I’ve filled out enough background check forms that I can almost recite the questions in order. One of the questions a federal background check requires is whether or not the firearm is for the buyer.
Now, one may later sell or gift this firearm to a person (so long as it’s allowed by state law), but the person purchasing the firearm must answer truthfully. Purchasing a firearm for another who cannot or will not undergo a background check is called a “straw purchase” and it is a crime.
Still, when CBS News went to a gun store to attempt to show how easy it is purchase an AR15, the reporter, Paula Reid, committed a crime. The report continually marveled at how one could purchase an “assault rifle” in 38 minutes.
In truth, however, the transaction took about 37 minutes too long. Asking for permission to exercise one’s constitutional rights is an affront to the very nature of our enlightenment ideals.
Reid and her crew went to SpecDive Tactical to obtain the rifle. Hours later, however, she transferred the weapon. According to CBS, “The rifle we purchased was legally transferred to a federally licensed firearms dealer and weapons instructor in Virginia, just hours after we bought it.”
While they may have attempted operating above-board, Reid filled-out the form that required her to affirm that she was purchasing the firearm for her own use. If Reid intended to purchase the firearm in order to immediately sell it to another person, it is a straw purchase.
Though the liberal mainstream media likes to portray gun store employees as unscrupulous purveyors of death, SpecDive Tactical’s general manager Ryan Lamke evidently takes his duties and legal responsibilities seriously and reported Reid to the ATF.
“When you knowingly attempt to purchase a firearm with the intent of giving it to another person, you are trying to bypass the legal pathway to firearms ownership,” he said to the Washington Free Beacon. “This, in itself, is a very serious crime.”
Unbelievably, Reid doesn’t seem to comprehend the issue at all. Later defending herself via Twitter, Reid stated,
“Sale, purchase, & transfer all legal. ID’d myself as a@CBSNews reporter 2x during sale (was recorded) & transfer.”
Any responsible investigator or prosecutor should reply with: “So?”
There is no spot on the form that asks: “Are you a media hack looking to prove a point?” Telling the seller that you are a reporter does not change the fact that the question requires a declaration that the buyer is the intended owner of the firearm. The buyer can be a reporter or a gardener; the question is the same and the answer actually matters.
The ATF has acknowledged that they have received the complaint and noted that it is “not evident if a violation occurred… In the event that an investigation is initiated, as a matter of policy, ATF does not comment on or acknowledge ongoing investigations.”
CBS issued a statement defending the report: “This story was reported lawfully and in accordance with CBS News’ standards.”
It’s comforting to know that CBS News has standards…
This kind of thing happens from time to time. David Gregory infamously waved-around a “high-capacity” magazine in violation of state law and his violation was shrugged-off by authorities because he was trying to prove a point about gun laws.
Still, if I were to unknowingly violate federal or state laws regarding firearm ownership, I wonder if authorities would be as forgiving and allow “my bad” as a legal defense…