The Latest: I’m a Gun Seller…. but

Jeff Soyer points to an article in the WVU school paper:

Speaking from experience as a gun salesman, just about anyone can come in and buy an AR-15 as long as they don’t have a felony, which leaves room for a pretty broad horizon of people.

Gun salesman? Dude worked for Wal-Mart. Give me a fscking break. I don’t offer this guy any creds as a gun salesman. There’s a big difference between slinging guns over the glass for many years at a real gun store, where you might actually have to learn a thing or two about what you’re selling, and “Attention all Wal-Mart employees. Customer needs help at the sporting goods section. Customer needs help in the sporting goods section.” I usually question any time someone claims some credential or another to give their argument some extra weight. Usually someone doing that is selling you a bridge, even if the topic isn’t gun policy.

25 Responses to “The Latest: I’m a Gun Seller…. but”

  1. Scott Connors says:

    Unless the writer is an assistant manager, he does not sell guns at Wally World. It is Walmart policy that these are the only employees authorized to conduct business on their FFL. I’ve been informed this at three separate locations.

    • ctd says:

      He carefully worded it as working in the hunting section, not actually claiming he engaged in “conducting business selling firearms” as legally defined. He stood around talking with customers about guns, but wasn’t selling them.

      That aside, he noted that many/most of the customers were interested in “assault weapons” to some degree. The demand is there, and responsible purchasers/owners/users outnumber irresponsible/criminal ones by orders of magnitude of orders of magnitude. That he noted any non-felon could get one strongly correlates to the fact that there is NO way – and consequently no reason – to deny any customer the purchase.

      The “causes just as much damage” line can (should) backfire: 75% of mass shootings DON’T use “assault weapons”, and the other 25% would not have been averted for want thereof. For all his verbiage, there is no reason given for the demanded prohibition. As for home defense: heck yeah I want more than 5 (or 10 or 17) rounds in the mag, ‘cuz once triggers start getting pulled running out is VERY BAD; each shot from a 12ga may (or may not, another discussion) be as damaging, but there certainly aren’t as many available.

  2. Jack says:

    Ah so, he’s complaing that the State has to wait until a it convicts a person of a crime before their rights can be restricted.

    So much for the “We just want background checks.” Or “We don’t really want to ban guns.”

    And he gives the game up here: “Even though they are just as potentially dangerous as an assault rifle, but I think they are more acceptable for citizens to own”

    If those other guns are just as dangerous then why are they okay to own? And if there’s no “risk” difference between Set A of guns and Set B of guns then what justification is there to ban Set A?

    Why it’s almost like this guy is pushing an incremental agenda to get things banned bit by bit.

  3. aerodawg says:

    It’s such a terrible thing that free citizens can excercise their rights. That whole due process thing is such a hindrance to getting things done!

  4. He is clearly wrong. There are a number of other prohibitions on purchasing a gun besides felony convictions:

    1. Domestic misdemeanor violence convictions.

    2. Involuntary commitment to a mental hospital.

    3. Having pleaded guilty by reason of insanity.

    4. Having been found insane by a court.

    5. Having been adjudicated mentally defective (includes mental retardation, senility).

  5. Patrick H says:

    Speaking from experience as a gun salesman, just about anyone can come in and buy an AR-15 as long as they don’t have a felony

    What the hell is wrong with that? As opposed to what?

    • “The voices tell me that everyone has been replaced by a clone who answers to the Martian overlords. I must kill them all. I’ll take the AR-15 over there with the 100 round drum magazine, and 1000 rounds of ammunition. You’ll read about me tomorrow.”

      • ctd says:

        So don’t make the sale. Like a bartender, nobody is obligated to sell to a toxic customer.

        • Nate says:


        • It depends on the state. Old West Gun Room in California had a situation not much different. They called Cal. DOJ part-way through the waiting period, because the buyer’s roommate warned the gun store that he was crazy. (He also had felony convictions, and an outstanding felony warrant.) DOJ told Old West that they were REQUIRED to complete the sale. Old West broke the firing pin so that they gun wouldn’t fire. Crazy felon eventually bought a gun elsewhere, took hostages, people died.

