Big, Black, & Scary

What talking heads don't want you to know about gun laws

Big, Black, & Scary

Big, black, and scary...

No, we're not talking about that toy you found at that adult store... We're talking about the guns you see on the news.

While gun control and second amendment rights are huge talking points, many people are misinformed. We want to give you some actual information about the 'assault rifles' you hear so much about. 

Keep reading for more information! 

No Such Thing as an Assault Rifle...

Wait what? 

Yeah, AR-15 doesn't actually stand for "assault rifle." It's a shortened name of the first company who made this style of gun--Armalite Rifle.

Also, if you look up the word assault, you will find it described as a noun or a verb, not an adjective. Yes, there are people that use these guns to wrongly assault people, but that is the action the person takes and it can be with a variety of weapons.

The idea that a particular style of gun is more dangerous than another is foolish. Most every gun can (and does) go bang, could protect your home or property, and has the potential to kill someone. 

Fully automatic weapons are also harder to find than the movies make you believe. They have to have been produced pre-1986 and to purchase them now, is COSTLY. This is due to the fact that they can't be manufactured anymore and are becoming rarer than ever.

Generally, what most people describe as an 'assault rifle' is a type of sporting gun that is great for pest control (feral hogs,) target practice, hunting, and defending your home, if ever necessary. 

But They Kill Numerous People...

Demonizing a type of gun or even the magazine (not clip) that belongs to it won't solve the problem of mass shootings. Neither will completely outlawing firearms. 

If you listen to lawmakers and talking heads, anyone can go out and buy a gun. This is only a half truth. 

Federal firearms license (FFL) holders must perform a background check and have the option to decline the sale for any reason. The buyer can't have a felony, be a current fugitive, addicted to substances, must be a US citizen or have a valid alien number, cannot have a dishonorable discharge, a restraining order,  found mentally unstable by a court of law, or have prior convictions of domestic violence. The entire form can be viewed here.

While someone could lie on their 4473 form, there is a high chance the FBI would flag them. The one item the FBI may miss is the part about one's mental health, but this would open up a whole other can of worms with HIPPA and your privacy.

You might assume that a potential buyer can just have someone purchase the firearm for them. This would be a straw purchase and is also illegal. FFL holders watch for certain types of behavior that may indicate that the person buying the gun isn't the actual consumer. 

FFL holders typically will deny the sale because they can lose their ability to operate their store and therefore their livelihood. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (BATFE, also known as the ATF) performs audits on all FFL holders to ensure their paperwork is correct and guns aren't being sold illegally. 

The gun show or individual sales 'loopholes' are an area that the government can improve upon. Unfortunately, the more regulations that are enacted, the more people will go 'underground' with their buying and selling, making it harder to enforce anything at all. 

Peer-to-peer marketplaces and online sales seem to make gun laws confusing. Generally, they follow the same laws that brick and mortar shops do. If a gun is purchased out of state, it must be legal in the buyer's state and transferred to an FFL. That FFL will then perform the background check before transferring the weapon.

Keeping the Bad Guys at Bay

There is no true way to keep a criminal from getting a gun, just like it is near impossible to keep illicit substances from addicts. 

Education about firearms, safety, and existing laws is important. Providing the general population with proper mental healthcare is imperative. What won't work is scaring the public into believing a certain type of gun is worse than another and random corporate policies that do nothing more than make various phrases and words seem worse than they are. 

If there is anything to take away from this article, it's that the hype around creating new laws is absurd when most are already on the books. The lawmakers on both sides are clueless when it comes to guns and there are numerous requirements being enforced at all times. 

 

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