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In this diary we consider one of the permanent provisions of the Brady Act in a special context - when family heirloom guns are transferred to the next generation, to someone who lives in another state and may be under 21 years of age. Guns are unique. You can't simply wrap up your granddad's heirloom gun, buy some insurance from the carrier, and have it shipped directly across state lines to someone else.

Blindfolded Lady Justice
Justice is blindfolded. When we aim to close loopholes in the law we can't afford to proceed blindly.
To legally send a gun across state lines, even if it is a family heirloom, you must go through a federally licensed firearms dealer in the recipient's home state.  The dealer will perform a check of the National Instant Background Check system to see if the recipient can legally own the heirloom gun.

Those of you who enjoy restoring antiques have a lot in common with those who repair, restore and preserve old guns. It's not the same as your great-great-great grandfather's clock but the value given to family traditions and sentimental items is similar. Some heirloom guns are samples of innovative mechanical engineering. Others are finely crafted works of art in their own right. Properly stored, guns are very durable.

This is an invitation to gun owners to identify where and how gun control advocates can appreciate the immense respect many people have for this part of American's rich heritage.

This is an Open Thread.

Sponsored by the Firearms Law and Policy Group


We host Open Threads on Sundays and Wednesdays.

The Daily Kos Firearms Law and Policy group studies actions for reducing firearm deaths and injuries in a manner that is consistent with the current Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment. If you would like to write about firearms law or policy please send us a Kosmail.

To see our list of original and republished diaries, go to the Firearms Law and Policy diary list. Click on the ♥ or the word "Follow" next to our group name to add our posts to your stream, and use the link next to the heart to send a message to the group if you have a question or would like to join.

In this diary we will discuss a practical application of background check laws, transferring an heirloom gun to the next generation, when they are under 21 years of age and live in another state. The legal website FindLaw has a  handy little Legal How-To; Giving a Gun as a Gift. The main considerations are the recipient’s age, whether they can pass a background check, whether they need and have the appropriate license in their state, and how you plan to ship it. And all of those considerations depend on whether the heirloom gun is a "long gun" or a handgun.

Context - Bridging the rural/urban gun culture divide?




At both the federal level and in some state races background check laws are going to be in play for the foreseeable future. I expect that this area of gun law will remain a high priority all the way through the 2016 election cycle.

We urgently need to clarify which background check loopholes need to be closed. An important step in that effort is educating ourselves and our neighbors about various exemptions that some of us think are legitimate, explaining why they matter, and who can use them. I think the Federal Firearms License for Curios & Relics (FFL-C&R) offers a framework for thinking about how an heirloom exemption in criminal background checks could work.

This is a new topic for me, and this is my current understanding. A Curio & Relics license is only one of eleven types of Federal Firearms Licenses. A C&R license requires the applicant to notify local law enforcement of their intent to apply, under go a criminal background check, and if approved, keep a logbook accounting for all the guns they acquire under the license, and all the guns they trade, sell, or give away under the license. It is not a "loophole." It is a legitimate and affordable license for people who own or collect guns that are more than 50 years old. It is not a license to carry guns in public. It is a license simply to own, to keep antiques and heirloom guns in your home, locked up in your gun safe.  

This is a specialty license/registration for personal use. The ATF processes C&R licensing and individuals who want to own/trade/collect/service their collections must notify their local Sheriff of their intent to do this. Specialty collections, e.g. heirloom guns, are a legitimate form of art and trade and family tradition. The law defines which guns are old enough, and the ATF defines the list of firearms that have historical interest.

Shipping a gun to your door. by DrillSgtK

This kind of FFL is not a dealer.  You can't be in the business of selling and buying guns.  You can, resell guns you have or have restored, but not to the point it is a business.  (Many Cruffler's don't sell the guns as much as trade or partial trade them - such as I'll trade you an Ithaca Model 37 Pump S/N USA1972 and $150 for your West Virginia Centennial Colt .45.)

    The idea is that Curio's and Relics are not things you find at your local dealership.  You won't be able to find them in person but rather through the phone, mail, or inter webs.  To help you complete a collection or restore something, this allows you to buy directly and have it sent to you with out the added cost and time of finding dealers at both ends.

Firearms Curios or Relics List

A regulation implementing Federal firearms laws, 27 CFR Section 478.11, defines C&R firearms as those which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons.

To be recognized as C&R items, 478.11 specifies that firearms must fall within one of the following categories:

a.    Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas of such firearms;

b.    Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and

c.    Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event.

