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Old 8th April 2021, 06:35 PM   #1
arthwollipot
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The Biden Gun Plan

Mods, please move to Politics if you deem it more appropriate.

Biden turns to limited executive actions on gun control with Congress at a standstill

Quote:
President Joe Biden on Thursday harnessed the powers of the presidency to advance a half-dozen executive actions on gun control, but they fall far short of the ambitious goals he outlined as a presidential candidate as the real fight still looms on Capitol Hill.

The executive actions are aimed at taking certain guns out of the hands of criminals and pouring resources into community violence prevention, and a senior administration official cautioned that Thursday's announcement is just an initial set of actions that the new President is taking.

But their limited scope once again underscores Biden's broader challenge as he faces an evenly split US Senate, which he challenged in his remarks from the White House Rose Garden.
The actions as far as I am aware are:
  • a crackdown on self-assembled "ghost guns"
  • a rule change to classify pistols with stabilising braces as short-barreled rifles
  • promises to provide more data on firearms trafficking
  • Investing in community violence intervention programs

This is a limited set of actions (Biden's full plan to address gun violence is still on his website), but my question to Americans is this: Is this announcement likely to affect you greatly?
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Old 8th April 2021, 06:43 PM   #2
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The first two don't matter much in terms of the vast majority of gun violence. The third is potentially useful. The fourth is about as close to the real heart of the gun problem as any major politician is likely to get.
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Old 8th April 2021, 06:49 PM   #3
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What proportion of gun violence occurs with ghost guns or stabilised pistols, do you think? Not asking for actual percentages but just your general impression.
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Old 8th April 2021, 06:55 PM   #4
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My general impression is right there in my previous post. Coming up with a cromulent term for the inverse of "vast majority" is left as an exercise for the reader.
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Old 8th April 2021, 07:11 PM   #5
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The ghost gun thing is kind of a unique problem to address, as the ghost guns basically came into being as a way to get around other regulations, a loophole more or less.

Some states already have functional regulation of such things that can address the great majority of such guns, those with parts that pretty well only exist to be made into guns and that are marketed/advertised as being for guns and that come with clear instructions as to how to finish the milling and assembly. Won't help with the really simple homemade guns, but can pretty well ensure that anyone without a $10k workshop is not going to build a reliable semi-auto detachable magazine rifle without at least getting a background check done or at least without spending a very long time to just make one such rifle from scratch. It ain't perfect, but it helps.

It is pretty limited, but that's to be expected. The strong majorities of Americans favor much stronger regulation of guns, but a very, very strongly committed and motivated minority opposes most further regulation with religious intensity.
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Old 8th April 2021, 07:16 PM   #6
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Smith & Wesson's share price is up 3%.
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Old 8th April 2021, 07:18 PM   #7
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I think people kill people, and by people I mean the every-year-is-1776 people.
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Old 8th April 2021, 07:42 PM   #8
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Personally: No. I refuse to own any sort of gun due to periods of profound depression.

Society-wise: this is little in and of itself - the simple truth is that the vast majority of murders, last I checked, were done using relatively inexpensive handguns, in the hands of young men who have little to lose aside from "respect" for backing down from a fight. I vaguely remember suicides being the same devices, but I can't be too certain of this. As much as Americans fear the AR15-toting Enraged White ManTM, most of the actually dying and killing is done by specific segments of the grossly underserved. Boutique weapons like "ghost guns", 3D printed doohickies, and the like are a theoretical threat, they remain only that.

Also, quiet as kept, executive orders are a very poor substitute for legislation, but with one of two parties having no interest in legislating anything, and a paranoid group of fetishists, that's likely cut off.
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Old 8th April 2021, 07:57 PM   #9
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The only thing he can do that makes sense is push for better data gathering and transparency of the same.
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Old 8th April 2021, 07:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My general impression is right there in my previous post. Coming up with a cromulent term for the inverse of "vast majority" is left as an exercise for the reader.
Understood.
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Old 8th April 2021, 07:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The only thing he can do that makes sense is push for better data gathering and transparency of the same.
Is that not point 3 in the OP?
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Old 8th April 2021, 10:25 PM   #12
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Is that not point 3 in the OP?
That's just for trafficking.
We need much more data on gun ownership and use, especially accidents and suicides.
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Old 8th April 2021, 10:30 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
That's just for trafficking.
We need much more data on gun ownership and use, especially accidents and suicides.
Why do we need this data? Accident and suicides aren't the big problem.
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Old 8th April 2021, 10:47 PM   #14
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I think suicides are sort of irrelevant to the gun debate.