          • mike says:

            Read about it here

          • ctd says:

            Methinks this DOJ has ulterior motives for not stopping such atrocities-in-the-making. It’s a form of “malicious obedience”: obligated to carry out the law against their political interests, they leverage the law against itself by requiring what is legal but likely to lead to calls to repeal the law.

            Remember, government agents are not required to not lie to you. That the DOJ “told” Old West they were required to make the sale doesn’t mean OW was, in fact, legally required to.

          • Geodkyt says:

            ISTR my employer giving me some ATF literature that said, flat out, NO sale is obligatory. You think the guy’s sketchy? Deny the sale. But an FFL was NEVER obligated to conduct ANY transfer.

            Let’s look at the ATF “Best Practices” guide for FFLs. . . page 4, “You MAY NOT sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition to any person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm.” Got it — absolute prohibition, based on merely “reasonable cause to believe”, not even “probable cause”. Likewise, sections referring to when you can sell state, “may transfer”, not “must transfer”.

            The state can make any silly rule they wish, but if the federal licensing authority is saying otherwise IAW federal law (and the GCA gives broad regulatory authority to the ATF), I would think the Supremacy Clause kicks in. California cannot force you to make a sale under your federal license that the federal government says you should not. (Of course, they could threaten to yank your state license, but I suspect would lose hard in a court show down.)

        • Patrick H says:

          Bingo. You get a funny feeling about a customer, you don’t have to sell.

      • Sebastian says:

        “Well, Son, I think you’ll be needing a lot more than 1000 rounds of ammunition to take care of that problem!”

  6. I started adding comments to his article at the WVU paper. He has so many factual errors it is mindboggling.

  7. jones says:

    So what is the law for FFLs? Can they decline a sale arbitrarily or does that open them up to discrimination suits?

    • Geodkyt says:

      They are REQUIRED to deny a sale under federal law, even without proof, so long as they have a “reasonable belief” it is an unlawful sale.

      So, they have to be able to articulate why they thought it was a sketchy sale at the time, even if that belief isn’t supported to the level of “probable cause”, much less “beyond a reasonable doubt”. “Dude was talking to invisible space people while filling out the 4473,” is an articulable cause to “reasonably believe” he’s a prohibited mental patient.

  8. jones says:

    Could you see the fuss if someone was declined without reason?

    • ctd says:

      Could you see the fuss if someone SHOULD have been declined for obvious reasons but wasn’t?

      Like bartenders, or anyone dealing with possibly lethal combinations of products & stupid, gun dealers have a moral obligation to unilaterally decline a sale, up to the moment of transfer of possession, for any reason they see fit without legal repercussions.

    • Sigivald says:

      Nobody’s declined “without reason”.

      People are declined without proof, however, nearly any time an FFL thinks they’re Too Sketchy, per FFL comments on various gun blogs and forums, from people I have no reason to think are just making it up.

      (Just like with a straw sale; they’re supposed to deny if they think it is one – they are neither required nor expected to have proof.

      If they think for any reason that you’re lying about anything on the 4473, or are planning a felony or the like, they’re supposed to deny.

      This is not generally abused to deny people “without reason” because FFLs like to make money, and word of mouth is powerful advertising.

      Also because FFLs that aren’t pure businessmen are typically enthusiasts, and like selling guns to people who aren’t criminals or lunatics.)

      • Geodkyt says:

        Exactly. If (as an FFL or the employee of an FFL) I don’t have warm fuzzies about the sale, I do not have to go through with it. Hell, otherwise NO FFL could ever be prosecuted for going through with a strawman sale unless the perps literally stood there at the counter and said, “Yo, dude, I’m a felon, but my buddy’s gonna buy it for me. Cool?”

        State cannot force a federally licensed dealer to break federal law.

  9. Roger says:

    I’m thinking this gun seller is bogus. Everyone I know with a FFL calls him/herself a dealer.

    • Geodkyt says:

      No “gun salesman” is correct, IF you aren’t the guy who has the FFL. I never referred to myself as an FFL, because I didn’t have one — my employer did. I generally called myself (depending on context) a gun saleman, a gun pimp, or just a guy who works at a gun store.

  10. Buck says:

    He wouldn’t last long at our local Wal-Mart. The employees there are knowledgeable and progun rights.