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So just how easy is it to get a gun in Minneapolis?

REUTERS/Jim Young
A lot of the guns that make their way to Minneapolis’ streets are purchased legally.

Eighteen-year-old Dae’veon has seen everything from assault weapons to handguns, and it wasn’t hard for him to find them. In fact, he’s owned several handguns, shotguns and even a submachine gun, he said. And all of it he bought without a background check, no questions asked.

Last year, Dae’veon, who agreed to talk if his last name was kept anonymous, was caught with a gun and charged with aggravated robbery. That’s when he decided he needed to keep his head down, focus on school and try to turn his life around. But he knows if he wanted to, all he’d have to do is make a quick phone call to get another gun, he said. “It’s like going to the store to buy a pop,” he said. “You just call whoever you know that has a gun and tell them what you want to spend.”

In what now seems like an annual debate, the hot-button topic of gun reform reignited several months ago after another high-profile mass shooting, this one in San Bernardino, California. In response, President Barack Obama issued a series of executive orders to beef up firearm background checks around the country.

The move was greeted with hostility by gun-rights activists, who say the expanded checks would make little difference in preventing firearms from reaching criminals.

Minnesota recently joined the fray as well. Earlier this month, two DFL lawmakers, Sen. Ron Latz and Rep. Dan Schoen, introduced a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales in the state, a measure supported by a number of advocacy groups and law enforcement associations, who say it could help prevent firearms from reaching the wrong hands — like those with criminal backgrounds or minors like Dae’veon. It too has received pushback from gun-rights groups.

And yet, for all the disagreements over whether increased background checks will work, one fact is beyond dispute when it comes to guns in Minnesota. Like it or not, they are remarkably easy to acquire.

‘There’s no law against that’

In Minnesota, to legally buy a gun from a store requires that the purchaser be at least 18 and have a permit issued by the applicant’s county sheriff’s office or police chief — a process that also subjects the applicant to both a state and federal background check. 

But here’s the wrinkle: For those who already have a permit and simply want to sell a gun to someone else, there’s no law requiring a background check.

Therein lies the problem, said Heather Martens, the executive director of Protect Minnesota, a group advocating for tightening gun laws. The lack of regulation around private gun sales makes it too easy for those who shouldn’t own guns to be able to get them, a complication that goes beyond the oft-cited issue of gun show sales.

“If you want to fill the trunk of your car with guns and drive to any street, park there and start selling guns, you can,” Martens said. “There’s no law against that.”

MinnPost file photo by James Nord
Heather Martens testifying before the Minnesota Legislature in 2013.

Technology has made things even easier. Many individuals also sell their guns online on websites like Armslist.com, where all people need to do is create a free account to gain access to people selling firearms all around the state.

Like Craigslist, Armslist connects sellers with individual buyers who can contact them through the website. After connecting them, the individuals can go about their transaction in any way they see fit, so long as it doesn’t cross state boundaries. A search on the website shows almost 3,000 guns for sale in Minnesota alone, with prices ranging between $175 for a shotgun, to $1,300 for an assault weapon.

Where guns come from; where they go

Marcel Urman, who now helps youth find employment on the north side for the nonprofit Emerge, said he ran with gangs back in the ‘90s when there were four or five large gangs in Minneapolis. Back then, the gangs would rob gun stores then disseminate them throughout the rest of the city, he said, so if you wanted a gun you had limited options.

But according to Dae’veon, the gun market today is much more decentralized, with many buyers and sellers and spreading mostly through word of mouth. And once you’ve found a connection, he said, it’s like buying anything else off Craigslist.

Nineteen-year-old John, who did not want to be identified because of safety concerns, said the largest stockpiles of guns for sale that he has seen were out in the suburbs, not the cities.

John said he knows some people who steal guns from houses or stores, but a lot of the guns that make their way to Minneapolis’ streets are purchased legally. “Some people who’ve got gun licenses, they’ll sell them, then report it stolen,” he said.

