BWI -- Buying While Intoxicated?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by toivo, May 23, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. toivo

    toivo Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,211
    Location:
    New York State
    No, I'm not talking about buyer's remorse, but about an experience I had today in a big-box sporting goods store. I was browsing the gun section -- you know, like you do -- and I heard somebody say something. I looked up, and there was a guy about five feet away from me, looking at the handguns in the case. He was talking to himself. He started to walk along the counter, and I noticed that he was unsteady on his feet, swaying from side to side. When he passed by me, the alcohol cloud practically made my eyes water.

    He started to ask the clerk questions about what ammo would work in some gun he had just acquired. He was slurring his words, and his eyes were glassy. The clerk answered the questions, and the guy picked the ammo off the shelf and staggered off toward the registers.

    This got me thinking: What would be the legal or ethical issues if this guy had been shopping for a firearm? If I were making a private sale and the buyer showed up that drunk, I would balk at completing the transaction. Am I just a paranoid busybody? Would the store or the clerk have any legal liability if something bad happened? Would they even be able to legally refuse the sale?

    It also occurred to me as the guy was leaving that I hoped he wasn't going to get behind the wheel. He was WASTED...

    Anyway, I really don't know what to think here. Just thought I'd put it out there and see what anybody else thinks.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  2. CZguy

    CZguy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,968
    Location:
    Missouri
    Isn't that something. I have no idea what the laws are on this, but it made me feel uncomfortable, so I would have called 911.
     
  3. Guardrail

    Guardrail Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    23
    If I were FTF, I would not sell him anything. If I were the cashier, I would call the manager and make them make the decision.

    Guardrail
     
  4. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    3,428
    Location:
    IA
    I wouldn't do it in a FTF. I definitely wouldn't call 911 in the circumstances described by the OP though.
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    63,351
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Well, if he were going to try to purchase a firearm he'd have to show some ID and fill out a 4473. It is unlikely that he'd accomplish that task and wouldn't be allowed to purchase the firearm. While he was puzzling out the form I would ask the police to come by and give him a ride home so he wouldn't harm himself or anyone else.

    I suspect that there are rules against making a firearm sale to anyone who is not "competent", but that's a BATFE rules detail I can't swear to.
     
  6. bubba15301

    bubba15301 Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Messages:
    378
    Location:
    pa
    ffl can refuse to sale the firearm for any reason
     
  7. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    5,365
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    We've become way to nosey in the lives of others - as a society.
     
  8. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Californicated Colorado
    +1

    Of course, when it is your own FTF transaction, that is literally your business, so you can do whatever you want to do.
    I don't think there are any legal limitation at the federal level. Your state might have all kinds of anti-gun headaches to consider.
    Maybe. Nobody really knows if he was in fact drunk, suffering from a medical problem, or something else.
    I wouldn't put it past any tort lawyer to chase down any ambulance they thought might have a case.
    Of course.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  9. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,865
    being drunk in public with a weapon isnt a concern?
     
  10. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Californicated Colorado
    Who said he had a weapon? Who confirmed he was drunk? I missed those statements.
     
  11. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,865
    as for having a weapon, ill admit, i just read the OP wrong.....


    as for being drunk......looks like a duck, walks like a duck, talks like a duck......and smells of alcohol.
     
  12. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,057
    Location:
    NC
    Well this thread isn't what I thought. :neener:

    I was going to confess about buying 10 extra mags online after taking a date home. Granted I had only consumed 2 drinks while we were out and 3 more once I finally got home, but it was 4 am and I was really happy so my judgement was impaired. :) As it turns out, it is really handy having several extra mags! Prior to that I was happy with 3 mags per handgun...now I need at least 5.

    Back on topic, I agree with these statements:

     
  13. toivo

    toivo Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,211
    Location:
    New York State
    Yeah, just to clarify, he was only buying ammo. I was doing a "what if" about buying a gun. But if he had been able to purchase a firearm, then he would have been drunk in public with a weapon.

    I was just a bystander, so the bottom line is that it's none of my business, but I personally would not have sold this man a firearm in his condition. He had all the signs, and I could smell the alcohol.

