Monday, November 17, 2008

Proof that ignorance is no barrier to opinions.

Every morning I make a point of stepping onto the front porch with a cup of coffee and a cigarette, retrieving the Indy Catbox Liner from the lawn, flipping to the editorial page and pressure-checking my cerebral arteries for weak spots.

After this morning, I can safely state that there are no incipient aneurysms waiting to let go, because they surely would have burst while reading a piece by one Fran Quigley, who went to a gun show called the "Indy 1500" at the state fairgrounds at the end of October. Oddly, I also attended a show at the same fairgrounds at the same time, and it even went by the same name, but it must have been in a different building, because the one I attended had no Title 2 Glock 23s for less than $100...
Thousands of weapons are for sale. Glock 23 fully automatic pistols, Uzi nine millimeters, Colt 44 magnum Anacondas. Some cost less than $100.
He bemoans the display of an German uniform for sale, without noting that the table in question was also selling a British gas mask, a U.S. Doughboy helmet, a Japanese sword, and a French revolver.

The best part is the Totally Unregulated Gun Show Loophole Exploited By Private Sellers To Arm Thugs And Wife Beaters!
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1983 requires that licensed gun dealers conduct background checks of purchasers before selling firearms. But there is no such federal or state requirement for private sellers. They are free to sell weapons, including at gun shows, to anyone, including convicted felons and spouse abusers, who plunks down the cash.
(...and yes, the Brady Act was passed in '93, but we'll credit him with a typo on that...)

Speaking as an unregulated private seller who actually sold a gun on the floor of that very show, Mr. Quigley, let me recount my experience: I was walking around with a very tricked-out AR carbine, hoping to get the funds for a Colt 1902. When folks would ask the price, I would say "$1,300". I'd had several nibbles, when a young man with a military haircut called his father over to look at the weapon. "Wow, Dad, look! This is just like the ones we were issued, except it doesn't have the CCO sight! How much?"

He obviously wanted it very badly, and as "Thirtee..." came out of my mouth, I could see his face fall "...but with the serviceman's discount for you? A thousand even." He walked off with his dad, deep in conversation. An aisle later, he caught up with me, with a fistful of hundreds and fifties.

"Cool!" I said, "I'm happy to sell it to you! Just flash me an Indiana driver's license for my conscience..." Now it was my turn to feel disappointment as he pulled out a military ID... and an Illinois driver's license and FOID. I had to explain to he and his father that, thanks to his home state, we were going to have to find an Illinois FFL at the show to handle the transfer and he would have to wait 24 hours to take delivery on his new toy.

Luckily he was understanding, and there was an Illinois FFL at the show whose business premises were not too far from where the young man lived.

Yeah, so, that was my totally unregulated experience with selling to "anyone who plunked down the cash," Mr. Quigley. But don't let me disturb your preconceived notions with any pesky facts; you obviously went to the show expecting to see something, and anything you saw was going to be bent through the lens of your own perceptions.

28 comments:

Wolfwood said...

Calling pistols "automatic" was a huge mistake in the first place by whomever made it. We need to make an effort to call them semi-automatics (although that also sounds scary). Maybe we should say that it's automatic like a stapler is automatic, not like a sewing machine is automatic?

Also, is the FFL thing an Illinois issue or a military-stationed-elsewhere issue? If he'd been from, say, Kentucky and had shown you his stationing orders in Indiana, would you have been able to sell it to him without the red tape?

Wolfwood said...

Also, next time you're there, could you pick me up a full-auto Glock 23? I'll pay you double your cost (up to +$100)!

I'm more a fan of 1911s than Glocks, but I'm willing to celebrate diversity.

Nathan Brindle said...

You read the Gannett Star editorial page?

My doctor has forbidden me to do so on the grounds that it makes no sense to take blood pressure medicine if I'm just going to negate its effects by doing stupid shit like that.

og said...

Yeah, butyouknow there were people selling stuff without your scruples.

Wait, I forget, what do they call those folks? Oh, yeah, CRIMINALS.

