Thursday, March 26, 2009

There is no "loophole"

E.J. Montini, a writer for the Arizona Republic, devoted his column today to joining those persons tiresomely advocating the closure of the supposed "gun show loophole".

Here's my email response to him:

Mr. Montini,

I imagine you've already received quite an earful from your other readers, but on the off chance I'm mistaken, I'd like to address the topic you brought up in your column today.

Surely you realize that you're being disingenuous when you describe as "teeny, tiny" the " loophole" that you believe should be closed, and that cutting off citizen-to-citizen sales at gun shows would also necessitate barring all private sales between law-abiding citizens?

During the debate for the Brady Bill, this very subject was discussed and specifically addressed, which is why there is no requirement mandating FFL transfers for private sales at gun shows, or anywhere else, for that matter. It was generally acknowledged during that period that the sale of privately-owned items to and from individuals, particularly those item specifically protected in the Constitution, should not be required to go through a Federally-sanctioned transfer agent, along with the attendant costs of such transfers, currently $25-50 per firearm. There is no gun show loophole, therefore there is nothing to "close".

Another reason that private sales were never regulated was the specter of mandatory registration which often leads to eventual confiscation, as took place recently in such places as England and Australia, and is soon to be attempted in Canada. I'm sure you would agree that a central database of anything that's maintained by the Federal governement is a privacy-losing, freedom-sapping proposition at best, and a wide-open door to the wholesale abridgement of one's rights at the worst. What business is it of the government's what firearms I own, buy or sell privately, so long as I remain law-abiding?

As a clearer example, should private automobile sales be subject to mandatory dealer transfers as well? Of course not. That same logic also applies to any lawfully-owned property Even if such a requirement were to be imposed, it could be argued that in-state sales between residents are not subject to Federal oversight due to the Tenth Amendment, and it's a real possibility that the regulation would be immediately overturned in court.

Regarding the mess in Mexico, which natural-born rights would you suggest we U.S. citizens give up next in order to facilitate law enforcement in a sovereign country separate from our own? How about starting with the First Amendment, which protects your line of work?

This is just a quick, off-the-cuff response to your column. I can provide a more detailed essay, complete with references, if you desire. In addition, I have a website, The Northern Muckraker, that often addresses these and other interesting issues. You are welcome to stop by and contribute anytime.


Douglas J. Hester

I'll report any response I receive.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I'll report any response I receive.

I'll hold my breath while we wait. Blue is my color!