Japan has very strict gun laws and gun related violence is practically non-existant here.

Which country do you think has a higher rate of suicides though? America, which is overflowing with guns, or Japan, which has practically none?

So I just don't think that suicide should be mentioned in a discussion about gun violence and what to do about it. Turns out there are other ways to kill oneself.
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Old 9th April 2021, 12:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I think suicides are sort of irrelevant to the gun debate.

Japan has very strict gun laws and gun related violence is practically non-existant here.

Which country do you think has a higher rate of suicides though? America, which is overflowing with guns, or Japan, which has practically none?

So I just don't think that suicide should be mentioned in a discussion about gun violence and what to do about it. Turns out there are other ways to kill oneself.
Japan has a long tradition of honourable suicide, while America does not. I don't think the two places are comparable. Furthermore it is long-known and studied that suicide by gun is more often completed than any other method. Furtherfurthermore, it is also long-known and studied that availability of a gun makes spur-of-the-moment suicide much more likely. Other methods give a person a chance to reconsider, which reduces the overall suicide rate.

I would argue that for the goal of suicide prevention, guns have to be considered a factor, and therefore suicide should be a factor in the gun debate.

But I didn't intend to argue in this thread but to elicit the experiences of others and therefore further my own understanding. So I'm sorry for that.
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Old 9th April 2021, 12:22 AM   #16
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Mental Health is what pro-gun people keep on harping about as the main problem.
And people with mental problems overwhelmingly kill themselves with guns, not others.
The only way to build a bridge, IMO, between the 2nd ammenders and the mainstream is to show that their core constituency is the one most at risk when gun sales are not better regulated, and if it's not possible to temporarily take away a person's weapons if they display suicidal tendencies.
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Old 9th April 2021, 12:42 AM   #17
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Mental health treatment is certainly a part of the problem, not just in America but everywhere. In fact, it intersects with a host of social issues, including homelessness and poverty, police violence, and welfare.

But the topic here isn't the mental health plan, it's the gun plan.
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Old 9th April 2021, 01:26 AM   #18
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I'm not sure how much gun crime currently involves self assembled guns.

But then again I appreciate laws that attempt to be proactive rather than reactive. If someone had said in 1998 or so "Why would we need consumer protections for internet commerce? People mostly buy things in stores" that may have aged like milk.

I keep hearing from gun rights advocates that one reason gun laws are useless is that criminals will simply 3d print theirs if they become hard to buy in other ways.

I'm a little dubious about how that can be effectively policed, but I don't see any downsides unless trying to crack down is super expensive and ineffective.
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Old 9th April 2021, 01:27 AM   #19
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Hold very little hope the dude will actually achieve anything gun wise, when probably his most relevant point seems to fall on death ears. Or at least ears that seem they don't give a ***, which is telling.

Quote:
President Biden on Thursday decried the epidemic of gun violence in America as an "international embarrassment" as he rolled out a series of executive actions intended to address the issue.
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2007 https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna16911044
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Old 9th April 2021, 05:37 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
What proportion of gun violence occurs with ghost guns or stabilised pistols, do you think? Not asking for actual percentages but just your general impression.
Almost none. Factory made pistols are still readily available on the black market pretty much everywhere in the country and are much preferable to 3d printed or completed 80% gun kits, and rifles, including pistol-brace rifles, are very rarely used in crime at all, with the notable exception of rampage shootings in which rifles are very commonly used but only make up a very small portion of gun deaths.
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Old 9th April 2021, 06:08 AM   #21
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I wish there were more reporting about why so many NICS checks are taking longer than 3 days.

The "loophole" they identify is that, should a background check exceed the 3 day wait period, the dealer is then cleared to complete the sale by default. If it later turns out that the sale was not lawful, the burden is on the feds to go seek out this individual and confiscate the firearm.

The proposed fix is changing this window to 10 days. Is there a legitimate need for a longer period, or is this simply a matter of the government under-staffing or otherwise not prioritizing efficient and prompt processing of these NICS checks?

I don't really see how it's just to delay a person from exercising their 2nd amendment rights simply because the government doesn't care enough about the background check system to keep it running well.
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Old 9th April 2021, 06:22 AM   #22
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The media has been clueless about some of this as they are about much of anything to do with firearms.
The “pistol braces” are a kind of weird, niche thing... Normally if you were to purchase say, an AR-15, and cut off the barrel and stock... You’d have just made a “short barreled rifle”, and that’s a no-no.
But.... If the factory produces such a weapon, and markets it as a “pistol”, that’s quite legal under current definitions.
Of course, a short little AR with no stock is rather hard to shoot. So... Again under current regulations, you can add a “brace” which is “not quite a stock”.
A short extension that you can brace against your arm or put in the crook of your arm and now you have a somewhat-easier-to-shoot “pistol”.

