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Anatomy of a Felony

Provided to us courtesy of Mayor Bloomberg:

Investigator: “So, you’re not one of those, you know, dealer guys, right?”
Seller: “No. No tax, no form, you don’t have to do transfers or nothing.”
Investigator: “Yeah, yeah.”
Seller: “Just see an Arizona ID and that’s it with me.”
Investigator: “So no background check?”
Seller: “No.”
Investigator: “That’s good, because I probably couldn’t pass one, you know what I mean?”
The seller sold the gun for $500.

This transaction is already a felony under existing federal law. Why is this a case for new laws? If the guy’s going to sell the gun anyway, is he going to give a crap if the law requires a background check on top of it? More from John Richardson here. They keep saying these transactions are legal, but they aren’t.

26 Responses to “Anatomy of a Felony”

  1. Freiheit says:

    I don’t care how much money is changing hands, I’m not risking my ass selling a gun to someone who tells me outright they couldn’t pass a background check. I may not be under any legal obligation or liability, but to me its wrong. Its all but saying “I am not legally allowed to own what you’re selling me” . That doesn’t help our community build a case for self-regulation or de-regulation of gun sales.

  2. I don’t care how much money is changing hands, I’m not risking my ass selling a gun to someone who tells me outright they couldn’t pass a background check.

    And you probably wouldn’t work as a pimp, or sell meth to children. But there are plenty of people who will, out of ideology or to make some quick money. That is part of why there is a case for reasonable laws (not the kind Bloomberg wants) to punish this sort of thing.

  3. j t bolt says:

    Fixed:

    Felon: “So, you’re not one of those, you know, dealer guys, right?”
    Duped Seller: “No. No tax, no form, you don’t have to do transfers or nothing.”
    Felon: “Yeah, yeah.”
    Duped Seller: “Just see an Arizona ID and that’s it with me.”
    Felon: “So no background check?”
    Duped Seller: “No.”
    Felon: “That’s good, because I probably couldn’t pass one, you know what I mean?”

  4. Chas says:

    Isn’t it a non-sequitor for Bloomberg to stress the importance of a background check after Loughner passed his background check?
    Bloomie is doing more of the same thing that he’s been doing – trying to move us towards the registration of all guns that would be required to enforce the requirement for all gun sales to go through a dealer for a NICS check prior to transfer. To enforce the criminalization of private sales that they have planned, they need to have a list that ties every gun in America to a gun owner, so that they can prove unlawful transfer.

    NICS = Junk, because any unincarcerated criminal or mental case who wants a gun can get one, because they can just keep trying until they do. Emperor NICS has no clothes!

  5. Freiheit says:

    Has Brady or MAIG responded to concerns that registration has historically been a precursor to confiscation? UK, Germany, etc.

  6. Sigivald says:

    Freiheit said: I’m not risking my ass selling a gun to someone who tells me outright they couldn’t pass a background check. I may not be under any legal obligation or liability, but to me its wrong.

    Bravo on having moral standards.

    But on the other hand, you actually do have liability under the law in such a case.

    (18 USC 922 (D) prohibits anyone, dealer or not, from transferring a firearm knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that they’re one of a list of things [felon, crazy, addict, illegal alien, etc.] that is identical with “not able to pass the background check”, since the NICS check is designed specifically with that list in mind.)

  7. BigHayden says:

    Uh, aren’t Bloomberg’s “investigators” committing federal felonies by purchasing handguns in another state? For somebody who claims to be about closing loopholes, he seems to have no issues committing crimes to “make a point”. He and his “investigators” should be arrested and jailed.

  8. Sebastian says:

    If you look at the video, it would seem their investigators are Arizona residents.

  9. Pat says:

    FOR heaven’s sake – they’ve got a picture of a Glock 23 (.40 S&W) marked as a 9mm for the story picture.

    Do they even read a story before it goes to print?

  10. Mobo says:

    I see no reason why a background check requirement would make it necessary to tie a name to every gun. Why should anybody have to prove that they complied with the background check requirement? Shouldn’t it be the opposite, where prosecutors have to prove that a sale went forward without the check before charging the seller with a crime? Yes, it would be more difficult to prosecute violators, but it SHOULD be hard to put people in jail.

    It would be a simple matter to set up sting operations to catch violators. The police would just have to work harder, as it should be anyway.

  11. Paul Kanesky says:

    I think it would be a good idea to identify the seller and verify he is not a Bloomberg stooge for a phoney staged video.
    It is not beyond the realm of possibility for this to be staged.
    If real, both the seller and purchaser should be prosecuted, as it is my understanding that the purchaser was a NYC cop.
    Paul in Texas

  12. Carl from Chicago says:

    And the reaction to this “undercover” work is just as they had hoped.

    Headlines across the nation are blaring “GUN DEALERS ARE SELLING GUNS WITHOUT BACKGROUND CHECKS.”

    Bloomie knows how to play the media … especially when they are in his pocket.

  13. Chas says:

    “I see no reason why a background check requirement would make it necessary to tie a name to every gun.”

    It would be impossible to prosecute people for making private sales that simply ignored the mandatory background check.
    The anti’s would complain that people were breaking the law, and that there was no way to catch them at it, and the anti’s would be correct about that.
    Without having every gun in America registered in the name of the owner, anyone could buy a gun with no check and then just claim that they had it all along. The feds would have to have a list of names tied to make, model and serial number, so they could prosecute illegal transfers.
    Any transfer without a check would be illegal, but who would want to have to drive to a dealer, show ID, fill out the 2-page form, wait for the NICS check and pay the dealer $40 for the transfer, when all they wanted to do was just swap the money for the gun like we do now. People would just laugh at the NICS requirement and complete their private transfer anyway.
    NICS needs to go away, not be expanded to all transfers at gun shows, because the next expansion will be to all private sales, and if that happens, then mandatory federal registration of all guns will have to follow “to make it work” because it will be laughed at otherwise – the anti’s will see to it.

