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View Full Version : "But I'm in the National Guard, Federal law shouldn't apply to me."


Crosshair
04-04-2007, 08:39 AM
OK, I have a good Sucky Customer story. First, a little background on the laws involved.

Title 18, Chapter 44, Section 922 of the US code:

(b) It shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector to sell or deliveró
(1) any firearm or ammunition to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than eighteen years of age, and, if the firearm, or ammunition is other than a shotgun or rifle, or ammunition for a shotgun or rifle, to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than twenty-one years of age;

OK, sounds simple, but here is where it gets grey. Note the use of the work ďfor a shotgun or rifleĒ in the above wording of the law. That IS how it is worded. Most all handgun ammo has a rifle that is chambered for it and there are some handguns that are chambered for rifle ammo. I myself own many such rifles, two in 9mm (A handgun round), one in 30 Carbine (A rifle round that has been chambered in handguns.), and three 22 LR rimfire rifles and three 22LR handguns.(There are as many rifles are there are handguns in this caliber.)

If you are over 18, but under 21 and tell me that the ammo is for a rifle, I can sell it to you. I have no way of knowing if you are going to use it in a rifle or handgun. As long as I do not ďknow or have reasonable cause to believeĒ that they are going to use this ammunition in a handgun, everything is OK.

It is not illegal for someone who is under 21 (In most places)to possess ďhandgunĒ ammo and not illegal (In most places) to possess a handgun if you are under 21, but over 18. (You canít buy one though until you are 21.)

There is a rifle chambered in virtually every handgun caliber. Every handgun caliber, from the .380 Auto to the massive 500 S&W, has a rifle that chambered it at one point in time. About the only two calibers that I could question would be the 32 Auto, the 25 Auto, plus a few obsolete calibers. (Like the 8mm Nambu, 7.62x38R, 30 Mauser, etc.)

OK, so everyone with any brains who wants ammo that is over 18, but is under 21 is going to tell me that the ammo they want to buy is for a rifle. I donít know if they are going to use it a rifle or handgun, as long as they tell me it is for a rifle and they donít give me reason to question their answer, I have followed the law.

I sometimes make small talk with customers of all ages and find that yes they are using it in a rifle. The most popular being the Hi-Point 995 Carbine (I own one, great gun), a few Kel-Tec SUB-2000ís, some AR-15ís with 9mm upper receivers, and one guy who owns a M-11 sub-machinegun. (He buys ammo by the case, need to get his phone number and try to get some trigger time on that M-11.:angel: ) The under-21 people who borrow handguns for plinking generally get the ammo from that person as well. (I did that when I wasnít 21, borrowed a co-workers 9mm to go plinking.)

If they are stupid and tell me it is for a handgun when they arenít 21, not even the hot hammers of hell can get me to sell you the ammo. No you canít recant and tell me it is for a rifle. You have already told me that you are going to use it in a handgun, you donít get a ďdo overĒ. You have already told me and I now ďknow or have reasonable cause to believeĒ that the ammo you are buying is for a handgun, thus you need to be 21.

The same applies when buying guns, donít joke about robbing the local gas station, because I can and will stop the sale and it is illegal for a manager to override me. You donít joke about bombs in your luggage at the airport, same applies here. (Minus the cavity search) On another note: If you have stupid friends, leave them at home. If they say anything stupid while they are with you, your sale might be denied. (Yes I have seen it happen.)

OK, now that we have "Buying ammo 101: What to tell the clerk." down, enter our sucky customer. He comes up to the counter and asks for a 100 round bulk pack of 9mm Luger ammunition. I grab a pack of the ammo and ask to see ID. He gets out his ID and I see he was born in 1988. OK, over 18 but under 21, time for round two. Answer correctly and you get the ammo, answer incorrectly and you leave empty handed.

My thoughts are in parentheses, other notes in (* *)

Me: (*Standard Spiel*) For rifle or handgun.
SC: Handgun.
Me: (*Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. I put the ammo back in case.*) Sorry, I canít sell it to you, youíre under 21.
SC: Why not?
Me: You have to be 21 to buy handgun ammunition.
SC: What if I was buying it for a rifle?
Me: Then I could sell it to you.
SC: Well then Iím buying it for a rifle.
Me: (Sorry dumbass, it doesnít work that way.) You already told me it is for a handgun, I canít sell it to you.
SC: Come on, Iím going to guard training and I need it.
Me: (Donít they supply you ammo at guard training? Doesnít matter, you arenít getting it either way.) Sorry, I canít legally sell it to you if I know or have reason to believe you are going to use it in a handgun.
SC: Come on, Iím out there defending your freedom. (*Yes he actually said this.*)
Me: (So were the guards at Abu Ghraib.) (*Yes that thought was in poor taste but this guy was really irritating me.*) That doesnít change things, I canít sell it to you.
SC: (*Walking away*) Dammit, I canít believe you are doing this to me you F***ing ***wipe. (YES, I finally got a customer to curse at me.:highfive: )
Me: (*Yelling back at him.*)Iím not the one that makes the rules ya know. Take it up with the Federal Government if you donít like it.:wave:

The best part was that my department manager was at the other side of the counter, after he left he said, ďGeese, Iím not gona sell you (*Referring to the SC.*) anything with that attitude either.Ē

Yet another example of people getting mad at the clerks who are simply following the rules. Iím not about to get on the BATFís bad side because of a $15 ammo sale. Itís not me being an ass, itís me knowing and following federal law and you not knowing the law and getting mad when I follow it.

