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Monday, January 28, 2013

Meet the Gun Show Loophole!

Posted by on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 at 6:55 AM

It wouldve been illegal for me to sell these kids a beer. But a gun? No problem!
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • Alex, Rich, and David couldn't buy a beer without showing ID. But a gun? No problem!

Alex, Rich, and David seem like some awfully nice young men. They are friendly, well spoken, and knowledgable. About guns.

The three took the ferry in from Bremerton on Saturday morning, joining dozens of other private buyers in the streets surrounding Seattle's gun buyback event, hoping to snag a few deals on some unwanted weapons. "I just want to save some of these beautiful guns from being destroyed," David told me as they waved their signs at the cars lining up along James Street. David says he's a collector, and assures me that he keeps all of his guns safely secured. And I don't doubt him.

But then, what do I know? David could be a total sociopath. (Probably not, but sociopaths are great at faking normal.) Or perhaps he's a convicted felon or has a restraining order against him (again, probably not). Yet none of that would have stopped him from paying cash for guns on a downtown Seattle street corner—no background check, no waiting period, no questions asked.

That is the so-called "gun show loophole" that exempts private gun sales from otherwise mandatory background checks. Alex, Rich, and David couldn't legally buy a beer without showing ID (Alex doesn't look old enough to legally buy beer, period), but there's no such restriction when it comes to them buying guns. Hand them a gun and they hand you some cash. Perfectly legal.

And fucking crazy, regardless of how sane, law abiding, and responsible Alex, Rich, and David may seem.


Comments (58) RSS

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@57 You are so right. They are fun. It is not about being able to defend myself or my family. It is not about one of the rights that was provided in the Constitution.

But truly it is about the fun, oh especially the fun of imagining the boogie man is what I am taking aim at and not some paper target.
Posted by The I.B.A. on February 5, 2013 at 5:33 PM · Report this

lol, yeah your firearms will protect you from a drone strike. and your shooting club gives you the skills to defend yourself against active duty military and police. stopping tyrany? history has shown that organized people acting togther don't need weapons to stop tyranny - facebook is much more of a threat to tyrants than your little pea shooter. at least admit what this is about - guns are fun and make you feel powerful, even when you are not.
Posted by asymptoticbliss on January 31, 2013 at 3:40 AM · Report this
@55 I'm simply summarizing what Antonin Scalia and his homies have to say about the Second Amendment. If you don't like it complain to them.

BTW Sen. Feinstein's bill wouldn't ban semi-automatic weapons. It would ban semi-automatic rifles capable of accepting detachable box magazines and which have at least one other 'military' feature such as a pistol grip or flash suppressor.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 30, 2013 at 9:11 AM · Report this
GeneStoner 55
@53 Ken Mehlman--You are just factually wrong and dangerously ignorant.

"Machine Guns," defined as multiple bullets shot with one pull of the trigger, are already HIGHLY regulated, though they can be had in certain states (not WA); same with "Sawed Off Shotguns," defined as shotguns with a barrel length shorter than 18-inches. Basically they are both illegal here in WA, though no more dangerous than any other gun, which are all SUPPOSED to be dangerous.

Semi-auto guns, defined by one bullet shot with one pull of the trigger (just like your mom's revolver) are the most common weapons in the world, so no, they are not "unusual" at all. "Assault Weapons" are predominantly SEMI-auto her in the US.

Yes, guns are supposed to be dangerous, that’s what they do, though they are not inherently evil as many people on this blog think.

Posted by GeneStoner on January 30, 2013 at 12:24 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 54
Oh, I don't think so, Ken. Considering that about 80% of all the guns in America are semi-automatic, and Feinstein would ban all of them, I think that's pretty highly unconstitutional.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on January 29, 2013 at 10:23 PM · Report this
@42 5 out of 9 Supreme Court Justices surveyed say the "well regulated militia" part of the Second Amendment doesn't matter and that it's the "shall not be infringed" part that counts. The Hellar decision says that the Second Amendment doesn't protect an individual's right to own "dangerous and unusual" weapons such as machine guns and sawed off shotguns. Hence, an assault weapons ban like the one Sen. Feinstein has proposed would probably be deemed constitutional. Still, after Citizens United you never know!
Posted by Ken Mehlman on January 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 52
What do you not get about the phrase "the Right of THE PEOPLE" ?
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 29, 2013 at 4:32 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 51
@50- Though your comment starts with "@49" it has nothing to do with my comment. Perhaps that was a typo.

