3 Firearm Truths Everyone Should Know

By Jeff Knox

Assault Weapons Ban
Foolish people fear “assault weapons” because they look scary to them. But the features that get a gun labeled as an “assault weapon” are merely cosmetic. This one shoots rubber bands.

Buckeye, AZ -(AmmoLand.com)- One of the problems in discussing guns and gun laws is the fact that many people don’t know what they’re talking about – especially among those advocating for stricter gun laws.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, it’s not so much that gun control advocates don’t know anything; it’s that so much of what they know is wrong.

Let’s review some facts about terminology frequently used regarding guns and gun laws.

Assault Weapon

1. There is no such thing as an “assault weapon.” Truth be told, marketers and the gun press of the 1980s bear some responsibility for creating and popularizing the term, but then it was picked up by the anti-rights lobby, and they’ve ridden it for all it’s worth. Today it is liberally applied to any gun that someone thinks looks scary or militaristic. Like beauty, “good” art, or pornography, what constitutes “assault weapon” is in the eye of the beholder. So-called “assault weapons” are not machine guns, and the laws restricting “assault weapons” do not apply to machine guns. Nonetheless, folks like Bloomberg, Feinstein, and a multitude of media outlets routinely suggest that the guns they are talking about when they mention “assault weapons” are fully-automatic machine guns.

Before the atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the state of Connecticut had some of the toughest restrictions on “assault weapons” in the country. That law didn’t prevent the murders. After the tragedy, the state implemented additional restrictions – none of which would have prevented or mitigated the horror in any way had they been in effect prior to the attack. Similarly, California has strict regulations regarding “assault weapons,” but these laws did not prevent or mitigate the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

Gun Show Loophole

2. There is no “gun show loophole,” no “Internet loophole” and no “private transfer loophole.” When the Brady Background Check law was negotiated and passed, this issue was raised, and private transfers were specifically and intentionally exempted from the law. That’s a feature, not a loophole. A private transfer refers to a firearm sale or trade where neither the buyer nor the seller is in the gun business. Anyone who “engages in the business” of buying and selling guns must be licensed, and all licensees must fill out federal paperwork and submit buyers to background checks before proceeding with any transfers. A regular citizen who wishes to sell his personal property is free to do so, whether that property is a gun or a car, or an exercise bike. A private seller who sells a gun is taking a risk, just as a buyer from a private seller is taking a risk. Unless the buyer and seller know each other pretty well, there is always the chance that the gun could be stolen or defective, or that the buyer might be a prohibited person. That’s why it is common practice for private sellers and private buyers to insist on a bill of sale, which includes both the buyer and seller’s identity information. That’s just common sense. If there were a simple, free system for verifying that a gun is not stolen and to run a background check on a buyer, most private sellers and buyers would take advantage of it, as long as it didn’t create a permanent record of the transaction.

But those same private sellers and buyers strongly – and rightly – oppose any scheme requiring that all transfers go through licensed dealers. The reason is the information that is collected and the records that are generated. Those records amount to a government invasion of privacy and are a steppingstone to universal registration. They also know that criminals, who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms, can simply pay someone with a clean record to buy their guns for them or have a friend do it. Later, the straw buyer can claim the gun was stolen. The only effects of requiring all private transfers to go through licensed dealers would be to add expense and hassle to transfers, and lay the groundwork for a registration system.

You Can’t Buy A Gun Over The Internet

It is also important to understand that you can’t buy a gun over the Internet. All sales, other than those between licensed dealers, must be conducted in face-to-face transactions. A gun for sale can be advertised over the Internet, but the actual sale must be conducted in person or through licensed dealers.

More Guns Do Not Equal More Crime

3. More guns do not lead to more crime. Stricter gun control laws do not result in reduced crime, and as gun laws have been liberalized around the country, with millions more people owning millions more guns, and it has become easier to own and carry firearms in more places, crime has gone down. Not only that, crime has generally gone down faster and more significantly in places with the laxest gun laws, while reductions in crime have been minimal to non-existent in places with the most restrictive gun laws. Arizona requires no license or permit to buy, own, or carry a firearm – openly or concealed – has frequent gun shows, has no restrictions on “assault weapons,” magazine capacity, or private transfers, and has sheriffs like Maricopa County’s Joe Arpaio who encourage citizens to go armed as a deterrent to crime and terrorism. But with all of the guns on the streets of Arizona, and in spite of its proximity to Mexico and the inherent problems associated with cross-border drug and human trafficking, crime in the state has been declining at a faster rate than the national average. Maricopa County, which includes the Phoenix metro area, has a violent crime rate that is a fraction of more restrictive locales such as Philadelphia, Chicago, or Baltimore.

