Senate Bill Would Grant FBI Unlimited Access To Gun Sales Records


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simon
June 23, 2005, 02:58 PM
Senate Bill Would Grant FBI Unlimited Access To Gun Sales Records

Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
http://www.gunowners.org

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Registration leads to confiscation. We all know that, and that is why GOA has vehemently opposed all attempts by government forces to compile or retain information pertaining to lawful firearms purchases.

But the United States Senate does not appear to see it that way. People on Capitol Hill seem to think that any "edge" in the war on terror is worth trampling on the rights of law-abiding Americans, no matter what the Constitution (and current law) happens to say.

At issue is a provision in the Patriot Act reauthorization bill (S.
1266) authored by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). Now, GOA has long opposed the vast majority of Patriot Act powers as being detrimental to freedom in general and dangerous to gun owners in the particular.

In short, Sen. Roberts' language would allow the FBI to seize ANY business records it believes would be relevant to an anti-terrorism investigation... without first seeking permission from any court in the land.

Gun sales are business transactions, and FFL holders must retain copies of the 4473 forms (yellow sheets) filled out on every gun sale. Thus, an anti-gun administration could easily determine that such records would be useful in the fight against terrorism, and demand them all.
(In fact, shortly after 9/11, liberal Democrats in Washington were screaming for exactly that.)

It gets worse. It is conceivable that your local gun dealer would risk his license, his business, and lots of money to protect your privacy and refuse to turn over the records. But under this legislation, the Attorney General could order the dealer NOT TO TELL YOU WHAT IS GOING ON. So that dealer would be the ONLY person who could contest the action before your life is raked over the coals... and honestly, how many among us would risk everything rather than tell the feds who it was that stopped by to pick up a Glock a couple of months ago?

After having used an "administrative subpeona" (again, not subject to judicial review) to collect all gun purchase records across the country, your friendly anti-gun but oh-so-patriotic government would have brought about the gun owner's second-worst-case scenario: a national firearms registration list.

Registration leads to confiscation.

This monstrosity must be stopped. Please take the action requested below, and urge all freedom-loving Americans you know to do the same.

ACTION: Contact your United States senators. Politely but firmly demand that they oppose the bill to expand the Patriot Act (S. 1266), and specifically, its provision to allow "administrative subpoenas" of all gun records.

You can use the pre-written message below and send it as an e-mail by visiting the GOA Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm (where phone and fax numbers are also available).

-----Pre-written letter-----

Dear Senator:

The Patriot Act expansion bill (S. 1266) would allow the United States government to seize every lawful gun sale record in the country...
solely on the basis of a bureaucrat's determination that a national registry of gun owners would be useful in an anti-terrorism investigation.

Registration leads to confiscation.

Section 213 of the bill allows a designee of the Attorney General to issue "administrative subpoenas" for any business records which, in his opinion, are relevant to investigating terrorism. Even more ominous, the Attorney General could order gun dealers NOT to disclose the existence of the investigation to their customers, meaning that the dealer (rather than the gun purchaser) would be the only person who could contest this action. And why should he risk his livelihood on my behalf?

None of the above is subject to prior judicial review -- it is massive gun control by simple executive fiat.

I believe that a national gun registry is a step this country cannot afford to take, and one that the citizenry will not abide.

I would ask you, in the strongest terms, to oppose this Patriot Act "reform" bill outright, and especially its administrative subpoena provision.

Sincerely,


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R.H. Lee
June 23, 2005, 03:01 PM
Not to worry. Republicans control the Senate, and they're looking out for us. :uhoh: :rolleyes:

Sindawe
June 23, 2005, 03:09 PM
And even if the Senate passes it, the House has to vote.

Then the President has to sign it into law.

And I'm sure SCOTUS will stop it if it gets that far.


.....

Anybody wanna buy a bridge?

Third_Rail
June 23, 2005, 03:12 PM
Sindawe, I'll take two bridges please.



Good thing plenty of people have firearms that simply don't exist. Homebuilts = good.

