“Commercial Sales”: Bait & Switch

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), of Manchin-Toomey background checks infamy, is at it again.

“So, I still think the best way to do this is focus on commercial sales. You know, between the sales that already occur at licensed firearm dealers, all of which require a background check, and what we consider commercial sales, advertised sales, gun shows and on the internet, that covers the vast, vast majority of all transactions. And it would be progress if we had background checks for those categories.”

Bait and switch: “commercial sales”.

commercial:
(1) occupied with or engaged in commerce or work intended for commerce a commercial artist
(2) : of or relating to commerce

commerce:
an interchange of goods or commodities, especially on a large scale between different countries (foreign commerce ) or between different parts of the same country (domestic commerce ); trade; business.

I’ve seen this exact same trick tried in state level legislation. Change the definition of “commercial” from being in the business of, to you advertised it.

advertise:
intransitive verb To make public announcement of, especially to proclaim the qualities or advantages of (a product or business) so as to increase sales. synonym: announce.
intransitive verb To make known; call attention to.

If you “make known” in any way — such as word of mouth — that you’re willing to sell a firearm, you “advertised” it; “commercial sale.” No matter that you aren’t in the business of…


(a)  It shall be unlawful–

(1)  for any person–

(A)  except a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer, to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or in the course of such business to ship, transport, or receive any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce;  or

Se what Toomur is really doing? You likely thought the B&S was talking “business” but meaning “private sale.” Nope. Anyone who advertises  a firearm for sale is now in the business of selling firearms…

without an FFL. Go directly to jail. Do not collect $200.

Toomur is proposing not merely to involve FFLs in private sales, but to outlaw private sales altogether.

Fuck him.

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Bear

2A advocate, writer, firearms policy & law analyst, general observer of pre-apocalyptic American life.

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