"Criminals don’t shoot bolt-action deer rifles

I was just reading your article entitled “Video Games or Guns” (Hoppe, Dec. 20-27) while enjoying my post-gym lunch at Chipotle. I’m a college educated 34-year-old father of two. I’m also a gun owner. Now, before you go all jumping to conclusions I’ll say I agree with you, gun violence is too high. I’m not disputing that. I’m disputing some of the things you mentioned in your article.

You said …

“Indiana, for example, does not have a one-handgun-per-month limit on gun sales. We have no limitations on assault weapons and magazines. Our police cannot limit the carrying of concealed handguns. Minors here are not restricted from possessing guns and no license or permit is required to buy a handgun. There is no waiting period on gun sales, no requirement that all guns be registered with law enforcement, no background checks required at gun shows or on private gun sales.”

I bought my first gun, a 9mm Taurus PT 92AF, from a licensed firearms seller, not a gun store, but someone, a private individual, that was licensed to sell guns. I paid him cash. I was required to be fingerprinted on a governmental form. This form was sent in to the government for a check to see if I was a felon. If it came back that I was a felon I could not buy the gun. I then had to wait seven days, business days, before I could pick up my gun. I am not allowed to conceal carry this gun by Indiana law without a permit. This permit must be obtained at the City-County Building downtown. I had to pay by money order or certified check. This happened to me, in Indiana. How on earth is my experience so vastly different from what you wrote?

If you walk into any gun store in Indiana your experience will be the same as mine. If you walk into any gun show your experience will be the same as mine. I’m talking about the purchase of a handgun here, not some Daniel Boone black powder rife. It is true that you can purchase rifles without having to wait. By and large criminals are not shooting others with bolt-action deer rifles.

Also, there is a ban on assault weapons and magazines in Indiana. It is actually a federal government ban, meaning it applies to all states. I can not walk into a gun store or gun show and purchase an FN FAL or a HK MP5 and walk out the door. The government has all kinds of rules related to these; it’s darn near impossible to buy them. The government hammers the applications for permits and the costs are very, very high. Even if you have the appropriate permits the cost of these individual guns run into the thousands of dollars. I doubt the average criminal is going to spend several thousand on an M16, which they couldn’t legally buy anyway. At gun shows you’ll see magazines for sale that hold more bullets than are allowed to be manufactured currently. These are known as “pre-ban,” meaning you can sell the existing stock but once it’s gone it’s gone. I can’t buy silencers either.

There are some loopholes, such as thumb-hole stocks. Say I wanted to buy a cheap Chinese rip-off of the AK47. I can’t buy one with a pistol grip. I have to buy one with a rifle-type stock that has a hole through it, thereby allowing my thumb to go through, forming a handle that is more “pistol grip”-like but it isn’t the real thing. This technically qualifies the gun as a rife, not an “assault weapon.” This, if anything, is something you might have a point to argue on seeing as nobody hunts with an SKS or AK47. Be that as it may, the violence in Indiana is perpetrated with handguns, not an SKS or AK47s, so the “assault weapon” argument doesn’t hold up here.

Basically what you personally might decide is an “‘assault weapon” is different from what the federal government decides. Maybe that’s your contention but you didn’t specify.

My point here is that there really are many rules in place. You made it sound like there were none. Your article is in a very liberal publication. I would expect most of NUVO’s readers to agree with you. I’m not saying I don’t but I am letting you know that you are irresponsible to make blanket statements to incite fear that simply are not true. There are many rules related to gun ownership, you should have mentioned them. If you want to say it isn’t enough then so be it, but don’t report things that simply are not true.

Chris Hollandbeck





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