R.H. Lee
June 23, 2005, 03:14 PM
Then the President has to sign it into law Exactly. GWB would NEVER sign any unconstitutional law. He's a conservative Republican dontcha know.

Standing Wolf
June 23, 2005, 03:17 PM
Well, yeah, but we're not a police state. I mean, heck, they've got to decide they want to single somebody out for special treatment, right? Which is kind'a what the founding fathers really meant, isn't it? Sort'a?

Yeah, and besides, the F., the B., and the I. caught Patty Hearst finally, didn't they? So what's the problem?

Preacherman
June 23, 2005, 03:19 PM
Folks, there's an easy way out. Hold a regular "swap meet" with your friends. Buy guns that you know others are looking for in that group. You have a Glock 23? Just so happens I also have a Glock 23. Wanna swap? Now what good are the records? (Particularly with multiple swaps... just so long as you don't swap back for the gun you bought! :D )

Spreadfire Arms
June 23, 2005, 03:31 PM
Preacherman wrote:

Folks, there's an easy way out. Hold a regular "swap meet" with your friends. Buy guns that you know others are looking for in that group. You have a Glock 23? Just so happens I also have a Glock 23. Wanna swap? Now what good are the records? (Particularly with multiple swaps... just so long as you don't swap back for the gun you bought! )

that is cutting it very close to ATF's definition of a "straw purchase" which is a federal felony......you can ask ATF if it is a straw purchase or not.

also, this law is redundant. ATF can already run traces on weapons and all FFL's have 24 hours to respond to such traces. ATF can also come to your place of business as an FFL and take your yellow sheet as evidence.

Preacherman
June 23, 2005, 03:42 PM
Spreadfire, no, it's not a "straw purchase" at all. If I buy, for myself, a particular gun, that's a legal purchase. If I later swap it for another gun that I want, similar or not, that's a legal swap. The law is quite clear on these points.

rick_reno
June 23, 2005, 03:44 PM
Buy used guns from friends, family, the newspaper, gun shows.

rhubarb
June 23, 2005, 03:58 PM
:fire:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=25765&stc=1


I seriously doubt the proposed law in question would matter as the current de facto registration via 4473 means that after going to manufacturers for serial numbers etc, they could trace most guns today. Blackpowder looks better every day. :neener:

Question: Under current law, am I legally responsible for the legitimacy of any guns I sell? That is to say, if I sell a gun, am I responsible for ensuring that a gun that I bought NIB goes to someone who is not a felon, legal resident, not kooky, washes behind their ears, etc etc etc? Also, must I keep info on the person to whom I sell a gun? I can see where it would be a good idea to shift blame from me if the person buying the gun commits a crime or transfers it to someone else who does, but I am disinclined to help the gummint infringe on rights.

"No, Mr. JBT, you cain't have a look around. I sold all my guns to a feller at a gun show just last week. He was middle aged, average build, drove a regular ol' pickup. Don't know that I'd recognize him if'n I ever seen him again." :evil:

Correia
June 23, 2005, 04:05 PM
I'm missing what is new here.

FFLs already have to turn over 4473 information to the Feds when they ask for it anyway. That is why we have to store the damn things for 20 years.

JohnBT
June 23, 2005, 04:32 PM
It's not like they don't know I have a couple of guns already. :)

Ammo, too.

John

Spreadfire Arms
June 23, 2005, 05:12 PM
Preacherman,

"Hold a regular "swap meet" with your friends. Buy guns that you know others are looking for in that group."

If you are purchasing guns that you "know others are looking for" in your group with whom you regularly meet with, with the intent of trading them.....that sounds very much like a straw purchase.

i can call ATF and get an opinion on it if you'd like, but i just attended the ATF meeting on Tuesday in Round Rock, TX, and they covered straw purchases in fairly great detail.

i'd be happy to mail you a copy of the "Dont Lie for the Other Guy" video and see how close you are cutting it.

i'd also be willing to wager that meets the definition of a straw purchase. i could probably even get that in writing from the ATF if need be.

peacefuljeffrey
June 23, 2005, 05:18 PM
How is it a "straw purchase" if the firearm is purchased and then passed on (through trade, swap, whatever) to another legal owner?