As in if you're going to engage in CRIMINAL activity, then ADDITIONAL LAWS do not hamper CRIMINALS. Making something MORE ILLEGAL doesn't prevent the CRIMINAL from ENGAGING IN ILLEGAL ACTIVITY. Mr Daley.

Cthulhu on a crutch, people.

curtislowe said...

Imagine that! Being able ("allowed" even) to sell your own private property to another citizen in a fair-market exchange! Its criminal is what it is!

/sarcasm

Wolfwood:

I believe the FFL thing Tam describes is an inter-state issue. Any buyer who is not a resident of the state in which they are purchasing would need to follow those procedures.

Word Verification: Ismonter. Which spelled slightly differently is I Monster - Tam are you trying to tell me something?

Anonymous said...

Tam: Congratulations on asking for the driver's license. I do the same with most everything I sell -- excepting only people I know well and stuff with near-zero thuggery potential -- ancient .22 single rifles, down-at-the-heel shotguns etc.. My deal with buyers is: "It's just between you and me, for mutual protection. I'll never report the sale to anyone, but you're free to." No one has ever objected.

Damn that you're not closer so I could drag you to my little northern-plains shows. Not only would you dress the joints up, but maybe you could comfort me in my buyer's remorse for the occasional oddball buy. Such as yesterday, $125 for most of a carbine kit for one of my 1911s, a 16-inch barrel and canoe-paddle walnut stock. It'll work about okay when I finish grooving one of the arched mainspring housings to accept the stock metal ware. I know. It's more or less useless, but (a) I've had less fun for more money and (b) I'm the only kid on the block with one.

(Note to ATF spooks peeping in Tam's window: It's legal unless I install the stock without the 16-inch barrel. I promise not to. Now go get a real job.)

73
Reardon

butch_s said...

nathan brindle: ...Gannett...

No more explanation necessary.

TJP said...

The confusion over "automatic" will continue because the context determines the meaning of the word. I can understand why a firearm that--with the pull of the trigger--discharges, ejects the case, and chambers another round, would appear to be "automatic" compared to a bolt or a pump gun. How far should our argument be taken? Is my Smith actually chambered in Forty-five Semiauto Colt Pistol?

I don't know where I'm going with this. I guess I am lamenting that self-defense advocates didn't speak in unity when the disarmers starting working over adjectives like "military" and "automatic", and now there is a widely-accepted connotation that is difficult to counter in a few simple words--especially when (as Caleb pointed out) it is made more difficult when someone is bump-firing a semi-auto so that it appears to be select-fire or fully auto.

On topic: This blog post is a great reply to the story. I think someone should post the link in the comments, but I won't do it without the author's permission.

DirtCrashr said...

Holy crap, that looks exactly like my carbine! Except for the EOTech and the different rail and the front-sight and fore-grip and light...
So the ass-end looks like my carbine anyhow - and the sling. What's the light/foregrip? I want that.

alpineman said...

I'd encourage you to copy your post & send it in to the paper. It's drivel like that of Fran Quigley (is that a male or female, BTW...??) which continually influences the public, but there's a lack of response to it on our part, so people go on buying in to the idea of the eeeevil gun show "loophole".

Of course, the paper may very well not print your response or you may just be spitting into the wind. Let 'em have it anyway. Your response would be more articulate (and witty) than most of us who'd otherwise respond to that kind of panties-soiling hysterics.

Anonymous said...

A full auto glock for sale? And you didn't get me one?

Some friend you are.

-SayUncle

OldTexan said...

Back in the early 50's we called everything that is now called semi-automatic automatic. We called things that empty with one trigger pull machine guns.

It seems as if somtime in the late 50's the gun magazines started making the distinction between auto and semi-auto.

I still remember the good old days of piles of mil-surplus rifles in stores, your pick $20 and you could pull out a Mauser, Enfield, Springfield, one of those Swiss Things and of course the Carcano for about $12.

There was also a lot of crappy surplus ammo that might or might not go off when the trigger was pulled. The good stuff cost about $1.50 to two bucks for a box of 20 30-06 or .270.