Martens said legally purchased guns remain a main channel for firearms syphoning into Minneapolis.

But Minneapolis Police Department Deputy Chief Bruce Folkens said there’s no single source attributed to the firearms confiscated in the city each year. “For years now, we’ve traced every gun that we recover,” Folkens said. “We do look at where these guns are coming from … it’s across the map.”

What is clear, Folkens said, is where the guns are ending up. According to MPD data, around 700 guns are confiscated each year, and more than half those confiscations occur in north Minneapolis’ Fourth Precinct.

Folkens said the city has ramped up their gun investigations this year to try and quell those high numbers, including adding four more officers to their Violent Crimes Investigation Team last November, bumping the shooting investigation unit up to six officers.

But Martens said that’s not enough, that sellers are incentivized to sell those guns to areas stricken by high poverty and crime. “How can you stop a behavior if it’s not even illegal?” she asked.

Joining the debate

Marit Brock, with the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said most Minnesotans approve of background checks on private gun sales.

According to a survey done by Public Policy Polling in 2015 of Minnesotans who voted, 84 percent of them support universal background checks on gun sales — compared to 11 percent who opposed.

Despite those poll numbers, Brock said, most Minnesotans don’t know about the so-called “gun show loophole,” which refers to private gun sales that don’t require background checks or federal licenses. “So, closing the gun shows sales loophole and requiring background checks on all gun sales is an important priority for us, here in Minnesota.”

Andrew Rothman, president of Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, a gun-rights advocacy group, disagrees. He said enforcing a universal background check would merely create a federal registry of firearms and do nothing to stop criminals from obtaining guns both legally and illegally. “When someone intends to commit a violent crime, the last thing on their mind is making sure that they don’t commit a paperwork violation,” he said. “Criminals will continue to buy and sell firearms illegally.”

MinnPost file photo by Mike Dvorak
Andrew Rothman

Another issue with instituting a universal background check, Rothman said, is that creating a registry for all guns amounts to universal surveillance, and often leads to an increase in confiscations. “Having the registry of firearms is the presumption that we just haven’t committed a crime yet but we better keep an eye on you,” he said.

Rothman said most gun owners are law-abiding and that most gun-related violence is happening in urban areas like Chicago and Minneapolis, where gun violence is related to drug trades and other illegal activity. Instead of gun-ownership, lawmakers should look at increasing the penalty for repeat offenders of gun violence and illegal possession, he said.

But Martens said not enough responsibility is being placed on those who sell firearms irresponsibly, while too much blame is being placed on communities of color when it comes to gun violence.

“The youth of Minneapolis are not manufacturing guns and bringing them into the city,” she said. “Somebody else is doing that.”

Martens said many people, especially in rural areas of Minnesota, don’t understand the different circumstances in the city and these clashing cultural attitudes are preventing people in Minnesota from finding common ground on gun legislation.

And while policy makers fight over reform, Martens said, it’s the youth who ultimately suffer. “We actually all have a responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of kids,” she said. “And often we’re faced with blame of the kids themselves.”

Comments (47)

  1. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 03/21/2016 - 11:23 am.

    guns and alcohol

    It sounds easier for a kid to get a gun than a six pack. Kids have always been able to get an older friend or someone else to buy their booze. Why would guns be any different? The only way to limit guns on the street is to limit guns period.

    • Submitted by Robert Owen on 03/21/2016 - 12:48 pm.

      Like Prohibition helped to keep kids from getting alcohol.

      • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 03/21/2016 - 03:14 pm.

        Now there’s an apples/oranges comparision

        I think that facts would bear me out that in the 1950s when handguns were harder to come by there was a lot less gun violence, many fewer accidental shootings at home and a lot few murder/suicides.

        • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 03/21/2016 - 11:16 pm.

          Why do you think handguns were harder to come by in the 50s?

          There were lots of WWII bring backs. Many hardware stores (including Warner Hardware) sold rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Even National Camera sold handguns (vintage ad is in their Golden Valley lobby). No background checks nor waiting period back then.

