Alabama man killed while selling gun, daughter watched

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In most states, you’re not required to go through an FFL to sell your personal firearms. You can arrange a meeting place and swap cash for your gun. Easy peasy.

I’ve done it a few times myself when times were lean.

Still miss most of them, too. I hate selling guns, though I’ve had to.

Anyway, one thing I always felt was a bit of apprehension during such sales. Stories like this are why.

An Alabama father was killed in front of his 8-year-old daughter during a gun deal gone wrong, police and relatives said.

Ricky Howard Hamrick III took his young daughter on a road trip Sunday from Cleburne County to Bessemer, where he had arranged to sell two guns on Facebook Marketplace, police told AL.com.

But upon arriving for the transaction, Hamrick, 39, was fatally shot in the head, police said.

At least three bullets were fired into his sedan, where his daughter — who was not wounded — was sitting in the front passenger seat, cops said.

“Unfortunately, he sold guns to somebody that ended his life, somebody who we consider a coward, somebody who is going to shoot a person while they’re sitting in their car,” Lt. Christian Clemons said. “No provocation led to this shooting. We’re talking about lowdown, dirty rotten cowards.”

The child was reportedly uninjured.

From what I can tell, this wasn’t exactly out in the boonies, either. It appeared to be outside of a Salvation Army location inside town.

But it also doesn’t exactly look like a busy area, either, and that’s probably by design.

Look, I hope the police catch these guys and throw the book at them. This is awful any way you slice it, and that little girl is going to need some help to get through this. She was apparently very attached to her father–the victim’s mother described her as a “daddy’s girl”–and the trauma of seeing someone you care about killed like that is going to leave scars.

I don’t have a lot I can offer on this topic.

What we can do is learn from this as a community. We can look at this instance and recognize that there are practices we can put in place when selling a firearm to someone we don’t personally know–and probably for those we do–that can help minimize the chance of this happening.

For one thing, use a very busy area for such transactions. Selling guns isn’t illegal and doing them in public shouldn’t raise red flags in many places. Doing so in a place where a lot of people coming and going will reduce the risk. Those who would kill you over that gun don’t want witnesses. If they won’t meet in such a place, abandon the sale.

Further, I’d suggest carrying another firearm to such a meet-up, regardless of where it takes place. While it doesn’t look like it would have done Hamrick any good, it’s unlikely to hurt.

All I can say on this one is that it’s an absolute shame that this happened, and not because some will try and use this to suggest universal background checks are a good thing. It’s a shame because it seems a decent man was killed.

After all, there’s no suggestion Hamrick was doing something untoward. He was apparently conducting what he thought was a lawful face-to-face gun transfer.

Unfortunately, total cowards took his life.