The 'It's Easier To Buy A Gun Than Cold Medicine' Crowd Just Got Slapped With Reality

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Posted: Aug 22, 2019 3:15 PM
The 'It's Easier To Buy A Gun Than Cold Medicine' Crowd Just Got Slapped With Reality

Source: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Okay—let’s look at the positives of this story. A Business Insider reporter, Hayley Peterson, tried to buy a gun at Walmart to test “the placement, selection, marketing, and security of firearms in Walmart's stores, and to learn more about the retailer's processes governing gun sales.” In other words, she wanted to make sure that background checks work. So, she’s going to try and buy a gun, which is something that tens of millions of Americans have already done. And she walked into a Walmart—a family-owned business that’s anathema to the Left. After the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, Walmart has been hit with a petition to end all gun sales. 

During the process, Peterson admits that the process was more complicated than the false narrative that’s peddled by the liberal media, the most popular being that it’s easier to buy a gun than cold medicine. Well, her journey just slapped all those clowns who thought that reality. Background checks are effective. Everyone who goes through a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer to buy their firearms, which is the vast majority of sales in this country, has to undergo a background check. Period. It’s the law (via Business Insider):

A selection of about 20 rifles and shotguns was displayed in a locked glass case behind the sporting-goods counter. The guns ranged in price from $159 to $474.

The counter in front of the guns displayed pocket knives, binoculars, and digital night-vision monoculars inside a locked case.

The selection of guns was limited compared with nearby gun stores, which offered dozens of different kinds of firearms, including handguns.

Walmart stopped selling handguns in the 1990s and removed semiautomatic rifles, such as the AR-15, from stores in 2015.

[…]

Signs posted around the counter announced that all firearm and ammunition sales were final and that items could not be returned or exchanged for a refund or repair.

One sign warned that this area of the store was being recorded. Another reminded shoppers of the laws around gun sales.

[…]

A Walmart spokesman later told me that to sell firearms, employees must pass both an enhanced criminal background check and annual online training, provided by Walmart, that includes a mock gun transaction.

Walmart also complies with state-specific requirements where applicable. Illinois, for example, requires people who sell guns to have a firearm-owner identification card, issued by state police.

Peterson, trying to purchase a gun in Virginia, had to fill out the federal 4473 form through the ATF along with one sent to the Virginia State Police. The piece is going to be mocked by the Second Amendment community for sure. It shouldn't be in this case. It details what’s been established law for years. It does a play-by-play of what millions of Americans have already done. She had just moved here, which is where she ran into an obstacle:

Under a section called "certification of transferee," it asked about my criminal record — whether I had ever been convicted of a felony, subject to a restraining order, or prohibited from purchasing a firearm, among other specifics.

In red print, the form said that "an untruthful answer may subject you to criminal prosecution."

The seller told me that my background check would likely be completed within a few minutes after I finished the paperwork. Once the purchase was finalized, an employee would walk the gun out to my car with me.

But I had only just finished printing my name when she stopped me and asked whether the address on my license matched my home address. I had moved since I obtained my license, and the addresses didn't match.

That was a problem, she said.

To pass the background check, I would need to bring in a government-issued document with my correct address, such as a bill from a state-owned utility or a car registration. (I have never bought a gun, so I wasn't aware of this.)

She apologized, told me the rules were strict around background checks, and asked me to come back another time to finish the purchase.

Well, yeah—of course, they’re strict. It’s the law. And straw purchasers are prosecuted harshly, as they should. In some states, they’ve increased the penalties. This is all known to most who support gun rights. It’s alien to the liberal media. The article isn’t a hit piece. It actually lays out how background checks are not some imaginary invention—and that retailers do follow the law. Federal gun charges are serious business. It’s also—you know—wrong. Is there room to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)? Yes. The system is only good as the information that’s fed to it, which is why the Sutherland Springs shooting in Texas is so tragic. It was totally preventable, as the Air Force veteran who committed the crime was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail for beating his wife and fracturing the skull of his child. Domestic abusers are barred from owning guns. The FBI was never informed of his conviction because the Air Force never passed along the proper paperwork. Most mass shooters buy their firearms legally, which makes the expanded background check talking point moot, but also a lot have exhibited signs of mental illness. There is no correct profile. The El Paso shooter was a white supremacist. The Dayton shooter was a self-avowed leftist who supported Elizabeth Warren and gun control measures. 

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Mental health is an area both sides can agree on needs to be improved, not just for mass shooting prevention, but in general. The problem is the Democratic Party, who don’t care. They will use any shooting or crisis to chip away at constitutional rights. Red flag laws sound fine. In fact, on paper, they could be if there are stringent due process mechanisms in the legislation. We all know the anti-gun Left will oppose such measures. It’s not about saving lives. It’s about gun confiscation. That’s a battle for another time. For now, a reporter just found out that gun retailers follow the law, and that background checks are an actual thing.