So, this is mostly a hollow victory for gun control advocates. It does accomplish something, but, I don’t think it furthers any actual, meaningful gun control agendas.
Also found this quote rather amusing:
"Bump stocks turn semiautomatic guns into illegal machine guns,” an unidentified senior Justice Department official told CNN on Wednesday. “This final rule sends a clear message: Illegal guns have no place in a law-and-order society, and we will continue to vigorously enforce the law to keep these illegal weapons off the street.”
OK well, they diddn’t legally do that. They do make semiautomatic rifles act sortof like a machine gun, no debate there; and so the tangible effect is that it mimics a machine gun, but until anti-bumpstock rules are passed, the guns themselves are legal with or without said device. So the final part of the quote that says they are illegal guns that have no place well… they are legal guns. And the law makes one component illegal because the legal gun plus the sliding stock device results in a configuration that the people have decided has no place; and so going forward these features attached to otherwise normally legal rifles will be off store shelves.
But bump stocks are still easy to make if someone wanted. A lot of people were DIYing them to save from buying an expensive novelty stock. So when it comes to it, if someone is going to use one to cause harm in a situation similar to the inciting Vegas shooting, the lack of commercially available bumpstocks, or the legal status of them, is hardly going to do much if the rest of the gun is otherwise legal.
And to serious and legitimate gun owners, the core of the pro-gun contingent, they were a novelty anyway. They always figured they were going to either be banned or remain just a strange novelty for the plebs who couldn’t afford a real, legal, registered machine gun. So banning this is an easy concession from the pro2A groups; there’s no room to defend them on all but strictly legal grounds which means the law can just change. And their loss is hardly felt. To them its just business as usual, and by and large the actual industry and actual pro2A people are happy to let bump stocks take the prime spotlight because everyone is actually fucking around with arm-braces which actually do provide a lot of utlity and options for gun owners, while enjoing such a crazy confluence of legal loophole weaving and precedent stacking and product design specifics that I’m impressed and surprised that it exists at all. To put it more conceicely: they will happily let the anti-gun lobby run around talking about banning bump stocks while enjoying their subcompact CQB assault “pistols” with folding arm braces.
On the one hand, boo.
On the other hand, it’s South Dakota. The state is so sparsely populated that gun violence really isn’t a thing there. I’m kind of with Howard Dean on this one when he said that gun control probably needs to be done more at a state-by-state level, so long as states have the power they need to appropriately regulate gun ownership. What is needed for New York City (or State even, though upstate is pretty rural) probably isn’t applicable to Vermont or South Dakota.
New York can pass all of the gun control laws they want. However they become moot if all one has to do is drive to Vermont for a gun show.
Hench the situation in Chicago:
Chicago has very strict gun laws, but most of the guns in the city come from out-of-state.
Universal, Federal gun registration and tracking.
- Super Felony to possess an unregistered gun anywhere in the US.
- Super Felony to possess a gun illegally in a particular state
- Regular Felony if a gun registered to you ends up in a state where it is illegal and you hadn’t previously reported it stolen or transferred the registration
- Civil liability if a gun registered to you is used in a crime of any kind and you had not performed due diligence on securing it, reporting it stolen, reporting too many guns stolen (and thus being denied the ability to register future guns), or properly transferring a registration.
That would largely solve this over a reasonable span of time. Couple it with a law that says any unregistered gun, regardless of the outcome of other investigations, is destroyed upon the completion of said investigations. No appeal. No chance to register it post-hoc.
Everybody gets one change to register their guns when the law passes. One year from that date, an unregistered gun is a trip to jail.
Any time a crime is committed with a gun and the gun is recovered, its chain of ownership is subject to a mandatory investigation to determine if every transfer of said gun was fully legal. Breaks in the chain are all felonies.
I think these laws probably can be applicable across the spectrum as they don’t possess an extreme burden to law-abiding gun owners while ideally making it easier to go after those who aren’t.
I’m not arguing that there shouldn’t be some sort of federal baseline gun regulations just to prevent people importing guns from extremely lax states into extremely strict ones. There definitely should be a reasonable baseline and then individual states can apply additional regulations on top of the baseline as applicable to their own situations.
Well hold up, let’s unpack this for a minute.
The purpose of any law is to reduce the frequency with which an undesirable thing occurs. A seatbelt will not prevent 100% of crash-related deaths, but it sure reduces the frequency.
All gun control laws are like this. There is literally no way to completely stop all gun violence short of literally melting down all guns on planet earth - and even then, you can 3D print a lower receiver sooooooo.
The goal is to make it harder to get a gun, and in doing so, reduce the number of guns that people can get.
The pool of people willing to drive to a gun show in VT is way smaller than the pool of people who would buy a firearm because it’s convenient. The honest truth is that buying a gun is super easy in this country, and so firearms are a weapon of choice largely because of convenience. Make it inconvenient, and you will find a lot of gun deaths just…go away.
So nothing makes any law “moot,” it just steers behavior in a certain way. You can use this to funnel behavior into predictable channels which are then much easier to regulate, which is exactly the goal of all law.
I was using NY/VT as an example, substitute Chicago/Indiana if you prefer.
I’m not saying we should do nothing, I’m saying there is a limit to what a state government can do. Especially when they border a state where they prefer obscenely lax gun control.
As it is, I can’t buy ammo in my state without a proper card or getting a higher permit. I could get one but I don’t… Need one? (Or I don’t want one maybe. Well it takes money and time and enough that I can’t be bothered if I’m not invested in staying here anyway.)