I was just pointing out that by your understanding of the intention of "well regulated militia" in the 2nd Amendment, it would seem that we are only guaranteed the right to keep and bear those arms used in our militia duties.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on January 29, 2013 at 4:02 PM · Report this
GeneStoner 50
49-- Rhetorical question: If you had to fight against a tyrannical government, who was armed with scary “Assault Weapons” (silly terminology) and other implements of modern warfare, would you not want to have reasonable parity by having the same sorts of weapons?

The 2nd Amendment ain’t about hunting folks; it is the palladium of all other God-given liberties elucidated in the Bill of Rights.
Posted by GeneStoner on January 29, 2013 at 3:57 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 49
@48- So perhaps not issued, but militia approved at the very least?
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on January 29, 2013 at 12:59 PM · Report this
GeneStoner 48
The US Constitution is silent on the militia ISSUING anything. Militias tend to be grass-rootsy...
Posted by GeneStoner on January 29, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 47
@46- So what you're saying is the US Constitution guarantees us the right keep and bear the arms the militia issues to us?

That's in line with my interpretation.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on January 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM · Report this
GeneStoner 46
#42 Goldy

Back in the 18th century, a “regular” army meant an army that had standard military equipment. So a “well regulated” army was simply one that was “well equipped” and organized. It does not refer to a professional army.

The 17th century folks used the term “standing army” or “regulars” to describe a professional army. Therefore, “a well regulated militia” only means a well equipped militia that was organized and maintained internal discipline. It does not imply the modern meaning of “regulated,” which means controlled or administered by some superior entity.

Federal control over the militia comes from other parts of the Constitution, but not from the Second Amendment.
Posted by GeneStoner on January 29, 2013 at 10:22 AM · Report this
GeneStoner 45
#34 catsnbanjos

"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials." — George Mason

"A militia, when properly formed, are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms." — Richard Henry Lee

"The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age…" — Title 10, Section 331 of the U.S. Code

Don't worry, we will let you draft-dodge this one also...
Posted by GeneStoner on January 29, 2013 at 10:16 AM · Report this
GeneStoner 44
And there is where your logic ends.

Whether it be guns or sudafed, it is not the inanimate object that is the problem, it is what is in the heart and mind of man.

A lunatic or a criminal do not follow laws by nature, so more so-called "gun control" (or sudafed control) will not do a damn thing.

Posted by GeneStoner on January 29, 2013 at 10:03 AM · Report this
@Goldy re:#36

I'm not dancing a jig. In fact, I respect you quite a lot, despite our differences on gun control.

I knew that somebody would point out the lack of background checks on private sales.

Trouble is, would it really help much? It would certainly work with law abiding citizens, but would it work with criminals?

It seems like saying, 'Although ID restrictions on Sudafed are a good idea, if we made mandatory government checks on private sales, we could stop the meth epidemic!'
Posted by CPN on January 28, 2013 at 10:52 PM · Report this
Goldy 42
I don't need to refute you, your college socialist level opinion has already be refuted by The Bill of Rights.

What don't you get about the phrase "well regulated"?
Posted by Goldy on January 28, 2013 at 4:47 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 41
If the sales are unregulated with no paperwork and no record of transaction how can you possibly say that it accounts for 40% of the market?

I know you got the statistic from Ronald Reagan's favorite vegetable's campaign to prevent gun violence. Where did they get it? Well they made it up, you would find that they have quite the history of this sort of thing if you bothered to check your sources.

You call yourself a Journalist?
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 28, 2013 at 3:45 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 40

Yeah. Paying attention to creepy guys out in the open on the sidewalk holding up a huge sign saying "I'm a sketchy creep and I love guns!" It's the same as Stalin!
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 28, 2013 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 39
Nice to see that you are in favor of a surveillance state spying on it's citizens.