I thought the point of "straw purchases" was that it was an eligible purchaser buying a gun on behalf of an ineligible purchaser. :confused:

-Jeffrey

stevelyn
June 23, 2005, 05:28 PM
A straw purchase is defined as buying or aquiring a firearm for someone who is otherwise legally disqualified from obtaining or possessing a firearm themselves, by providing false information on the 4473 to do so.

What the Padre suggests is trading between those that already have firearms and are not legally prohibited from possessing or obtaining them. There is no way that can be defined as a straw purchase no matter how many lines of fairy dust you snort.

Spreadfire Arms
June 23, 2005, 05:29 PM
ATF includes a straw purchase a purchase where the identity of the actual buyer of the firearm is being obscured.

The first question on the 4473 in the "yes/no" section states "Are you the actual buyer of this firearm?"

that is the question intended to discourage straw purchases. straw purchases are not only limited to people who cannot legally qualify, but also targets others who want a gun "off paper" or people who go "pending" on a NICS check but want the gun right now.

stevelyn wrote:
There is no way that can be defined as a straw purchase no matter how many lines of fairy dust you snort.

stevelyn are you an FFL? you may want to brush up on your firearms laws. call your local ATF office and see if this is legal...buying a gun with the intent to pass it off to someone else IS A STRAW PURCHASE (unless it is being purchased as a gift) regardless if the person can or cannot legally pass a NICS check. the law does not have a requirement that states that the person you pass the gun off to would not pass a background check. that is not an element of the crime.

stevelyn
June 23, 2005, 05:37 PM
So that means the private party purchases I've made in the past are straw purchases by the original owners?!? :scrutiny:

Spreadfire Arms
June 23, 2005, 05:40 PM
no, it is all about intent. at the time the original buyer signs the form, if he is buying it for himself it is legal (or if it is a gift for someone specific in mind. i.e. "i am buying for Uncle Fred", not "I am buying for unnamed person X i may meet next week.")

at the time the original owner purchased the gun, he had no intent of purchasing it to pass off to you.

if he did, i.e. he bought it because he knew you wanted it and the next time he met up with you, you were going to receive the gun and you were going to pay him for it, then it is a straw purchase.

if he just bought it, and then a week later decided he couldn't afford it, or you gave him an offer he couldn't refuse, and he had NO ORIGINAL INTENT to buy it for the sole purpose of selling it to you, then no, it's not a straw purchase.

state of mind and intent is what makes it legal or illegal.

Correia
June 23, 2005, 05:54 PM
Spreadfire's understanding mirrors my own. If you buy the gun, and then immediatly sell it to your buddy in the parking lot outside the store, the ATF is going to consider it a straw purchase. Now if you bought it, and after a few days decided you didn't want it, and the same buddy bought it off you, then it would just be a normal sale.

The law is stupid, I agree. I'm not defending it, just explaining how they look at it.

Spreadfire Arms
June 23, 2005, 05:56 PM
im not defending the law either. i am merely stating the law so none of us get into trouble here on THR. incorrect advice, especially from a well-respected board member, can cause some headache and possibly legal trouble for someone in the future if they follow the advice from the board with no evil intent of doing anything wrong.

just don't want to get anyone here in trouble with the ATF.

JohnBT
June 23, 2005, 06:17 PM
How about if I see an ad in the local swap paper offering to trade, say, an old Colt that I've wanted for years for a Glock Model-whatever. Never having owned a Glock, I decide the only way to get this Colt for my collection is to go buy a Glock and make the trade. I'm the actual purchaser, but you're saying I need to wait a couple of days before I make the trade?

