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"Are you a fugitive from justice?"

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by bdgackle, Feb 13, 2013.

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  1. bdgackle

    bdgackle Member

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    I was filling out a 4473 the other day, and as always, I had to chuckle a little at that question:

    ARE YOU A FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE (YES/NO)?

    I have to wonder... who actually sat down and wrote the questions on that form? I'd like to meet that person, and ask them: did you write that question with a straight face? I honestly wonder.

    I also enjoy the absurdity of a person filling out a background check form for a gun, when he already owns several. At some point, is there not a law of diminishing returns? How many guns does a potential "bad guy" have to own before one more isn't going to make any difference at all?

    Not that I LIKE the NICS system... but there is a certain messed up humor around the whole thing. Anyone else feel the same?
     
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    The form is not aimed at tripping up a criminal into self-incrimination, the form is there only for liability purposes.
     
  3. Jorg Nysgerrig

    Jorg Nysgerrig Member

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    Why is that so weird? 18 USC § 922 prohibits knowingly selling to a fugitive from justice and that term has a specific legal meaning.

    Those questions are based off US Code.
     
  4. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Most fugitives would't be likely to self identify as such.
     
  5. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Member

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    It's there so if you lie, they have one more excuse get you for 10 years.
     
  6. Zardaia

    Zardaia Member

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    I too kinda Grin at that question every time. Had two diff stores now tell me that yes, they have had people check the box. Don't imagine it's very common, but thankfully alot of criminals aint too bright.
     
  7. bdgackle

    bdgackle Member

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    Right -- people generally don't answer yes.

    I get that it's the law. It's a crime in most states for an FFL to sell a gun without the form. That's the part that gets me. Someone, somewhere, decided that dutifully filling out this form was SO important to the safety of our fellow citizens, that we would require it by law. That furthermore, we would spend millions of dollars arming men, dressing them up in cheap suits, and sending them out to shoot people or lock them in cages if they fail to fill out said paperwork.

    When something this stupid takes itself this seriously, the proper response is to laugh. It's a surreal sort of humor. The entire legal enforcement system surrounding retail firearm sale is like a crude parody of what any rational person would consider legitimate law enforcement.

    Working to CHANGE the system makes sense too -- but failing to find the humor at the same time is giving the system far more respect than it deserves.
     
  8. splithoof

    splithoof Member

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    ^^^^^^ The system deserves absolutely zero respect at all, just as do those who work to enforce it.

    "Fugitive from justice". The way things are going here in California, one morning many will wake up with that new descriptive. Ah, the hope for escape!
     
  9. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Member

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    Well law does not equal justice. So the "are you a fugitive from justice" ought to be able to honestly be answered no, on some occasions, even if police are looking for you.
     
  10. AethelstanAegen

    AethelstanAegen Member

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    Blakenzy hit the nail on the head. The reason for the question is not that they expect most criminals to select yes, but rather if you selected no and they catch you later on...they now have caught making false statements, which carries its own jail time on top of what ever other crimes for which they can charge you. Now theoretically I would hope NICS wouldn't clear someone who was a fugitive from justice but on the off chance it did, it's up to five years they can tack onto your sentence.

     
  11. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    I laugh secure in the knowledge that its just a bureaucratic question designed to further their existence and grow the bureaucracy. If the question is asked somebody must be hired to file away the answer.

    How often do we hear of a criminal obtaining a gun through NICS and being prosecuted for lying on the form. Does it ever happen?
     
  12. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    Think of it as a Get Out of Jail Free card for the shop.

    Really, no fugitive would check yes. But if the question wasn't there and they slipped through the system, how quick do you think a lawyer would be on the shop's case for not asking?

    Put the question on there. Now there's no way the seller can knowingly sell a firearm to a felon or fugitive, as far as that form's concerned.
     
  13. jamesbeat

    jamesbeat Member

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    When I filled out the form for for my green card, I had to answer all of those and some other juicy ones, such as declaring that I had never worked as a spy or a prostitute.
    Another asked if I had had any weapons training.
    There were quite a few good ones, but that's all I can remember offhand.

    I agree that the questions are not there to carch criminals out, but to give them leverage if they ever have a case against you.
    Rather than go to the trouble of a lengthy legal discussion, they can simply bring up the fact that you lied on the form, which is a crime in itself.

    It's just a CYA thing, definitely not a joke.
    You're not answering questions as such, more making legal declarations.

    On the UK firearms certificate form there are genuine trick questions, one of which asks you the reason why you wish to own guns. 'Self defense' is the trick answer, since self defense does not constitute a 'good reason' to own a gun in the UK.
     
