1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Lets Go Buy A Gun

John McCurdy - April 11, 2013

Let's think about what kind of a gun I want. Well, I might like a machine gun or what many people call an automatic, be it pistol, revolver, rifle or shotgun. I can forget all of those because since the National Firearms Act was enacted in the 30's it has been illegal to buy or POSSESS except under very stringent rules and very high taxes on every transaction. In other words we sure don't want to be caught with any full automatic or "Machine Gun". Besides ammunition is much to expensive to waste with one and they are notoriously inaccurate to shoot. So I don't want or need one of those!

Now lets get serious, I want to buy a handgun to protect my family. I can go to one of the Gun dealers in a nearby town in West Virginia, It's West Virginia and because I'm a resident of West Virginia. If I go to Virginia or other states there is so much red tape that when I get the gun I'll be several weeks older or more. So I go to a store in WV. If they have a handgun I like, I fill out a background form and the store owner calls it into wherever. My experience has always been that in about a half and hour at most will be received and I can pay my money and get my handgun and leave. Fairly simple it seems.

If I for some reason choose to go to another state other than my own to make my purchase I must wait for at least three days before my application is approved and my handgun can be delivered into my possession. That's not very simple, is it? Both these scenarios hold true when buying from a Firearms Dealer, (that is a individual that has a place of business and pays a Fee to become a Federally Licensed Firearms dealer). Strict rules of record keeping are require of the Licensed Dealer. They must keep a bound book containing every transaction, buying, selling or trading, they must record the Serial Number, caliber, maker and any other facts about the gun that would help identify it. They must keep regular hours of business and be able to surrender for inspection, their registry books to Inspectors from the Firearms Bureau upon demand during regular business hours they have said they were in business. The glue is a littler sticky now, Isn't it?

Let's say I decide to go to a GUN SHOW. I sometimes go to one in Roanoke, Virginia and less often, (simply because there are fewer folks there), in Beckley, West Virginia. If in Beckley or in Roanoke I am bound by the same rules regarding the purchase and background checks as I would be in any other transaction in WV or Va, ie: The 3 day waiting period! Lets say I had hoped to be able to trade or sell a gun I no longer wanted, when I talk to a Licensed Firearms Dealer he will likely offer me about 50% of what I think the gun is worth. I don't blame him, remember he has to have license, place of business and regular hours of business, (that costs him money, so he needs to make money on trades, just as car dealers do!) Now let us suppose I was carrying that gun I had wanted to sell back out to my car, when a fellow going into to the show asked me, "what's the gun", a few words and some trading talk ensues and I sell it to the fellow in the parking lot for what I consider a fair price, we both are happy he paid less than he would have had to if he had bought it from a dealer inside and I got more than the dealer had offered me. We both walk away with a smile and have broken no rules or laws that I know of.

Lets say while walking back to my car I see a guy and he asked my about my gun, he says he was looking for a (you name it) gun and would like to have traded his Handgun, (in a case), for it. I like the looks of his handgun, we talk and trade and both walk away happy, See what I mean?

The same scenario can take place at any Gun Show, when two people decide to trade with one another. Proposed regulations would forbid us to do that or even to sell, trade or give to a relative.

Note: I had a Federal Firearms License from 1955 until 1970. In 1970 the record keeping became so much trouble I surrendered my books and License. I'm glad I did. I think the record keeping is much more of a burden now but I think otherwise the same rules apply.

I think the things that confuse people much too much are; The difference between a Automatic firearm and a semi-auto!

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