I was lucky enough to work in a hardware store where we had a lot of new and used guns and I could take anything out that was used and play with it as long as I cleaned up when I finished.

Think about it, Pistols and rifles and I was just a 16 year old kid who kept his own pistols and rifles in his unlocked car, even at school.

Times have really changed a lot haven't they.

David said...

I wandered into a gun show in Laramie WY a couple years ago, just killing some time while my family was busy elsewhere. While wandering around I struck up a conversation with a vendor which led to me falling in love with a 45 semi auto that was the identical twin to one my Dad had let me shoot as a kid, but had since given to my nephew. After we agreed on a price, I handed him my CA drivers license and prepared myself to jump through all the hoops I needed to in order for the vendor to ship that weapon home to my local FFL dealer.

The vendor took one look at my CA drivers license and refused to sell me the gun because he didn't want to deal with all the paperwork that sale would entail. He was very nice, very apologetic, but also resolute in his refusal to sell.

Old NFO said...

Gotta agree with Old Texan! Ironically, I was at Tulsa and the perception was entirely different! Even the TV interviews were positive, especially about the amount of Money the show brought into Tulsa and Tulsa business'

Tam said...

Bear in mind that this was just a column submitted to the local fishwrap. Indiana overall has one of the most pro-gun climates in the lower 48...

Anonymous said...

JIC anyone needs an update on the unpaid employees of our Beloved Turnip Root:

http://www.bradynetwork.org/site/MessageViewer/&printer_friendly=1?em_id=32961.0

phlegmfatale said...

note to self: buy stocks with Hillary but not Mark Cuban & go to gun show with Mr. Quigley for the really, rilly good deals...

ParatrooperJJ said...

If he is stationed in Indiana it does not matter what his home of residence is if he is active duty military.

Jeffro said...

Don't forget - Evil Loophole Gun Shows are where terrorists go to buy machine gun AK47s for like - a nickel or sumpin.

rickn8or said...

Tam, I'm just thinking of all the Quality KarmaPoints you built up by giving him that serviceman's discount...

I'm a veteran and if you get tired of the 38/44...

Tam said...

Paratrooperjj,

"If he is stationed in Indiana it does not matter what his home of residence is if he is active duty military."

No, he was discharged from active duty and a resident of IL.

(Trust, I am fully conversant with federal firearms laws and really wanted him to have the carbine, as he was so stoked about it...)

SC Reader said...

I waited 1 hour to get into last weekend's gunshow in my neck of the woods. The line stretched about a quarter mile around the parkinglot. Business was brisk, to say the least. Holding a conversation with your friends was impossible, though due to the massive amount of people packing the isles.

Noah D said...

Good on you for the discount, Tam.

And that is a great-looking build. Could you tell us what went into it, and why you chose those parts over others? My M4gery is feeling kinda plain, and arfcom makes my head hurt.

(Sorry if you've already detailed that, search-fu is weak today.)

Nick Pacific said...

Yeah, This person missed my Chinese immigrant fiance prancing around with a beaming grin at all the fun stuff and carrying out a shotgun.

Maybe it was the Hello Kitty shirt she was wearing that made her look like a racist white male. I dunno.

leadchucker said...

Ok, what about this scenario: I'm a resident of Missouri, and my dad is a resident of Indiana. How do I legally handle selling my dad a pistol? Can we do it as a FTF assuming I bring it to the state, or do I need a dealer to handle the transfer?

Tam said...

Leadchucker,

"I'm a resident of Missouri, and my dad is a resident of Indiana. How do I legally handle selling my dad a pistol? Can we do it as a FTF assuming I bring it to the state, or do I need a dealer to handle the transfer?"

Federal law says that your dad would have to take possession through an Indiana FFL (no FTF handgun transfers across state lines except via bequests.)

Anonymous said...

The Terminator: Phased-plasma rifle in the forty watt range.

Pawn Shop Clerk: Hey, just what you see, pal.

Anonymous said...

make sure when you say
"Uzi nine millimeters"
you say it like the Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger