Menino joins Bloomberg in call for tougher gun regulation after Aurora

Tom Menino, long an advocate of tighter controls on gun sales, says the weekend mass murder shows why - although he emphasized background checks and banning criminals from buying guns, neither of which would likely have stopped the alleged murderer from getting lots of ammo, since the guy apparently had no record of criminal or mental-health issues:

My condolences and prayers go out to the victims and families of victims who were affected by this random and senseless act. While we still don't know much about how this happened, we do know that we have laws in this country that allow people who have no business ever possessing a firearm to get their hands on guns. We have a Columbine, a Virginia Tech, a Tucson, an Aurora theater every day in America. 34 people are killed with guns every single day in America. And yet – we will see a few weeks of media attention that forces politicians to express their condolences, but then no action is taken in Washington to fix the problem. The fixes are easy and they are common sense. It's about enforcing existing Federal laws and making sure we don't let criminals buy weapons. We need to put a background check on all sales and require states to step up their reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to make sure we have a check that works. Maybe this will finally wake up Washington. We are going to keep the pressure on because this just has to stop.


Free tagging: 


Yeah, much of it has to do with the secondary gun market....

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Meaning, while it is illegal for a licensed gun dealer to sell to someone with a criminal history, it is perfectly legal for a person with no criminal background to buy a gun, and then turn around and sell it to someone else with no questions asked. People at gun shows, pawn shops, or private individuals may sell their guns to ANYONE and that transaction is perfectly legal. If the seller knows that the person they are selling it to is a convicted criminal, then yes that is illegal. However, there is no federal requirement for secondary sellers to ask any such question.

That is the huge flaw in the Brady Bill, and that must be addressed. It is borderline idiotic to think that criminals would attempt an illegal transaction through a licensed dealer, when they could engage in a perfectly legal transaction through a second party where no trace of the sale is ever needed.

A few corrections

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1. "it is perfectly legal for a person with no criminal background to buy a gun, and then turn around and sell it to someone else with no questions asked."

If the person purchases the firearm with the intent of resale to another person, that is called a straw purchase and is illegal.

2. "People at gun shows, pawn shops, or private individuals may sell their guns to ANYONE and that transaction is perfectly legal."

If by "people at gunshows" you mean those with a table selling firearms, then you are mistaken. They are dealers with an FFL and must do a background check for any firearm they sell just like a gun store. Pawn shops that deal in firearms must have a FFL and again, must do a background check prior to any sale. Private individuals can sell to another private individual without a background check in many states. MA is not one of those. Every firearm transaction is required by law in MA to be reported.

See here:


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I stand corrected on the 2nd point, I want to check where I thought I had read that. As far as the 1st point, proving that someone is engaging in a "straw sale" would be pretty much impossible, no?

State - "When you bought this gun was it your intention to sell it to someone else?"

Gun Buyer - "No."

Easy-peasy. I might be missing something on that one though. Please respond.

That's why gun control doesn't work

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All of the guns end up in the hands of the liars, cheats, and criminals, while the good folk are waiting in line for their paperwork to be stamped.

Hmmm...I'm not so sure that I

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Hmmm...I'm not so sure that I agree with your statement. It seems the system breaks down after the first transaction from licensed dealer to buyer. I think that all gun transactions, no matter if it's giving it away as a gift, selling it, whatever, MUST go along with background checks, and you MUST have the paperwork to prove it.

Let's say you buy a gun from Wal-Mart, and then a year later you sell it to another party through a classified ad. Then that gun somewhere down the line is used in a crime, and you don't have proof that a background check was run, and you didn't report it stolen, then you should go to jail or be fined heavily. That seems fairly reasonable to me.

gun laws

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Vermont has the lowest incidence of gun violence in the country and NO licensing requirement for purchase, possession and carry (including concealed). The highest gun crime rates are in cities with very strict gun laws. The answer to urban violence is aggressive stop and frisk policies in designated high crime areas. Bust the bad guys and leave the rest of us alone.

Not quite so easy

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In MA, it's really a moot point. You have to be licensed in MA to even possess ammunition and need a higher level license to own high-capacity handguns. No one can legally transfer a firearm to someone that isn't licensed for it. If you transfer to a prohibited person or fail to report a legit sale, you've broken the law.

In other states where there is no licensing and face to face transactions are not required to be reported, it's still pretty easy to prove. Only someone who is a prohibited person needs a straw purchaser, otherwise they would buy it themselves. Example: You find a felon in possession of a new handgun. You trace the serial and see that it was purchased a month prior by Mr. X. You now investigate Mr. X and his relationship to Mr. Felon. If they can prove Mr. X knew he was selling to a felon or find evidence that they collaborated, then they're busted.

Actually no....

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I am correct (I think) at least partially about gun shows. There are FFL licensed vendors there, but there can also be "hobbyists" who also sell guns. Licensed vendors must conduct background checks, but "hobbyists" do not need to.

"a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms" is not considered a dealer and is not required to obtain a license and do background checks.

Is this false? I have read it in many articles and in many books, so unless it's a common misconception you can go to a gun show and purchase guns without a background check.

