CNN reporter commits a federal felony to get an anti-gun story?

So, CNN sends a reporter to conduct an out-of-state purchase from a private seller in order to obtain a .50 caliber rifle for their story.  (I wonder if, maybe, they tried to obtain one from the manufacturer and Barrett refused?)  To see their video clip, you'll have to look on the right of this search results page.  Suffice it to say, after they get the rifle, they shoot at an airplane door and proceed to demonstrate that just about any rifle is powerful enough to put a hole in an airplane's thin  aluminum skin.

So what's the legality of this little adventure?  The 1968 Gun Control Act made out-of-state firearm sales illegal.  The 1987 Firearm Owner's Protection Act may have removed that restriction for long guns; I say may because I haven't found a  good explanation.  From memory, I think that the 1987 law relaxes the rules for purchases from a dealer but continues to prohibit long guns.  And, of course, if your state bans the .50 (eg, California) then your purchase cannot be legal. 

Worse, after the 1987 law, and in part due to the hoopla over the so-called "gun show loophole", many states passed laws restricting private sales in a variety of ways.  So depending on the state, performing a private sale without a background check may be illegal even if the seller is not a licensed firearms dealer. 

I will try to nail down the details of the law on this matter.  But I find it interesting that CNN would choose to air this story.  They just recently lost Eason Jordan, one of their executives, to the blogosphere's demands for accountability.  Are they really that eager to attract more attention?  Well, the segment is out there now.  They shall reap what they have sown.

UPDATE: If you arrived here directly, there is a lot more detail on this story that has come out.  For the moment, you can just go to the main blog page and keep scrolling.

This entry was published Sat Sep 24 10:43:35 CDT 2005 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2005-09-24 10:43:35.0. [Tweet]

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