          I buy the less gun violence, perhaps less murder/suicide, and not sure about accidental shootings. But I don’t buy that handguns were harder to come by.

      • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 03/28/2016 - 12:09 pm.

        Prohibition

        Actually prohibition did indeed help limit alcohol consumption. It didn’t eliminate it, but it did drive down the rate.

        “Second, alcohol consumption declined dramatically during Prohibition. Cirrhosis death rates for men were 29.5 per 100,000 in 1911 and 10.7 in 1929. Admissions to state mental hospitals for alcoholic psychosis declined from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 in 1928.”

        http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/16/opinion/actually-prohibition-was-a-success.html

        Also–

        “Prohibition did not end alcohol use. What is remarkable, however, is that a relatively narrow political movement, relying on a relatively weak set of statutes, succeeded in reducing, by one-third, the consumption of a drug that had wide historical and popular sanction.”

        It’s strange that a large segment of society wants to deport all Muslims in the United States, whether they’re citizens or not, because of an attack in Europe. But we have an attack here in the U.S. that kills the same number of people and everyone just wrings their hands when people want to address the root cause.

    • Submitted by Christian Pallansch on 03/21/2016 - 03:45 pm.

      So your thought to stop firearms crime is to illegalize firearms? So should we illegalize the use of narcotics because some people use them illegally instead of for pain management, which is legal? So what do hunters do, How do I fill my freezer for the winter of I’m no longer allowed to own a firearm? How do you propose we get the firearms away from the millions of Americans who already own them? Is the government going to buy them back at a fair price, some people have 10’s of thousands invested im their collections. What about the thousands of Americans that work in factories that produce guns. The millions of dollars spent on hunting, and travel, not to mention the cut in enforcement officers for wildlife officers.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Weyandt on 03/21/2016 - 11:33 am.

    How would this federal gun registry work?

    I wonder how this federal gun registry that Mr. Rothman mentions would work. Would it be something that was created just to deal with the new law requiring more background checks? Would be be easily accessed? Perhaps he could explain.

    • Submitted by Erik Petersen on 03/21/2016 - 01:03 pm.

      Implied registry, usually

      In the past it’s been intuitive that “Universal Background Check” proposals would have transactions be recorded, including seller ID, buyer ID, serial, make, and model. And that this record keeping becomes a great big list that is a de facto registry.

      So Rothman is making an assumption, and rebutting with a boiler plate argument that is valid provided the record keeping assumptions about the proposal are correct.

      But the session bills this year avoid that argument by saying there is to be no state record keeping regime.

      Yes I guess that’s a way to resolve the registry objection but it’s hard to figure how it’s all supposed to be effective in making private parties appear for background checks when there is no record keeping on the gun to establish a change in possession that would have mandated someone appear for an Instacheck…

      It’s a bit of nothing burger feel goodism as is, and yes, would be rightfully objectionable if it did have bureaucratic record keeping requirements.

  3. Submitted by joe smith on 03/21/2016 - 11:40 am.

    Let me see where this logic goes. If we pass more gun laws that will stop gangs or individuals from stealing guns (isn’t there a law against stealing?) and selling them illegally to anyone who has the cash? Martens claims legally bought guns are being sold, then claimed stolen (pretty sure that is against the law), but I’m sure another gun law would stop that. Martens also claims legally bought guns are the problem while Chief Folkens says every gun confiscated in Cities is traced and they come from “across the map”.

    Confusing how more gun laws will help these problems.

  4. Submitted by Kevin Vick on 03/21/2016 - 12:20 pm.

    Criminals Submit to “universal” background checks?

    As a licensed dealer you would think I would be all for so called “universal” background checks, right? Getting to charge law abiding citizens transfer fees is good for business, right? Well, not so fast. Who will be intellectually honest enough to admit that criminals do not and will not suddenly “see the light”, as a result of a new law, come to me and be subject to a background check?

