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CBS News did a video story which, I assume, is similar to the pitiful New York Daily News piece on the horrors of the AR-15. CBS News’ Paula Reid bought an AR-15 at a gun store in Virginia to show how easy it is to buy a AR-15 in America. The intention, again as I imagine it, was to frighten the people into accepting gun control. There’s just one problem for CBS News – gun control.

It seems Ms. Reid may have run afoul of the federal government’s laws against “straw purchases” of firearms.

The gun store where a CBS News employee purchased a gun for a segment that aired Thursday on “CBS This Morning” has filed a report with the Virginia State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives over concerns the purchase was unlawful.

The store, SpecDive Tactical in Alexandria, Virginia, said that when CBS News’ Paula Reid purchased the rifle she told the store’s general manager the gun was for her own use. However, when CBS reported on the story they revealed the gun was purchased for the story and transferred to a third party a few hours later. “The rifle we purchased was legally transferred to a federally licensed firearms dealer and weapons instructor in Virginia, just hours after we bought it,” the report said.

The store said they contacted the ATF after viewing the report because they feared the misdirection used by the CBS reporter constituted a straw purchase, which would be a federal crime.

And, I warned about this three years ago. CBS should have heeded my warning. Then, I said:

A straw purchase is where a convicted felon or some other person prohibited by law from buying a gun (an ever-expanding group) pays a “normal” person to buy a gun and then give it to the prohibited person. The website above has all the horrible statistics about this practice. For the average person such a crime can carry severe penalties. [I then told how the ATF, which regulates the law, breaks it all the time with impunity.]

Imagine you’re one of the lucky Americans who still lives in a free state or city (I pray you are).  One evening after work you are walking home enjoying the night air.  You duck down a dark alley to take a shortcut.  Suddenly a scruffy, greasy, shiftless-looking bum of a politician in a trenchcoat comes slithering out of the shadows towards you.  He’s of the desperate variety from New York or D.C. or somewhere.  Instinctively, you assume a fighting stance and drop the safety on your pistol.  But, for once, you are baffled to discover this is a politician who wants to give you money rather than steal it from you.  He offers forth from beneath his smelly, stained coat a paper sack stuffed full of $100 bills.  With all the charm of a diseased wharf rat he tries to entice you to purchase some AR-15s on behalf of his storm-trooper corps.

Once the shock of the situation wears off you may, for a moment, be sorely tempted to take his money, shoot him, and say he was trying to mug you.  Don’t do it!  For one thing, leave evil to the evil.  And, for God’s sake, do not lie for this slimy degenerate!  Have nothing else to do with him!  Rodent-like beings such as our hypothetical politician are often under investigation for corruption by some larger criminal organization.  Loudly and clearly tell the creep you are not interested in breaking the law on his behalf.  Say it several times in different directions so the FBI’s cameras and microphones record definitively that you are not a participant in his conspiracy.  Then tell the rat where to go and continue on your way.  You may have to take a long shower and burn your clothes as a result of the encounter, but at least you won’t end up in prison like the dude in the above picture.

Don’t Lie For The Political Guy!

The shop owner in Virginia didn’t rely on the surveillance state but he did file complaints with the ATF and the VA state police. Hilarius.

I think CBS need not worry about the straw purchase law for two reasons. One, who runs the ATF right now? People sympathetic to terrorizing people into more gun control. Second, given that the AR was to be transferred to an FFL – likely not a “prohibited person”, there’s no technical violation.

However, there is a law concerning the ATF form CBS had to fill out to buy the AR. If they misrepresented information on that form they could be in trouble (but probably not). That’s part of what is wrong with our laws. They allow for selective prosecution – well, maybe that’s an enforcement issue. The main problem is that they are Unconstitutional. I see nowhere in the Old Parchment where Congress has the authority to regulate arms beyond regulating the Militia (that, they have ceded to the states).

All these lovely little laws, 18 U.S.C. § 921, et seq., ad nauseam, can be found in the ATF’s concise little (242-page) Federal Firearms Regulations Reference Guide (2005). It’s incomplete, yes, and there’s disagreement even within the ATF as to how some of the laws apply, but hey, that’s the government you voted for.


If there’s a moral to this story, in general, it is to beware of laws, those spider’s webs of injustice. Specifically, here, beware of gun control laws when you’re trying to push more gun control laws.