Why a “trafficking law” would be a bad idea.

“I’d be thrilled,” said Jim Kessler, senior vice president for policy of the centrist think tank Third Way and a former official at Americans for Gun Safety.

Currently, to convict someone of illegal gun distribution, law enforcement officials must prove that a person who transferred a weapon to a felon knew or had reasonable cause to believe that that person was indeed a felon. Phrased specifically, a federal law may make it illegal for sellers to transfer a firearm to someone with a record that prohibits them from owning one. It would, in effect, give a legal incentive (in the form of criminal punishment) for private sellers to conduct thorough background checks before making their sales. Such a policy could also create a disincentive for straw purchasers: those people with clean records who buy firearms to transfer to those prohibited from owning one.

“Under the law, prosecutors have to prove that you knew the person was a prohibited buyer, and that is too high of a standard,” explained Kessler. “Our feeling is, why have any standard at all? If you sell a gun to somebody without a background check, you should be liable if that person is criminal.” (emphasis mine – Bob)

Burden of proof on the prosecutor is ‘too high of a standard! Never mind intent, never mind the possibility of fraud (ever hear of Identity Theft Mr. Kessler), never mind that hundreds of years of legal precedent (mens rea, burden of proof)  involved.

Nope, you want to make it guilty until proven innocent.

Folks, this is what we are up against. People who will overturn the basic protections of jurisprudence in order to achieve their goal.


Keep calling the White House (every little bit helps ), your Senators and House Representative, keep taking new people shooting,


3 Responses to this post.

  1. Posted by AuricTech on 15.01.13 at 09:21

    Nope, you want to make it guilty until proven to be politically reliable.

    In light of the Gregory Affair, I FTFY.

  2. Posted by Bob S. on 15.01.13 at 09:21

    Good Point AuricTech !

  3. Posted by Scott on 15.01.13 at 09:21

    One of the first things I learned in law school was that for it to be a crime you had to have the intent to commit the crime….This totally would destroy that idea. Ugh…