I don't need to refute you, your college socialist level opinion has already be refuted by The Bill of Rights. Now don't you have something more important to do, like lick the boots of some nanny state politicians.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 28, 2013 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 38

And it certainly doesn't violate any rules for the FBI, ATF, and DHS to take a few pictures of these gun dorks lining the sidewalks and flag that for future reference.

When you're trying to sift though millions of profiles to try to anticipate where the next domestic terrorist or crazed gunman is coming from, it helps to have mugshots of the jackasses who are members of the nuttiest 10 percent demographic.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 28, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
Goldy 37
@28 Oh, well, you just called this post "yellow journalism" without explication, so I suppose folks can just dismiss everything I wrote. You sure refuted me.
Posted by Goldy on January 28, 2013 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Goldy 36
@33 Yeah, go ahead, dance your jig. But what it really did was bring the no-background-check market out into the open. Forty percent of gun sales are between private individuals; this stuff goes on all the time. Indeed, the Wisconsin mall shooter bought the gun he used to kill his wife from a private seller just days after a court issued a restraining order forcing him to surrender his guns.

If all we get from this buyback is greater public awareness and support for closing this "gun show loophole," then it was worth it just for that.
Posted by Goldy on January 28, 2013 at 2:43 PM · Report this
#26 - yep, roughly 110 million white American males, and we're all privileged and we're all on the wrong side of history. Cuz things are simple like that!
Posted by catsnbanjos on January 28, 2013 at 1:47 PM · Report this
#24 - I'm not in any fucking militia, I can tell you that. All of us are considered the whom, exactly? And if every one of us is in the militia already, how on earth is it "well-regulated"?
Posted by catsnbanjos on January 28, 2013 at 1:40 PM · Report this
I think it's more than a little ironic that a feel-good gun buyback program had the unintended consequence of creating an informal, no-background-check open-air gun market under a freeway overpass where previously none existed...

Way to go!
Posted by CPN on January 28, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 32

DAWWW, it's cute when you try to speak for others.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 31

The short answer is that nobody believes a word you say. You're a lone kook in your mother's basement making up stories about your awesome pretend life. Advice: go outside.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM · Report this
sirkowski 30
There guys have issues. (Penis issues.)
Posted by sirkowski on January 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM · Report this
#19 and #27, you do realize that the "progressives" have no actual interest in controlling guns or reducing violence, do you not?
Posted by Mister G on January 28, 2013 at 12:21 PM · Report this
Cascadian Bacon 28
Nice yellow journalism goldy. It reminds me a lot of my time with the anti war movement. The media would typically try to interview the youngest people they could find in order to take advantage of their inexperience.

Unfortunately I didn't see you there, I would have declined an interview with a polite, "fuck off", and would let other people know who you were and what you are up too. I did grant interviews with other organizations who show less bias.

Another funny thing is that private buyers were actually turning away people with worthless firearms, telling they they would be better off at the buyback, also quite a few firearms owners were bringing in their worthless junk and laughed with us about turning their broken single shot 20ga for $100.

Also the Street sweeper was not the only semi automatic shotgun there, my buddy picked up a pre 1932 Browning Auto 5 semi auto shotgun for a fraction of the value. A hand made a piece of history with John Moses Browning himself engraved on the side plate was saved from the smelters.

Really I do hope another buyback happens, we had a great time. Afterwards we grilled burgers while the sun set over the Olympics, then went to the hill and caught the Ononos playing at the art show in the old BMW dealership. A good day was had by all.

What about Jewish males like myself and one of my companions at the event, and what about the African Americans, Aisians, Woman, and US soldiers, Marines and others who were purchasing firearms from those in line for the buy back.