The more you know about guns and gun laws, the better you understand how wrong gun laws are. Gun control laws do not and cannot work. When they invariably fail to prevent atrocities or reduce crime, their proponents invariably propose even stricter gun laws. The experiment has failed. Gun control laws are an unconstitutional farce.

About the Firearms Coalition:

The Firearms Coalition is a loose-knit coalition of individual Second Amendment activists, clubs and civil rights organizations. Founded by Neal Knox in 1984, the organization provides support to grassroots activists in the form of education, analysis of current issues, and with a historical perspective of the gun rights movement. The Firearms Coalition is a project of Neal Knox Associates, Manassas, VA.

For more information, visit: www.FirearmsCoalition.org.

  • 31 thoughts on “3 Firearm Truths Everyone Should Know

    1. If I can just add an historical note, to this conversation,……
      A while back, Senator Feinstein and others tried to push a bill through Congress which would have banned the private ownership of most firearms by American Citizens. There is video on Youtube of her, after that effort had failed saying, “a few more votes, and it would have been, Mom and Pop Americans, turn in your guns”. While the defeat of her effort wasn’t by a huge margin, it was considered to have been decisive.
      Shortly after the defeat of the general ban on guns, the Brady Organization, which at that time was named Handgun Control called a meeting including all of the other organizations that had pushed for the ban, to plan future strategy.
      The minutes of that meeting could be read online at the Handgun Control Web Sight for over a year after the meeting took place.
      In those days I made it a point to not only read the pro gun organization web sights, but also the anti gun ones.
      At that meeting, it was decided that there was virtually no chance that a Total Notional Ban could be accomplished at the Federal Level. It was decided that the Second Amendment would in future be attacked at the State, and Local Level. It was decided that public support could be raised by attacking segments of Gun Owners by characterizing the guns and ammunition they possessed as “dangerous”, and “unnecessary”.
      A few terms were devised at that meeting which were thought would have the best propaganda affect on the General Public. The term “Cop Killer Bullet”, came from that meeting, as did “Saturday Night Special” and “Assault Weapon”. It was only after that meeting that the term Assault weapon come into common use in our vernacular.
      Serving, and ex members of the Military Services protested publically that the Military had no such term for weapons, They reported that the term Assault Rifle had come out of the Second World War, but that it referred to a Military Rifle with full automatic capability. Their information was immediately lost in the blizzard of anti gun rhetoric that spewed from the Liberal Controlled Media.
      Handgun Control rightly realized that it needed to change it’s image. I changes it’s name to the Brady Center For The Prevention Of Gun Violence, and the posting of the meeting minutes disappeared from their web sight, and they began to claim that they were not really in favor of gun bans, but only for “sensible gun control measures”.
      Now you know the true story of where the term Assault Weapon originated.
      I hope this comment clears up some things for you.

    2. What would have happened if our forefathers wouldn’t have revolted against the English.Where would we be today.

      1. Well, old and GG are both right. The difference is our forefathers could not have made a change with their checkbook and vote. We need not engage in all that sweaty effort it takes to engage op fors. No logistics, no coordinating maneuver units, no 22 hour days, no using an entrenching tool for a latrine. Just write out a check in the cool comfort of your office and a short trip to your poling place on the correct day.

    3. I was intrigued by the number of posters who said things that basically boil down to the old, “From my cold, dead hands,” line. While I applaud their sentiment, I think that one should give very careful thought to such sentiments, not just before expressing them, but before internalizing them as well. You are talking about dying. Dying is very serious stuff. People in NAZI concentration camps, very heroic people in fact, have done almost anything to survive rather than simply charge a guard and die. Troops, including brave ones, when under fire, have begged and pleaded with their deity(ies) for just a few more hours of life; so have most seriously injured people. If you decide to resist the forces of law in our country, you can reasonably assume that you will be killed if you resist them with force of arms. So you are basically saying that you won’t be taken alive; that’s what Roy Finicum said in Oregon, too. It looks very much like he was in the process of surrendering however, when he was shot down by LEOs anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not specifically opposed to anyone deciding to go down in a pile of hot brass, but it would be wise to realize that this is what you are saying you plan to do, when you use the old “from my cold, DEAD hands” line, or attitude. It’s fine to “make a stand for rights,” but what about your family, or others who support you, and is it really what you want to do, if it won’t matter to anyone else? Making a difference is one thing, but dying in the street (or more likely in your home) without any beneficial effect on the situation in the country/world, sounds stupid to me. If you really feel that strongly about your rights, would you strap on a suicide vest and visit a BATF office? I’ve thought a lot about my own “red line” for going to armed resistance against the govt. I have a very clear one, but it’s not something I’m willing to discuss in public. I strongly suspect that most of those here who are saying they won’t allow any interference with their right to go armed, are either posting from bravado, or else they haven’t really thought it through all the way.

      1. No, Oldshooter, we definitely are NOT insisting upon a decision to “resist the forces of law.” We are resisting the force of UNCONSTITUTIONAL legislation!! Hell of a difference, there… and yes it is indeed worth my life (my grandchildren do not deserve to lose our Constitutional Republic… and it is specifically for my family that I take such a stance). I’ve already served my patriotic duty once – in VietNam – and I can and will do so again if Progressive/Socialists require that I must do so.

        I am not alone in these sentiments and motivations. Most true patriots feel basically the same way. THAT is why you see such “from my cold dead hands” references…

    4. I own semi auto rifles and pistols. That I bought legally. I don’t care what insufferable laws they make in Ct and the District of Criminals . I comply to the Constitution and Bill of Rights. They are the true and only law of the land. Get it in you’re head. A line in the sand must be drawn. We either stand together or fall separately. Lame progressive communists be damned. I am willing to go for broke are you. Kick in my door .I will resist violently. You have been warned.

      1. Demonstrably, I am a responsible community-member and family man… law-abiding… tax-paying… an honorably-discharged veteran… a natural-born US citizen… and a patriotic (strict) Constitutionalist. As such, I refuse to cede my right to keep and bear arms – to anyone, for any reason. Anyone even attempting to in any way force disarmament upon me will instantly learn that I have, and absolutely will exercise, a natural [“God-given”] right to take defensive action – from which they will be taught a significantly harsh and painful lesson regarding the value of their personal breathing privileges.

        Politically liberal/progressive anti-gun advocates have every right to hold – and to speak – their own opinions (which is among the rights that my military service fought to preserve, for all citizens). And they may justifiably decide their own – but ONLY their own! – actions regarding gun-ownership. However, merely because they legally may indeed publicly spew their hateful and fearful inanity does NOT make their hoplophobic desires moral, ethical, rational, or Constitutionally valid. Nor is there ANY requirement for sane citizens to actually heed [or even listen to!] their idiotic drivel. Those “progressives” may work to enact any legislation, however un-Constitutional, that their sensitive little hearts desire… enforcement, however, is an entirely different issue.

    5. Armalite Rifle. Colt purchased the design from them, and kept the designation AR, honoring their rifle.

    6. For starters, the modern word “Assault Rifle” was started in Hollywood in 1984. If you look in any Rifle/Handgun Dictionary the term “Assault Rifle” dose not even exist. Second, the author of this article reference “Sand Hook,” well Sandy Hook never happened, and even the BO Administration admitted, under the cover of darkness as the term goes, Sandy Hook never took place once all the evidence start leaking out, and this admission was not covered by the lame stream media either and anyone with a brain knows why…more TREASONOUS ACTS against “We the People” and the U.S. Constitution. BO enacted Executive Order against the 2nd Amendment on a anti-2nd Amendment total BS LIE..!!! I wish people would stop referring to this and other non-events as if they had really happened…Sheeple don’t do research! The pictures of the so-called children killed at Sandy Hook are the very same pictures/kids used over seas for children killed in ISIS raids! These kids really get around and also have the ability to come back to life and travel to the other side of the World. People need to wake-up to all these false flag events employed by BO and the rest of these Commie/Muslim/NWO/DemoRat/Rino’s bent on destroying OUR 2nd Amendment and our rights keep and bear Arms..!!! God help us, PLEASE!

      1. Exactly , U.S. Patriot One…it never happened…thank you for bringing that to light…it was a fraud like everything in the kenyan kommies administration…

    7. What does AR stand for? Maybe we should start here and find a better designation for “black” guns.

      1. AR stands for ArmaLite. The M16 rifle, officially designated Rifle, Caliber 5.56 mm, M16, is a United States military adaptation of the ArmaLite AR-15 rifle. The original M16 was a select-fire, 5.56×45mm rifle with a 20-round magazine. The civilian version of the M16 is the Semi-auto AR15 Carbine or Rifle. A Carbine has a 18 inch barrel or less. Most AR15 Carbines have a 16 inch barrel. Now to classified a AR15 Rifle the barrel needs to be at least 20 inch’s in length. Hope that answers your question. May God bless America, AGAIN!

    8. Much to say here….. All to convey a simpler caveat—–know your local and state firearms laws!

      Further, if you transport inter-state——-know all “reciprocity” laws concerning transporting firearms!

      Stay Safe…..Stay Armed…….Stay American…….VOTE!!

