"Say a couple comes in, and the male is looking at guns while the female doesn't do anything, and finally he says, 'I will take this gun,'" said the owner of Koscielski's Guns and Ammo in south Minneapolis. "We hand him the federal form, and he will hand it to his girlfriend or wife. Can't do that."
That's how federal authorities want gun sellers to respond to "straw buyers" -- people with no criminal record who buy a gun and then hand it over someone who can't legally buy one because they're a criminal, mentally ill or underage.
Do you think that's how most of them do it? I seriously doubt it.
Recently it's been suggested that most of the guns in criminal hands come from theft. It's odd that the ATF experts can differ so drastically from that idea. According to them, less than 10% are stolen and the vast majority are funnelled into the criminal world through straw purchases.
Experts estimate that 90 percent of guns used in crimes come through this "gray market," said Bernard Zapor, special agent in charge of the St. Paul field division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
At some point, someone is taking those guns from the lawful market to the unlawful market, he said. Whether it's someone looking to make an extra buck or a girlfriend doing a favor for a boyfriend, it's illegal.
Of course it's a lot easier to defend the lawful gun owners who are victims of theft, something which I happen to dispute, but it's a lot easier to do that than to defend all those gun dealers who are allowing, by turning a blind eye, or actually assisting in straw purchases.
What's your opinion? Is this 90% figure too high? It would certainly place a spotlight of blame on the gun sellers wouldn't it?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.