My regular shooting group contains a group of people who cross the spectrum or races, religions, nationalities, sexes and sexual identities. But your remark is what I have come to expect from racist totalitarianism supporting bigots such as yourself.
Posted by Cascadian Bacon on January 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Have any of you folks actually read the Washington State Constitution? Section 24 is even more explicit about arms for personal defense than the 2nd Amendment. It reads "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired,.." Furthermore recent litigation (McDonald v. Chicago, District of Columbia v. Heller) before the US Supreme Court has affirmed an individual right to firearms ownership. I wish the folks clamoring for gun bans would make an honest intellectual effort to understand the issues involved or at least admit that they are too emotional about the issue to contribute to the discussion. It would help if the press could refrain from hyping the existence of inert/expended single use missile launchers and actually fact check what they publish about guns.
Posted by restlessnative on January 28, 2013 at 11:49 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 26

Indeed. Our out of control gun culture is the result of corporate greed. The arms makers want to sell anything and everything to anybody, no matter how fucked in the head. They want corporations to be treated as persons with a free speech right to sell guns to children, using movies, games, whatever, with any level of mayhem and glorified violence. The don't want to see science conducted with public money for the public good -- that might conclude that guns galore is unhealthy. They don't want the ATF to do its job; they want private security, answerable to those who pay them.

That corporate power center is the white male power center. White males are busy defending their privilege in the face of minorities and women who want a better life for themselves. "White male" is a pejorative because white males are standing on the wrong side of history.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 28, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
GeneStoner 25
The Libs just cannot control their ad hominem remarks about gun owners, yet ceaselessly pontificate about being tolerant. Hypocritical beyond belief.

The fact that "White Male" is a pejorative term now is classic Lib-think. Just because someone looks young does not mean he cannot legally own a gun and buy a beer. Yet another example of how Libs think. Sooooo hypocritical.

Seems to me that a larger percentage of "White Males" are actually defending the Constitution, versus other segments of society...
Posted by GeneStoner on January 28, 2013 at 11:09 AM · Report this
GeneStoner 24
#9 & 10 Seriously? Porn is free and readily available on your computer, and Fireworks? Just head down to the Rez and they will hook you up.

MOST gun transactions that take place are done under the auspices of the BATF.

#21, All of us are considered the Militia BTW. Even you.

Posted by GeneStoner on January 28, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 23

The second amendment is not relevant to any viable proposal that is on the table now or in the foreseeable future. We are far, far away from crossing that line.

Maybe your opinion is that the Second Amendent guarantees your right to a gun, but that's not what it says. It says there is a right to bear arms, but within the context of a well regulated militia. That's the traditional interpretation for 200 years. The bottom line of that is Congress gets to define what "arms" are and what "well regulated" means. Does "arms" mean semi-automatic handguns? Rifles? It doesn't say.

Aside from judicial activists who want to make things up that aren't there. I grant you there's a lot of judicial activism that needs to be flushed before we get back to reality.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 28, 2013 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Unregistered User 22
@16 Almost, ALMOST no insults about Bremerton. Thanks anonytroll!
Posted by Unregistered User on January 28, 2013 at 10:31 AM · Report this
Where are these "well-regulated militias" I keep reading so much about?
Posted by tiktok on January 28, 2013 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 20
"arms" are weapons, in particular firearms, but not ONLY firearms. swords are arms. bazookas are arms. we REGULATE the ability of the citizenry to carry automatic firearms and other military arms already.

further regulation is permissable under the 2nd, as long as it doesn't "infringe" on the right of militias to KBA for the purpose of defending white women & children from slave rebellions.
Posted by Max Solomon on January 28, 2013 at 10:07 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 19
@15: If you think the Constitution has little relevance to a gun control debate, you are just ignoring reality, and if you do not think the document means "guns" when it says "arms," you are really reaching now.

The point is that the constitution guarantees you the right to own a gun, but does not guarantee your right to have beer, or cold medicine. So it is not surprising that these things are more heavily restricted, as it is easier to use the courts to pass restrictions on them, because they do not bring up constitutional issues.

In your rush to start an argument with someone you erringly saw as disagreeing with some point you have made somewhere, you completely missed my point, and are not even on topic.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 28, 2013 at 9:35 AM · Report this
Couldn't happen in CA!
Posted by LukeJoe on January 28, 2013 at 9:29 AM · Report this
rob! 17
@2, indeed. San Diego 1995.
Posted by rob! on January 28, 2013 at 9:08 AM · Report this
"let the adults talk"

You mean the adults who think a bunch of white trash rednecks from Bremerton trading guns in downtown Seattle for Amazon gift cards will make an impact on the urban thug culture that is responsible for 50-70% of Seattle murders year in year out? Those adults?
Posted by That must explain why you wear Depends on January 28, 2013 at 9:07 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 15

Arms, you mean. It doesn't say gun. As part of a well regulated militia. The Constitution does not say alcohol and drugs must be well regulated, but it does specifically say that arms must be.

