Mandatory Minimums, Maximum Stupidity

The criminal penalty NFL star Plaxico Burress faces is inflexible and unfair

Last weekend, New York Giants wide receiver and Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress inadvertently shot himself in the leg at a New York City nightclub and—adding incarceration to injury—now faces a three and a half years mandatory minimum sentence on each of two felony weapons charges. Burress' possession of a loaded firearm outside of his home without a permit, which is a Class C violent felony under New York state law, is more than enough to strip considerable judicial discretion when it comes time for sentencing. (According to Burress' lawyer, the handgun—a .40 caliber Glock pistol—is registered in the receiver's home state of Florida.) The judge will, however, be able to determine whether Burress gets the minimum or anywhere up to the maximum of 15 years per count.

It wasn't always this way.

New York's would-be mayor-for-life Michael Bloomberg, no stranger to the gun rights debate, persuaded the state legislature to toughen the already stringent restrictions on firearms in 2006. From 1998 until that time, mitigating circumstances and judicial discretion could be used to determine appropriate punishment for an offender. The tougher new rules are just one prong in the mayor's many-faceted approach to gun control in the Big Apple, and the nation as a whole. With Burress' surrender to authorities this week, Bloomberg now has a high-profile defendant to help showcase his tough-on-gun-crime legislation.

In recognition of this juicy score—and like any good nanny—Bloomberg used a press conference to roundly scold both the responsible and the peripheral parties to the accident, such as the hospital that failed to report the gunshot wound as required by law, and the Giants organization for apparently failing to immediately throw themselves prostrate and beg forgiveness for their rogue employee.

"[T]he Giants should have picked up the phone right way as good corporate citizens," Bloomberg huffed, "I don't care [if] there is a legal responsibility for them to [report the incident], they are a team that is here in this region..." In Bloomberg's mind, extra-legal responsibilities somehow attach themselves to the Giants via geography and the arbitrary standards of business "citizenship." (It should be noted that the Giants' front office contends that it notified the NFL who, in turn, notified the police.)

In condemning the presumed innocent wideout, the mayor felt it necessary to upbraid him as well, saying that Burress should be thrown in the "slammer" because he makes his "living in the public domain." As one journalist noted, perhaps with her tongue pressed firmly into her cheek, what the mayor meant to say was that no exceptions would be made for Burress due to his celebrity. Surely, Mr. Bloomberg wouldn't possibly make an example out of someone simply for political gain. After all, as the mayor pointedly remarked, cops and (gasp!) children are killed by gun violence in the streets of his fine city. Something must be done!

But Burress' teammate Steve Smith also lives in the public domain. Several days before the mishap at the club, Smith was robbed at gunpoint outside of his home in Clifton, New Jersey. Former Giants teammate and current NBC commentator Tiki Barber discussed the two crimes on Sunday Night Football, explaining that Burress' foolish act may have been rational, if not completely appropriate, given the dangers that NFL players such as Smith have faced.

Looking back at recent gun-related tragedies that have struck the NFL, Barber continued, "We all remember [slain Denver Broncos cornerback] Derrent Willams from a couple of years ago and even last year, and ironically [Washington Redskins safety] Sean Taylor was honored at this game, and he was [fatally] attacked at his home. A lot of people believe that if [Taylor] had a gun, he wouldn't be dead right now." Barber failed to mention an attack earlier this year which left Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier paraplegic and without his left leg due to amputation.

Such an oversight is understandable given the surprisingly high number of similar incidents, but even those numbers are not enough to convince longtime NBC Sports broadcaster Bob Costas that protecting oneself with a handgun may be a rational decision. After Barber finished recalling the recently murdered NFL players, Costas launched into a harangue against the ludicrous notion of self-defense, demanding that Tiki provide a singular instance where a player had saved his own life or averted disaster with a handgun.

While Barber agreed with Costas that Burress' actions were irresponsible, he insisted that guns are common to many players, given the violent circumstances he described and the violent neighborhoods many of the NFL's athletes grew up in. They really do rely on guns for self-defense, Barber argued. And it doesn't take any great leap of logic to understand why these athletes don't broadcast the fact. Such an admission in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, or Chicago—all cities with NFL franchises—could land a player in jail, in addition to the fines and suspensions handed down by the league (not to mention local politicians publicly chiding them as if they were irresponsible children).

Leaving aside the wisdom of Burress's actions, the criminal penalty he faces, if convicted, is inflexible and unfair. No judge in the state of New York, no matter what evidence is given, no matter how sympathetic the judge may be to a man whose teammate had a gun pointed at his head less than a week before, no matter what damage lengthy incarceration may do to the man's career, family, and reputation, will be able to lessen the sentence accompanying a guilty verdict.

Such inflexibility bothers vice president and general counsel of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), Mary Price: "Establishing mandatory minimums for crimes that do not hold a mens rea requirement," that is, not having to prove criminal intent, "is particularly harsh."