Actually you're still not correct

It depends on state law - in MA a private seller MUST (by law) verify that the person buying the firearm has an FID or LTC depending on what gun is being sold. That transaction then must (by law) be registered with the state on an FA-10 form.

The "gun show" loophole doesn't exist - billboards like the one behind Fenway exist because no one bothers to actually research those types of statements, they see a billboard and accept it as fact if it agrees with their prior conception of what the truth is.

Just because....

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no gun show loophole exists in Mass. does not mean that is the case for many other states.

Unless this rule has changed since 1999, this ATF report sums the situation up quite nicely. All you need to read is the executive summary at the beginning.

Seems like 'someone' needs to do their research.

The gun show loophole DOES exist...

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just not in Massachusetts. It does however, exist in many other states. You even admitted it in your first paragraph.

It's not a gun show loophole

It has nothing to do with gun shows in any shape or form. Some states simply recognize that private transactions between consenting adults are private.

Somebody needs to work on their reading comprehension.

no gun show loophole in MA

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Why did you have to spill the beans? I was enjoying the fact that those billboard sponsors were wasting their money on a non-issue. Speaking of gun shows, though, here's something about MA that really drives me nuts. Some years ago, I saw an obsolete Russian revolver (a Nagant) at a gun show, at a good price. I tried to buy it and was told that my Class A LTC was not sufficient. I needed a Curio and Relic license. So, I could buy the latest Austrian tupperware 9mm, but not a WWII era collector's item. That speaks volumes about the utter absence of logic in the Kafka-esque world of liberal gun laws.

We need to define which state we are talking about

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as the law's differ. In MA, as mentioned above, all transactions between owners must be filed with the state, largely because MA required a license issued by the state in order to possess a firearm. There is no legal way to purchase a firearm in MA without reporting it to the state.

In other states, VA for instance, there is no licensing. Face to face transactions between gun owners are common, legal and require no background checks.

The "gun show loophole"is a misnomer. In VA all you have to do is check the local "for sale" type publications which have entire sections devoted to firearms along with cars and motorcycles. Call the guy up, go look at the gun, give him the money and you're all set. Just like you were buying a fishing rod. No need for a gun show in order to do that. Most people I know in VA rarely purchase new guns. They buy them used in the manner described. There is no need for a gun show. In fact, the vast majority of guns sold at the gun shows I have attended are new guns sold by FFL's.

here here

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Thank you, Mayor Menino!

As horrible as the Republicans are,

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we can no longer just blame them. The Democrats (with very rare exceptions) have to bear a pretty equal amount of the blame for being so spineless and complacent.

Blame Americans

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Politicians by definition do the bidding of their constituents.

When those are billionaires and fundamentalists that get off their buts and vote.... guess what you get?

Whens someone says voting doesn't matter, punch them in the nose. They Are the reason we are where we are. Apathy kills democracy.

Menino has principles and he

Menino has principles and he sticks by them. He is an honest and caring person, and he sincerely wants to take care of his city, and the residents. Why this seems to offend some of you is beyond me.


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We should not limit the sale of weapons at all. Tragedies like these would be much less likely to happen because the perpertrators would be, in most cases, too afraid of being shot be the average citizen carrying a handgun.

Yes, we should require

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Yes, we should require everyone have guns and let natural selection thin the herd.


Do you read the statistics?

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People carrying handguns are more likely by an order of magnitude to shoot themselves, shoot someone by accident, leave their gun where their kids can find it or commit suicide in a moment of desperation. The probability you would EVER be in a situation to stop something like what happened at the theater is astronomically small. I saw a map the other day and the states with the highest murder rates are clearly in the south where they have liberal gun carrying laws. Part of the problem is that when all these people carry guns, many lose their temper, get drunk or get in fights and end up being the killers instead of the defenders. I saw a list of the highest gun deaths per capita in the world. The only non-third world country in the top 15 was the United States (I think about 11th). Finland, the closest developed country to us, had a rate 30% less than the US - that's about 7500 people annually who would be alive each year if we just matched Finland - or 50% more Americans than were killed in the entire Iraq war.

Other than for a few exceptions (military, law enforcement etc.) there is no reason to have a gun in your possession. All civilian firearms should be required to be kept in a licensed facility with reasonable rules to sign them out and transport them for target shooting or hunting. Sadly, the political reality is that this will never happen so we have to walk the streets afraid that some gun a straw buyer picked up for some thug or gang banger will be used on us.

Somehow, I don't think the

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Somehow, I don't think the criminals are going to lock up their guns and sign them out when it's time to murder someone. You are correct that your suggestion will never happen.


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Didn't work for the old west, and won't work here. Cultural changes and economic advancement will do, and have done more to reduce crime than criminal penalties or fear of violence ever will. Last time I checked stores are still robbed in the south, and homes broken into.

And the Hero / Savior BS is just that, BS hero fantasies. The average gun owner doesn't have the training or experience to make good decisions in very high stress moments. Police and the military are trained for hours and hours, and still always don't make the right reactions.