/Wow, I write alot.

Dave1982
04-04-2007, 11:30 AM
I'll have to show this one to my uncle, who used to be a Lt Colonel in the Guard. I'm sure he'll have something to say about it. ;)

In the meantime, I have to wonder if you just told this guy how to "legally" obtain ammo at another store. Not that I'm trying to tell you how to do your job; just a thought.

Mongo Skruddgemire
04-04-2007, 11:30 AM
Hell, I'm over 21 and I still claim that most of my ammo is for a rifle. The transactions just seem to go faster that way. If I say that it's for a handgun I get to play 20 questions with them. If I say rifle all they ask is "What kind?" and then grunt (that Tim Taylor-ish man grunt from Home Improvement) and sell me the ammo.

M

draftermatt
04-04-2007, 11:34 AM
What practice does he need for the Guard? They have boot camp folks! They freaking train you, most of the time in RIFLES!

Dimensio
04-04-2007, 01:18 PM
In the meantime, I have to wonder if you just told this guy how to "legally" obtain ammo at another store. Not that I'm trying to tell you how to do your job; just a thought.

Federal gun laws are a little wacky. As long as the buyer tells the seller that the ammunition is for a rifle, it may well be perfectly legal (on the federal level; state laws will vary).

The law applies to licensed firearms sellers, not to buyers and and also not to unlicensed private citizens selling their own private property (though I believe that there is a volume limit on private transactions). That's why it is legal (federally; some states may have their own prohibitions but many do not) for a private citizen to sell a handgun to someone under 21 (but 18 or over) in a private, unrecorded transaction, but it is not legal for a licensed dealer to sell the same make and model firearm to,that "underage" individual.

Basically, if a licensed dealer sells ammo to someone under 21, knowing that the ammo is for a handgun, the dealer has broken the law but the buyer has not. As such, if the buyer lies and claims that the 9mm ammo is for an AR-15 carbine chambered for it, or that the .45ACP ammo being purchased is for a Thompson Submachine Gun and not their XD45, no laws are broken if the dealer makes the sale.

Bacter
04-04-2007, 02:27 PM
I do like how customers will try to buddy up to you, like we're both stickin' it to the man. Come on bro, I'll just TELL you it's for a rifle, then we're good, right? Like you'd risk your job over some idiot you'd never met.

habitofbeingright
04-04-2007, 05:37 PM
hey i am in the National Guard and Crosshair you are right you are supplyied with ammoby the armyand the army alone. A interesting question to ask this guy is what MOS (military job ) he was. The reason is the only people that really carry handguns are officers ( he was to young to be one cause it requires a 4 year degree) and medics. But the Army with its 3 components is a real strictier for safety and we don't even keep ammo at the armories. We go to a fort to use live ammo and the fort supplies that to us. He would have been arrested for coming to drill with a handgun, loaded or not.
So this is a long winded way of saying it but good job you saved him from being arrested.

Rocko
04-04-2007, 05:48 PM
This is why I'm glad that my store does not sell ammunition. I will gladly take the customers who are pissed off that I do not sell it over the threat of the Feds coming into my store and fining me for screwing up on something like that any day.

Crosshair
04-04-2007, 06:44 PM
In the meantime, I have to wonder if you just told this guy how to "legally" obtain ammo at another store. Not that I'm trying to tell you how to do your job; just a thought.
Remember, the government is just like a corporation. There are many parts of such laws that are confusing and the law sometimes downright contradict itself.

The BATF is famous for "Making it up as we go" type rulings. They were exposed as having NO official testing standards in 2005. They have decalred a shoelace, the human finger (2006), and other everyday items to be machingun components. (No I am NOT making this up.) Not exactly an organisation you want to trust.

greensinestro
04-04-2007, 07:40 PM
You know what? You probably gave this guy good advice. He most likely will go visit another gun shop, and this time make sure he does not slip up and tell the clerk that he's using it for a hand gun.

I'll give you something pretty scary. In Mississippi, they have a flea market called First Monday, only open on the first Monday of the month. I went there one time with my aunt and uncle, and they were selling hand guns, right there in the open. The ammunition was also easily accessible to anyone, which meant someone who knows how to do it could quickly load a weapon and fire it right there. What was even more scary is they just sold these guns on the spot, meaning no background check, no criminal past check required, nothing. So, a person who just did time for armed robbery and is now out can just waltz into this place and buy a handgun, complete with ammunition and all. And, with no five day waiting period!

Knifeman
04-04-2007, 08:50 PM
Sounds like the kind of climate if he TRIED to just shoot right there, he'd be killed before his weapon chambered the second shot, honestly.

Dimensio
04-04-2007, 09:03 PM
Remember, the government is just like a corporation. There are many parts of such laws that are confusing and the law sometimes downright contradict itself.