"FAMM isn't against punishment for crimes," Price explained, "and [our objection] is not about any particular sentence for a given crime. But a judge who has all the information on a case, who has access to all the mitigating and aggravating circumstances should be able to make that decision." Mandatory minimum statutes can cause "tremendous injustices in individual cases" by preventing judges from serving their "important and necessary function in our criminal justice process."

Yet the city and state of New York have determined, in their own infinite wisdom, that there is a uniform method by which to handle each and every offense under that statute. Under this view, trained and experienced judges, who deal with criminals daily, should not be trusted with actually judging whether or not a defendant (or society) would be better served by a lighter sentence, or even probation.

There is no question that Plaxico Burress should have handled himself differently over the weekend. He improperly handled a firearm in violation of city and state law, resulting in injury, career damaging publicity, and suspension without pay from a team favored to return to the Super Bowl. But as the circumstances stand, it is apparent that his career and, more importantly, his freedom for the next three-and-a-half to seven years hang in the balance, all so Mayor Bloomberg can showcase his anti-gun fetish. An individual's actions should be judged on an individual basis by an informed judge or jury—not by an opportunistic politician.

Jonathan Blanks is a writer and researcher in Washington, D.C., and a former intern at reason.

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  • ||

    You know what's ironic?

    If the statutory penalty for this crime was to be shot in the leg, the law would be thrown out as cruel and unusual punishment.

    But somehow, the repercussions Plaxico has faced so far are not deemed sufficiently harsh.

  • ||

    The thing that most jumps out to me about this whole thing, is what a giant turd Bloomburg is.

    I mean yeah the football player is stupid for shooting himself, in a club, wearing stupid clothes.

    Yeah he has a funny name.

    Yeah of all the ways of a football player to injure his legs, this is one I wouldn't have thunk of.

    BUT, again, biggest news here is what a turd Bloomburg is.

  • ?||

    (According to Burress' lawyer, the handgun-a .40 caliber Glock pistol-is registered in the receiver's home state of Florida.)

    Florida requires registration?

  • ||

    Also, doesn't the guy have enough money to have a doctor show up at his house and thus keep it all on the down low?

  • sage||

    Yeah, he does, Kwais. He doesn't have enough money to keep, what, 300 eyewitnesses quiet about it?

  • ed||

    It's deja vu all over again!
    Give his mother 60 days for naming him Plaxico.
    Give him 120 days for poor marksmanship.
    Give us a reprieve from this Nancy Grace-like rerun.

  • ||

    You guys are ignoring the best part of the story.

  • Other Matt||

    Florida doesn't require registration. Even The Brady Bunch says so. Hopefully for PB, his lawyer will be more knowledgeable of NYC law.

  • ||

    My often H&R adversary, John made all of the same excellent points that Tiki Barber made yesterday. Just giving credit where it's due.

  • ||

    John made all of the same excellent points that Tiki Barber made yesterday.

    Wha? Now, I'm gonna hafta read the fucking article.

    Crap.

  • ||

    You guys are ignoring the best part of the story.

    He obviously is not going to be able to play due to a non-football related injury. But that's what unions do. If a Ford worker gets caught stealing transmissions or a cop gets caught extorting money and BJs from streetwalkers, the union defends them. It somewhat hurts their image, but I do understand why they do it.

  • ||

    I think I saw something that said Burress has a carry permit in Florida; that would probably make the "registration" statement a confusion of terminology.

    And guess what else I learned from the article- Bob Costas is still a dumb fuck.

  • ||

    Other Matt: Federal registration of handguns is required. It's not a State issue anywhere, unless some States add more registration just for themselves, which I have not heard of.

    Kwais: Even the hospital he went to didn't report him, as noted in the article. Part of the outrage is that apparently the NYPD found out about the shooting on the news.

    no matter how sympathetic the judge may be

    ..to this star athlete and his team's chances of winning another Super Bowl. The judge should be allowed to take into consideration the facts that Burress had allowed his Florida CCW permit to expire and had never obtained one in New York, yet still chose to concealed carry a loaded Glock semi-auto in the waistband of his sweatpants when he went out to a nightclub.

    What if Burress had arranged the same circumstances ("accidentally") and then shot and killed a nightclub patron, instead of just grazing his own thigh with a bullet that ended up in the nightclub floor? Still outraged at the potential punishment (3-1/2 years) for this guy's stupid, illegal behavior? It could easily have gone down, that way.

  • Mike M.||

    What if Burress had arranged the same circumstances ("accidentally") and then shot and killed a nightclub patron, instead of just grazing his own thigh with a bullet that ended up in the nightclub floor? Still outraged at the potential punishment (3-1/2 years) for this guy's stupid, illegal behavior? It could easily have gone down, that way.

    Had his negligence and stupidity caused an innocent bystander to be hurt or killed, I'd be right there with Bloomberg yelling to throw the book at him, but that didn't happen. That's supposed to be the point of giving judges some discretion with taking the facts into account.

