Unintended Consequences

Ian points out a good reason there’s a problems with people dealing without a license:

And, for further pain; a lot of the gun show table dealers who would get FFLs can’t since the purge of the ‘table dealers from the FFL rolls in the 90′s; because of the “fixed place of business” requirement.

It’s a catch-22, the gun-show dealers can’t get FFLs without a place of business, but they don’t have (and in most cases wouldn’t want) a fixed place of business. Government “regulation” forces otherwise legitimate dealers “underground”.

That’s a good point. I would actually hold a type 01 FFL (dealer) rather than a type 03 FFL (C&R) if they were easier to get, because I don’t like having to deal with markups from middle men. We’ve have, to some degree deliberately, kept the entire firearms business in the 1950s as far as technology and business models are concerned. The reason is that both sides are scared to death to modernize things, but for different reasons.

19 thoughts on “Unintended Consequences”

  1. Another problem with closing the “gun show loophole” regards federal authority. I keep thinking that the most significant obstacle the gun banners face is that private transfers at gun shows or anywhere else are necessarily intrastate commerce, as federal law prohibits intrastate commerce absent an FFL.

    I suspect that states can demand background checks on private transfers, but I fail to see where the fed would have the authority to regulate what is strictly, and by law, intrastate commerce.

  2. Federal law prohibits INTERstate commerce absent an FFL. Sorry for the mistake.

  3. I would gladly become a registered dealer if the requirements for it weren’t so ridiculous.

    Not everyone can afford to rent out retail space just to buy and sell firearms. Most people couldn’t afford to staff such a place year-round. And many people live in areas where they couldn’t even open such a gun store because of local zoning ordinances.

    The reason there are unlicensed “dealers” is because becoming a licensed dealer is much more involved than merely selling guns honestly. It’s a huge investment of time, money and effort and it’s legally risky thanks to the ATFs hostile attitude towards the industry.

  4. One possible fix to the kitchen table dealer problem is to allow C&R licenses apply to all firearms, but with all the other requirements that apply to C&R remaining unchanged.

  5. I believe the consequences ate wholly intentional. Step one: shut down “kitchen table” ffl’s. Step two: shut down all FTF sales. Step three: wait for the remaining ffl’s to gradually go out of business.

  6. I should be able to buy a gun on the Internet and have it delivered to me directly, just like dealers do. There is no process in place to allow that, except for old guns (’03 FFL).
    Every gangbanger who wants a gun can get one, but all law-abiding gun owners have to go through dealer$.
    It’s a two-tier system. Quick and easy for criminals, but harassment after harassment after harassment for the law-abiding.

  7. Ian is correct, you can’t use a C&R to engage in the business, only to improve your collection. How far you can stretch that is a question I haven’t really researched. Gut feel says ordering two SKSs from a distributor and selling the uglier one to your buddy is probably OK. Buying 10 crates of Mosins and selling all but one at a mark-up on a table at a gun show is probably not.

  8. It really comes down to, what constitutes engaged in the business for livelihood and profit is what a jury can be convinced it is.

  9. Sebastian Said (January 3rd, 2011 at 4:40 pm):

    One possible fix to the kitchen table dealer problem …

    Another possible fix is to repeal the Gun Control Act.

  10. In California, you can declare a flea market space or a space at a show as a “fixed place of business.” If you do mulitple shows or flea markets, you need multiple resale licenses. You keep the same resale number, only the location changes, but you have a separate permit for each location.

    I don’t understand why this is a problem in other states?

  11. That seems a little odd; sounds like a court-inserted patch into a badly-written regulation. But CA would never need that, so…

  12. Jujube, that sounds like something for a CA business / retail license (I’m guessing connected with sales tax collection). I don’t see how this would have any effect on getting an FFL from BATFE.

  13. I fail to see where the fed would have the authority to regulate what is strictly, and by law, intrastate commerce.

    They don’t, but that’s never stopped them before. This probably falls under the “once it’s moved in interstate commerce it’s part of interstate commerce forever’ garbage and the “substantial effect on interstate commerce” garbage that they use to justify every other overreach.

  14. See Wickard v. Filburn where in 1942 the Supremes decided that Filburn’s wheat growing activities [on his farm for consumption on it] reduced the amount of wheat he would buy for chicken feed on the open market, and because wheat was traded nationally, Filburn’s production of more wheat than he was allotted was affecting interstate commerce, and so could be regulated by the federal government.

  15. Harold,

    I believe that Congress didn’t want to go that far back in 1968. They likely couldn’t muster enough votes if the law were to cover intrastate activity. Today’s Congress certainly believes they have the authority to regulate intrastate commerce without limit, though. Look no further than the repeated attempts to ban FTF firearm sales – I have not once seen anybody object to it on the boundaries of the commerce clause (other than on internet boards, that is).

    Here is a farmer in a similar situation to Filburn:


    Roscoe Filburn was subsidized, Joe Blatner was not. Didn’t make a difference…. the .gov still claimed the authority.

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