    Doing a little Google searching, I found that it's a Class A misdemeanor in Tennessee to sell a firearm to a person who is intoxicated. This is gun-unfriendly New York, so I imagine it would be that or worse, but I haven't found anything yet.
     
  14. Ledgehammer

    Ledgehammer Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Messages:
    492
    Buying ammo? I could care less. If I saw a drunk guy staggering around with a firearm yea I'd call the cops. Other than that it's his life if he wants to get drunk and go shopping that's his choice as far as I'm concerned.

    If he doesn't have a permit he would have to wait a few days before pi king up his gun. If he was drunk and wanted buy a firearm well it's a felony to be in possession while intoxicated.
     
  15. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,434
    One person could drink a six-pack and still appear sober. Another person who has never drank, or has not in a long, long time may be totally-wasted on one 16 oz beer!

    One person could take a traquilizer prescribed by the doctor, in fact they may take several and still be totally together, and another person just taking this prescription for the first time could be slurring their words, knocking things over and basically making a scene for all 'walmartians' to see!

    I can understand not letting someone who cannot walk purchase a gun, but this brings up a whole other topic and that is, at what extent do we try to stop such a sale?

    Someone could be on pain medication for chronic debilitating pain -- and be physically dependent on it (JFK?), just like people are physically dependent on diabetes meds, blood pressure meds, blood thinner meds and all sorts of legal prescription medications. Should all those people not be allowed to purchase a gun and/or ammunition as well -- just because they have to take some prescribed medication(s)?

    Nicotine is a drug.
    Someone could smoke five cigarettes who never smokes and it may make him seem agitated or somehow on drugs, as he is, on lots of nicotine!
     
  16. M-Cameron

    M-Cameron member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,865
    thats why FFLs have the right to refuse service for any reason......

    its a shame, but with some medications, there are things you cannot do.....like drive, operate heavy machinery, ect.....because the mess you up.

    if your medication( legal or not) messes with you to the extent that you are slurring words and stumbling.....i would absolutely refuse you a sale.

    however, you could be on 400mG og morphine an hour, but if you seem clear headed, able to walk and speak normally.....why shouldnt you be able to buy a gun.
     
  17. Colonel

    Colonel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Messages:
    319
    For the crime of even being in a gun store while intoxicated, I think he should have been immediately sent to Gitmo for waterboarding.
     
  18. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    4,434
    Exactly.
    I agree with your statements 100%.
    It is all in how persons present themselves and handle themselves on meds or off meds -- with a drink or without a drink.
     
  19. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Californicated Colorado
    Those suffering from cerebral palsy and a number of other maladies, unfortunately get accused of intoxication when someone is quick to judge.
     
  20. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,057
    Location:
    NC
    I have a co-worker that suffers from a nervous condition that sends his blood pressure to dangerously high levels. When it happens, he has nerve issues and a loss of equilibrium. Poor guy can't walk straight until he sits down, takes his medicine and calms himself.

    You know what is odd? Yes, he looks completely wasted when he is like that, eyes glassed over, can't walk straight and everything. Other co-workers that aren't familiar with his condition see him like that and automatically assume he is drunk or high...and a shockingly high percentage of those people swear they can smell alcohol on him. I'm not saying the guy the OP is referring to wasn't drunk, but sometimes our minds play tricks on us when we are expecting something.
     
  21. toivo

    toivo Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,211
    Location:
    New York State
    I agree with that 100%. My mother is diabetic, and I know how she gets when she's having a "low" -- it's very much like intoxication. I wouldn't have judged this guy if it hadn't been for the big cloud of alcohol fumes around him -- I wasn't even that close to him, and it was powerful.
     
  22. snubbies

    snubbies Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Messages:
    354
    Location:
    Illinois
    911

    Even the appearance of Public Intoxication should have prompted a 911 call whether in a gun store or anywhere in public
     
  23. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    5,961
    Location:
    Near Camp Perry
    yep

    MYOB
     
  24. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,691
    Location:
    Stanwood, WA
    Note to self: If snubbies calls and says, "Let's go out!"..... politely refuse.
     
  25. Birdmang

    Birdmang Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,191
    Ive bought a gun on the web drunk, should I turn myself in?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice