USA – -(Ammoland.com)- As we previously reported, the staff behind the biased anti-gun documentary “Under the Gun” not only deceptively edited their film, but also may have committed several federal felonies during its production. During an interview prior to the film’s release, Ms. Soechtig stated that she directed one of her producers, whom she refers to as “Josh,” to purchase several firearms in Arizona.
Trouble is, “Josh” is a resident of Colorado, which means that under federal law, an unlicensed resident of Arizona cannot legally sell Josh a firearm without a background check if they know he is a Colorado resident. The only “Josh” listed as a producer on the film’s IMBD page is Joshua A. Kunau, who also happens to be a Colorado lawyer.
Although Mr. Kunau has wisely chosen to remain silent, Ms. Soechtig has responded to the allegations in a recent statement to Law Newz:
“While it may seem hard to believe that one could buy these types of guns this easily, all purchases in the film were made completely legally. Arizona law allows out-of-state residents to buy long guns (i.e. rifles, shotguns, military style assault rifles) from a private seller without a background check. It also allows Arizona residents to buy handguns from a private seller without a background check.”
Notice Ms. Soechtig’s careful choice of words. Not only does she fail to cite any statutes in support of her claims, but her statement is also misleading for a number of reasons (unsurprising given her previous deceptions). For one, Arizona law is silent on the purchase of firearms by out-of-state residents in Arizona.
This is because federal law, not state law, predominately controls, making Ms. Soechtig’s references to Arizona law largely irrelevant. As we stated previously, federal law makes it illegal to transfer, sell, trade, give, transport, or deliver any firearm (including rifles, shotguns, and handguns) to any person who is not a resident of the state in which the firearm is being purchased. (18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(5).)
But this restriction only applies to the person selling the firearm, and requires actual knowledge of the buyer’s state of residence in order to apply.
As a result, the members of the production team either deliberately misrepresented their state of residence, or carefully omitted that fact to the seller. In any case, it would be illegal for the production team to then bring those firearms back to Colorado without undergoing a background check through a licensed dealer. (18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(3).)
But Ms. Soechtig’s legal gymnastics don’t end here:
“We demonstrated both versions of this dangerous loophole in the film on a hidden camera, in full compliance with both state and federal laws. The rifles – including an AR-15, the gun used to massacre 20 first graders – were purchased by an out of state resident. The handgun was purchased by an Arizona resident.”
As illustrated above, nothing about the sale of a firearm to an out of state resident without a background check is “in full compliance with both state and federal laws.” If the Arizona seller knew the production team was from Colorado, then the sale of the AR-15 was in fact illegal, punishable up to 5 years in prison and resulting in a lifetime ban on the right to own or possess firearms.
What’s more, Ms. Soechtig has now changed her narrative to suggest that an Arizona resident purchased the handgun in question. As she previously stated in her interview with The Lip TV, Mr. Kunau was the purchaser for all of the firearms, and that three handguns, not just one, were purchased.
Ironically, the film’s production team has also perfectly demonstrated how out of touch universal background check proponents really are. The fact that the Mr. Kunau was able to purchase several firearms in potential violation of federal law demonstrates how ineffective a universal background check requirement would be. But not to worry, Ms. Soechtig already has an excuse lined up:
“The guns were then turned over to law enforcement and destroyed. They never left the state of Arizona.”
Granted that by not bringing the firearms back to Colorado, a separate and distinct federal felony was probably not committed (if you take Ms. Soechtig at her word). But the suggestion that voluntarily surrendering the firearms somehow excuses other potential federal crimes is preposterous. Tell that to otherwise law-abiding individuals who are arrested for violating one of the hundreds of other federal and state firearms laws already on the books.
Ms. Soechtig’s attitude echoes that of NBC News anchor David Gregory, who back in 2012, openly violated D.C. gun laws while simultaneously insisting on more gun control.
It is time that anti-gun hypocrites like Ms. Soechtig learn the true meaning of what it takes to be a law-abiding gun owner, and face the consequences of her actions.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has called on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to open a criminal investigation into this matter. So far, an ATF spokesperson has stated that they were aware of the allegations, but had not yet decided whether to investigate. But given the anti-gun narrative touted by the film, it is unlikely that Ms. Soechtig or her team will face justice any time soon.