In addition here in CT we can’t buy or own (unregistered) high-cap mags over 10 round capacity.
But yes. Today I can go to almost any other state and buy ammo. Some in New England may not sell me a bunch of ammo if I’ve got a license from CT but most won’t even card me now since I don’t look 15. In Florida I was able to buy boxes of ammunition from Walmart and a gun shop and even bought a pair of 30-round AR mags for my Florida friend just to see if I could.
Nothing prevents me in any practical matter from bringing that ammo or those mags to my state. It would be various shades of legal transgression to do so, but in no case where I don’t cause problems would it likely be a problem. Nor can anyone really tell at a glance or from an Instagram post if that GI aluminum 30 Rd mag was made in 2018 or 1988. (There are absolutely ways to tell if you look up close btw)
But as it is we cannot already legally buy and take ownership of guns out of our state of residence, in almost all situations. Already, this is a thing. If I am in Florida, even if I am semi-permanetntly living there and want a gun to own while I’m there and I see a gun I want I have to either show I’m now a legal resident of Florida. Or I have to have the company ship the gun to an FFL in my home state where I pick it up and then take it back with me to Florida. If the gun I want is legal in FL but not in CT I just cannot buy it full stop. Even if I’m keeping it in Florida.
Person to Person is a loophole maybe, but only in pragmatic terms not legal ones. Gunshows are supposed to only sell a gun as a private person to person transfer to someone who lives in the state of the show being held, or otherwise they still have to go thru an FFL. If I sell a shotgun to Joe, even if he lives 10 miles away in Rhode Island and I know him personally… I must go thru an FFL. At that point Joe may as well have ordered it online or bought any other gun from the store as the paperwork and checks are identixal. But if I sell to my other friend Carlos who lives in CT 20 miles north of me, no FFL need be involved at all.
Long story short is I don’t buy ammo much and certainly not to bring into CT. When I do, I use it where I am. I don’t need more high-cap mags. I don’t buy guns or own any handguns because the process to get a permit is just a pain to deal with and I’m not that into it. That’s most of the point. Its all enough of a pain that I don’t want to deal with it but my other friends who are gun owners will have jumped thru the hoops. The question is, will this do anything? It doesn’t stop a determined person. It might modify the behavior of a somewhat determined person. It probably deflates the motivation of others, and certainly keeps idiots and irresponsible people from having easy access. So it does a job and has an impact and mostly it’s fine.
I’m still frustrated by the assault weapons ban, which doesn’t in my mind do much to actually lessen the danger for anyone but does cause headaches for legal ownership. But we can’t really say much about whether the AWB Portion of the legislations did much vs other measures.
I also live in CT but I don’t own guns. This is probably for the best, as you’ll see shortly.
I’m a person who thinks guns and explosions and sharp objects and the like are cool. In this respect I’m still somewhere between like 6 and 13. Pure child like enjoyment of certain subjects (hell if you’re interested you can check out another thread where I made a sword from a piece of soft rolled steel)
Unrelated to that, I’m prone to some pretty wild emotional roller-coasters. Not to delve too deep into my psyche, but for the purposes of this explanation I need not say more than that at my absolute lows, which often don’t last very long, maybe an hour at most, I’ve 100% considered suicide in very pragmatic terms.
My childlike enjoyment of firearms combined with my yuppy salary mean that if it was ever convenient, I’d probably purchase one and safely play around with it for a little while, maybe shoot a few targets, I’m honestly not too sure what gun owners generally do with their guns, before storing it safely, gun safe, yadda yadda yadda.
The fact is that in my state, it’s never been convenient. So I’ve never bothered with the purchase. I don’t put a lot of thought into this sort of thing, I’ve never even bothered to look into what the process is, other than the time my coworker told me she owned firearms and I asked what the process of acquiring them in CT was like.
Conversely, were I ever to own or have easy access to firearms, and I hit one of my lowest lows…
The point is that yes. These laws absolutely do something. Maybe not against a motivated person with funds or whatever. But laws generally aren’t designed to stop exactly one person from doing something, they’re designed for populations, populations with various levels of care, various use cases, various financial situations, backgrounds, etc etc.
The question isn’t, does it help in a particular case. It’s are they, on balance good for society at large? For my part, I’m vibrantly grateful we have them.
Yeah I’m mostly in agreement. The barriers to entry we have are viable and do help. I have no problem with adding various and layered speedbumps, barriers, and other gateways a person must pass thru and be better by. In large part no state does enough. If you were more specifically into shooting, the barriers even in CT are not so onerous that it would be a huge deterrent. Correct me if I’m misjudging it, but seems the fact being you’re only curious, and not particularly interested in buying any guns is likely as much to your credit of not fuxxing with them as any legal barriers that do exist.
So yeah it works enough. It’s not perfect. Could be abused. But it’s not bad.
Maybe, but maybe not. I’m not always in the frame of mind to admit these things. Certainly not in public. If an opportunity presented itself I’d still probably take it even today. Because owning a gun would be pretty cool. I guess the fact that it’s never been easy means my own credit has never been tested in practice.
Moving outside the United States…
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported a fundraising page has been created to cover the boy’s legal fees and help him purchase “more eggs.”
When the cops turned up and [the kid] was being held to the ground, he said, “here comes the bacon for the egg.”
What a fucking hero