The BATF is famous for "Making it up as we go" type rulings. They were exposed as having NO official testing standards in 2005. They have decalred a shoelace, the human finger (2006), and other everyday items to be machingun components. (No I am NOT making this up.) Not exactly an organisation you want to trust.

The shoelace (tied between the trigger and the action) I've seen -- including an attached serial number -- but not a human finger. Where did you hear about that?

Crosshair
04-04-2007, 09:08 PM
I went there one time with my aunt and uncle, and they were selling hand guns, right there in the open.
Person to person sale, nothing illegal about that.
The ammunition was also easily accessible to anyone, which meant someone who knows how to do it could quickly load a weapon and fire it right there.
Mississippi is a "shal-issue state. It would not be surprising if many people there are carrying consealed. Any nut that tried that would probably have several muzzles pointed at them and/or several bullets in them before they could do much.
What was even more scary is they just sold these guns on the spot, meaning no background check, no criminal past check required, nothing. So, a person who just did time for armed robbery and is now out can just waltz into this place and buy a handgun, complete with ammunition and all. And, with no five day waiting period!
Nothing illegal about that, face to face sale. Many people do at least get their info down for private records. Are you afraid of people who buy cars on the spot? The idea of a waiting period is a cruel and sick joke thought up by the anti's.

Anyway, it is already illegal for a felon to be in possession of a gun. Surprise, criminals break laws. If the person selling was an FFL they would have to do a background check. But, as mentioned before, person to person sales are perfectly legal.

Going by the Federal Governments own studies on the matter, here is the breakdown on illegal guns. (Figures are from 1997, but they have not changed much in the last 10 years.)

Obtained from friends or family, 39.6%
Got on the street/illegal source, 39.2%
Purchased from retail store, 8.3% (Just shows how reliable those criminal background checks really are.)
Purchased at a pawn shop 3.8%
Purchased at a flea market, 1.0%
Purchased in a gun show, 0.7%

The FBI alone has had 160 guns lost or stolen between 2002 and 2005, including sub-machineguns. Though it is an "improvement" over the last audit where they did not know where 449 guns were. This is just the FBI, not all the other LEO organisations.

Dave1982
04-04-2007, 11:24 PM
Well, I did mention this to the LTC. According to him, this fellow would NEVER be allowd to use his private weapon at an official Drill, nor would he be allowed to bring his own ammo (assuming of course that he is in the Guard).

Assuming that he is NOT in the guard, then he committed a federal crime by impersonating a member of the armed forces, punishable (esp combined with a firearms violation) by no less than 5 years hard time in a federal prison.

It was also suggested that - if he really was a Guardsman - that you could ask for his military ID and then use that information to get him into hot water with the Guard.

repsac
04-05-2007, 02:48 AM
There's something odd I'd like to add. Just to show how wonky federal laws really can be. (Even after 9-11)

Personally, I own a colt new army. It's a blackpowder type pistol chambered in .45 cal. Like most of it's type, to load requires one of two types of ammunition. Well, not so much the ammo but the propellant.

Now I don't know about the rest out there that shoot (which I must admit can be relaxing at times. Though I only shoot at a range) but my personal favorite type of propellant is this new smokeless powder I can use in my gun. Otherwise, I have to buy black powder. It's nice, but can be a pain to handle.

So how does this relate to the bullets? Simple.

Oddly enough, I've found that it's easier to buy a pound of black powder, than it is to buy one case of bullets for a .32 pistol. It still shocks me when I go to purchase my powder, that here they are handing over a pound of the stuff for me; without so much of a check or ID. However, should I go buy ammunition; it's as though it takes an act of congress to get it.

I don't know about you, but I'd love to find the idiot that wrote that law and smack them with a salmon. Just for making the thing so stinking stupidly worded.

Andara Bledin
04-05-2007, 05:44 PM
Mmm... powder firing... much fun!

I used to be in a faire guild, and along with live steel improv fighting, we did guns as well. One of our sister guilds had themselves a good cannon. Our favorite show pack, however, was biodegradeable packaging material. It would allow a good muzzle flash and the bits of it that made it out of the end of a rifle would just mingle with the smoke.

My dad was a machinist and he was so accurate, he accrued enough on one job to machine himself a full scale replica civil war cannon barrel. He never got around to the chassis. But the little 10 inch cannon was fully built. It could put a bit of packed newspaper through a 50-gallon steel drum & 1.5 antique volvo bodies.

Back on topic, that guy was an idiot. I have an aunt that was just retired (against her will) from the NG. She always bitched about his type.

^-.-^

Primer
04-05-2007, 09:31 PM
Oddly enough, I've found that it's easier to buy a pound of black powder, than it is to buy one case of bullets for a .32 pistol.
We have had 25 pounds of black powder drop shipped to the house. We do live out in the boonies, but still.... I don't think we even had to provide a signature for it, but I don't remember for sure. Usually, we get our powder at re-enacting events as part of the bounty for showing up with our cannon, and participating.

If anybody is in the Austin area, we will be at Camp Mabry April 14 and 15 as part of Muster Days, and the cannon will be in use (blanks only)!