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Private Transfer Ban Fails in Illinois

This doesn’t bode well chances of national passage of the same measure if it can’t pass in Obama’s home state of Illinois.  Just to understand what the consequences of this measure is, it cost me 35 dollars to get TD’s FAL from Michigan because I had to pay an FFL for their time to handle the transfer for me.  I don’t know of any FFL in the area who will do a transfer for under 30 dollars, and most of them are charging 40 and 50 dollars for a transfer.

The price is high because in Pennsylvania, it is unlawful to transfer a handgun without going through an FFL or the local Sheriff.  People still do it, but they are, most of them unknowingly, committing a second degree misdemeanor.  Dealers don’t typically want a lot transfer business.  In other states, dealers don’t deal with transfers often, so are happy to take ten or twenty bucks to cover their time and trouble, and don’t have to worry about the opportunity cost of processing a lot of transfer applications. 

That dynamic changes once everyone who wants to transfer a gun needs to come to you to do it.  That ends up cutting into selling people guns.  So what do you do?  Jack the price of a transfer up to reduce the opportunity cost.  Other dealers will be in the same boat and do the same thing.  And who can compete to lower the price?  It’s not like you can go to the ATF, get an FFL, and start a transfer processing business out of your living room.  Clinton put and end to that.  To get a dealer FFL, you need to run a business with regular store hours.

Banning private sales would make transferring firearms under certain conditions economically infeasible, which is probably the point.  It’s not like gang members will care, and suddenly start process their gats through local FFLs.

2 Responses to “Private Transfer Ban Fails in Illinois”

  1. Melancton Smith says:

    The IL bill capped the fee at $10, no doubt a money loser for dealers.

  2. Don Gwinn says:

    You’re right about the costs, but it’s also a Catch-22 for their side. Last year, the argument was that this measure was an unfair tax on gun owners.
    This year they limited the transfer fee to $10 per transaction . . . and it turned out that dealers weren’t charging $25-50 per transaction just because they could; they’d be losing money at $10 per.

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