All quite legal under current ATF regulations.

Now... The AR-loving crowd thinks these things are the bee’s knees for “home defense”, as they are handy in tight quarters but still... AR firepower.
And as noted in the recent shooting incident, all too effective for that purpose as well, at least at short range.
However, to my knowledge, that’s the only such use of this sort of weapon I’m familiar with; most folks are quite willing to use handguns or anything else they can get hold of.

So I fear this is a bit of “see, we’re doing SOMETHING legislation, that I fear will have little if any impact.
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Old 9th April 2021, 06:24 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
The media has been clueless about some of this as they are about much of anything to do with firearms.
The “pistol braces” are a kind of weird, niche thing... Normally if you were to purchase say, an AR-15, and cut off the barrel and stock... You’d have just made a “short barreled rifle”, and that’s a no-no.
But.... If the factory produces such a weapon, and markets it as a “pistol”, that’s quite legal under current definitions.
Of course, a short little AR with no stock is rather hard to shoot. So... Again under current regulations, you can add a “brace” which is “not quite a stock”.
A short extension that you can brace against your arm or put in the crook of your arm and now you have a somewhat-easier-to-shoot “pistol”.

All quite legal under current ATF regulations.

Now... The AR-loving crowd thinks these things are the bee’s knees for “home defense”, as they are handy in tight quarters but still... AR firepower.
And as noted in the recent shooting incident, all too effective for that purpose as well, at least at short range.
However, to my knowledge, that’s the only such use of this sort of weapon I’m familiar with; most folks are quite willing to use handguns or anything else they can get hold of.

So I fear this is a bit of “see, we’re doing SOMETHING legislation, that I fear will have little if any impact.
The "brace" is an obvious run around for the SBR tax stamp requirement. Almost nobody is using them as a brace against their forearm. People use the brace exactly as you'd use a stock, they place the brace into their shoulder. ,It's common to see owners of these braces remove any straps that are included and discard them, because they have no intention of ever using the brace as a brace.

These tend to be a little flimsier than a proper shoulder stock, but work well enough and are a great way to avoid paying the $200 tax stamp and going through the long ATF process.

There was a lot of speculation whether or not it was legal to shoulder a pistol-brace firearm, but that seemed to get sorted when the ATF issued this most recent clarification:

Quote:
“An NFA firearm has not necessarily been made when the device is not reconfigured for use as a shoulder stock – even if the attached firearm happens to be fired from the shoulder To the extent that the January 2015 Open Letter implied or has been construed to hold that incidental, sporadic, or situational ‘use’ of an arm-brace (in its original approved configuration) equipped firearm from a firing position at or near the shoulder was sufficient to constitute ‘redesign,’ such interpretations are incorrect and not consistent with ATF’s interpretation of the statute or the manner in which it has historically been enforced.’”
It's hard to source this because it was not a press release, but rather a reply to a private inquiry on the matter that was later shared online second-hand. But with this guidance, the use of pistol braces exploded on the market as an inexpensive way to evade the SBR tax stamp requirement.
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Old 9th April 2021, 07:46 AM   #24
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I think his actual plan is to keep the Senate seat the Dems picked up in Georgia, pick up one in Pennsylvania, maybe one in Wisconsin and North Carolina and kill the filibuster in the next Congress. That's the only way we'll get gun reform. Oh and keep the House.

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Old 9th April 2021, 07:47 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
I think his actual plan is to keep the Senate seat the Dems picked up in Georgia, pick up one in Pennsylvania, maybe one in Wisconsin and North Carolina and kill the filibuster in the next Congress. That's the only way we'll get gun reform.
I'm curious how many Democrats would support it. This is a deeply polarizing issue, even among the Democratic party.

Seems odd to me that they would blow their political capital on this and not on something that would actually make them popular, like Medicare for all. I suppose the donors don't really care if gun control is implemented.
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Old 9th April 2021, 07:50 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I'm curious how many Democrats would support it. This is a deeply polarizing issue, even among the Democratic party.