    Before any of you start spouting Moms Demand and Everytown “facts” regarding the “effectiveness” of so called “universal” background check, please know that those Harvard “studies” were bought and paid for by Bloomberg and his cronies and have been soundly debunked and exposed for what they are, propaganda.

    It really comes down to this. 80% of guns used in crimes are obtained illegally. Another 14% come from dealers and are subject to background checks. So tell me again how a “universal” background check will be effective at reducing gun crime. Please be specific. Don’t give me the “we must do something/anything” line as implementing ineffective law doesn’t reduce gun crime. Also, please don’t give the “if it saves one life” speech. If that’s the litmus test, I have a laundry list of things that we can draft legislation for.

    • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 03/21/2016 - 02:13 pm.

      Why wiould anyone think a dealer would be for any…

      …kinds of checks. While you are denigrating facts and studies that don’t support your position and throwing around innuendo like it is truth, here is one “Fact”: 100% of all guns were sold at least once legally.

      For your “don’t give me” file, here is an example of a law that would have a positive effect on gun crime and accidental shootings: Make ownership of handguns illegal for anyone who can’t justify the need due to their occupation. And speaking of intellectual honesty…oh, never mind. That’s asking too much.

      • Submitted by Erik Petersen on 03/21/2016 - 02:39 pm.

        It is asking too much

        The constitution prohibits government from making handgun bans, or making handgun ownership the subject of a needs based evaluation. SCOTUS decisions in the last ten years address this precisely and unambiguously.

        This is settled, if not for good then for a while, say a generation.

        We can argue about universal checks, etc. That stuff is probably constitutional (…but I’m opposed).

      • Submitted by Kevin Vick on 03/21/2016 - 04:39 pm.

        Facts Outweigh Opinions

        Here are just two examples of Everytown and Moms Demand popular claims that don’t stand up.

        Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, claim CT has lower gun homicide rates since the introduction of “universal” background checks. What they didn’t tell you is that CT’s firearm homicide rate was falling even faster prior to the implementation of “universal” background checks. Additionally, applying the same methodology used for CT to neighboring MA saw an increase in MA’s gun homicide rate after implementing “universal” background check.

        Second, they claim MO has seen an increase of 17% in murder rates compared to the rest of the U.S. (slight of hand here, not gun homicides, but all murders) since eliminating so called “universal” background checks. What they don’t tell you is that the murder rate increased 32% in the five years prior to eliminating “universal” background checks. The increase in homicide rates actually slowed after “universal” background checks were eliminated.

        As for your suggestion that you must justify need due to occupation in order to own a handgun, you are absolutely within your rights to float that bill to your representatives. Let me know how that goes.

  5. Submitted by Kurt Nelson on 03/21/2016 - 12:13 pm.

    The old

    gun confiscation red herring – always good to see the paranoid trot out that lame logic. Hasn’t happened, not going to happen, but what thinking person want’s to believe that when Faux news tells them different.

    What has happened at the federal level since the current president came into office, is an expansion of gun rights (which is different than a retraction). Before 2008 you could not legally carry a firearm in a National Park, then, by a swipe of a pen held by Obama, you could legally carry a firearm in a National Park. These Millions of acres previously off limits to guns, were open. But never let the facts get in the way of the dreaded “he’s comin for my guns”.

    Divining what might happen in the future is troublesome. Now maybe Rothman is a clairvoyant, or somehow can channel the late Nancy Reagan to help him see into the future, but I have my doubts.

  6. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/21/2016 - 12:26 pm.

    Dae’veon’s gun purchases were not a problem

    until he chose to commit a crime with one. Then he should have been sentenced to a mandatory 5 years in prison for committing a crime with a gun (aggravated robbery).

    But that didn’t happen. And now the problem is being labeled as a gun purchase problem, which of course, is nonsense.

    People who say they want to solve “gun violence” need to get behind laws and mandate prison time for using a gun in the commission of a crime and require judges to hand down the sentences without plea bargains.

