Few years old story but a good one:
The joys of being a gun dealer Monster Hunter Nation
Some names and identities have been changed to protect the criminally stupid.
As a local neighborhood Gun Monger, I get to meet all sorts of interesting people. A few nights ago was a perfect example of “interesting”. This individual comes into the shop, right before close of business, and says he wants to buy a gun. Okay, no problem, that’s what we do here. But then it took a turn for the weird. There were three of us working the shop that evening, (PvtPyle, Ice Dragon, and I) and we all got the same weird vibe off this guy. Think of Norman from Office Space. He was adamant that he had to have the gun THAT NIGHT.
I’ll call this guy Norman. So Norman looks at a couple of guns for all of ten seconds. It is obvious that he doesn’t know jack squat about guns or how to manipulate them, but he’s dead set on getting a gun right now. He’s creepy, weird, twitchy, barely coherent, and at this point I figure he’s either crazy, stupid, or an ATF plant checking to see if we’ll do something illegal. After a minute of (difficult) conversation with Norman, PvtPyle and I had already agreed he wasn’t getting a gun from us.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m a 2nd Amendment absolutist. I think background checks are a tool of Satan. I’m in favor of machine guns for everyone. I think anybody should be allowed to carry a gun, Alaska style, with no permit necessary. A liberal could maybe, just maybe, on a really emotional day, talk me into a 24 hour “cooling off” period before allowing the purchase of a 155mm Atomic Howitzer. Maybe…
Okay, there could be legitimate reasons for Norman needing a gun RIGHT NOW, but as a dealer, if I think you’re going to take this weapon and go do something bad with it, to paraphrase the Soup Nazi, NO GUN FOR YOU!
So I waited for him to fill out the first couple of lines on the 4473 form, (because I dang sure wanted to know who he actually was) and got his ID. Then I started to ask him, point blank, why he absolutely needed the gun right now. He wouldn’t answer. So I flat out told him that I wasn’t going to sell him a gun if I believed that he was going to use it to commit a crime. He said he needed it for protection. I asked why tonight.
Because his ex-wife was coming to get her stuff, and see, it was really his stuff, ‘cause he paid for it… So he was going to shoot her if she came by… for protection…
Now I’m not an attorney, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that would be bad. Okay, we’ve got us a friggin’ brain surgeon. NO GUN FOR YOU!
We informed him that that wasn’t lawful self-defense, that was what is known as premeditated murder. I told him that the correct thing to do was call the local police, and have them present when the wife arrived, if he was really worried about protecting himself. He said that it wasn’t worth involving the courts. PvtPyle said that if it wasn’t worth going to court, then it wasn’t worth killing somebody. Then he asked if we wouldn’t sell him a gun, if he knew a place that rented moving trucks at night, so he could move her stuff away. Told him sorry, good luck buddy, have a pleasant evening.
So Norman left, and I took the 4473 form with all of his personal information and called the police department in his jurisdiction. I told them the story, gave the address, and that I thought there was a real good chance we had an individual planning on offing their wife over a domestic squabble.
Later that evening, Halo 3 was interrupted (I’m ¾ of the way through on Legendary, solo, because I’m a Bad Mother F’er) when a police investigator called me back, got the story again, asked a few questions to clarify, and then informed me that Norman was in custody. Apparently he decided to just go with good old fashioned assault and battery against his wife. The cops had swung by after my call, and picked him up in the act. Nice.
Now for an example of why gun laws suck, the doofus in question still went ahead with trying to commit a crime. No gun law prevented that, because he would have PASSED a background check. Background checks are a waste of time, as everybody who is an actual criminal knows they’re already going to fail one, so they’ll procure a weapon some other way.
I’ve never had a bonafide criminal try to buy a gun and fail a background check, but I have had perfectly good people get denied for a variety of stupid reasons that have nothing to do with crime.
But some liberal-ninny hammer can now bring up how waiting periods. Even if we had a waiting period in Utah, which we don’t, if I had sold Norman a gun, and he couldn’t pick it up until Tuesday, what’s to keep him from shooting his wife Tuesday? Nada. Because repeat it with me everybody, gun laws suck.