Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ammoland's Take on the Proposed VA Gun Laws

Covington VA --( I am analyzing the gun bills that are being introduced.

Bad ones so far include:

* Forcing gun show promoters to provide background checks on private sales (making gun shows impractical to have)

* Misdemeanor domestic violence conviction to disable a person from owning firearms

Now that's pretty interesting. Apparently, in spite of what we keep hearing, Virginia does not remove guns from domestic abusers if they're convicted of a misdemeanor.

The best part is their rationale for not extending the background check requirement.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. Mike,

    Don't know what's up with the bit from Ammoland. Misdemeanor domestic violence convictions already disqualify a person in Virginia just like all over--it's a federal rule that the states apply. I'm guessing (since there's no links to bills) that the law being discussed simply adds a state prohibition on top of the federal one that already exists and is enforced.

    Basically, unless there was some danger of the feds taking this off the list of disqualifying characteristics, such a bill is windowdressing to make possession by such people double plus illegal.

    1. I'm guessing that you haven't bothered to read the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 before expounding your ignorance for all to see. For the purposes of the Federal Law a person shall not be considered to be convicted (and therefore not subject to prohibition) if the offender waived his right to legal counsel and a trial by a jury. State legislation may close this loophole.

    2. T., is it possible that E.N. has a point there. Otherwise I can't understand the Ammoland position.

      What do you think about the remark that requiring private sale background checks is like "making gun shows impractical to have?"

    3. E.N. may be right there--that would require a level of specific research I haven't delved into.

      As for your question, I didn't delve into that last night because I didn't have the energy to try to dredge up the bill. As it turns out, there are 4 that they may have been talking about. Two ban all private sales and transfers--while they deal with what the press calls the "gun show loophole" they seem to be far more broad than the comment intimates.

      The other two deal specifically with gun shows and are a better fit. They have different numbers and different sponsors, but have identical text making me think they were drafted by Brady Campaign lawyers, or lawyers from a similar group, and made available to the senators. They have similar provisions to Carolyn McCarthy's gun show background check bill.

      The biggest difference between the Virginia bill and the Federal one is that Virginia does not require that the 30 days notice of the show include the names of every person who will be a "gun show vendor." Virginia does, however, expect the promoter to know who all of these vendors are in advance and meet with them before the show. Since "gun show vendor" includes anyone who even offers a gun for trade, even if he's just a person who walks in and pays admission, compliance with this would require that everyone who wants to sell a gun either be at the show before it opens (Virginia) or let the promoter know over a month in advance (Federal). If they didn't manage this, the promoter would have to run them off, including running them off the property, and (to comply with what I discuss below) keep a close eye on them and make sure they don't even offer to sell the gun in any of the parking areas, much less actually sell it.

      As indicated above, oth the state and the national bill require the promoter to control what people are doing in the parking areas around the gun show--something that is impossible to fully comply with, partially due to manpower and partially due to the fact that the promoter has no authority to run people off the surrounding private property.

      Therefore, I think that the Ammoland comment was an understatement that they did a poor job of explaining. The Virginia bills, like the federal one, would make it impossible to hold a gun show because whoever organized it would bear an impossibly heavy legal burden to track all of the guns in every car in the parking area as well as those inside the show that the promoter is charging admission to.

      If you want to require background checks, then put the onus for compliance on the buyer and seller, not a third party that can't find them having their secret transaction between two behemoth SUV's in a parking lot that is the size of 4-10 football fields.

      Also, provide for the NICS system, and every state equivalent, to allow individuals to call in and run a check rather than only allowing FFL's to do so.

      If you did it this way, you would be meeting your stated goal without making it impossible to hold a gun show. I might not like the outcome due to my distrust of the system being used to build a registry, but I would chafe less at such a system.

    4. It doesn't seem to be such an onerous requirement that the show can't go on. There would be fewer vendors. All the fly-by-night guys who pull up in their pick-up trucks the morning of the show might be excluded. But the serious guys who really are legit would be fine.

      Exactly how the NICS system will be made available needs to be ironed out, but I don't see that as a big problem wither.

      Ammoland was wrong that it would be "making gun shows impractical to have."

    5. Yes, it would, Mikeb. When was the last time that you went to a gun show? How about listening to those of us with actual knowledge? A lot of the transactions are between owners and buyers exchanging only a gun or two. I've been able to find some odd guns that aren't easy to get elsewhere at shows.

      We realize that you don't care about our interests.

    6. Mike,

      Maybe I didn't make this clear enough in my post--the gun show vendors that have to be there before opening is anyone with any gun who is attending the show. Not just anyone with a table at the show or selling out of their car. If grandpa takes his Korean War Garand to the show, looking for an old sling or a reproduction one for it, and he decides to trade it on a deer rifle, or he gets an offer from someone wanting to buy it, he's in violation of the law, and he's thrown the host into violation too.

      You seem to think this is aimed at guys driving up and getting a table at the show. That almost never happens because the tables are almost always all claimed weeks in advance of the show.

      What this is targeting is my example above. The 1/3 to 1/2 of attendees who are carrying a gun that they would be willing to sell or to trade for part of the value of a gun that they want.

    7. I pity the fool who'd sell a Garand for a deer rifle.

    8. Indeed the Garand is a fine (although somewhat heavy) weapon. Many where left on the battlefield and found their way to some rather interesting places. Hard to find the ammo though.....

    9. Greg, I didn't say it would be a wise trade, it was just a simple example. It would be a very bad trade, actually, when you consider that you could just put an adjustable gas plug on it, crank it all the way off to protect the op-rod from being bent, and shoot whatever heavier hunting soft points you wanted, manually cycling it like a straight pull bolt action.

      I was originally going to say M-1 Carbine, which might be a more realistic and rational trade, but since DiFi's staff told me that those are going to be classified as Assault Weapons, I went with the bigger, more powerful gun that they said vets would still be allowed to collect.

    10. T. you made your point very clear. I'm saying the show will go on even if those guys are largely excluded. And they need to be because they are the private sellers who, according to everything I've always read, account for 40% of all gun sales - with no background checks.

      By the way, John Lott has promised a post refuting that famous 40% claim.

    11. Mike,

      This won't stop those sellers, it will just push them into a grayer market where checks are even less likely. To meet your goal, you would do far better to allow these sales at shows provided a background check was done.

    12. I think we're going in circles here. Sellers would have to ensure that background checks are done, yes. If the requirements are a month's reservation in order to participate in the show, that's another thing.

    13. Private sellers would go into more private places to do their deals--that was Tennesseean's point. The FFL dealers already run background checks, even at shows. They're the ones who reserve the largest tables.

      Tennesseean, I'm not sure I'd trade an M-1 Carbine, either. But I collect old designs.

    14. I think we're about out of the loop, it's that other thing that makes it impractical to have gun shows and would effect their end--not the background checks themselves.