  14. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    I think given the current political climate they should amend the form with the box 'Not yet'. :D
     
  15. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    Nooo, it's a crime in EVERY state for an FFL to sell a gun w/o the form. That is a federal law, not a state one.
     
  16. rdhood

    rdhood Member

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    People are not experts on the law. They may not know what might make them a prohibited person (with respect to gun sales). Sure, they know if they have a felony. But they might not know that being a felon usually permanently prohibits them from purchasing a firearm. They may not know that a warrant for their arrest in another state or country (fugitive from justice) is grounds for denial. When you make them check yes or no to this question, they have to think.

    It is not necessary to see conspiracy theories. Another question is something like "are you addicted to drugs?" Same situation. The citizen might have a clean record, but be addicted to legal pain medication for which he/she has a legal prescription. That person is prohibited, but might not know it.

    This is CYA for the person transferring the firearm, and a wake up for persons trying to purchase a firearm. If I am addicted to painkillers, for which I have a legal prescription, then I might be filling out my first 4473 not realizing that I am a prohibited person. When I read this for the first time, THEN I realize that I cannot purchase a firearm. There was no intent to do something illegal, and there was no conspiracy on the part of the government to entrap.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  17. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    When I had my interview for my FF, I asked my ATF guy "why all the stupid questions? Why not one question...like can you legally possess a firearm?" His answer....."by answering and signing the 4473 a person is certifying under penalty of law that all of their answers are true and correct. If the person lies...they may be charged with a felony". (and yes prohibited persons do fill out the form and sign it frequently)




    The 4473 is not a "background check form"......it is a firearm transaction record. It has been in effect since 1968......the Brady Law that requires a background check prior to purchase has been law since 1994.





    The 4473 is not NICS. NICS is the FBI background check system, the Form 4473 is the ATF firearm transaction record. While you can't run a NICS check without a 4473, you don't always need a NICS check on every 4473. Many states have a firearm permit that exempts the buyer from the FBI NICS check.



    The Form 4473 has NOTHING to do with liability.



    Nailed it.:D

    If there is a warrant for your arrest, you're a "fugitive from justice".



    It doesn't "grow the bureaucracy".....it grows in my back bedroom. dealers are required to keep the 4473's on file for twenty years....ATF only get them if the dealer goes out of business. After twenty years I can shred those boxes and boxes of 4473's.

    The only ones being hired to "file away the answer" would be by me..../i have the forms.:(








    How often do we hear of a criminal obtaining a gun through NICS and being prosecuted for lying on the form. Does it ever happen?
     
  18. Walt622

    Walt622 Member

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    Seems to me that checking yes on that question would be a violation of your 5th amendment rights.
     
  19. Akita1

    Akita1 Member

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    My favorite 4473 section is 10. 10a asks if your "Ethnicity" is Hispanic/Latino or non-Hispanic/Latino, then 10b asks what your "Race" with no Hispanic/Latino option.

    I get that "Ethnicity" is related to culture whereas "Race" is appearance and the two are considered separate and distinct per OMB and USCB, but then why isn't 10a asking about other Ethnicities?

    I am sure the is a logical lesson coming from my fellow forum members and moderators so please pile on...
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  20. somerandomguy

    somerandomguy member

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    There's no way they can write them with a straight face. You guys are right though...it's so they can get the liars with a second penalty.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  21. Mango88

    Mango88 Member

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    The Form 4473 is redundant, all firearm transactions are recorded in the FFL's log book and the NICS check makes the answering of the questions on the 4473 more than a bit superfluous. Having been a FFl holder in the past I know that the only person who risks any real chance of prosecution from an improperly filled out 4473 is the FFL holder.
     
  22. palmrose2

    palmrose2 Member

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    You could be a fugitive from some law enforcement organization yet not be a fugitive from "justice". Just ask all the guys and gals still alive that were involved in the civil rights conflicts of the mid twentieth century.
     
  23. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    You would be wrong.(its not a legal proceeding ......its a form;))


    In the 8th grade I learned the difference between "race" and "ethnicity.....and I'm 55yrs old. "Hispanic" is not a race and never has been, therefore isn't listed on Question 10b.


    God help us when they do.
     
  24. kcgunesq

    kcgunesq Member

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    Or mayb not. At least under Missouri law. A recent appellate case discusses in depth what the term means when construing a state criminal statute prohibiting possession. The court ultimately concluded that the legislature needs to define it.

    Not exactly the same issue perhaps. But still a fun read.
    State v. Rodgers, WD74912 (2013).
     
  25. Walt622

    Walt622 Member

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