Media discover loophole: gun laws don't cover muskets!
"It's a replica of an antique firearm and federal and state gun laws do not apply to antique-type guns. It can be purchased without any background check."
""We're undermined by weak laws elsewhere and this simply must be changed," said Jackie Kuhls, executive director for New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.
A former agent for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms says for state and federal law not to consider this rifle a firearm is crazy.
"It is totally outrageous to have this type of firearm considered to be an illegal type of firearm, especially under federal and state law," said former ATF agent Domincik Polifrone."
Uhh . . . did he mean "legal?"
I thought we'd been over all this and they decided that muskets were covered by the 2nd Amendment, unlike nasty modern guns?
Posted by: Don Gwinn at September 27, 2007 08:45 PM
don't you just know a blunderbuss would cause them to soil themselves?
Posted by: straightarrow at September 27, 2007 10:35 PM
Your site doesn't seem to allow trackbacks (or at least I couldn't figure out how to send one to you) so I'll just do it this way:
Posted by: Sailorcurt at September 28, 2007 04:41 AM
And don't forget that these same weapons killed thousands at a time during the Civil War.
Posted by: Skip at September 28, 2007 05:12 AM
I'm probably stepping in it to say this, but here goes...
I'm not sure how I really feel about this issue. It's not a question of whether these types of guns or any others are "covered" by the Second Amendment. Clearly, rifles, shotgun and handguns of all kinds are covered by the Second Amendment. Yet we have to go through background checks and fill out forms and such to buy them.
For the moment, let's set aside whether NICS checks violate the Second Amendment. I mean, they're here to stay for the forseeable future, and to an extent, such precautions actually do make sense. Really, none of us want nut cases or recidivist thugs to be able to get guns. To the extent the instant checks and such actually keep guns out of the wrong hands but don't prevent us law-abiding citizens from buying them, well, it's a minor inconvenience to wait a few more minutes while they run the check. I just KNOW someone is going to jump on my neck for saying so, BUT that's not where I'm going here anyhow.
Back on track - here's more to the point.
It doesn't seem to make much sense to require all that checking and paperwork and recordkeeping, etc. for a little .22 pistola or something like that, but not for a .50 cal rifle that can take someone's head half off at a couple hundred yards. Yeah, it's a single shooter, but it's a particularly lethal and accurate form of single shooter. We're lucky the guy merely thought he was protecting himself and was not out looking to smoke somebody and we're even luckier he didn't actually take somebody out.
SO assuming that we've got to deal with the NICS and stuff anyhow (which, clearly we do, as a political price to be paid and actually as something that might, just might actually do something, rather than the stupid "assault weapons ban" that acheived squat), I can see that they have a point that this type of firearm should be subject to the checks as well. Not necessarily the actual antique muzzle loaders, but modern versions. OK, I'll brace meself for the onslaught, go ahead.
Question is, like Cho, would this guy have shown up on any disqualifying list even if they had to do all the checks?
Posted by: Bill at September 28, 2007 01:37 PM
They didn't say anything about getting these through the mail.
What would they think about Cannon say a 12 pounder.
Posted by: Dan Hamilton at September 28, 2007 02:00 PM
The constitutionality of background checks aside, I think the idea is that the risks of muzzle loaders or even black powder revolvers being used to perpetrate violence is minimal.
You equate it to .22 pistols but they are used very, very commonly in the commission of crimes. I don't have firm statistics, but it seems like lately every other murder I hear about is committed with a .22 pistol.
How many murders have you heard about by people using black powder guns of any kind?
The basic point is that a knee-jerk reaction (like that of the newspaper reporter) to a single incident in which no one was even hurt is irrational and hysterical to say the least.
It was simply the IDEA of a firearm that caused the hysteria...not any actual danger or damage caused.
Your argument would have some legitimacy (not much, but at least as much as NICS checks for other types of firearms) if there was any statistically significant use of these types of weapons in crime but that simply isn't the case.
Black powder guns are of no more utility (and probably even less) in crime than bows and arrows, crossbows or even swords and knives. The line has to be drawn somewhere and so far, the line being drawn at black powder guns has served just fine. One isolated incident is not a rational reason to change the laws.
Posted by: Sailorcurt at September 28, 2007 03:07 PM
Um...I dunno about black powder pistols not being of any use in a crime...A lot of them were used by criminals back in the day, and they killed or threatened to kill, just fine.
My replica 1858 Remington .44 is more accurate in use than most small caliber short barrelled automatics (due to sight radius and longer barrel...I tested mine at the range against my son's keltec .380), and is reliable for up to six shots of big-bore .44 goodness. You would not want to look down the barrel from behind a convenience store cash register. I'm perfectly happy that they're not regulated.
Posted by: Doug in Colorado at October 1, 2007 11:55 AM