Four recent op-eds in West Newsmagazine about gun-show sales miss the critical fact that a firearm transfer to anyone the transferor [licensed or not] “knew or should have known” to be ineligible is a federal felony punishable by fine and/or imprisonment.
I have likely bought or sold at least 50 firearms over the years without a dealer involved, and strongly believe that almost no illicit sales occur inside our local gun-shows, which are very well policed and secured.
Law-abiding Americans have always had and should continue to have the right to buy, sell, barter and gift firearms without the trouble and expense of involving a licensed dealer, except for intrastate and full-automatic firearm transfers. For added security, non-licensed sellers could be required to use NICS form 4473 for federal approval, and be required to maintain a permanent transaction record, the same as licensed dealers.
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I am responding to Miss Mary Gross [March 11] concerning “In Support of gun legislation.” The legislation proposed by Sen. Jill Schupp [SB799] would not allow anyone to inherit a firearm without the following:
• Each firearm would need to go through a registered dealer [minimum cost of $25 per firearm].
• You would not be allowed to lend a firearm to a friend if you both went hunting together.
I have left all of my antique firearms to my nephew in my will. He is also an antique firearm collector. He has no criminal record and would have to pay hundreds of dollars just to take possession of his inheritance. I could not gift a firearm to one of my grandchildren without going through a registered firearms dealer.
A friend of mine comes out of state each year to hunt and target shoot with me. I lend him some of my firearms. This would not be possible under Sen. Schupp’s proposal. SB799 would make felons out of tens of thousands of law abiding citizens.
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The problem with SB799 is how Sen. Jill Schupp defines transfer of a firearm without going through a NICS check and transfer through a licensed dealer. Here is part of the text from the bill:
“… persons loaned a firearm solely for target shooting at a properly licensed target facility; and persons loaned a firearm for lawful hunting or sporting purposes so long as the owner of the firearm is accompanying the person loaned the firearm.”
As written, it would be illegal to allow someone to fire another persons firearm unless they’re both at a “properly licensed target facility.” I couldn’t let anyone fire my gun on my own property even if I’m standing right there because my rural backyard range isn’t “properly licensed.” Would my adult son and I be breaking the law if he grabbed my .22 out of our safe and went out back to shoot a few tin cans whether I was there or not? Additionally, I couldn’t loan my deer rifle to anyone to engage in “lawful hunting” unless I was also there.
How would Sen. Schupp define accompany? To strictly follow the letter of the law would we have to be sitting in the same deer stand or would we be breaking the law if the person borrowing my rifle was hunting in the next valley over? Is the mere fact that I’m not home and make my firearm available for defensive use by a family member or guest a violation of the law because my house isn’t a properly licensed target facility and self defense isn’t lawful hunting or a sporting purpose?
SB799 sounds reasonable until you start to think about provisions like the one above. SB799 is an attack on gun culture in general and the Second Amendment in particular.