The “unbiased” Washington Post has a survey posted on their website with the question being “Are gun stores responsible for crime?” Not only is this the question but some people actually are voting yes on it.
I’m completely flabbergasted as the idea that gun stores should be responsible for the actions of their customers. Although is cliche I’m going to use the classic car analogy. Should a car dealership be held responsible if one of their customers kills a kid while driving intoxicated? Almost nobody I know would answer yes to this but somehow some people feel the rules should be different for gun stores. What logic or sense is there in the idea of holding gun stores responsible?
In order for a gun store to sell a gun they must be a federally licensed dealer. Having a federal firearms license (FFL) is the de facto definition of being a gun store. When you hold an FFL there are certain restrictions and regulations put into place. First you must have every customer fill out an ATF Form 4473 which records the firearms sold, the firearm’s serial numbers, and the person information of the purchaser.
After this form is completed the FFL holder must call the FBI’s National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NICS) hot line and provide the information on the 4473 to the person on the other side of the line. With this information in hand the NICS is used to run a background check on the purchaser. There are three results possible from this; go, no-go, or delay. This means the FBI ultimately grants permission on all sales performed in gun shops.
Shouldn’t this be considered enough on behalf of the FFL holder? If you want to blame somebody else for the actions of a criminals why not blame the FBI? They ultimately approved the sale.
What I would like to hear is justification from somebody who thinks gun stores should be held accountable for the actions of their customers. This justification must also include reasoning why gun stores are special and should be treated differently than other stores (unless of course you believe all stores should be held accountable for what their customers do with items that have been purchased at the establishment).
Guns are the only things I’m aware of where people say sellers should be held accountable for the actions of purchasers. Every other thing on the planet is assumed to be an item of no conscious and the user is ultimately held responsible for any misuse. Hypocrisy pisses me off almost more than anything else.