Firearms automatically attain C&R status when they are 50 years old. Any firearm that is at least 50 years old, and in its original configuration, would qualify as a C&R firearm. It is not necessary for such firearms to be listed in ATF’s C&R list. Therefore, ATF does not generally list firearms in the C&R publication by virtue of their age. However, if you wish for a classification of your particular firearm under categories (b) or (c) above and wish your item to be listed, you may submit the weapon to the Firearms Technology Branch (FTB) for a formal classification.

"Firearms automatically attain C&R status when they are 50 years old."



This diary extends an effort to reach across the urban/rural gun culture divide to educate and to invite liberal Democrats to walk in someone else's shoes for awhile. It is about legitimate concerns of responsible, law abiding gun owners, not the people we see in the news and in the GunFAIL diaries.

A really neat thing happened for the Firearms Law and Policy group this week. Last Sunday's Open Thread addressed what is required to give a gun to someone you know if they live in a different state, Did you get a gun for Christmas? Discussion in the comment threads about gifting antique guns led to a follow-up diary about a specialty gun license, the Curios & Relics license. It is a federal firearms license {FFL No. } used by collectors of antique guns. DrillSgtK broke down the license, and described the nuts and bolts of legally Shipping a gun to your door.

Thank you, DrillSgtK, for your comment: "grandpa's plinker". This diary was inspired by your thoughtful tutorial. Let's begin a discussion of whether heirloom guns could be exempt from Universal Background Check laws and how an heirloom exemption could be structured.

Could there be a 12th type of Federal Heirloom Firearms license, along the lines of the C&R licensing scheme? You may be wondering, besides fostering harmony at Daily Kos why do these specialty federal gun licenses matter? If you don't already know, this diary might open some new ideas for you. If you do already know, please join us this evening to help others appreciate what you see.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

To get the conversation started let's return to a hypothetical scenario from last week:

3. Suppose [in your Christmas gift exchange] your grandfather, who lives in Virginia, drew your sister, who is only 14. He wants to continue the family tradition and pass on a family heirloom rifle that has been in the family for three generations.
What if both your grandfather and your parents have a C&R license. Can grandpa simply FEDEX his heirloom gun from Virginia to your parents in New York?

Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 6:30 PM PT: Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. We will write more diaries studying background check laws at both state and Federal level. Our next diary on the NY Safe Act will publish tomorrow at about 11 AM Eastern.

Originally posted to Firearms Law and Policy on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:07 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and notRKBA.

Poll

Do you think heirloom guns should be exempt from Universal Background Check laws?

23%12 votes
19%10 votes
13%7 votes
35%18 votes
7%4 votes

| 51 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for fine craftmanship. (26+ / 0-)

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:46:38 PM PST

  •  This is an Open Thread - all topics are welcome. (5+ / 0-)

    Please feel free to post links to your diaries, news, and to promote your other groups and projects.

    New visitors, feel free to introduce yourself!

    • New readers of the Daily Kos Firearm Law and Policy group blog may want to begin with What the heck is a background check anyway? That diary includes an introduction to US Criminal Code, Title 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).
    • A gun purchase denied due to a failed background check was a key part of the back story in TRPChicago's diary on the Schrader v. Holder case, SCOTUS Declines to Hear Navy Vet's Gun Rights Appeal. Should a mistake in one's youth revoke the right to keep and bear arms for the rest of one's life?
    • A gun purchase after a successful background check is a key part of the case in What? Straw Purchase a Gun? Abramski v US. Oral arguments will be heard at the Supreme Court January 22nd.

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 05:50:57 PM PST

  •  Coming up this week in Firearms Law & Policy (5+ / 0-)

    Jan 13 Monday ~ Noon EST
    Rolling back legal immunity for gun industry by Hugh Jim Bissell

    Jan 14 Tuesday ~ 11 AM EST
    What is this lawsuit really about? (NYSAFE Act Part III) by Lilith


    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 06:58:40 PM PST

    •  Schedule change - Gun industry diary postponed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh, Glen The Plumber, john07801

      Best laid plans...

      HJB has had a last minute change in his schedule that  interferes with his participation in his diary today. It has been postponed to later this week or early next week.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:38:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Depends... (7+ / 0-)

    upon how you define "heirloom". I'm not sure the 50 year rule is adequate.

    I'd say that if you can go to your local WalMart or Fleet Farm & buy ammo for it, there should be a background check.

    If you've got to roll-your-own, no.

    My two cents, YMMV.

    •  How would you amend the definitions of heirloom? (3+ / 0-)

      Thanks for dropping by, Mike.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:28:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hard to say. (5+ / 0-)

        But I don't think 50 years is enough time. Some of the weapons I've shot are now more than 50 years old.

        •  Yep. My grandfather's Model 1894 Winchester... (6+ / 0-)

          ...was made in 1926. It's obviously more than 50 years old and fires .30-30 ammo I can buy at any gun store or on the Internet.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:48:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Would regulating ammunition be THE (4+ / 0-)

            mother of all loopholes to close?

            "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

            by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:38:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  What do you mean by regulating? Lots... (6+ / 0-)

              ...of rifles less than 50 years old use that ammo, too. Or are you just suggesting ammunition regulations in general?

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:56:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not sure what I mean. Old & new (4+ / 0-)

                Like NY state and Sunnyvale, CA?

                Background check for every purchase?
                No Internet sales?
                Or restricted Internet sales?
                Dealer records for 2 years?

                Can someone pls refresh us re Sunnyvale?

                As i understand it, NY state (NY Safe Act) ammo purchase restrictions were upheld as constitutional in the first Federal Court review, Dec 31. 2013. (getting ahead of myself...please correct ms if I'm mistaken)

                Caveat- half-baked ideas on display. Political viability not yet included.

                "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:46:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not convinced that rifles (5+ / 0-)

                are really the part of the gun issue we need to major on.

                My beef with guns is usually confined to hand guns.

                While I accept that the "mass shootings" we have to contend with usually involve a rifle of some kind, the routine carnage in this country is almost exclusively perpetrated by hand guns.

                If we could make positive steps in that area, the problem would become vastly smaller and easier to define.

                I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
                but I fear we will remain Democrats.

                Who is twigg?

                by twigg on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:11:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Handgun vs. rifle - interesting potential ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Glen The Plumber, LilithGardener

                  ... for regulatory differentiation!

                  Still, there'd be definitional issues, perhaps akin to the difficulty in defining "assault weapons." For example, what is the Bushmaster XM-15 "pistol?" Cosmetically, at least, if that's a handgun, there's no good line between the two.

                  2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                  by TRPChicago on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:55:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Differentiating between a rifle & a pistol is far (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    twigg, KVoimakas

                    easier (barrel length).
                    "Assault Weapon" is an invented term used for marketing/political purposes. As such the term is arbitrary & ill-defined. They are mechanically & functionally the same as any semi-auto long gun.
                    Many hunting rifles & a majority of hunting shotguns are semi-auto....which is likely why the gun controllers are focusing on the scary looking (and arbitrarily defined) subset of 'assault weapons' in lieu of all semi-auto long guns.

                    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

                    by FrankRose on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 11:08:07 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  NY Safe Act - NSYPRA vs. Cuomo - ammo sales (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                salmo

                NY Safe Act Litigation NSYPRA et al. vs. Cuomo et al.
                Federal Judge Skretny - Western District of New York, Opinion & Orders

                Here's how the judge described the constitutionality of the NY Safe Act restriction on ammunition sales.

                [page 2]
                Further, because the SAFE Act’s requirement that ammunition sales be conducted “face-to-face” does not unduly burden interstate commerce, it does not violate the dormant Commerce Clause.
                [page 11]
                Restrictions on the sale of ammunition have been tightened as well. All ammunition dealers conducting business in New York must register with New York State or be otherwise licensed to sell ammunition, and no sale can legally be completed without a state background check. The seller must also send a record of the sale to the State Police. The Act also bans the sale of ammunition over the Internet, imposing a requirement that any ammunition transaction be conducted “face-to-face” and compelling the purchaser to present valid photo identification. Id. § 400.03 (effective Jan. 15, 2014).
                I'm still working my way through the case documents and will write a series of diaries breaking it down into my lay person's understanding. Next diary is tomorrow.

                "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 01:15:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Regulating how... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener, Mike Kahlow, salmo

              My issue with any additional ammo regs is cost. Having internet retailers drives competition which keeps costs lower than they might be otherwise. Not going to say "low" because pretty much all ammo except .22 is very very expensive. Internet retailers also makes it possible to buy obscure ammo that most people won't find at their local Dick's Sporting goods (ever try to find 45-70 Government or 32 H&R Mag or 454 Casull for example). I'm not necessarily opposed to a background check in principle, but it would have to be free, instant, and hopefully there would be a way to do it on internet sales as well.

              •  Anti-safe act signs were all over UpState NY (0+ / 0-)

                My New York State resident brother, who just bought his daughter her first rifle in 6.5x55 and who lives right on the western edge of the Adirondack Park (in the sticks where non standard ammunition is simply not available) has been forced to get into reloading in large part by that act.  I helped him to see the positive side, but that is a fairly big additional step.  I hope that somebody makes good use of the data.

          •  Link for Sunnyvale, CA Measure C (0+ / 0-)

            For anyone who has time:

            Glen's diary has links and quotes about their regulation of ammunition.

            "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

            by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 01:17:35 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  even that can be fuzzy (5+ / 0-)

      My father inherited a .410 shot pistol that his father had gotten as payment for a dairy bill back in the 30s. You can buy shells for it, but it's more than 50 years old.

      (My father actually registered that one - it's classed as a sawed-off shotgun, so it was a little more complicated than most. The rest of his were all long guns.)

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:13:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are people who shouldn't own guns (7+ / 0-)

    If they modeled firearms licensing and regulation after motor vehicles, you'd have much more effective regulation and a lot fewer headaches for legitimate gun owners.  You'd even have the mechanisms for different types of guns (e.g., rifles and shotguns go in the "cars/light trucks" bucket, handguns go in the "commercial" category, and big macho guns with big magazines need a CDL and far more extensive rules.  Not exactly this way, I'd assume, but you'd get the idea.)

    These discussions don't happen when passing down heirloom cars., which are also regulated.

    •  Yes, although vintage cars in some states are not (3+ / 0-)

      ... subject to emission controls and can be specially licensed, etc. As for functionality, I think that some states tolerate road-usable vintage cars that are lacking safety features required on more recent models.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:47:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Such as seatbelts! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WakeUpNeo, Glen The Plumber

        Would not be cool to have to retrofit your antique Carmengia.

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:56:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Now THAT was an amazing sporty car! (3+ / 0-)

          A German-built VW with Italian flair!

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 08:01:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have an old convertible VW (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener

          without seat belts. It's fun to drive in the summer.  Seat belts where not required until the 1965 model year. Few, if any, states require older cars to be retrofitted with safety equipment not required when the car was new.

          Washington is actually pretty lax about motor vehicle equipment and we don't have any required safety inspections. Newer cars get smog checks starting when 5 years old, then every 2 years until 25 years old.

          To be first in the soil, which erupts in the coil, of trees veins and grasses all brought to a boil. -- The Maxx

          by notrouble on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 09:41:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Vintage cars (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        Have to comply with whatever rules were in effect in the model year they were made.

        The average lifespan of a vehicle is 10 years (and lengthening, since they're better built, and fewer are stolen and crashed); there are few cars on the road older than about 20-25 years.  (25 years is what makes it an "antique" for the purposes of things like antique plates.)

        And if you have a fully restored 50 year old car, you're not going to be going road rage in it because it will ruin your whole day if some idiot in an SUV hits it.

  •  Are curios, relics and heirloom guns functional? (4+ / 0-)

    If so, why should they be under any different rules - for Federal and state purposes - than any other gun?

    Does anything about the gun make it less of a dangerous instrumentality? If anything, I would think it has some potential to be more dangerous if age, previous maintenance and/or lack of care, storage conditions, misuse of ammunition or other factor (especially in the hands of someone else unknown to the current possessor) may have caused any deterioration in the gun's functionality.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:44:50 PM PST

  •  Only If They Can Only Injure Dead People. (4+ / 0-)

    Some things should be obvious.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 07:56:56 PM PST

  •  If it can kill someone . . . (8+ / 0-)

    then the recipient needs a background check.  If, despite its age, the firearm in question still functions or can be made to function, then it's a deadly weapon.  Ergo, the person owning it should be required to undergo a background check.

    The method of transfer and the age of the weapon should be irrelevant.  If the transferee is someone who cannot lawfully own a weapon, that person shouldn't have it, even if grandpa wills it to him.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 10:29:59 PM PST

    •  Guns really are unique (4+ / 0-)

      Guns give untrained hands ability to kill at a distance.

      Knive, unregulated at home, highly regulated in public. Knife throwing skills are hard to acquire. Stray knife fatalities are pretty rare.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 12, 2014 at 11:02:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What is the record (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blackhand, LilithGardener

      When I think of an heirloom, I think of my double barrel percussion muzzle loader, manufactured in England somewhere around 1830.  I was given it by a mentor about 45 years ago.  It is an interesting piece made by a master craftsman.  It's quite decorated, engraved, and there are even remnants of gold on the hammers.  If I remember correctly, it's a 14 gage and I had to custom cut wads for it.  I fired it cautiously, several decades ago.  So, it's arguably operable I think (I would have a specialist go over it for corrosion very carefully if I were ever to try to fire it again), But it's slow, really slow, and one would have to be pretty creative to think of a reason someone might choose it as a weapon.  I think it is exempted already, and should be.  

      After all, if someone has used something of that age and oddball size in the commission of a crime in the last hundred years or so, I find no record of it.  Why would they?  It's simply not practical.  And, why would something so remote be an occasion for a fight when there are real, tangible issues that have real, tangible consequences that should be drawing everyone's attention.  The bow and arrows in my basement would be a far more effective weapon (and btw, those have not been considered to be very useful for criminal activity either since about the time of Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham).  We shouldn't fret about absurdities.  

      A lot of time and energy is spent on this site arguing about appropriate limits for the most dangerous guns and gun accessories.  I understand that, and agree, for example, that the NRA should be derided and marginalized because of its absolutist stand and for advocating truly terrible policies.  I agree with a lot of the points made in favor of more regulation.  The flip side of that, though, is the one highlighted by questions about guns like my old shotgun, "Are there no limits to the call for registration and regulation on the low risk side, where the possibility of criminal use and the issue of public safety is so remote as to be purely theoretical?"  Absolutes are impractical by their nature, regardless of which side expresses them.  

      •  It's neither absolute nor impractical. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        The weapon you're talking about is still capable of firing, and if fired at a human being, it presumably could cause death.  So it's hardly an "absolute" to require a background check upon transfer of the weapon.  It's a firearm that can kill, and thus it's similar to other firearms in that key respect.

        Your argument is essentially that the danger posed by this particular firearm is less than that posed by other firearms, and that's doubtless true.  But that relative risk argument could be made about lots of guns.  (Indeed, it could be made about any number of things that we regulate extensively.  Certain environmental toxins, for example, are stringently regulated, even though exposure to them will not cause immediate death.)  

        I also don't see why a background check requirement would be any more impractical in this context than in others.  Sure, some people might well choose not to comply with it.  There are always people willing to break the law.  Usually, though, we don't refuse to enact laws because we know some people might break them.  If we did, we'd have no criminal laws at all.  

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:31:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Like UBC in general (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener, FrankRose

          Checks on these types of heirloom weapons and/or transfers between family members for any firearm would be hard to oppose (I know I'd support them) as long as it's easy, very low cost (or free), and doesn't create a "registry". Require all FFLs to do them on demand for private transactions and mandate a maximum fee of something like $10.

          When people talk about 90% support for UBC the above is what they are talking about. As you make it more onerous, more expensive, more of a hassle, that numbers drops and drops.

        •  Sorry to have wasted our time (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener, FrankRose

          OK, got it.  Your answer is that even where the possibility of criminal use and the issue of public safety is so remote as to be purely theoretical - which it is, you believe the burdens you want to impose should be imposed.  If that's not an absolutist position, the term has no meaning.  We don't agree and we're not going to agree.  Sorry to have wasted our time.

          •  One man's "absolute limit" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FogCityJohn, salmo

            is another man's common sense.

            Thanks for participating.

            What's at stake for you?

            "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

            by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 10:35:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am a gun owner who is interested in consensus (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener

              that might lead to some motion to reduce the amount of violence involving guns our nation has experienced in the recent past.  I have read a bit about that on this site, but it always seemed to me that there was more heat than light in the exchanges.  Your diary seemed to offer a chance to discuss guns and regulation from a different angle.

              I wanted to know whether it was worth exchanging ideas about the range of options for older, heirloom guns.  I have several, but one is very unusual, an outlier so far beyond what should be our concern that if that can't be acknowledged as such, there is no point in talking about other differences.  So as a test, I described one of my guns that is more a museum piece than a firearm.  It is a muzzleloader, 14 gage (not a typo) because at that time, standards hadn't been invented.  It was probably made for the English nobility, so, things like wads to shoot it would have been the keeper's responsibility.  They would have used professional loaders if shoots then were like they were at the turn of the 20th Century.  I don't know that any components were ever generally available to the public, but in any event nothing would have been made for it for well over 100 years.  As black powder shotgun shells became available, it would have been retired, and it has probably adorned a wall for 150 years because of the artistry it displays.  No criminal use of weapons like this has been documented, and it would take a pretty fevered imagination to come up with one.  And I asked, is that outside the bounds?

              You see the response.  I interpret the brief dialog to mean that there is not a lot of point in going on.   I meant it respectfully when I said that I was sorry to have wasted both of our time.  I mean this respectfully too.  