The Bill of Rights does not say speech and the press and religion must be well regulated. That is a special status specifically called out for arms.

Even under Anton Scalia's activist jurist view of the Second Amendment, you could require all handguns be registered in a national database, and all gun owners get a license requiring training and a sanity check.

Nobody has proposed going even that far. Realistic gun control goals even for several years down the road don't go that far. So your point about the Constitution is of little relevance.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 28, 2013 at 8:57 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 14
I do not know why everyone is surprised that certain things (alcohol, cold medicine) are more restricted than guns.

Owning a gun is a natural and inalienable right, according to the law of the land.

Booze and cold medicine are not inalienable rights.

For better or for worse, that is the law of the land. It is not surprising at all.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 28, 2013 at 8:46 AM · Report this
@10: Young, white, men can flaunt their guns (or their knives) with relatively little risk of being shot in the back by a cop for having done so. If your skin is darker, you're probably going to keep your gun collecting on the down-low out of self-preservation.
Posted by Phil M on January 28, 2013 at 8:27 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 12
Oh, those poor, poor guns. They need an ad with Sally Struthers in tears "Please won't you help save these precious adorable guns! For every gun you adopt you will receive a photo, and updates of your adopted gun's progress! Please, won't you think of the guns?
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on January 28, 2013 at 8:26 AM · Report this
@7: You don't have to do any of that if you instead purchase your pseudoephedrine from your friend who doesn't work at a pharmacy.
Posted by Phil M on January 28, 2013 at 8:18 AM · Report this
theophrastus 10
An excellent posting - thank you, (leaves one wanting more).

For instance, (dammit), why do a significant majority of these "nice" folks all seem drawn from such a narrow slice of society? (young white males)
Posted by theophrastus on January 28, 2013 at 8:13 AM · Report this
It's harder to get fireworks and porn than it is to get guns. That is a problem...
Posted by Random Poster on January 28, 2013 at 8:11 AM · Report this
Is Alex even 18? He doesn't look like he's old enough to own a gun.
Posted by Gidge on January 28, 2013 at 7:47 AM · Report this
To buy allergy pills like sudafed, I have to hand over my license, which gets put into a log and/or run through a database to see if I'm a frequent buyer. The pills are kept behind the counter and kids cannot buy them. Access to a decongestant is more regulated than guns are.
Posted by StuckInUtah on January 28, 2013 at 7:36 AM · Report this
internet_jen 6
these are mass produced items, I don't see the appeal of 'saving' a handful.
Posted by internet_jen on January 28, 2013 at 7:33 AM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 5
When your side's only case is race-baiting, name-calling, and baffling stupidity, you have lost and it is past time to shut the fuck up and let the adults talk.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on January 28, 2013 at 7:29 AM · Report this
Hey Goldy, bad news, a gun was used last night! Of course, by the usual suspects in the CD, none of whom were in line yesterday:

"A man shot two people at a popular Central District nightclub late Sunday, and Seattle police later fatally shot the man as they entered the bar.

Two others were taken to Harborview Medical Center, said Kyle Moore, spokesman for the Seattle Fire Department.

The shooting took place at the Twilight Exit on East Cherry Street just after 10 p.m., Seattle police said."
Posted by Talk about gun nuts in the CD? on January 28, 2013 at 7:25 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 3
For some reason I assumed there was at least paperwork involved. Doesn't this completely remove the anti-buyback arguments? There goes all your evidence for cold cases you could have solved. Turns out you can just list your murder weapon on Craig's list, or sell it to any random guy on the street.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on January 28, 2013 at 7:24 AM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 2
Can I buy an M1 Abrams while we're at it? I'll never have to worry about traffic on I-5 again.
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on January 28, 2013 at 7:24 AM · Report this
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