The vast majority of gun dealers are good, honest people who have to navigate through reams and reams of regulations in order to conduct a modest business selling firearms. However, there is always the possibility of a few bad actors giving the others a bad name.
For example, this dealer in New Mexico is accused of doing just that.
A firearms dealer is accused of helping a felon and others get guns while skipping the background check.
The indictment filed on Oct. 24 states Robert Real’s wife and daughter were his employees and were also involved in suspicious sales between March 2016 and February 2017.
“I am very concerned because he could be selling to the wrong people,” said Rachel Valencia of Espanola.
According to the indictment, the family would go to New Mexico gun shows and would sell firearms without doing a background check “in order to make the biggest profit.”
In other instances, the family wouldn’t wait the required three-day standard delay period, the documents say. Instead, they allegedly lied about the sale date.
While many in the firearm community take issue with gun laws on general principle, correctly noting that the Second Amendment says our rights to “keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” but they’re still the law and if we’re going to claim to be lawful gun owners then we need to follow the law.
Real is accused of breaking just those laws, failing to perform the federally mandated background check. It sounds like the only nefarious purpose was greed, but that doesn’t exactly make it any better. He allegedly broke the law, not for any moral principle like believing the Second Amendment was absolute, but to line his pocket.
How is that any different than any other common criminal?
That answer is easy, it’s not. Real, if guilty of these crimes–and he is innocent until proven guilty–ignored the law for profit. People who do that are no different than a pickpocket, a petty burglar, or any other low-rent criminal.
Whether or not the law is right is irrelevant. It’s the law. You follow it, you fight to change it, or you break it. If you’re trying to challenge the law in court, then breaking it has a noble purpose, but Real’s not accused of that. He’s accused of breaking the law for profit.
As a result, if convicted, he and his wife and daughter who are alleged to have been part of this scheme deserve to spend a long time in prison. This isn’t someone who the BATFE is railroading because of a paperwork goof. No, this is someone who is alleged to have completely ignored relevant and obvious sections of the law. That deserves significant punishment.
In the meantime, the rest of us will continue following the law and knowing that we’ll be able to keep owning guns for as long as the law doesn’t take away everyone’s right to keep and bear arms. We’ll also know that dealers who break the law are an impediment to us continuing to enjoy that right.