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Ignorance About Gun Sales

It’s a real shame to see a new media source like Town Hall making some of the same, ignorant mistakes as the old media when it comes to gun laws. Terry Jeffery has done just that in his concern we’re selling guns and explosives to foreign terrorists. I have some good news for you Terry. Under federal law, it’s illegal for foreign nationals to purchase firearms, whether they are on the terror watch list or not. The only exception are those who are permanent residents living in the United States. And don’t act so shocked an explosives license was issued. Likely a case of mistaken identity, like if his company were called “Kennedy Demolition,” and his name was Ted. That’s right, Terry. You see, terrorists don’t exactly tend to have social security numbers, you know. It’s just a list of names. But you did you research on this beforehand, I’m sure.

7 Responses to “Ignorance About Gun Sales”

  1. Sigivald says:

    Form 4473’s “exceptions to 11.i” list includes non-residents with a hunting license.

    So that’s a pretty big exception there.

    One I see absolutely no reason to imagine that any terrorists are taking advantage of, what with lax border security and the ease of acquiring machine guns and assault rifles outside the US, but it is an exception.

  2. Jake says:

    One thing I found recently that’s good to bring up whenever someone starts talking about using the no-fly list to stop gun sales: Federal Air Marshals have been prevented from boarding their assigned flights because their names happened to be on the list. These lists are useless for anything but harassing people, because they only contain names.

    And that doesn’t even begin to address the whole “due process” part of it.

  3. Ash says:

    Which federal law prohibits non-citizens from purchasing firearms (outside of the green card and hunting license exceptions)? My understanding is that legal non-immigrants (e.g. TN, H1B visa) could buy a firearm as long as they have been here 90 days and pass a background check.

    WA State has an Alien Firearms License specifically for non-citizens without a green card which would seem to run counter to the idea that federal law bans such.

  4. Diomed says:

    As Sigivald mentioned, a non-immigrant alien can legally acquire a firearm if they have a hunting license. There are also other ways, but the HL is the easiest and most common.

    A non-immigrant alien (including someone who’s never set foot in the US) can even be a responsible person on a FFL.

    The federal gun laws are, simply, weird.

  5. dustydog says:

    When you say terrorists don’t have social security numbers, I take it you mean legitimate numbers. The black market in identity fraud is a very real problem.

    The Social Security Administration hasn’t yet announced the results of their investigations into SSA administrators selling numbers to commit fraud (I believe the story broke 207).

  6. Ash says:

    Getting a legit SSN is fairly quick even if you are here on a non-immigrant visa.

    The original post is wrong in saying “Under federal law, it’s illegal for foreign nationals to purchase firearms, whether they are on the terror watch list or not. The only exception are those who are permanent residents living in the United States. “

  7. Sebastian says:

    I was wrong about the hunting license exception. If someone here on a non-immigrant visa buys a gun using a social security number, that’s an illegal purchase.

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