Just announced on Fox News that New York City mayor Bloomberg is releasing video of Illegal gun transactions, reportedly "Thousands of dollars worth of loaded Firearms sold at or near a gun show."
Now I am not a big fan of NY gun laws, they are overly restrictive and often misused by officials who have little knowledge of the firearm culture. Additionally Bloomberg has alligned himself with Chuck "The Schmuck" Schumer on ant gun issues including suing of gun manufactures. Article: Clicky Click
My gut feeling that this is being done to coincide with the current Supreme Court McDonald v. Chicago and to muster up public emotion support and possibly influence the court.
Lets break this down, if a person with criminal intent is willing to drive across many states, seek a private dealer and purchase a handgun, for criminal purposes, how would another restrictive law stop him from doing it. It just would not happen in the gun show. Luckily most people I have ever met behind the tables at gun shows are simply great people and fall into generally 3 categories, the Professional Shop Owner/Dealer, the private collector/enthusiast, and the oddity/accessory types.
Since the general public is generally ill informed about fire arms and If you are un famlure with what I am talking about ley me decribe.
The dealers: These are the guys behind the tables with all the new "Black and plastic rifles or dozens of new in the box pistols. Their Job is to sell, firearms to the public and until recently the profit margin was not all that great. The dealers, though not the central focus of this media campaign campain still have a lot to loose namely their livelihood. At gun shows the dealers are very wary of both criminals trying to make purchases or people seeking to make illegal modifications. I don't know how many times I heard a patron ask someone a stupid and potentially "Problematic" question at Gun shows and I always heard a respectful, informative and legally proper answer from these guys. Most times when I overheard these conversations the patron was a novice to the firearm community was genuinely curious, but a few times I have heard what appeared scripted questions from people that looked like the "should know better".
The oddity/accessory types well we know who they are. These guys sell anything and everything specializing most of the time in one area . One will have a all books, the next will have magazines (not the reading kind), the next 3 gazillion cheap Chinese made knives and beef jerky, right the next to the guy with the highest quality hand made custom knives. Most of the stuff is new; I could go on.
What Bloomberg and NYC is focusing on is the private collector/enthusiast. These people are private citizens that go to Gun Shows for many different reasons. And notice they are called gun shows! Not Gun Sales!. Many go to simply display their collections, talk with people and network. They often sell items to to upgrade their collection and sell off stuff they have accumulated over the years. (Two of the coolest firearms I saw at gun shows were on display and not for sale, the first was a punt gun 10 years old and the other was a Finish Anti-Tank rifle from WWII in its crate with all the accessories.) Also there are those use the table as a continuous "Garage Sale' of loosely related Junk. ( Tons of odd stuff to pick through )
All these guys love to talk about their stuff. Most are very informed, others not so much. The stories and bravado between patron and person behind the table is truly an experience. Are there some bad apples at gun shows? Probably. Have I ever met I would classify as bad apple? Not knowingly.
Note: There are some things at gun shows I do stay away from and one is the reproduction Nazi items. I just have a hard time mentally dealing with that stuff. The original captured stuff is historically important and if one wants to have these items in a collection, fine. But I think the reproduction stuff just glorifies a failed and evil part of human history.
It is rare to see a private sale with more then one or two modern handguns that would be affordable to the street thug. What you will see, and as seen in the video are Broom-handle Mausers that can cost over $3,000 and fire obsolete and almost imposable to find ammo. You will see small cal browning autos from the 1920's., Colt cowboy pistols, custom competition target pistols, WWI and WWII Luger's, Colt 1911autos and just about anything else you can think of. What you hardly ever see is a Glock or a S&W auto for sale privately. And I never saw one of the cheaper modern handguns for sale by a private owner.
When a person buys a handgun it is usually a well thought out process even when buying one for the first time. That person rarely sells their carefully selected modern handgun, and if they do it is not at a Gun Show from behind the table, It is sold most times to one of the dealers from the front side of the table if at a gun show at all. Most times it would be sold to a friend privately at their own kitchen table.
The Gun-show Table is no different than your kitchen table. It is privately owned. Any person can privately sell anything he or she wants to anyone else providing it is not illegal. What we need to wary about is NYC lobbying to federalize the gun-show/kitchen table. I am sorry if NYPD's job is hard but if laws are being broken, go after the criminals. I know the 60 year old guy with the colt collection in Nevada can't run very fast and easy to catch, but he is not your problem. We don't need to make more criminals out of generally very moral people. If a firearm was sold knowing that an immoral act was to be performed with it and that act was committed, then the seller should be punished.
Why can a car dealer sell an auto to an alchoholic? Can you sell a used car to anyone you want? Why can I sell a car to a person that does not have a licence? Why can I own a car without a licence? Did you know cars can kill people! (and we do nt have a constitutionl right to own a car!)
A firearm is a tool just like any other with one exception. It is protected by our constitution. It is an individual right.
BTW: people of NY have the right to keep and bear arms just much as the rest of the country. Just because NY is a semi-socialized taxopolis doesn't mean you get to impose your restrictive ideas elsewhere.
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