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In the wake of the Aurora Colorado shootings last two weeks ago, Bill O'Reilly brought Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz on to his show to discuss gun law. O'Reilly was in his usual idiotic, bombastic, not letting the guest get a word in edgewise form. One of the key exchanges in the video...
Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT) to Bill O'Reilly on keeping track of guns: “That’s absolutely not true. If you buy a fully automatic weapon, you have to go get a tax certificate from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in order to do that. You have to pass a fingerprint background check.”
O’Reilly countered, “You can buy an AK-47 in this country and no federal agency will know you buy it. And as the guy in Colorado proved, you can buy a mass amount of ammunition on the Internet and nobody’s reporting it.”
He continued, “Here’s my deal and you tell me where I’m wrong. If you sell heavy weaponry – semi-automatics, automatics, ammunition — all you do is you file with FBI and that way the FBI can cross-reference. All right, say the FBI has you on a terror watch list and then it comes in that you’re buying an AK, well the FBI’s going to put you under surveillance.”
This was not the first time in that show that O'Reilly brought up "heavy weapons" ....
O’Reilly: “Anyone who sells a heavy weapon or ammo should be compelled to report the sale to the FBI. It’s a felony if you don’t. That’s what we should have in the U.S.A. and it just makes sense in this age of terrorism. Right now some gun dealers do background checks but nobody reports the sale of heavy weapons like AK-47s to the feds. That’s insane.”
And Doug Giles brings up the same points that Rep. Chaffetz tried to bring up...
Bill, if you purchase an AK-47 today at a gun store, you will be required to fill out Federal Form 4473. On this form, you will answer a barrage of questions about your criminal history and citizenship. On page 2, section D, the form lists the type, model number, manufacturer, serial number, etc. of the firearm that is being purchased.
If a licensed gun dealer does not accurately complete this form, he would face penalties up to and including prison time. All dealers are required to complete this form for every firearm purchase. This form is a BATFE form, and if they do not talk to the FBI, then that is a problem between those agencies and not gun purchasers.
As it relates to purchases of ammo, the idea that one would report the hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition sold yearly would take an army of federal employees to process the information. I would wager that they would catch as many criminals as the TSA has caught potential terrorists by groping Granny. However, they would be able to compile a great list of people like me who shoot regularly and buy their ammunition in bulk. That list would include my cowboy action shooting friends, trap and skeet shooters, prairie dog hunters, individual police officers, military personnel, gun collectors, reloaders and so on. Keeping lists of law-abiding citizens does not stop killers bent on bedlam.
O'Reilly then went full on Brady Campaign....
O’Reilly: “Terrorists could just move in here, buy bazookas and the FBI doesn’t know about it. Here is how crazy this is. If you take a flight lesson, the feds get a heads up. But you can buy a machine gun and they don’t know.”
That kind of lax scrutiny is was not even afforded to cartel members who are taking the guns back to Mexico to kill Mexicans (under Operation Fast & Furious). Even then, the Feds controlled what kinds of guns got out.
Bazookas and machine guns are commonly referred to as class III weapons and/or destructive devices, which require a very special license to own. Yep, it’s a wee bit different than buying a Ruger 10/22. The “Feds” have been licensing machine guns since 1934. To own a machine gun, one must first live in a state where it is legal, and then complete a Federal licensing process that, as I understand, takes a few months. On top of the aforementioned, get ready to drop about ten grand because the manufacturing of new guns has been banned for years. To the best of my knowledge, only one legally owned machine gun has been used in a crime in the U.S. since 1934, and the owner was a member of the law enforcement community.
Yet, Mr. Self-Imporatant, the Bloviator Extraordinaire could not even get that fact right. He was too busy bloviating to be bothered with simple things like facts. But in a country founded under the rule of law, law and facts are, as Rep. Chaffetz tried to point out, the most important factor of all.