              For what its worth, I did not write about an "absolute limit", I was concerned about absolutism, the all or nothing stance.  Along that same line, what does, "So it's hardly an "absolute" to require a background check upon transfer of the weapon" mean if it doesn't mean it's always required, absolutely, no exceptions, I'm not willing to talk about it?  

              •  I hear you, and found DrillSgtK's tutorial on (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                salmo

                the C&R license interesting. There will be more diaries... b/c we have a broad range of experience and views, we really have to break it down for newbies.

                Caveat - I fundamentally reject the us vs. them dichotomy. There are many sides. We're kicking around a bucky-ball not playing tug of war with 2 teams and a rope.


                Moderation request:

                I applaud the willingness of many people in these threads to say what they really think and why. It's essential that we be able to do that. Period. In the Firearms Law and Policy group we try to allow room for expression of the extreme frustration that is felt by many people on many points of disagreement. I believe I understand both perspectives expressed in this thread, and am working to bridge part of the gap that I think I'm beginning to understand.


                "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:10:05 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  We have no expectation of reaching a (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                salmo

                consensus, not at Daily Kos, and not even among the group members. There is no ideological test to join or to participate in our diaries. Each author writes from their own point of view. We encourage people to examine their beliefs, spell out what facts/evidence/legal theories are the basis for their opinions... and we look to examine our own assumptions...

                In the group we have people who are strong advocates for the individual RKBA as articulated in Heller & McDonald (such as myself) and we have people who really hate guns for various reasons, and who believe the 2A should be rendered obsolete.

                "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 02:21:06 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  So the risk of a functioning gun ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener

            killing someone is purely theoretical?  Talk about an absolutist position.

            And how can the risk of criminal misuse be theoretical? If you have no idea who the transferee is, you have no idea whether that person is a criminal or not, or someone who's otherwise legally barred from owning a firearm.

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 11:57:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  To be precise (let's define terms) (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FogCityJohn

              All guns are deadly weapons.

              Even if they are not loaded, or we pour lead down the barrel they are still deadly weapons, since they can still be used as instruments of blunt force trauma.

              But without bullets it's much harder to use them to kill at a distance. With bullets, skills start to matter a lot.

              The capacity to kill multiple people quickly and at a distance is what distinguishes guns from almost all other common instruments of fatal injuries. Motor vehicles can kill when operated unsafely indoors (CO poisoning), and they can kill multiple people quickly, but motor vehicles can't kill at a distance.

              "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

              by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 12:04:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is part of it: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LilithGardener
                The capacity to kill multiple people quickly and at a distance is what distinguishes guns from almost all other common instruments of fatal injuries.

                The other distinction is that the principal purpose of a gun is to wound or kill.  A device having no use other than to cause harm is fundamentally different from other instrumentalities that might incidentally cause harm.

                "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                by FogCityJohn on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 01:26:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Salmo, I agree 180-plus years is a heirloom. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        It's truly a special case.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 03:14:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My heirloom guns (4+ / 0-)

    I never thought about guns in terms of heirloom but I guess they are. I got  a lot of Heirloom tools too.
    My dad gave me his collection---I won't detail them all but his WWII M1 carbine and .45 were two of them. His dad was a bootlegger and had some interesting choices
    I'm   not exactly sure how I'm, going dispose of them myself, my son lives in Chile and is not that interested in guns. Probably just sell them. I never set out to have an arsenal

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 05:06:55 AM PST

  •  No. (3+ / 0-)

    Any 'exemptions' anywhere lead to guns going to people that shouldn't have them.  The fact that your father owns a gun doesn't mean that you aren't legally prevented from having one.

  •  This is a situation where background check (4+ / 0-)

    is kinda pointless and aggravating.
    You KNOW a member of your family. You know if it's safe to hand that person a gun. Plus, heirloom guns are often mantlepiece decorations. For all those reasons, background check/FFL transfer is more trouble that it's worth.
    And would be completely moot if the gun, like all guns, was registered and the ownership transferred, just the way a car is. Sure, ship it out to your nephew, sign over the title and nephew registers his ownership with his state (or easier: a federal registry, making it universal and consistent state to state).
    To me, a background check is a CYA when selling a weapon to someone you don't know.
    It is not going to stem the flow of guns into the underworld because straw purchasers and theft guns.
    It simply absolves the last legitimate seller of responsibility.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 06:03:29 AM PST

    •  Are Heirloom Guns and Heirloom Transfers a Problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      What is the frequency with which heirloom guns are involved in criminal acts?  In acts of someone that is insane?  In criminal possession by people who might not pass a background check?  If we are concerned with those acts, and the guns that make them worse, shouldn't there be an empirical basis for the control strategy adopted.  Shouldn't the priority be set with an eye towards the frequency heirloom guns and heirloom transfers are a problem?  

