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March 23, 2011 03:43 PM UTC

What we need: common-sense gun laws

  • by: Raf

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Not for the first time, I’m moved to comment briefly on our country’s gun laws. After yesterday’s indefinite tabling of HB 1205 – which would’ve allowed gun owners to carry their weapons without the need for a concealed carry permit and a second background check – I thought it was as good a time as any to point to efforts on the federal side of the ledger.

One thing that needs to be addressed is the existence of lax, unaccountable private gun sales. This report from KJCT in Grand Junction makes clear the need for change:

But, in the private classifieds, there’s no law requiring any kind of background check. We put it to the test Friday afternoon, to see if private sales are really exempt.

We scanned the classifieds in Grand Junction and called on a handful of advertisements. When we asked the seller how long a background check would take, we heard the same answer from each of them. “This is a private sale, there is no background check.”

Think of that. Someone with felonies on their record, or someone with a history of domestic violence, can just arrange for a private sale and minutes later possess a deadly weapon.

Contrast this with the process of buying a gun from a retailer:

“You have to give your complete physical address, driver’s license number, social security number,” James Palmer with Gene Taylor’s explained. “You’ll also answer eight or ten questions on your legal status and citizenship.”

If you’re buying from Gene Taylor’s Sporting Goods, or any other store for that matter, you’ll have to pass an extensive background check before you are approved. “If you have a felony in your background, you can’t own it,” Palmer explained. “If you have domestic violence in your background, you can’t own it.”

It boggles my mind that this is the case. And I’m not the only one. Tom Mauser, whose son Daniel was killed at Columbine High School in 1999, feels the same way:

If you agree, you can join Tom, myself, and thousands of others at

disclosure: I’m working with Mayors Against Illegal Guns on this issue.


21 thoughts on “What we need: common-sense gun laws

  1. 1) Do not shoot anyone who does not deserve to be shot.

    Private sales are weird.

    But I’ve always thought it was ammunition that causes the real problem. That and a lack of insurance.

    1. if it didn’t immediately follow Tom Mauser’s video. It sort of falls flat considering his loss.

      To the content of the diary, this is a reasonable solution to what continues to fall through the cracks as a result of our current laws. The loophole for private sales needs to be fixed.  

      1. how in the hell do you effectively regulate the private sale of anything?

        Private sales of sex are already illegal; private sales of drugs are already illegal; yada, yada, yada.  Would it help if we could close those “loopholes” by making those sales transactions more illegal (double-secret-probation-illegal?) than they already are — oh wait?

        Let’s see, the illegal buyer’s already a convicted felon, . . . it’s already illegal for him or her to make this illegal purchase, . . . the seller may or may not be a witting party, . . .  

        Loophole???  C’mon.

        And, even realistically, how do you allow for private citizens to have access to the the criminal databases of the CBI and FBI without raising all sorts of privacy concerns.

        Now if all you want is to simply make all sales of all firearms completely illegal by anyone to anyone, well then, please proceed . . . (and, don’t forget to assert your moral high ground).

        1. Regulation of private sales is unworkable.

          I personally wouldn’t do a private sell to anyone without a carry permit. That provides me a degree of assurance they are law abiding because an extensive background check is done to get a carry permit.

          Of course this is voluntary. With or without a law, someone who wants a gun bad enough and has the money will get one, just like booze, drugs, sex, etc.  

          1. how to make it workable though it makes the market smaller

            I agree that there needs to be a way found to regulate private sales. Right now a private seller could sell to a child.  

            1. Interstate sales are regulated by federal law. Couple years ago I sold a shotgun to a party in Connecticut. They provided me with a federally licensed firearms dealer and their ATF number. You get on the ATF website, verify it’s legit, and I shipped to the dealer. The dealer had pre checked the buyer. Legitimate and safe transaction.

              Dealers do charge a fee for this, but it’s not onerous. The legislature could pass a law requiring all private sales to go through participating federally licensed dealers the same way for an an intrastate sale. But it would be a tough fight for sure.

        1. without background checks, that would have been prevented had a background check been conducted, where the gun sold is used in a crime, the law could have considerable effect.

    1. and if same gun found used in the execution of crime by someone other than the registered owner then compounded charges filed against the owner.  If gun has been reported stolen but was actually sold then additional charges of false report filing.

      Come on folks, we do better at registering vehicles than we do guns.  

      why does US have NO commen sense when it comes 2 guns.  RIP Todd Walker


        1. guns to people they don’t know.  An honest seller can rely on a buyer filing off a serial number.

          Criminals will still sell guns to each other, but narrowing the trade to ineligible honors from non-criminals would have an impact.

          1. make honest men worry about selling guns.”  Bingo — and end of story.  Everything after that is merely justification for the objective.

      1. a clean background, will you let them check your crystal ball to make sure that buyer won’t commit any henious crimes over the rest of his or her life?

  2. It is not possible to intervene with background checks in all private sales, but the attempt will cut down dangerous sales significantly. There would be an improvement, which would mean fewer psychos with guns on the street. That’s enough for me.  

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