Seems odd to me that they would blow their political capital on this and not on something that would actually make them popular, like Medicare for all. I suppose the donors don't really care if gun control is implemented.
If they keep it to the House bill I think they pass it on a party line vote. They know they can't go too crazy if the expect to keep their seats in Arizona and West Virginia. But, that gives us universal background checks.
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Old 9th April 2021, 07:51 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
The media has been clueless about some of this as they are about much of anything to do with firearms.
The “pistol braces” are a kind of weird, niche thing... Normally if you were to purchase say, an AR-15, and cut off the barrel and stock... You’d have just made a “short barreled rifle”, and that’s a no-no.
But.... If the factory produces such a weapon, and markets it as a “pistol”, that’s quite legal under current definitions.
Of course, a short little AR with no stock is rather hard to shoot. So... Again under current regulations, you can add a “brace” which is “not quite a stock”.
A short extension that you can brace against your arm or put in the crook of your arm and now you have a somewhat-easier-to-shoot “pistol”.

All quite legal under current ATF regulations.

Now... The AR-loving crowd thinks these things are the bee’s knees for “home defense”, as they are handy in tight quarters but still... AR firepower.
And as noted in the recent shooting incident, all too effective for that purpose as well, at least at short range.
However, to my knowledge, that’s the only such use of this sort of weapon I’m familiar with; most folks are quite willing to use handguns or anything else they can get hold of.

So I fear this is a bit of “see, we’re doing SOMETHING legislation, that I fear will have little if any impact.
It’s because there was a handgun brace used in the Boulder shooting
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Old 9th April 2021, 07:53 AM   #28
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Shall not be infringed
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Old 9th April 2021, 07:55 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Shall not be infringed
Well regulated.
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Old 9th April 2021, 07:57 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Shall not be infringed
I’m curious which of these EOs infringes on the 2nd amendment. They seem pretty tame
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Old 9th April 2021, 07:59 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Craig4 View Post
Well regulated.
I absolutely 100% agree that the signers of the constitution agreed that they intended it to be a group right tied to the necessity of a militia and that is no longer applicable and they would look at the system now and agree to abolish the 2nd amendment.

Irrelevant.

They didn't actually write a rule that says it voids in that case. They gave a reason, and a rule, but once you write the rule the reason is irrelevant.

The government doesn't even have the authority to stop inmates from bearing arms while incarcerated.
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Old 9th April 2021, 08:00 AM   #32
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Never mind please ignore my question
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Old 9th April 2021, 08:03 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
I’m curious which of these EOs infringes on the 2nd amendment. They seem pretty tame
Indeed. The press releases are conflating what Biden is doing via EO and what he would like to see happen through legislation.

There's not a whole lot he can do via EO. Directing the ATF to reevaluate the status of "pistol braces" seems like the one thing that might have the most immediate impact.

I'm not sure how the whole "ghost guns" thing is going to work. I suppose it could result in making existing "80%" receivers no longer considered non-firearms. But at what point does a hunk of metal become a firearm? Perhaps we'll see the death of 80% lowers and the birth of 75% lowers. Wherever the line is drawn, there will soon be products on the market that are just inside the acceptable boundaries.
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Old 9th April 2021, 08:04 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I wish there were more reporting about why so many NICS checks are taking longer than 3 days.

The "loophole" they identify is that, should a background check exceed the 3 day wait period, the dealer is then cleared to complete the sale by default. If it later turns out that the sale was not lawful, the burden is on the feds to go seek out this individual and confiscate the firearm.

The proposed fix is changing this window to 10 days. Is there a legitimate need for a longer period, or is this simply a matter of the government under-staffing or otherwise not prioritizing efficient and prompt processing of these NICS checks?

I don't really see how it's just to delay a person from exercising their 2nd amendment rights simply because the government doesn't care enough about the background check system to keep it running well.
This does seem like a funding and staffing issue. Adding budget to the NICS checks and then investigating when people lie on the forms would be a big step in the right direction that most gun owners would support, even if the NRA didn't.
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Old 9th April 2021, 08:07 AM   #35
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When I saw he was going after gun control via EO I was like “uh oh” but then I read what they were. People are still going to be furious without even knowing why because that’s the default reaction for some to any gun control but reclassification of a modified hand gun and registration of unregistered firearms is really minor league stuff imo. And actually, the “it’s not guns it’s mental health” crowd probably got a bone thrown their way on the last one.
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Old 9th April 2021, 08:10 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I'm not sure how the whole "ghost guns" thing is going to work. I suppose it could result in making existing "80%" receivers no longer considered non-firearms. But at what point does a hunk of metal become a firearm? Perhaps we'll see the death of 80% lowers and the birth of 75% lowers. Wherever the line is drawn, there will soon be products on the market that are just inside the acceptable boundaries.
The further back you push the line the more expensive it is to finish the job, I suppose.