Just ask the guy that was seconds away from blowing away one of Gabby Giffords aides that had wrestled away the gun from that DB shooter. He didn't, luckily, but the guy was in tears during a interview because of how close he was to making a major mistake, in a bad situation. He chocked it up to luck, and was horrified by the number of small things that might have ended up different when he saw the aide with the gun.

Yup! A socio-cultural dependency on firearms is the problem.

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Our society and culture have totally revolved around and depended upon firearms since day one, which has come home to roost. What we're witnessing now are the net results of this gun dependency in our culture. It's sickening...and rather sad.


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The fact that the perpetrator in this case was dressed in full ballistic gear undermines your argument. He came in dressed to prevent your average citizen's handgun from stopping him.

Also, look up the story of Joe Zamudio. He had a handgun and sprang into action at the Giffords shooting. When he arrived on the scene, he nearly killed the man who had unarmed the actual suspect. Then he was fortunate enough to keep his handgun in his pocket so that he was not confused by everyone else to be a second shooter.

Finally, read this ex-military, ex-cop, ex-mercenary's view on whether anyone else in the room would stop someone from preventing an act like the one in Colorado:

Also consider the conditions

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A dark room full of panicky screaming people that could easily leap into your line-of-fire, or see you holding a gun and think you're the perp and look to take you out. It's a [email protected]* no matter how you try to mitigate it.

I'm not anti-gun, but I don't think that arming the entire populace a la Marko Kloos' "civilized society" is the answer either. I don't trust most people with cars, let alone things that are *designed* to end a human life. Most people can't even get their oil changed on schedule, let alone keep proper security and care of firearms.

That said, I do think MA swings too far in the other direction. I don't really understand why things like tasers are more restricted in MA than firearms. I should be able to defend my home from an intruder without an overly onerous licensing process and without setting a bunch of Home Alone-esque traps in my house.

Obviously there need to be training classes and the like, but it doesn't have to be treated like a legal-yet-still-suspect back-alley transaction. One thing (of few) Texas does that I approve of is directly promoting the second amendment. That's great, but we still need governance in place, and the two aren't mutually exclusive. The state can encourage and promote for its citizenry to get licensed to own/use firearms, but it should still be a gauntlet of sorts.

That's a lot of baloney, jonbowen.

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It's because firearms are far too accessible that tragedies like this happen so much more here in the United States than in other countries. The United States at large has the highest murder rate per capita with firearms, thanks to the fact that the officials in Washington and Congress won't stand up to the NRA/Gun Lobby and pass more affective, stronger gun control laws.

One has to ask why gun dealers all too often refuse to deny mentally unstable people with histories of drug/alcohol abuse-addiction, anger management issues, and mental illness, etc., when their names come up on a computer screen.


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"One has to ask why gun dealers all too often refuse to deny mentally unstable people with histories of drug/alcohol abuse-addiction, anger management issues, and mental illness, etc., when their names come up on a computer screen."

This doesn't make any sense. If the background check flags the person, they are denied the purchase. For the dealer to ignore that and proceed with the sale would be criminal and stupid. Gun dealers can only go by what is in the system. If the buyer hasn't been in trouble with the law or had serious mental health issues that results in them being flagged as a prohibited person, the background check will be clean.

If you can show me documentation or link that demonstrates this issue, I would love to read it. Otherwise, I don't think you know what you are talking about.

I disagree with you here, JP-Stonybrook.

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The fact that one just has to not have a criminal record and/or be a felon in order to obtain a firearm is a huge part of the problem here, JP-Stonybrook. If there were more extensive background checks, screening of prospective gun buyers and waiting periods, many more lives would be saved, because people like the Columbine, VA Tech, and the more recent Aurora, CO movie theatre shooter would be denied access to guns.

Then what would you suggest?

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Let's talk about real world solutions perhaps instead of wishes shall we? Tell us what you would do? What is your benchmark for permission from the government to own a gun? What level of personal information and investigation would you require? Show me the data that demonstrates a waiting period would have prevented the tragedy's you mention. I may not agree with your suggestions, but I'm willing to hear them out if you would take the time to actually approach the problem instead of throwing out useless platitudes.

Like most issues, you can't just wish it fixed. The genie is out of the bottle. There are millions of guns in this country already. The technology exists now that you can make a functional AR-15 lower (what is considered the firearm by the government) with a 3-D printer:

I'd love to see tougher gun control laws here in the USA,

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The fact that Mayor Menino and Mayor Bloomberg are calling for tougher gun regulations in the wake of the Aurora, CO movie theatre shoot-out is admirable, but, unfortunately, the NRA is so powerful, well-funded and well-organized, that most of our lawmakers at large don't have the guts and the gumption to stand up to that organization.

It's not the NRA - It's their membership

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Look, I don't care for how the NRA plays politics. I get fund raising calls from them that quite frankly insult my intelligence. Bottom line is they are powerful because a large chunk of this country grew up with guns, like guns, own guns, carry guns and plan to continue doing so. You have to realize that MA is an outlier in it's attitude towards guns. The politicians aren't going to "stand up" to the NRA because they don't want to lose their seat. It's the 2nd Amendment Foundation that does the real work through the courts in liberalizing gun laws, not the NRA.