Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Monday, February 21, 2005

For Those Who Could Not See the CNN Video,

They have a transcript up. Here's the pertinent parts as I see it:
(CNN correspondent Drew) GRIFFIN: To buy a gun, even a .50-caliber gun, this huge gun, you just need to go to your computer and click on one of the biggest classified gun sites, which, in our case, is, AK-47s, shotguns, pistols, all kinds of rifles.

But we wanted to buy was the biggest caliber rifle you could possibly buy. And that's this category right here, big .50-caliber rifles. This is the gun that is now banned in California. And on this Web site, we have about three dozen of them for sale. But what we're looking for is one that is not being sold by a dealer.

See, where it says federal licensed firearm dealer? We are trying to find one that's being sold by just a private citizen. This is actually the gun we bought. When you finally find the gun you want on this Web site and you're dealing with a private party, you just give him your e-mail and you send him a note. "Let's set up a meeting. I'm paying cash." And the next thing you know, we're going to buy our gun.

(voice-over): But before I shelled out $2,500 to buy this gun, I wanted to make sure I could buy ammunition. That turned out to be as easy as ordering flowers. With just a couple of clicks on my computer, I ordered and paid by credit card for 50 .50-caliber armor- piercing rounds.

They were delivered in a week, shells as long as my hand delivered, no questions asked, by UPS. I could have even bought tracer rounds, if I had wanted. Now it was time to get the gun.

(on camera): What we're about to do is perfectly legal in dozens of states where cash-and-carry is the rule, a private seller, a private buyer. There will be no background check, no government waiting period, no government paperwork at all. In fact, the only paper that will change hands is the money we use to buy our .50- caliber rifle.

(voice-over): The transaction at a house in suburban Houston took about 20 minutes. We walked out with a case holding the gun critics say is the perfect terrorist weapon, a brand new .50-caliber with scope, bipod and directions. We flew home.

Guns are checked as baggage. And when the bags arrived for our flight, I simply picked it up and left.


(Paula) ZAHN: But it was remarkable to watch you do this transaction in about a 20-minute period. Now, we should make it clear you went to a private seller.

GRIFFIN: That's right.

ZAHN: To purchase this gun. Why?

GRIFFIN: On the Internet, you learn all the new nuances and all the loopholes of buying a gun. If I bought that through a licensed dealer, I'd have to clear a background check. I would have to show proof of age, proof of residency. By going through a private seller, private seller, private buyer, it's strictly a cash transaction. We made sure that the two, the buyer and the seller, were in the same state. And after that, cash and carry.

ZAHN: Isn't that astonishing to you?

GRIFFIN: It was to me. I'm not a gun person. I've never bought a gun before in my life. And to see how easy this was to do and how easy it was, even easier, to get these armor-piercing bullets, it was incredible.
It certainly sound to me like a straw-purchaser bought a .50 for Griffin, using CNN's money, and then Griffin took possession and transported that weapon by air back to Atlanta. That's two felonies, as I see it.

It would appear, then, that Griffin didn't "learn all the nuances" of buying a gun legally.

One more time, where's the BATF?

UPDATE: After reading around, it appears that I am mistaken. Only ONE felony. Having a local buy for you from a dealer constitutes a "straw purchase." Having a local buy for you from an individual does not, since there is no Form 4473 involved.

However, transporting the weapon interstate is a felony if it was not transferred through a licensed dealer using a Form 4473. So only ONE felony, apparently.

Isn't the law wonderful?

Another thought: Wouldn't it be interesting if someone more web-savvy than I am could figure out who the seller was and interview him about the details of the sale? (Though I wouldn't want the guy to incriminate himself, it sounds as though he was an innocent party doing a perfectly legal sale.)

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