It just seems weird that I can buy all the parts online to legally and easily construct my own semi-automatic rifles without a license but can't distill my own whiskey without a license. It seems quite easy to require a builder's license and basic record keeping requirements just to track who the builders are and where the guns come from.

Data is going to be the key in 10 years and we are not doing much to create or collect it.
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Old 9th April 2021, 08:11 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
This does seem like a funding and staffing issue. Adding budget to the NICS checks and then investigating when people lie on the forms would be a big step in the right direction that most gun owners would support, even if the NRA didn't.
It's not even lying. I know plenty of gun owners who get the "delay" message every time they try to buy through a dealer. The supposed cause of this is sharing a name or other identifying data with someone who is prohibited from ownership. If you happen to share a name with a convicted felon, you may end up being stung by "delay" responses every time.

These people either get a day or two delay before the transaction clears, or the timer runs out and they get their gun by default and never hear anything more about it.

I am very reticent to give the state an incentive to drag their heels on their duty to process transactions promptly. In my home state of Mass, it's very common for the processing paperwork for licensing to take months, despite it being a fairly quick background check process.

In places where outright gun prohibition is not permitted, the path of deliberately gumming up the process by sandbagging the background check process is a popular tactic by the government.
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Old 9th April 2021, 08:25 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
When I saw he was going after gun control via EO I was like “uh oh” but then I read what they were. People are still going to be furious without even knowing why because that’s the default reaction for some to any gun control but reclassification of a modified hand gun and registration of unregistered firearms is really minor league stuff imo. And actually, the “it’s not guns it’s mental health” crowd probably got a bone thrown their way on the last one.
Don't quite agree - "violence intervention", from what I've seen, usually refers to programs like CrimeStoppers where community elders, former criminals, etc, show up to defuse potentially violent situations, more than anything related to suicide. These programs seem effective in many cases, but often see their budgets quickly slashed in hard times.
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Old 9th April 2021, 08:52 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
I'm not sure how the whole "ghost guns" thing is going to work. I suppose it could result in making existing "80%" receivers no longer considered non-firearms. But at what point does a hunk of metal become a firearm? Perhaps we'll see the death of 80% lowers and the birth of 75% lowers. Wherever the line is drawn, there will soon be products on the market that are just inside the acceptable boundaries.
Some states have just focused on marketing and instructions. If it is marketed by the manufacturer as something that can be turned into the part of the gun that requires a serial number, or if it is sold with instructions as to how to finish it into such a part (or if the company provides or references such instructions elsewhere), it then gets regulated as such - requiring a serial number and subject to all regulations pertaining to gun sales and ownership.

So if a company wanted to sell a hunk of metal that could be easily milled into a lower, it would not be able to promote that fact or provide instructions unless they stamp serial numbers on them and sell them as actual firearms. That's imperfect, obviously.

Others just require that all guns have a serial number, even if it is just a cheap pipe/nail/rubber band homemade jobbie. Tough to enforce, but it can cut down on or at least "daylight" the more functional ones. They might have trouble prosecuting someone with a pipe and a nail* and a rubber band in their pocket, but would have an easier time if it is a better made thing that has parts that serve little other purpose than to be a gun. I mean, I think they are focusing on the more functional semi-auto things, not zip guns and the like.




* it does not shoot the nail, the nail is the firing pin)

Last edited by crescent; 9th April 2021 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 9th April 2021, 09:18 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
It's not even lying.
I get what you are saying and agree. There should be sufficient staff to clear up such confusions as you describe within the three day window. No excuses. No need for a ten day window. Proper funding should fix the issue.

But, there is a whole other class of applications that are submitted by people who know they can not buy a firearm just hoping to get enough of a delay to sneak pass. Those applications should be investigated and that investigation should be properly funded. People should be punished if they knowingly lied on a NICS form.

My understanding is that this is currently not pursued at all because the "knowingly" is hard to prove. My position is that just knowing that every refused application will be investigated by the ATF would be a huge deterrent for most of these people. That alone could heavily reduce the number of NICS applications being filed. I don't know, though.

Additionally, being contacted by the ATF and having a record of such contact and the ATF explained in detail why it is illegal for them to even file a NICS would make it much easier to prosecute the next time they filed a NICS.
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