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petronius's Journal
petronius's Journal
September 19, 2013

If you say pharmacy rather than convenience store, it would be arguable

Licensed firearms dealers are required to keep a bound record of every gun they bring in, and every gun that goes out. This data is kept indefinitely, and handed over to ATF when the dealer goes out of business.

Sales Records: FFLs are required to maintain records of the acquisition and sale of firearms indefinitely. The dealer must record, “in bound form,” the purchase or other acquisition of a firearm not later than the close of the next business day following the purchase or acquisition. The dealer must similarly record the sale or other disposition of a firearm not later than seven days following the date of such transaction and retain Form 4473, the Firearms Transaction Record. When a firearms business is discontinued, these records are delivered to the successor or, if none exists, to the Attorney General


ATF does conduct inspections to ensure compliance with this requirement, and can revoke licenses if necessary. However, ATF can only inspect each dealer once a year, and doesn't have the ability to do them all - most dealers will be inspected maybe every 5 years. And ATF does find that non-trivial numbers of firearms drop out of inventory. (This, IMO, is another area where more funding and more thorough enforcement of existing law would be a good thing.)


The inventory issue I think you're referring to is that, while FFLs are required to keep those bound records and are subject to inspection, ATF can not require FFLs to conduct an annual physical inventory to detect missing firearms. This is one of the Tiahrt Amendments (MAIG links to the 2010 text, the inventory prohibition is at the bottom of the big yellow chunk). So without an actual inspection, it's made more difficult to detect firearms missing from dealer inventory.

FWIW, I don't understand the reason to not require dealers to do an annual inventory and note any absences - it sort of seems that most normal businesses would be doing that anyway...
September 19, 2013

People can "say" whatever they want - that doesn't mean ATF, juries,

and judges are obligated to believe them. And reciting some mantra about "selling as a hobby" doesn't magically mean they aren't dealing. (Cf. the principle of "I was standing my ground.&quot If prosecutors can make a case (or even if they can't make the case but it's still true) that a person is

... a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;

and they are doing so without a license, then they are breaking the law, regardless of what they say they're doing. (18 USC 921.a.21.C)

But as I've said, I'd rather clear up the confusion and just require a BGC for all sales (as my state does)...
September 19, 2013

Private parties can sell to other private parties - at a gun show or

anywhere else - if the state allows it. Those are not "dealers", and federal law does not require private parties to do background checks (although I think it should).

Licensed firearms dealers - people "engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail" are required to do background checks wherever they are.

People who make occasional sales of their own property are not dealers, and are not federally required to conduct background checks. They are private parties.

You should not rely on that article you linked to; it is inaccurate and/or misleading in several respects.

The actual federal law is here:

18 USC 922

27 CFR 478

September 16, 2013

Plane Wreck at Los Gatos

by Woody Guthrie
The crops are all in and the peaches are rott'ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They're flying 'em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won't have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be "deportees"

My father's own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract's out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died 'neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, "They are just deportees"

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except "deportees"?
September 1, 2013

On the contrary, the re-import ban is poor policy done for symbolism

and theater. The historical rifles it will affect are not more dangerous nor more effective than many currently available rifles, despite their military-surplus background. Equal and equivalent rifles can be bought new, and these exact same rifles can still be purchased directly from the government. Consider also that rifles are used only in a small fraction of gun-related crimes (or accidents), and these particular firearms are among the more rarely-misused in that already rarely-misused category. So there's really no reason to believe that blocking the re-import of this small set (nothing like a "flood&quot of guns has anything at all to do with public safety and crime prevention.

Analogies on this topic always end badly, but I'll essay one anyway: the idea that this re-import ban will help curb crime is like thinking that banning blue Honda hatchbacks would help curb vehicular air pollution...

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