I’m interested in purchasing some firearms, partly for home defense and partly for recreational use. I enjoy target practice and blasting clay pigeons to smithereens at the Oaktree Gun Club. I figured a carbine, two shotguns and a handgun should do. The carbine for targets, one shotgun with a longer barrel for the clay pigeons, one with a shorter barrel for those close encounters inside my house, and a semiautomatic pistol if it turns into a firefight. So, my Afghan War veteran son-in-law and I took a trip to Turner’s Outdoorsman on Bouquet Canyon Road. It felt like a Toys-R-Us for grownups.
After asking lots of questions I was given ATF Form 4473 and told to look it over. It’s the standard federal form they make all purchasers of firearms fill out at the store. That form then gets sent to the feds and you wait for 10 days or so before you get your guns if you’re approved. Simple enough. It looked more like a tracking system than anything else. I found some of the questions to be rather amusing. For example, question 21(e) asks if I am a convicted felon, 21(f) if I’m a fugitive from the law, 21(g) if I’m an unlawful user of controlled substances, 21(h) if I’ve ever been adjudicated as a mental defective (I laughed out loud on that one), and 21(m) if I’m in the U.S. illegally.
OK, so I’m going to answer “Yes” to any of those? Yeah, right. Of course they can check, but what’s the point? If I’m any of the above and I want to buy a gun (ANY kind of gun) I’m certainly not going to go the legal route. Or, as the bandit leader said in the movie “Blazing Saddles” (1974), “Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges!”