      It turns out that data is not strong enough to answer those questions authoritatively, but there are hints in the literature I found with a brief Google search.  In Hot Guns, How Criminals get Guns, by Dan Noyes, Center for Investigative Reporting (http://www.pbs.org/...) I read an interview with ATF Agent Jay Watchel, wherein we are told "... one of the most common ways criminals get guns is through straw purchase sales."  He says that "The next biggest source of illegal gun transactions where criminals get guns are sales made by legally licensed but corrupt at-home and commercial gun dealers." Unlicensed street dealers come in third, and gun theft is fourth.  Guns that might be classed as heirlooms, and acquired through inheritance are nowhere on the list.  Also absent in this report are quantitative descriptions, except where we learn that 8% of the nation's licensed dealers sell the majority of handguns used in crimes (and from the next citation, 80% of the guns used in crimes are handguns).  

      Looking further, in Sources of crime guns in Los Angeles, California, Julius Wachtel, Criminal investigator, US Treasury Department, California, 1998 (http://policeissues.com/...) I found the quote I think best delivers what this researcher found out about heirloom guns: "At least 25 percent of the guns in the trace pool were more than five years old. This sizeable proportion poses some intriguing questions, particularly since there was no example of used gun marketing in the casework. Are older firearms more likely to pass between friends, family members and acquaintances? Are such guns equally at risk of being used in crimes?"  Sadly, the question is unanswered, but evidence seems to suggest that the answer is, No, and No.  It's a data point, not a description of the country, and ultimately unsatisfying, but it does identify the principal problem as large caliber semi-automatic handguns sold through a few bad apples in the retail gun distribution network - the same point made above.

      What I take from this is that 50 year old and older long guns are simply not a significant factor in criminal acts, and transfers of those guns as heirlooms within families is such a vanishingly small portion of the picture for researchers into the source of guns carried and used by criminals that they don't even bother to mention it.  Old pistols may be a different story, but I infer from the data presented that here too they are no more than a small percentage of the problem and that heirloom transfers are not the source of enough weapons to pay attention.  

      If someone has better data, I would be very interested.  Weak as it is, the literature suggests this is not where to start; this is not where our problem is.

  •  Is it common... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    for people to bequeath their guns to family members who are known felons??  Wouldn't the executor of the estate, being a lawyer, be able address any legal problems?  This seems like a solution in search of a problem.

    •  Hi Doug, Felons? Do you mean prohibited persons? (0+ / 0-)

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 10:36:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener, Calamity Jean

        Any prohibited person.  A parent knows if their kid has been to prison or adjudicated mentally ill by the court.  How often do these parents will their children guns?  

        But I think my second question is more pertinent.  When filling out a will, when they get to the part that says "I want to leave my rifle and shotgun to my son", any competent lawyer is going to ask if the son has been to prison or has a history of mental illness.  Would an estate lawyer allow that to be included in a will, knowing that the heir cannot possess a gun?

        •  Don't know - question needs a lawyer (0+ / 0-)

          Q1 - How often do parents will their children guns?
          Don't know.
          Q2 - Would an estate lawyer allow that to be included in a will, knowing that the heir cannot possess a gun?

          Would the estate lawyer/parent perform a criminal background check? As far as I know neither of those parties is empowered to search NICS.

          But.... even if they did hire a PI and assess all the categories. Many of them could be PASS today, FAIL tomorrow.

          Doesn't your assumption rely on parents' somehow being omniscient?

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 01:25:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As to Q1, I would guess VERY common (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener

            I certainly think about it and talk about them (my firearms) in those terms with my son. Shooting together is some of the best "quality time" we spend together, something we both look forward to and something I hope he'll carry on with his children. Also, not that I don't trust him, but currently seeing what legal options I have as far as attempting to make sure they are not sold or destroyed upon my death. If you don't want them, then give them to another family member.

        •  Those are good Qs - Prohibited persons (FYI) (0+ / 0-)

          You might already know this, and maybe you're speaking in short hand when you refer to felons and adjudicated mentally ill.

          For noobs to follow along, I'm quoting last week's diary:
          Did you get a gun for Christmas?

          For your question, "Wouldn't parents know?" I added numbers to the categories.

