In many states, private sales of firearms remain unregulated. This is a good thing because it means there are no roadblocks for all kinds of other transfers as well. After all, if I want to give my 19-year-old son a long gun, there’s no law forbidding me from doing so.
Private sales happen all the time. Most of the time, everything is fine.
However, in Alaska, there seems to be a thing about how some guns sold in private sales ended up on their way to Mexico.
Two guns purchased in private sales from Alaskans were discovered in a larger shipment of firearms on its way to a Mexican drug cartel last spring, according to charges filed recently in federal court.
Smuggling charges against the now-jailed Miguel Moreno-Cortez allege he was an Alaska-based gun purchaser who was part of a larger network exporting guns from the United States to a drug-trafficking organization called Autodefensas de Michoacán Cartel in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
According to the charging document, Moreno-Cortez bought a rifle and a shotgun in separate transactions in Alaska. Neither appears to have been bought directly from a licensed gun dealer. The charges do not mention how Moreno-Cortez met the seller of the rifle, but they say he found the shotgun for sale on Alaska List, an online classifieds site.
Unlike licensed dealers, federal law does not require a private gun seller to conduct background checks on gun purchasers.
The implication, of course, is that if we required universal background checks, this wouldn’t have happened. That’s not even remotely accurate and we know that. See, what the cartels would do if they couldn’t make purchases via private sales is that they’d use straw purchasers. People with clean records would go in, buy the guns, then hand them over to the cartel.
The reason we know this will happen is that the cartels have already done it. The notorious Operation Fast and Furious pushed dealers to make sales they knew were to straw buyers, all so the guns could be walked across the border. How could anyone in their right mind think that the cartels haven’t continued to use this tactic?
However, let’s also put this incident in a little perspective. Of the more than 731,000 people, 61.7 percent of them are gun owners. That suggests that there are a lot of gun sales going on in the state, many of which are private.
This, however, is a news story about precisely two of them.
Meanwhile, transportation into and out of Alaska is tricky. There are only three ways to move goods. You either put it on a boat, put it on a plane, or drive it through Canada. In theory, all of these should be difficult due to security measures, yet clearly, they weren’t good enough apparently.
Though, in fairness, it’s not like this represents a real problem anyway. Again, we’re talking about two firearms out of the total number in a heavily armed state. This is the epitome of a non-issue.
But it is a good reminder of just how stupid gun control proposals actually are.