  7. Submitted by Shaina Brassard on 03/21/2016 - 12:30 pm.

    MN legislators should listen to public

    Thank you so much for taking a MN-specific look at the issue of guns. Great work, MinnPost!

    It seems very clear to me that if 84% of Minnesotans support universal background checks, legislators should listen to the public and pass laws instituting that. The second amendment is not meant to be absolute, as the courts have ruled and why we have background checks in the first place- the exemptions are ridiculous.

    People should not be able to legally sell guns out of their trunks without performing a background check. You can’t do that for alcohol, cigarettes. Why guns, the most deadly of all? It’s time for common sense!

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 03/21/2016 - 12:43 pm.

      The only reason it’s illegal

      to sell alcohol and cigarettes out of the trunk of your car is because the government wouldn’t get their “cut” on the sale through taxation. Some would argue the tax revenue gained by the government is the only reason why cigarettes are still legal.

      A cynic would say that the only reason you have to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer is for the same reason. The evidence is that there seems to be no law enforcement or judicial effort to incarcerate people who are caught illegally possessing a firearm in this town.

    • Submitted by Kevin Vick on 03/21/2016 - 02:26 pm.

      Selling Guns out of the Trunk of A Car

      Martens is, once again, making things up. It is absolutely illegal to be in the business of selling firearms from anywhere, let alone the trunk of a car, without a license. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

      As for so called “universal” background checks, do you believe gun criminals are going to suddenly obey a new law? 80% of guns used in crimes are obtained illegally. Another 14% are obtained through dealers, subject to a background check. How are so called “universal” background checks going to be effective in reducing gun crime when only law abiding citizens will follow the law?

      • Submitted by Kurt Nelson on 03/21/2016 - 05:25 pm.

        Sure you can

        You can sell firearms without a license, and if you want, you can most certainly do it out of the trunk of your car. If you make a substantial part of your income from selling firearms, then sure, you need a license, but otherwise not so much.
        At what point does a universal background check impact your life. Will this check prevent you from obtaining a firearm. No, that’s what I thought.

        • Submitted by Kevin Vick on 03/22/2016 - 09:14 am.

          False

          You cannot sell a “trunk full” of firearms out of the back of your car either with or without a license. A licensed dealer can only sell from a specified address and from bona fide gun shows within their state.

          • Submitted by Kurt Nelson on 03/22/2016 - 09:40 am.

            Is there

            some sort of mystical force that prevents someone from selling guns from the trunk of their car. If I want to sell some of my guns, I don’t need to go to a gun show, or get a license, I just have to advertise, or word of mouth, to sell them. If they are located in the trunk of my car, all the better. Not breaking the law, not skirting the law, just selling a legal item as the free market dictates.

            • Submitted by Erik Petersen on 03/22/2016 - 11:01 am.

              It’s a hyperbolic example, not persuasive

              The loading up your trunk to sell to the criminal underclass in the city thing…. could happen, fair to say has happened, on occasion. But a bright line is crossed there, and it has been easy for DOJ / BATF to prosecute for it re dealing without an FFL. Which is to say it doesn’t lack for imposition of a criminal justice remedy, people get prosecuted for it, reliably, with the effect on the street being it’s not really a big criminal phenomenon / gun problem.

              You know what is a big criminal phenomenon / gun problem? Girlfriends with clean records buying at the retail counter for their gang banger boyfriends with criminal records. And imposing a criminal justice treatment here by prosecuting these women under current law for straw buying has much more potential for efficacy than making and enforcing a new law to compel background checks on say millions of really mundane second-hand market gun trades.

              Tell me what’s unreasonable about that perspective.

            • Submitted by Kevin Vick on 03/22/2016 - 07:14 pm.

              Intentionally Obtuse

              You just love to be obtuse. “If you want to fill the trunk of your car with guns and drive to any street, park there and start selling guns, you can,” Martens said. “There’s no law against that.” Feel free to do just what she said. If apprehended, I want to see how your “private sale” defense goes. Good luck with that.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 03/21/2016 - 07:36 pm.

