Hasn’t Bought A Gun There, Has She? (Updated)

The latest little campaign that has sprung from the febrile mind of Shannon Watts is against Cabelas. It’s entitled, “Tell Cabela’s: No Completed Background Check, No Gun Sale.”

Unlike Little Ms. Shannon and her acolytes, I have actually purchased a firearm at Cabelas. I bought a used FN Mauser in 6.5×55 at the Greenville, SC store last year. As I’m sure Linoge would attest, Cabelas is not slack when it comes to gun sales.

Let me take you through the process as I remember it. Also bear in mind that I have a NC CHP which is accepted as a substitute for the NICS check in North Carolina. I also have a Curios & Relics FFL which could have allowed Cabelas to ship that Mauser to my door if I had gone that route.

First, the clerk wrote up the sale. He then took me, my ID, and the firearm to another sales counter to start the NICS check process. I was turned over to a specialist who handled the Form 4473 paperwork which was actually on the computer. After I filled out the computer screen, it was checked for accuracy. Then it was checked again by a manager. I remember having to wait until an authorized manager was available. Once she gave the OK, it was submitted to the FBI in Parkersburg, WV.

It came back OK. Duh! A manager gave the authorization to complete the sale.

Now I actually pay for the Mauser. After I paid for it, a manager walked me and the firearm out of the store. From time the transaction began until I walked out the door was close to 30 minutes.

Shannon, please tell me again how Cabelas is being a slacker when it comes to firearms transactions.

I also note that you are addressing your petition to Thomas Millner who is the CEO of Cabelas. I have one word for you – Zumbo.

Prior to becoming the CEO of Cabelas, Tommy Millner was the CEO of Remington Arms for 10 years. He was CEO of Remington when Jim Zumbo stepped on it. He pulled Remington’s sponsorship of Zumbo’s TV show within a matter of days after Zumbo called the AR-15 a “terrorist rifle”.  Millner saw the outraged response of the gun community and he listened.

So Shannon, let me pose this simple question to you. Do you think Tommy Millner and Cabelas is going to kow-tow to you and your airhead friends OR is he going to put his business at risk?

I think we all know the correct answer.

UPDATE: Linoge posted this on Facebook regarding the differences between a denial and a hold/delay in a NICS check. He worked the Gun Library at Cabela’s for a while so I think he knows of what he speaks. The key thing is that the default in the NICS check is “yes”. He gave me permission to reprint it.


Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are harassing Cabela’s for abiding by federal law?

Let’s make something clear here – an FFL making a sale on an “incomplete” background check is breaking the law. Period dot.

Cabela’s doesn’t sell people guns if they don’t complete their background checks. I should know. I helped with those background checks.

Furthermore, a “hold / delay” in the background system is NOT an “incomplete” background check.

For those not in the know, the background checks you submit to whenever you purchase a firearm from an FFL – ANY FFL at ANY location, including gun shows – can have one of three responses.

1. Approved. Congratulations. You’re either not a criminal, or you don’t share enough identifying characteristics with a criminal, and you’re allowed to purchase a firearm.

2. Denied. Suck. You’re either a criminal, or you share enough identifying characteristics with a criminal, and you can’t buy that gun. You can, however, appeal the decision. I know of perfectly law-abiding folks who ONLY ever get this response, and it gets overturned every time. The system is that broken.

3. Delayed. Wat? Well, the FBI – you know, the owners of the NICS system – have an explanation of this right here: https://www.fbi.gov/…/federal-firearms-license…/a-nics-delay Basically it boils down to NICS is not willing to say the person’s clean, but can’t find any reason to deny him, so they’re going to go do some more homework. If the FFL doesn’t hear anything from NICS after three full business days have elapsed, they are allowed to lawfully transfer the firearm to the buyer.

That is not an “incomplete” background check, as the blithering imbeciles at the anti-rights organizations are trying to get everyone to believe. That is a background check that failed to discover any disqualifying problems in the buyer’s history, and, as such, cannot prevent the person from purchasing the firearm.

Simply put, the government doesn’t give us the permission to buy firearms. They only tell FFLs if we’re not allowed to – the default, however, is “yes”, as it absolutely should be in the free, permissive society that America is supposed to be.

Suffice to say, statists like the ignorant tools at Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Bans want the equation to work the other way.

8 thoughts on “Hasn’t Bought A Gun There, Has She? (Updated)”

  1. I'm pretty sure her point is a comment on background checks not completing in a reasonable amount of time and sales being allowed to go through. But I'm equally sure she only knows what she's been told about the process.

  2. I've purchased a couple of firearms at Cabelas, in Connecticut no less. Process is straight-forward. I pick out the firearm, then fill out all the paperwork, (data entry is now via computer), sign the forms, present my driver's license AND my CT permit to carry pistols and revolvers and then i WAIT while they get an authorization from the State Licensing and Firearms Unit which in turn is running an NCIS check. After approval, I pay for the firearm, then wait for someone to escort me out of the store.

    Shannon simply wants guns to be in the hands of people she approves of, like police, her bodyguards, people like that…

  3. Ms. Watts' complaint is that the paperwork/check/sale process in most areas takes about 30 minutes, instead of 30 days.

  4. The antis have grabbed onto the three day limit on NICS checks- if the FBI doesn't deny in three days, you can buy the gun. They are claiming it's a loophole. They know if they can eliminate it, Obama's DOJ/FBI can drag their heels and never get around to approving more and more checks.

  5. What they want is something along the lines of what California passed in AB 500: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB500.

    If DOJ's background check comes back "approved," the firearm is released (subject to the waiting period). If the BGC comes back "denied," the transaction is closed and the firearm cannot be transferred. If the BGC comes back "delayed," DOJ has up to 30 days to approve, deny, or return an "undetermined" status. While "undetermined" status allows the FFL to transfer the firearm, many will not (sometimes unlawfully; see breach of contract and/or conversion of property).

    They probably want a system that takes unlimited time (whatever it takes to prove to an absolute), with only an absolute proof as the basis for an approval and all other transactions denied. But that is a briar patch they know we'd exploit, so they'll take the most politically-feasible, legally-defensible posture that gets them the transfer-chilling results they want without as much risk.

    1. I've described a NICS delay coming back with nothing as similar to a prosecutor having a suspicion about you, but no (or insufficient) evidence to take to trial.

      In an "innocent until proven guilty" system, no (or insufficient) evidence means you're a free man. You don't have to provide absolute proof that you're innocent; the prosecutor has to provide absolute (or "beyond a reasonable doubt") proof that you're not.

      "Moms Demand Illegal Action From Gun-Senseless Mayors In Everytown" would change that to require you to provide absolute proof of your clean record before you can buy a firearm. Any NICS delay would be a default denial and the onus is on you to disprove the denial on appeal, essentially making it a "guilty until proven innocent" system.

      It's not a bug, either; it's a feature.

  6. The last time I bought a gun a Cabela's, I had to to the written 4473 and the computer one.

    And yes, "Idiots gonna idiot."

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