I’m been harping about Representative Paymar’s attempt to destroy the property rights of gun owners here in Minnesota. Well since my place of business gets a subscription to the Star Tribune I thought I’d check the Letters to the Editor section and see if anybody wrote about it. Two people did and they obviously don’t understand private property either. The first was written by Stephen Harlan-Marks of Robbinsdale:
Before gun lovers get the idea that state Rep. Michael Paymar’s gun show bill would take rifles from hunters or even handguns from those who feel they need them for protection (“Effort to tighten Minnesota’s gun law getting folks riled up,” March 3), let’s be clear about the bill’s objective. How many Minnesotans think anyone who wishes should be allowed to walk into a gun show and buy 10 AK-47s without a background check, much less a look at the terror watch list? I can’t imagine anyone needing sort of firepower to shoot pheasants or even to ward off a would-be burglar.
The second letter was penned by Peter Clark of Roseville:
Interesting and shocking: On the front page, an article about how upset some people would be if they had to get a permit to buy a gun at a gun show. Then on the first page of the Twin Cities section, the headline “‘Please don’t kill nobody else'”. Maybe gun advocates should pause and think about what they would say if one of their family members were shot down. Remember, guns don’t kill people — people with guns kill people. Thank you, Rep. Paymar, for wanting to set things right. It’s far too easy to get guns today.
So to counter the ignorance I sent the following letter:
After reading a couple letters to the editor dealing with Representative Paymar’s “gun show” bill I believe several facts need to be stated. First and foremost this bill isn’t about gun shows it’s about private sales. Here in Minnesota if I want to sell a firearm, my personal property, I may do so without going through a federally licensed dealer. Paymar’s bill is an attempt to eliminate that right. Private individuals are not allowed to use the FBI’s NICS background check system therefore, if this bill passes, anybody in Minnesota who wants to sell a firearm would have to pay a federally licensed dealer to perform the background check and do the transfer.
The reason gun shows are brought into this is because people will go to gun shows to sell their firearms. However a massive majority of people selling firearms at gun shows are federally licensed dealers and therefore must perform background checks. Additionally a private individual can only sell so many firearms before the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) considers that person to be “in the business” and thus must obtain a federal firearms license. So you will not have private individuals selling “10 AK-47s” at a gun show.
Let’s look at a few other facts. The ATF did a study where they concluded that less than 2% of firearms obtained by criminals were purchased at gun shows. Furthermore background checks do not prevent anything. The killers at Virginia Tech and Fort Hood both used legally purchased firearms from federally licensed dealers. This means background checks were performed on both killers.
Finally the number of guns being purchased by Minnesotans has skyrocketed while our rate of violent crime has been plummeting. In this environment why is there a need to add further government interference and burden to the lives on Minnesotans?
Of course being the paper’s nickname is the Red Star for a reason I doubt mine will ever get printed.