My head hurts. This is why I didn't go to law school. :)

John

waterhouse
June 23, 2005, 06:31 PM
I was at the same ATF seminar in Round Rock, and I'm pretty sure Spreadfire's interpretation is correct; it's all about intent at the time of the purchase when you fill out the 4473.

JohnBT, I'm guessing that what the ATF would say to that is something like "Call the guy who wants to trade the Colt and tell him you'd like to buy him a Glock. Go to the gun store and get him a gift certificate, and then trade him the gift certificate for the colt, and have him go buy the gun and fill out the paperwork."

There was a similar scenario in the "Don't lie for the other guy" video concerning a husband buying a gun for his wife. There was no implication that the wife was not legally allowed to own a gun, and it would qualify under the "gift" clause, but the ATF still recommends that you get a gift certificate for the wife and have the actual owner fill out the paperwork.

natedog
June 23, 2005, 06:43 PM
At issue is a provision in the Patriot Act reauthorization bill (Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).

(In fact, shortly after 9/11, liberal Democrats in Washington were screaming for exactly that.)

Hmm...

waterhouse
June 23, 2005, 06:44 PM
Here it is, directly from the Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide (emphasis added)
-------------------------------------------
Questions have arisen concerning the lawfulness of firearms purchases
from licensees by persons who use a "straw purchaser" (another person) to
acquire the firearms. Specifically, the actual buyer uses the straw purchaser
to execute the Form 4473 purporting to show that the straw purchaser is the
actual purchaser of the firearm. In some instances, a straw purchaser is used
because the actual purchaser is prohibited from acquiring the firearm. That
is to say, the actual purchaser is a felon or is within one of the other
prohibited categories of persons who may not lawfully acquire firearms or is a
resident of a State other than that in which the licensee's business premises
is located. Because of his or her disability, the person uses a straw
purchaser who is not prohibited from purchasing a firearm from the licensee.
In other instances, neither the straw purchaser nor the actual purchaser is
prohibited from acquiring the firearm.

In both instances, the straw purchaser violates Federal law by making
false statements on Form 4473 to the licensee with respect to the identity of
the actual purchaser of the firearm, as well as the actual purchaser's
residence address and date of birth. The actual purchaser who utilized the
straw purchaser to acquire a firearm has unlawfully aided and abetted or
caused the making of the false statements. The licensee selling the firearm
under these circumstances also violates Federal law if the licensee is aware
of the false statements on the form. It is immaterial that the actual
purchaser and the straw purchaser are residents of the State in which the
licensee's business premises is located, are not prohibited from receiving or
possessing firearms, and could have lawfully purchased firearms from the
licensee.

An example of an illegal straw purchase is as follows: Mr. Smith asks
Mr. Jones to purchase a firearm for Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith gives Mr. Jones the
money for the firearm. If Mr. Jones fills out Form 4473, he violates the law
by falsely stating that he is the actual buyer of the firearm. Mr. Smith also
violates the law because he has unlawfully aided and abetted or caused the
making of false statements on the form.
------------------------------------------------------------

Spreadfire Arms
June 23, 2005, 06:52 PM
thanks for the ATF regs Waterhouse.

that ought to clarify the interpretation of "straw purchase" in the eyes of the ATF.

Art Eatman
June 23, 2005, 07:27 PM
But if you buy a gun and shoot it and decide it's not really what you want: A month or three later if you decide to trade it off, I don't see that as any form of straw purchase.

Not that I'd ever plan ahead regarding trading material, of course. I shun thoughts of nefarious activities to the greatest extent possible...

:), Art

Spreadfire Arms
June 23, 2005, 07:48 PM
you're right Art.

however, if you are buying with the intent of providing it to someone else, be it for a future undetermined swap with a friend whom you know isn't a crook, technically, it is still a straw purchase.

the issue is the intent when you purchase the firearm. is it really for you, or for someone else? think about that. if you are going to purchase it with the intent of trading it, reselling it, or buying it for someone else, you are committing a straw purchase.

that is what Preacherman had suggested. purchasing something with the intent of trading it is in fact, by letter of the law, a straw purchase.

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