with close ties to the Obama administration ...

Hahahahaha. Centrist. Is there really any reason to read on?

Hell, even Politico's dutiful recitation of the "study" results called the group "left-leaning".


The study focused on Armslist.com — a popular classified site similar to Craigslist.org that facilitates private sales of firearms ...

Study of ad listings for private sales of firearms, some of which aren't subject to background checks, shockingly concludes some firearms are being sold without background checks.

... and ammunition based on location — and analyzed listings in 10 states where senators voted against a background checks compromise this spring.

At any given time, more than 15,000 guns were for sale in those states, according to the study, and more than 5,000 of them were semi-automatic weapons.

There are, what, 200 million guns in the U.S.? And semi-automatic firearms have been mass-produced for over a century. Sounds like a really huge problem we're talking about here.

Nearly 2,000 ads were from prospective buyers asking to buy specifically from private sellers, where no background checks are required.

As we've established, it's impossible to know whether a background check would be required based on this information alone; the location of the buyer and seller are critical factors. But are there any other reasons one might want to buy from a private seller? Avoiding the dealer markup and sales taxes are two that quickly spring to mind. Oh, also, it's illegal for a private seller to sell a gun to anyone they know or suspect to be disqualified from owning one (scroll down to "(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition ...").

“At this point, this is the biggest loophole in the background check system,” said Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, director of social policy and politics at Third Way.

And there's the helpful political framing for WaPo's policy position statement disguised as news.

Background checks — designed to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, domestic violence perpetrators or the severely mentally ill — are mandatory for gun sales at retail stores, but not at gun shows ...

Once again, background checks are required for gun show sales by an FFL (or by an individual to a resident of another state through an FFL).

... or for private sales, such as between neighbors and family members.

This one's rich ... they picked a subset of private sales that would largely be conducted in-state through personal contact (where you're very likely to know if the prospective buyer is a disqualified person) as examples supporting their broad (read "incorrect") statement that all private sales are exempt from background checks ... in an article about the "Internet loophole".

The piece goes on like this, conveniently obscuring the fact that a single subset of gun sales - intrastate private sales - isn't subject to Federal background check laws.

And then comes the state law aspect. They mention that 17 states have "closed the gun show loophole" while strongly implying that zero states have closed this newer, deadlier, "Internet loophole" when they're the same damned thing.

Meanwhile, as a resident of the People's Republic of Massachusetts, I have to document all private sales of firearms (of which I may perform four per year) and make sure they're to a lawful purchaser who, by virtue of the fact that I'm required to file his FID/LTC number on the transfer form, has undergone a background check and has not subsequently become disqualified.

But, hey, never let facts get in the way of a good story when you have guns to ban.

Related: Why Gun Owners Are Right to Fight Against Gun Control: The anti-gun crowd doesn't want "compromise." They want confiscation and control.

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posted by Andy at 04:47 PM

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