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13 March 2013

Captain Mark Kelly: Felon?

Mark Kelly, the husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was gravely wounded by a madman with a 9 mm in January, 2011, recently purchased a Sig Sauer 45 pistol at a gun store in Arizona.  As he was leaving, he claims, he spotted a secondhand Sig Sauer M400 5.56mm AR-style rifle on sale, which he also decided to purchase.  Because the latter weapon was secondhand, it was placed on a 20-day hold per a local gun law.  During this time, Breitbart received a tip about the purchase.  Why would someone tip off a news organisation about a law-abiding citizen purchasing a legal weapon?  Because this particular law-abiding citizen had only recently testified before Congress, alongside his wife, that "no one needs an AR-style weapon."

Now, hypocrisy isn't a crime and I didn't want to make a Federal case about it, but Mr Kelly wasn't about to let a chink be put in his holier-than-thou armour.  No. Sirree. Bob.

So, Captain Kelly, who piloted and commanded the final mission of the space shuttle, Endeavour, set out to prove his nobility and honour while putting we rubes in our trailer park places.  You see, luv, he might have purchased the AR-style weapon, but he only wanted to show how easy it was for a lunatic or hopping-mad-handle flyer to get one.  Because, like, um, ya know, all lunatics have been entrusted with space shuttles and all heat-of-passion shooters get 20 days to cool off so, like, Captain Kelly perfectly replicated the millions of firearm transactions every year.

They don't call the First Rule of Holes the first for nothing.  When you're in a hole, it's probably best to stop digging.

Oh, but our intrepid space cowboy has defied gravity so, of course, he probably thought that the Rules of Holes do not apply to him.

He probably should ask a lawyer if said counsel believes that there is some reason why the law would not apply to him, too, before he further tempts the hole karma because on those forms that Captain Kelly is seen filling out above in the photograph on the right are the following:

ATF Form 4473 — Question 11:

Answer questions 11 a. (see exceptions) through 11.I and 12 (if applicable) by checking or marking “yes” or “no” in the boxes to the right of the questions.

a. Are you the actual transferee/buyer of the firearm(s) listed on this form? Warning: You are not the actual buyer if you are aquiring the firearm(s) on behalf of another person. If you are not the actual buyer, the dealer cannot transfer the firearm(s) to you. (See Instructions for Question 11.a) Exception: If you are picking up a repaired firearm(s) for another person, you are not required to answer 11.a, and may proceed to question 11.b.

Let the record show that Captain Kelly answered in the affirmative.

ATF Form 4473 — Declaration:

“I certify that my answers to Section A are true, correct, and complete. I have read and understand the Notices, Instructions, and Definitions on ATF Form 4473. I understand that answering “yes” to question 11.a if I am not the actual buyer is a crime punishable as a felony under Federal law, and may also violate State and/or local law. I understand that a person who answers “yes” to any of the questions 11.b through 11.k is prohibited from purchasing or receiving a firearm. I understand that a person who answers “yes” to question 11.I is prohibited from purchasing or receiving a firearm, unless the person also answers “Yes” to question 12. I also understand that making any false oral or written statement, or exhibiting any false or misrepresented identification with respect to this transaction, is a crime punishable as a felony under Federal law, and may also violated State and/or local law. I further understand that the repetitive purchase of firearms for the purpose of resale for livelihood and profit without a Federal license is a violation of law (See Instructions for Question 16).”

Let the record reflect that Captain Kelly affixed his signature.
Now, granted, Kelly was the purchaser and had not agreed to buy the gun for another person or an organisation beforehand.

BUT, to be a straw purchaser, there does not need to be a prior agreement between the buyer and the eventual recipient.

If Kelly was purchasing the gun with the intent to donate it, was he buying it on behalf of another - a fact that must be disclosed? He was certainly not buying it for himself…if he intended, as he claims, to donate it.

If he told the gun dealer that the gun was for himself rather than intended for the police or a charity organisation, wouldn’t this be a false statement or, in the very least, an incomplete statement?  I would argue that it would.

If you purchase a firearm as a gift, you must disclose this fact and the name of the intended recipient.  It would not make sense to require a buyer, who intends to gift a gun, to disclose the recipient's name, but allow a buyer, who intends to donate a similar gun, conceal the donation and donee's name.  What is the difference between a gift and a charitable donation to a police or other gun control organisation in the case of a used AR-15 other than tax treatment?


 Gabby Giffords with an AR-15 in 2010

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