          The starting point is considering whether the recipient can/must pass a background check before they can receive the gun you are giving them. Federal restrictions on gun ownership go way beyond felons and people who are dangerous because of severe mentally illness. According to federal law eleven categories of persons are prohibited from buying/selling/owning guns. Many states have additional restrictions. Note that only two of the eleven categories require a criminal conviction. Only one category involves persons adjudicated to be mentally ill.

          This is important and bears repeating. For most of the categories of prohibited persons listed below, due process does not require a criminal conviction.

          How To - Identify Prohibited Persons (from BATFE)

          The Gun Control Act (GCA) makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms. 18 USC 922(g). Transfers of firearms to any such prohibited persons are also unlawful. 18 USC 922(d).

          These categories include any person:

          [1, 1a]•    Under indictment or information in any court for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
          [2]•    convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
          [3]•    who is a fugitive from justice;
          [4]•    who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
          [5]•    who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;
          [6]•    who is an illegal alien;
          [7]•    who has been discharged from the military under dishonorable conditions;
          [8]•    who has renounced his or her United States citizenship;
          [9]•    who is subject to a court order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner; or
          [10]•    who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (enacted by the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, Pub. L. No. 104-208, effective September 30, 1996). 18 USC 922(g) and (n).

          Would parents know X about their minor/adult child?
          My answer:
          [1] minor - n/a, adult - probably
          [1a] minor - maybe, adult - maybe
          [2] minor - probably, adult - maybe
          [3] minor - maybe (e.g. runaway), adult - maybe
          [4] minor - maybe, adult - maybe
          [5] minor - probably, adult - maybe
          [6] minor - depends on parental knowledge of birthplace, e.g. unknown father creates citizenship for child, adult - n/a
          [7 - 10] minor - n/a, adult - maybe

          As you know private transfers exemptions rely on the personal knowledge of parents, family or friends to "just know" instead of the recipient of the gun having to fill out a 4473 and self-certify.

          That leaves a whole lot of uncertainty, even under ideal relationships.

          After looking at that list, I'd say that it's just not realistic to expect that any individual can certify for another person. With a few of them, it's not even realistic to rely on self-certification, let alone certification by someone who may or may not know.
           

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 01:42:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  question: do pre-1899 firearms require any sort (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    of FFL?  It has been my understanding that they do not though some states such as NJ do require an FFL to purchase them.  These weapons are frequently not in fire-able condition but some are.  (I have purchased some Mauser 8MM rifles made for the Turks in 1893 for example that appeared to be shootable)

    Also, it appears no FFL is required for a black powder weapon as I have had a .50 caliber shipped to me no problem but there may be individual states that have different requirements again.

    Am I correct in this or is a C&R license required for these two classes of weapons?  (Sorry for the questions but it has been years since I allowed my BATF licenses to lapse)    

    •  Hi entlord, (0+ / 0-)

      Under Federal law any gun shipped across state lines requires an FFL of one kind or another. There are 11 different kinds! In state it varies depending on whether it's a long gun or a handgun.

      For newbies: "requires an FFL"
      That means the person receiving the gun tells the sender which federally licensed firearms dealer is close by and convenient for them. The sender ships it to that FFL. When the receiver goes to pick up the gun they fill out From 4473, the dealer orders a check of the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) before handing over the gun.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:21:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am more confused as it appears some states do (0+ / 0-)

        consider percussion or wheel locks or flintlocks to be firearms.  Not sure what else they would be but reading on the various black powder forums and ATF boards seem to be more confusing than enlightening

  •  We know the deceased understood the heirloom (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    weapon. It is not a given the heirs have this same knowledge. They could be great grand children, far removed from their esteemed grandfather they saw a few times.

    Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

    by 88kathy on Wed Jan 15, 2014 at 10:39:46 PM PST

    •  Agreed. The giver of an heirloom gun (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy

      may or may not be a good arbiter of who should/should not own a gun. Both Nancy and Peter Lanza would have willingly gifted heirloom guns to Adam.

      And, given that passing heirloom guns to the next generation happens rarely, only once or twice in a generation... is it really asking too much for the recipient to pass a background check?

      Is that really that onerous? IMO it's not.

      And currently, there is the C&R license that can be had for $30/3 years, that gives you the right to receive your family heirloom gun. A notification of your local LEO, a background check by the ATF, and you can receive the gun which you keep account of in your C&R logbook. And when it comes time to pass it on to the next generation, they apply for a C&R license and you record the transfer in your personal C&R log book.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 03:59:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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