      84% of Minnesotans

      Probably want to keep a walleye caught on Mille Lacs lake too. Good luck with that one too.

  8. Submitted by Rick Moe on 03/21/2016 - 05:27 pm.

    There is no gun debate.

    A fictitious debate is what gun pushers hope can keep guns flowing forever. There are too many guns and too many gun deaths. There is no debate. Please stop presenting this issue like this.

    Do justice to real mass shooting in America. Publish monthly features with pictures and short biographies of every individual drained of life by a gutless press. These lost lives should at least be worth a few pixels.

    • Submitted by David Therkelsen on 03/22/2016 - 12:37 am.

      Rick Moe…

      …got it just right. About the best comment I’ve seen on this topic. Cuts right through all the nonsense.

    • Submitted by Kurt Nelson on 03/22/2016 - 08:33 am.

      Agreed

      But with one caveat. The gun zealots worship the 2nd A before all else, and even photos of little baby children blown apart by a gun that fires rounds at 3000 ft per second will not deter them in any way. This fact trumps (not used ironically) all else.
      That those rifles have no civilian use means nothing to them. By god, it’s our right and even if there is collateral damage so be it, especially if it means I can possess a gun that has no civilian use – well other than inflating their manhood.

  9. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/21/2016 - 09:05 pm.

    My 2¢

    Speaking as the owner of multiple firearms, I’m all in favor of universal background checks, nor do I have a problem with gun registration. The paranoia evident in the “They’re comin’ for our guns!” mind set reveals a need for serious time spent with a mental health professional, but is rather far removed from the facts. When many thousands of ordinary citizens have their guns confiscated by law enforcement at any level – local, state or federal – then, and only then, will the issue of confiscation be a legitimate subject for discussion. At the moment it simply represents a shiny object tossed into the air to distract otherwise-thoughtful Americans from the carnage currently taking place all around them.

    While a carefully and skillfully-built firearm can be, and sometimes is, a minor art form, art is not its purpose. Guns are tools, nothing more than very expensive, often complicated, and often lethal, screwdrivers or hammers. Some are beautiful, some are utilitarian, but whatever they look like, they are manufactured – with the exception of a tiny fraction, mostly small-caliber, produced exclusively for target-shooting – for the express purpose of injury or, if you read the usual gun magazines killing. The typical phrase is “self-defense” or “home defense,” but even on the very rare occasions when that actually IS the justification for shooting someone, the act of shooting someone, assuming it’s not accidental (another whole field of inquiry), takes place specifically for that purpose: to injure or kill.

    That we’re still arguing, more than two centuries later, over the clumsy, vague language of the 2nd Amendment indicates to me that the 2nd Amendment is one of the few genuine failures of the Founding Fathers. Had they used more specific language – words really DO matter – there would be far less confusion, contradiction, and room for argument about the rights of individuals to buy, sell, possess and use firearms of any style. Most civilized countries in the West do not permit anything remotely resembling the American firearms fetish, and the citizens of those nations are not notably less free than citizens of the U.S. Moreover, the murder rates in those countries are a small fraction of murder rates here in the U.S.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/23/2016 - 04:04 pm.

      As a gun owner

      I am mostly with Ray. I’m for universal background checks and a registry. If you can’t legally pass a gun on to someone who has not had a background check, you should also be responsible for crimes committed by such a gun unless there’s a very compelling reason to believe it was actually stolen. And, even then, maybe you should have a gun safe, eh? That might quell some of the gun-related crime. And, yes, I do believe that a gun is a tool. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people and all that. But if we can prevent people from boarding a plane (you know, to freely travel to another part of the country as is their right) because they /might/ be a terrorist, perhaps we could pay attention to whether ACTUAL criminals have access to a gun (and I mean violent criminals–including domestic violence). Because people kill people…more efficiently with guns.

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 03/28/2016 - 12:22 pm.