  14. emdfl says:

    Dunno why he bothered to send his goons all the way down to Arizona. They probably could have done the same job in New York faster, for less money, and with less talking.

  15. Shawn says:

    And bloomberg did this “sting” with his own city’s budget money… Didn’t he pull this crap in your state and was told to stop?

    I wonder how the NYC police, fire and other services like those who remove the SNOW would feel about that? I wonder how the VOTERS would feel about that? If they knew…

    New York City’s projected budget deficit for 2012 may increase to $4.5 billion from $2 billion. That’s more than some STATES. And this POS goes and spends the cities budget money for a “sting” in a state he has NOTHING to do with to blood dance and push something that had NOTHING to do with the Tuscon trajedy? Calling him a self serving asshole doesn’t even BEGIN to describe him right now.

    Its so disgusting that I can fathom the words but I’m pretty sure even here my comment would get removed. Even directed at bloomberg.

    And yet the idiots in NYC will keep on voting for him until he dies of old age or goes senile because I really doubt he’ll EVER retire in grace at least like Daley did.

  16. Jujube says:

    Chas,

    They don’t need a registration to stop private sales. They could have “paid informants” trolling for people who want to do a private sale. Once enough private sellers get jail time, people learn that it’s not safe to do private sales.

  17. Chas says:

    “…people learn that it’s not safe to do private sales.”

    People would still be selling to friends and relatives without a NICS check despite it being mandatory. The anti’s would use that to push for registration, and once they got that, they would push for confiscation.

  18. anon says:

    The question they never ask: If you have someone you KNOW wouldn’t pass a background check, why are they walking the streets at all?

  19. Carl from Chicago says:

    #Jujube Said (February 1st, 2011 at 8:02 am):
    They don’t need a registration to stop private sales. They could have “paid informants” trolling for people who want to do a private sale. Once enough private sellers get jail time, people learn that it’s not safe to do private sales.

    You’re advocating jail time for folks who sell guns privately in their own state to fellow state citizens? Goddamn. Talk about a gross missallocation of effort and resources. Why up in Chicago they let repeat violent offenders OUT of jail because they don’t have enough room! I don’t know who you are, Jujube, but this is quite literally one of the stupidest comments I have ever read.

  20. Blake says:

    If only Bloomberg were as zealous about snow removal as he is about gun control.

    Evidently, it doesn’t register with Bloomberg that a heavy snow fall can have a more immediate impact on life expectancy in New York than a gun purchased 2,500 miles away in another state.

  21. adder says:

    I hope there are teams of undercover Arizona investigators en route to NYC to entrap and videotape health inspectors, building inspectors, and all the other bribe-taking bureaucrats who thrive under Mr. Bloomberg while he worries about Arizonans buying guns.

  22. Lee says:

    Only licensed dealers are required to run a background check for basic firearms sales.

    As a frequent attendee at Arizona’s gun shows, I can verify that private, person-to-person sales occur on a regular basis. Often sellers will sport their firearm descriptions on signs they attach to backpacks, etc., to attract buyers. It’s no different than selling a handgun to a cousin or office colleague except that it occurs at a place where those who enjoy firearms tend to gather in great numbers, thus offering a greater potential for a sale.

    When you have a firearm that retails for $500 and you sell it to a dealer, he will only buy it for a lower price that guarantees him a profit when he sells the item at market value.

    On the other hand, selling directly to another citizen is both legal and economically sensible. Why would I give away $100-$150 of value by selling to a dealer when I can get full price, or at worst a slightly discounted price for my property which I am legally selling?

    As a side note, I carry regularly – either concealed or open as suits my mood or the circumstance – with never a problem. In fact, open carry is a visual “Don’t tread on me!” that informs the predatory that if they want a piece of me, they will be in for the whole package. I’m too fragile to take a stompin’ – healing takes longer when you’re over 65 – and Mr. Glock is a great equalizer when faced with youth, size, and aggressive intent.

    For the record, I’ve never drawn my weapon in any situation although I did once grip and loosen it in its holster when confronting an knife-armed burglar attempting to break into my home. I doubt I would have had the perp’s instant compliance if I’d been unarmed.

  23. Old Easterner says:

    I don’t want to sell to a felon either.

    Why can’t they put a mark on Drivers Licenses to indicate Felons (and other DQs).

    Easy and cheap with minor implications for DMVs and courts (who’d collect licenses on convictions).

  24. Ash says:

    No felony. The Bloomberg release clearly says the PI’s were AZ residents. I’ve seen no evidence they sent the gun back to NY either.

  25. Sebastian says:

    There’s no felony on the part of the buy if he was not actually prohibited. There is one on the part of the seller, who had reason to believe the buyer was prohibited.

  26. mobo says:

    @Chas:

    Think about it:

    If it’s truly necessary to retain a record tying every gun to a name, in order to prove that it was sold with a backgroud check, it should follow that it is also necessary for the police to perform surprise inspections at a buyer’s home to make sure that the purchaser is in not in fact a straw buyer. After all, there’s no telling what happens to a gun after the buyer takes posession. There is no end to where this might lead.

    I still maintain that the police should have to prove that a sale was made illegally, and not the other way around, where the buyer and seller must prove otherwise.

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  1. SayUncle » Bloomberg’s Felonies - [...] recent gun show “investigations” are already felonies under existing law. Despite the press and anti-gunners (but I repeat myself) …
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