Saturday, November 17, 2012

Residential gun sales hot topic in Pleasant Hill - San Jose Mercury News

Residential gun sales hot topic in Pleasant Hill - San Jose Mercury News:
Whether Tedjakusuma keeps inventory at home is a major concern of residents who believe residential gun sales threaten public safety. The U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics recently reported that from 2005 to 2010, an estimated 172,000 guns per year were stolen during residential burglaries.
Selling guns from a suburban home, using the internet--the American entrepreneurial spirit knows no limits.


Anonymous Gun Dealer said...

[PART 1 OF 3]

"Selling guns from a suburban home, using the internet--the American entrepreneurial spirit knows no limits."

I don't know if you're being sarcastic or not, but legally selling guns from one's home used to be quite common, until the mid-1990s.

Disclosure: I used to do it, until I was "Clintoned" out of the business.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 required that anyone engaged in the business of selling guns for-profit obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL). An FFL was also required to purchase guns across state-lines. Before the GCA '68, anyone could legally order a gun through the mail.

Because only FFL dealers could order guns across state-lines and have them shipped (via UPS, etc.), some people became home-based FFL dealers. This gave them the ability to purchase from wholesale distributors. I suspect that most FFL dealers were like myself: we did it part-time more as a hobby than a business, in order to purchase guns for ourselves and/or our friends at less-than-retail prices.

The trade-off was that we were required to keep records of every gun transfer, including BATF Form 4473, we were subject to BATF inspection (although this was rarely done), and were required to conduct background checks after the Brady Bill went into effect in 1994. The Brady Bill, along with other BATF regulations at the time, also made it harder to be a home-based dealer -- or what the gun-control-lobby pejoratively called a "kitchen table" dealer, falsely claiming that we were a major source of guns for criminals. A lot of us decided that the hassle wasn't worth it, and didn't renew our FFLs when they expired.

As the result, the number of FFL dealers declined by about 70%, from about 275,000 in the early 1990s to about 75,000 by the late 1990s (I'm pulling those numbers from memory). Having succeeded in reducing the number of FFL dealers by about 2/3, the gun-control-lobby then started complaining that we were selling our guns without conducting background checks (since only FFL dealers could access the FBI database to do so), but that's another story...


Anonymous Gun Dealer said...

[PART 2 OF 3]

Since then, the Internet has made it possible to operate a business out of the house without requiring a storefront. In 2010, there was a story about a home-based FFL dealer whose HOA passed a rule prohibiting his business :

In Pflugerville, Andrew Clements has become the target of
persecution from the board of the Falcon Pointe subdivision
because of his politically incorrect career choice. No, he's
not skinning animals in the front yard or building his own
nuclear reactor. He's running an Internet business where
no customers come to his house and nothing he does is
visible to his neighbors.
Yet he has been threatened by
his Homeowners Association and prohibited from earning a
living as he chooses, despite the fact that there were no
rules prohibiting home businesses in the neighborhood at the
time he bought his home.

Clements' great transgression is that his business of choice —
his method of earning a living in these lean times — is to sell
firearms to hunters and law enforcement. It's a perfectly legal
business. He has the right permits from the federal
government. He has broken no state or federal laws and his
business is protected by both the Second and Fourth
Amendments to the Constitution.
But none of that seems to
protect him from the Falcon Point HOA which has passed a
rule specifically prohibiting residents from buying and selling
firearms in the neighborhood, a rule written specifically to
target just one homeowner, Andrew Clements.

See also here.

When Clinton & Co. restricted the number of gun dealers, those of us in the gun-rights movement rightfully recognized it as an attempt to infringe on our gun rights by choking the supply channels. When a private corporation did the same thing, gun-rights activists were silent, revealing themselves to be advocates of what Professor McKenzie calls “repressive libertarianism

where certain people who call themselves libertarians
invariably side with property owners who want to limit other
people's liberties through the use of contract law. Property
rights (usually held by somebody with a whole lot of economic
clout) trump every other liberty. The libertarian defense of
HOAs is the perfect example. The developer writes covenants
and leaves. Everybody who lives there has to obey them
forever, even if they lose due process of law and expressive

As private corporations take over more functions of
government, this position could lead to gradual elimination
of constitutional liberties.

This leads to two interesting questions.

(1) If the purpose of the Second Amendment is to prevent the government from becoming oppressive, as the NRA and other gun-rights groups claim, what is the role of private gun ownership in keeping privatized corporate governments in check?


Anonymous Gun Dealer said...

[PART 3 OF 3]

(2) What effect will HOAs have on the creation of small businesses and startups in the future?

The May 12, 2006 “Dilbert” comic-strip had Dilbert telling Dogbert that

“I’m going to start a high-tech company in the garage. Some
of the most successful companies started in garages. It must
help somehow”

but was thwarted by “homeowner rules about not parking in the driveway”.

Consider the history of companies like

- Apple Computer

[Steve] Jobs became bent on starting a company of his own to
build computers for individuals, and he convinced [Steve]
Wozniak to start it with him. They sold some of their prized
belongings — for Jobs, a Volkswagen minibus and for
Wozniak, a programmable HP calculator — to raise $1,300 to
launch the enterprise. They built their first machines in
Jobs' family garage in 1976.

- Hewlett-Packard

From a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California, Hewlett-
Packard (HP) gave birth to Silicon Valley
more than
seven decades ago, inspiring an entire generation of tech

- Walt Disney Studios

Prior to the official opening of the Burbank lot in 1940, The
Walt Disney Studios was located at several different locations
in Los Angeles and Hollywood. During Summer 1923, Walt
Disney created 'The Disney Bros Cartoon Studio' in his
Uncle Robert Disney's garage

- Ford Motor Company

On June 4, 1896 in a tiny workshop behind his home on 58
Bagley Avenue, Henry Ford put the finishing touches on his
gasoline-powered motor car. After more than two years of
experimentation, Henry Ford at the age of thirty-two, had
completed his first experimental automobile. He dubbed his
creation the "Quadricycle," so named because it ran on four
bicycle tires. The success of the little vehicle fueled Ford's
automobile ambitions, leading ultimately to the founding of
Ford Motor Company in 1903

Conservatives and libertarians like to gripe about how The Government is stifling innovation and entrepreneurship in this country. Yet they love the privatized oppression of individual Americans by HOA corporations that prevent future Henry Fords, Walt Disneys, Bill Hewletts, Dave Packards, etc. from reaching their potentials in the name of collectivist conformity and the false promise of protected property values.

Do the disciples of Ayn Rand really believe that America would have been better off if the Community Associations Institute had been around to strangle the auto industry, the film industry, and computer industry in their infancy? I'll let you decide for yourself, but the answer is "yes", because they are that insane.