      As a Gun Owner

      I am also with Ray and Rachel on background checks and universal registration. To be sure, it won’t eliminate the purchase of guns by people who want to use them to commit crimes. But it’s another tool in the chest for the police to track down those bad actors and bring them to justice. With these tools in hand, they’ve got a paper trail to see where the gun came from and where it leads to. The detective can start asking questions and see where the gun came from and where it leads to.

      Shine a spotlight on the process and watch the cockroaches run for cover.

  10. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 03/21/2016 - 09:05 pm.

    Sam-o same-o

    Same old, rhetoric, same old closed mind, in love with their cold killer iron.

  11. Submitted by Kevin Vick on 03/21/2016 - 09:20 pm.

    False

    You cannot “….fill the trunk of your car with guns and drive to any street, park there and start selling guns,” legally, as Martens claims, without a license. Filling the trunk of your car with guns is being in the business of selling firearms and illegal without a license. I stand by my statement. Words matter.

    I agree, it’s not about preventing people from buying guns, it’s about preventing gun violence. Useless legislation like so called “universal” background checks doesn’t do either.

    • Submitted by Erik Petersen on 03/22/2016 - 09:41 am.

      False II

      There’s reason to have real doubts Dae’veon had a sub-machine gun. Its possible, but highly unlikely…. Machine guns are owned legally in such small numbers (and thus secured really well by those who do own them…) that there isn’t much quantity at all that can traffic into illicit urban markets.

      Journalistically it’s left to the reporter to filter that out, what might be a dubious street bravado or just a misunderstanding of terms… and this reporter is quite possibly not knowledgeable enough here to do that… but anyhow, there’s little chance it’s a true statement.

  12. Submitted by miki polumbaum on 03/22/2016 - 05:45 am.

    One big problem, however,

    is the fact that guns aren’t regulated enough here in the United States, generally. This enables people to have access to guns who really have absolutely no business whatsoever around firearms (i. e. people with anger issues, histories of substance and alcohol abuse, and those with a history of mental illness.) Had stronger gun laws been in place here in the United States, the assassinations that occurred (i. e. MLK Jr, the Kennedys, and many others) would not have taken place. More lives would’ve/could’ve been saved.

    • Submitted by Erik Petersen on 03/22/2016 - 09:31 am.

      There is not an absence of regulation on firearms…

      …in the way that you mention here.

      If we’re to assume, quite sensibly, that people with ‘histories’ of psychological issues or chemical abuse have had some civil or criminal court interaction…those people are barred from buying firearms, dealers are barred from selling to them, and if the data has been handled properly they don’t pass the retail Instacheck. It’s to say, we don’t really lack for a law that addresses these people. If you want to go further… there’s the constitution again (though not the 2nd adendment this time). It’s that in this country we don’t deny people rights without due process, some sort of civil / criminal finding to have justified that stripping of those rights.

      Your examples there….There was no Instacheck then so it’s a bit apples / oranges, but Oswald and Sirhan were not criminally / civilly disbarred from purchasing firearms, so presumably they could have passed one. Ray…. He was a felon, so he was buying on the black market like Dae’veon there.

  13. Submitted by Hudson Leighton on 03/22/2016 - 09:07 am.

    It’s hard to buy a legal gun in Minneapolis

    It’s been a while since I checked, but I believe that Minneapolis has run all of the Brick & Mortar Retail Gun Stores out of town.

    So you can’t legally buy a gun in a retail store in Minneapolis.

  14. Submitted by Kenny Christenson on 03/22/2016 - 11:09 am.

    Misinformation

    This article is full of misinformation about gun sales. There are laws against making straw purchases for persons who are not legally allowed to own firearms. You can’t just load up your trunk with firearms and sell them on the street. that is in violation of federal and state law. If you sell a high volume of firearms without a federal firearms license you are in violation of federal law. Private firearms sales are legal, but it doesn’t work the way the article describes it.