      1. Unfortunately, those two classes of people you mention may have an agenda and do not want their minds cluttered with either facts or logic.

    9. Beware State Laws. Illinois, for one, now requires private citizens to call in for a background check on private transfers. It is such a pain in the neck that I just consigned my guns for sale to an FFL and lost the 10% commission to avoid the hassle. I have not checked, but it is likely the more rights-restrictive States may have done the same.

      1. Read the law! There is no back round check all it does is verify the foid card is valid….. Period!!!! No info other than card holders name,do and card #is required. What hassle? No reason to consign anything.

    10. Not to disparage Jeff Knox, Scott or Steve, but they’re all a little bit wrong. It’s no reflection on them, it’s illustrative of how ridiculously convoluted the laws are.

      As Scott pointed out, it’s perfectly legal to buy a gun over the internet. If you’re buying from a dealer, or from someone out of state, you must take possession from an FFL in your state of residence. An important distinction for private transactions; both parties must be residents of the same state, not just the same area. Living in a border town like KC, there are lots of out of state residents closer to my “area” than many other metro area communities on the Missouri side. I know he’s aware of the distinction, but many new to shooting and firearms might not. They could easily think they were perfectly fine buying a gun from a close friend or relative that lives a few blocks away.

      And, for an out of state sale, technically the seller may transfer the gun directly to the buyer’s FFL, if they are willing to accept shipments from a non-licensee, although many are not.

    11. To elaborate: It is possible to buy guns over the Internet. The gun, however, must go through 3 transfers.
      1. Seller to sending FFL dealer.
      2. Sending FFL dealer to receiving FFL dealer.
      3. Receiving FFL dealer to buyer. This transaction can occur only after the buyer passes a NICS background check by the dealer.

      1. Unless the xfer is in state. A lot of states do not restrict in state sales and/or xfers. It is prudent to check identity and use a bill of sale form though. If for any reason you may have a doubt as to the veracity of the purchaser, it is probably also prudent to not make the sale/xfer. WV is one of those states.

    12. Allow me to point out a distinction that should be made related to buying a gun over the internet. Anyone can buy a gun over the internet regardless of their legal right to possess a gun. A seller can post a gun for sale on any number of web sites and a buyer can can buy the gun and pay for it all over the internet. If the seller and buyer live in the same area and both are private citizens, the transfer of the gun from the seller to the buyer can take place without any federal documentation or background check.
      The control comes in the form of a transfer of ownership which only applies if the seller is a Federal Firearms Licencee (FFL) or the transfer occurs across state lines (with limited exceptions on long guns). In either of these cases the sale will still occur “over the internet” however, the transfer must be conducted “face-to-face” through an FFL in the buyers state and will include the required federal documentation and background check

    13. Why does “everybody” misconstrue AR as assault rifle and not the designation of the company that originally produced the M-16? Isn’t that our fault to not educate the general public?

    14. Those are correctly called “assault rifles” not “assault weapons,” and their use of a lower powered rifle cartridge than the standard “battle rifle” cartridge is also an important, requisite feature, no less important than their selective fire capability. For that reason, not only the original German Stg44, and the AK-47, but also the Russian AK-74, our M-16, M-4, and even the old M2 Carbine, qualify as “assault rifles (although the term “carbine,” referring to its shorter barrel length causes some confusion). On the other hand, even though it is also a select fire rifle, the US M-14, because it uses the standard full-sized, “battle rifle” cartridge, does not qualify as an “assault rifle.”

    15. Actually there are assault weapons, the first being the Stg44 developed by Germany neat the end of WWII, followed by the Russian copy called the AK-47. Sturm Gehwehr translates to assault rifle, defined as a medium power rifle capable of firing in either semi-automatic or full automatic load, feeding from a detachable magazine. They key feature is the capability of full auto fire. The fact that politicians and the media intentionally confusing the public by calling semi-auto look alikes of assault rifles does not mean assault rifles do not exist.

      1. “Assault RIFLE” is indeed existing military terminology… with a very specific definition (as you just outlined). But that is not the same thing as the term “assault WEAPON,” which was artificially coined – exclusively as a scare tactic. Different words, different connotations, different intent.

      2. Assault is a behavior, not an inanimate object. An inanimate object is incapable of any behavior. Settled

      3. There is no such thing as an assault weapon… In order for any weapon or gun to be called an “assault” weapon would mean that the weapon or gun is capable of assaulting someone or something entirely on its own. Assault is a behavior, which inanimate objects are incapable of performing!!

      4. So what you’re saying Alan is that the Democrats and all the other modern anti-gunners are Nazis (fascists) that are using their fellow Nazis past terminology to further their own fascist agenda today. Makes sense to me.

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