Top 5 Media Gun Myths
#1 – Semi-Auto & Fully-Auto are not Interchangeable Terms, and the Latter is Extremely Difficult to Obtain
Semi-automatic platforms are very common in rifles, shotguns, and handguns, but differ from what is actually a fully-automatic firearm. A semi-auto will only fire one bullet when the trigger is pulled. The trigger must then be released, allowed to travel a short distance forward, and reset before it can be pulled again. Semi-auto firearms can be fired very fast, but they only shoot one bullet per every trigger pull. No special permit is required to obtain a semi-auto firearm unless it has other characteristics about it as specified in an individual state (MN example: Pistol Grip). A fully-auto firearm will fire multiple bullets in succession if constant pressure is maintained against the trigger until the user either ceases fire through releasing the trigger or runs out of ammunition. A lot of people believe that all firearms are of this nature and will endlessly shoot, but this is not the case. A fully-auto firearm, regardless of other defining characteristics, requires an “N.F.A. Tax Stamp” (National Firearms Act Tax Stamp) in order to purchase and own.
An NFA Tax Stamp costs $200.00 for an individual to get which is the same amount charged in 1934. So in short, fully-auto firearms are highly regulated, highly taxed, and very difficult to obtain with very few firearm dealers selling them across the United States. Semi-auto firearms on the other hand are very common, have great utility, lots of novelty, and do not require a specialized tax stamp.
#2 – The “MN Permit to Carry” does not exempt you from a Background Check
A Minnesota Permit to Carry affords you the ability to do a lot of things, but exempting you from background checks when purchasing firearms from an FFL is notone of them. With a MN Permit to Carryyou are allowed to carry what is defined to be a pistol in the state of MN either open or concealed. There is no provision mandating that it be concealed, we are an open carry state. Your MN Permit to Carry is also honored in 25 other states for carry purposes (as of June 30th, 2014): Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, Arizona, Alaska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, and Vermont. If you have your MN Permit to Carry you also do not need to have a MN Permit to Acquire when wanting to purchase pistols or modern sporting rifles because it serves that dual purpose in MN. The one item that most people who have a MN Permit to Carry get confused about is believing that they do not need to do a background check when purchasing a firearm because they have this permit. This is completely false and here’s why. When you submit your paperwork to get a MN Permit to Carry a background check is performed on you to identify if you can legally own or possess firearms. This aforementioned background check is performed for only the state of Minnesota or the state in which you are applying. When you purchase a firearm through a retail store, or FFL, the background check that is performed on you is conducted Federally (on a national scale) and we talk to an actual Federal agent. It is very possible for an individual to be spick ‘n span in one state, but a complete and utter felon in another. In this mentioned scenario, you could receive a Permit to Carry in that given state, but be denied 100% of the time when purchasing firearms. This is the difference between state background checks and Federal background checks.
#3 – The Government does not Know all the Guns you Own
I hear all too often grumblings of “I don’t like to buy guns through a store because then the government knows what I have.” The simple answer to that statement is: No. When you purchase a firearm through a retail store, or FFL, you must complete a background check (Form 4473) in order to bring the firearm home. When you do so, we are openly regurgitating most of the information off of your Driver’s License/ State I.D. to a Federal agent where it is flatly dumped into a computer database. The last question the Federal agent asks us before we’re told yay or nay is: “Type of firearm being transferred?” We, as FFL store employees, can only give three responses: Handgun, Long Gun, or Other Firearm. The evil government doesn’t know if you purchased a revolver, a single-shot Thompson Center Contender, a semi-auto pistol, and/or an AR pistol when we respond ‘Handgun.’ The government doesn’t know when you purchase a ‘Long Gun’ if you bought a Remington 700, an antique Winchester from 1895, and/or a single-shot, youth .22 caliber rifle. They also do not know if you bought one firearm or 55 of them because you’re bringing them to a fundraising banquet. The number of firearms is never asked by the Federal agent nor is it given. The only time that the explicit information of a firearm purchase would be revealed or requested is if a firearm is found at the scene of a crime or a crime has been known to be committed with a specific serial-numbered firearm. In other words, if you are out breaking the law, then yes, the government is going to legally request to see all the information pertaining to your law-breaking firearm. If you keep your nose clean, they really have no educated guess to what or how many firearms you own.
#4 – Firearms do not have Unlimited Ammunition
Unlike what you may have seen in numerous movies and video games, firearms do not have an endless supply of ammunition. Ask anyone who shoots and they will tell you how much they have to spend to be able to continue to shoot and enjoy their firearms. Similar to how there is a misconception that all firearms are fully-automatic weapons it is also important to note how false it is to believe that all firearms how magazines that never go empty. When local police departments protect citizens from those who wish to do us harm they must carry with them multiple magazines if the need were to ever arise. Also, when people go hunting they likely bring multiple magazines because of the chance that they are presented with multiple opportunities to take the game they’re hunting. The ammunition and reloading industry is a multi-million dollar industry because of the fact that people constantly shoot and will constantly need to replenish their ammunition if they so desire.
#5 – All Owners of Firearms are not Rednecks
I have heard a lot of Jeff Foxworthy jokes in my day, but I have never one heard stating “You might be a redneck if you own a firearm.” Firearms don’t discriminate. Black, brown, white, yellow, pink, orange, tan, male, female, Hispanic, Asian, American, gay, straight, Yankees fan, Yankees hater, it doesn’t truly matter. People of all kinds from all walks of life can find enjoyment and practicality in firearm ownership. Whether it’s used for deer hunting, youth education in shooting programs, defense for an elderly woman who lives alone, or the individual who just truly loves shooting at the range for the sheer fun of it, not all owners of firearms are rednecks.