    Here’s a recent article to prove my point.
    http://bringmethenews.com/2016/03/18/husband-and-wife-sentenced-for-lying-while-purchasing-guns/

  15. Submitted by Dave Kane on 03/22/2016 - 02:38 pm.

    “There is no law against that”… FALSE

    There is a major difference in the laws covering the private sale of a long gun (shotgun or rifle) than there is for a handgun or “assault weapon”. In the state of Minnesota you cannot LEGALLY transfer a handgun or “assault weapon” without the buyer (transferee) having submitted to a background check in one fashion or another. This includes gun stores, internet sales, gun show sales and private sales. Minnesota Statute 624.7132 governs handgun/”assault weapon” sales. The buyer (transferee) must provide proof of a permit to purchase (background check performed), a permit to carry (background check performed), or they seller (transferor) must submit a Report of Transfer to the local police department of the buyer (transferee), where a background check is performed before the actual transfer can take place.

    https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=624.7132

    • Submitted by Erik Petersen on 03/22/2016 - 03:19 pm.

      Whatever this is, I think its errant

      I’m not low info on this stuff, and am not aware of a “transfer permitting” requirement on the state books that governs interactions of non-dealers for their handgun and “assault weapon” trades.

      Fair to say if there was such a statute, we wouldn’t have this legislative effort seeking exactly that.

      I think you’re putting out bad info

    • Submitted by Erik Petersen on 03/22/2016 - 03:33 pm.

      This is the PTP

      I do believe you are just quoting that statute that governs the state permit to purchase handguns / AW. And though this reads like it governs transactions between private non-dealers, it does not.

  16. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/23/2016 - 12:46 pm.

    Do you really need a permit?

    I thought you only needed a permit if you wanted conceal and carry or for a handgun. Do you really need a permit to buy a rifle or a shotgun?

    • Submitted by Erik Petersen on 03/23/2016 - 01:05 pm.

      You need a Minnesota permit to purchase (P2P) to buy handguns and “assault weapons” from dealers (ie, retail). The P2P card signifies that a fairly exhaustive background check on you has been conducted at the state level in the past year, and that you passed, and that you can lawfully buy. Been this way a long time, that’s a background check that we have. The legislative effort here desires to enforce a background check regime on non-dealers who buy / sell / trade amongst each other on the secondary market.

  17. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/24/2016 - 10:52 am.

    Thank’s for explanation Eric

    So basically, we could accomplish by simply requiring that private sellers of any kind demand to see the appropriate permit when they sell restricted type of gun? I assume that these permits have a ID number of some kind on them? So a private seller could do something like this online or by mail if they just fill our a sale receipt with the permit ID on it? I don’t that’s too onerous, you have to register an automobile sale and transfer title, this would be easier.

  18. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 03/24/2016 - 04:26 pm.

    I don’t even care for guns but…

    I’m not a lover of guns but I respect them and have had a few wise collectors in the family and were not abusers of same

    If I had a gun it would be for collector purposes only and that gun would be the set of dueling pistols my late brother-in-law received as a gift some time ago like many moons ago… when he did a public relations spread for the “Rat Pack” in Vegas and they presented him with a fine set of dueling pistols used on the set as a gift. They rest, I assume, in one of his sons’ collections yet they didn’t seem aware of the association with that long ago incident.

    Such guns in a collection can be beautiful and so it goes but such good fortune will never be mine…although I would have treated them well with great respect… framed on the wall between my few books of worth; association copies of a couple rare old books. But to be retrieved conveniently I suppose if necessary?.

    We’ve had a couple unwelcome intruders in the past and they were greeted by my presenting them with large crow bar headed toward their lower extremities…like a knee cap. But thank the gods didn’t need to execute that act and the poor fellow leaped over the porch rail straight into the warm embrace of our local cop.

    Do notice too, now knifes are used in robberies quite often…ban one ‘instrument’ or restrict it and make it evil and another weapon of sorts will appear to replace it for those who abuse or use to harm another…what more can I say but I don’t care for guns but I respect them…. It’s not the object but the person with bad attitudes that create an issue and registration seems the best way to go but who knows…not I?

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