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Reporting Stolen Guns

Requiring people to report stolen guns, or else, seems to be the latest trend in stopping illegal trafficing.   I’ve yet to figure out exactly how this works, other than adding a new way for legal gun ownership to land otherwise law abiding people in jail:

Gun-control advocates and public safety officials say the laws will close a loophole on illegal trafficking. California requires a 10-day waiting period for gun purchases, so authorities can run background checks on applicants. But nothing forbids someone who passes a background check from selling guns to someone who doesn’t, an act known as a “straw purchase.”

If by nothing they mean federal law that makes doing this a felony, then yeah, nothing forbids it.   Do reporters bother to do any research?  Or just say what sounds good, and hope for the best.

Such laws educate the public “and make gun owners a little more accountable,” Simi Valley Police Chief Mike Lewis said.

We’re already accountable enough, thank you.  You don’t think those 20,000 gun laws across the US are all aimed at criminals do you?

“Everybody should know where their gun is,” Heyne said, adding that the law doesn’t target responsible owners. “What we’re after are people who don’t know where their gun is or haven’t checked on it in years. This isn’t a hairbrush. This is a lethal instrument of death.”

Even I don’t do a complete inventory every other day.  Apparently the Pentagon doesn’t either.  Explain to me, oh anti-gun folks, exactly how is this meant to combat straw purchasing, which is already a felony?   I’d really like to know, especially since this crap is being peddled in my state legislature as we speak.

I should note, that as an FFL holder, I’m already required to report any thefts/losses to the ATF.  But one can be expected to know the laws that pertain to having the license.  I don’t expect some poor schmo that keeps a deer rifle in the attic to know much.

4 Responses to “Reporting Stolen Guns”

  1. Greg Morris says:

    If someone steals my guns, I’ll know about it and report it to police. So this is one of those laws that won’t affect me, unless it is worded strangely (which most of them are.) I understand that some illegal gun traffickers, when confronted by police say, “Oh, all those guns I bought? They all got, uh, stolen a year ago.” A law like this will allow the police to go after these guys. It is still dangerous, because you can theoretically make a victim of a crime into a criminal simply for failing to report the crime, which seems wrong, but I understand there is a better intention here. A law like this could be a good thing, if and only if it is well written so there is no way a law-abiding gun owner can be prosecuted. The problem is, I don’t see how that’s possible.

  2. Sebastian says:

    Yeah… how do you know the person is a straw purchaser? If he is, you nail him for that. If he isn’t, tough titty, he’s not a criminal. It seems we already have laws that can deal with this issue. This is just a way to make it easier to prosecute. Unfortunately, it makes it easier to prosecute anybody, whether they have criminal intent or not.

  3. Kristopher says:

    This is simply an excuse to hammer non-FFL sales in jurisdictions where private sales are unlawful.

    If a firearm used in a crime gets tracked back to you, you either admit you sold it, or claim it was lost or stolen.

  4. straightarrow says:

    If you buy a gun from a dealer and later sell it to a private individual you have not participated in a strawman purchase. You have merely made a private sale of personal property.

    A strawman purchase is committed when one buys as an agent of a prohibited person, period. It is not even a strawman purchase if one buys a firearm with express intention of passing possession of it to another person, so long as that person is not a prohibited person. It is merely a gift. The receiving party must be a prohibited person for it to be a strawman purchase.

    One caveat, if one is buying for another and expects to be reimbursed for the purchase price, he must falsely answer question 11 on form 4473 for the sale to be completed, which is a crime. If the immediate previous situation is in effect and the respondent on form 4473 answers truthfully that he is not the “actual buyer” of the firearm, then the sale will not be completed. These situations still do meet the definition of “strawman purchase” unless the actual recipient is a prohibited person.

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