    If you drive through a red light on a busy street and nothing happens as a result, you have broken the law and deserve some sort of penalty. But you certainly don't deserve the same penalty that you do if you drive through a red light and run over a pedestrian as a result.

  • ||

    James Butler apparently doesn't recognize the differing severities of reckless endangermant and negligent homicide.

  • ||

    I see Mike M. beat me to it.

  • ||

    "What if Burress had arranged the same circumstances ("accidentally") and then shot and killed a nightclub patron, instead of just grazing his own thigh with a bullet that ended up in the nightclub floor? Still outraged at the potential punishment (3-1/2 years) for this guy's stupid, illegal behavior? It could easily have gone down, that way."


    When someone drives drunk, they easily could kill someone and put everyone around them in danger. By your logic, we should punish the person who is caught in a traffic stop the same as we do someone who drives drunk and hits a station wagon killing two kids. Consiquences matter both for better and worse. He didn't kill anyone and should not be punished like he did.

  • Douglas Gray||

    How much will it cost the already overtaxed NYC Taxpayers to have him tried, convicted, and incarcerated? What a waste!! Accidental discharge of a firearm should be a misdemeanor, as long as no one else was hurt.

  • ||

    I am well aware of the differences between being stupid and killing someone "by accident", even when the perpetrator set the stage for the "accident", themselves. Please note that the NY penalty for negligent homicide is a maximum of 4 years, about the same as this idiot will get, so your examples are hardly comparable.

    And your response(s) to my question?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    Federal registration of handguns is required.

    What color is the sky on your world?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    James Butler, you didn't ask any real questions. You asked rhetorical ones.

  • Bingo||

    "What if Burress had arranged the same circumstances ("accidentally") and then shot and killed a nightclub patron, instead of just grazing his own thigh with a bullet that ended up in the nightclub floor? Still outraged at the potential punishment (3-1/2 years) for this guy's stupid, illegal behavior? It could easily have gone down, that way"

    Then the charge would be negligent homicide or manslaughter, duh.

  • ||

    James Butler,

    What did you mean by this:

    Other Matt: Federal registration of handguns is required. It's not a State issue anywhere, unless some States add more registration just for themselves, which I have not heard of.

    Are you in America? Or some other country that has states? Cuz, there is no federal handgun registry.

  • Jennifer||

    What is the legal basis for not having a concealed-carry permit from one state be recognized in all other American jurisdictions? Or, to put it another way: I highly doubt New York City or State has the right to tell me my current, valid Connecticut driver's license is no good there, so if I want to drive my car to NYC I have to get permission from state or city authorities. So why should gun permits be any different? If anything, I'd think the case for gun reciprocity would be stronger; there's no Constitutional right to drive a car.

  • Warty||

    It's good that I know that I don't need to listen to James Butler's opinion on anything. Federal registration is required, heh.

  • ||

    TAO, Warty: I refer you to the Gun Control Act of 1968, § 178.124 Firearms transaction record, enabling the use of the federally required Form 4473 as a de facto registration. If it's an over-the-counter purchase of a shotgun or rifle by an in-State resident, Form 4473 is not required. Some States have their own long gun rules in this regard.

    ..shall obtain a Form 4473 from the transferee showing the name, address (including county or similar political subdivision), date and place of birth, height, weight, and race of the transferee, and certification by the transferee that the transferee is not prohibited by the Act from transporting or shipping a firearm in interstate or foreign commerce or receiving a firearm which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce or possessing a firearm in or affecting commerce.

  • ||

    And, hey, I'm cool with being corrected by factual evidence. I was just speaking with the owners of King's Gun Works here in Southern California about this a few days ago.

  • The Angry Optimist||

    James Butler - do you know who keeps the Forms 4473 on file?

    Oh, right, the firearms dealer. So much for it being a registry.

  • ||

    TAO: Do you know how Form 4473 is used?

    Oh right, the cops call the ATF who calls the firearms dealer who establishes the identity of the purchaser in question from the Form 4473. So much for it NOT acting as a registry.

  • ||

    Can we move registration comments over to a registration thread and get back to Burress and his crazy-bad weapons handling skills, now?

  • The Angry Optimist||

    registry (n.):

    1. A book for official records.
    2. The place where such records are kept.

    So, no, James, there is no federal registry. But keep at it, Sisyphus.

  • ||

    Dude, if registering a handgun can be interpreted as an onerous burden that violates the 2d Amendment, then documents that are required by the federal government to be kept for 20 years that identify the owner of a weapon for the purposes of tracking them down can be considered a form of registration. And I have never said that there is a federal registry, rather I have said that handguns need to be registered. You can waffle my intent if you like, but there you have it.

  • Mad Max||

    "The judge should be allowed to take into consideration the facts that Burress had allowed his Florida CCW permit to expire and had never obtained one in New York, yet still chose to concealed carry a loaded Glock semi-auto in the waistband of his sweatpants when he went out to a nightclub."

    Why on earth should this matter? If the law were rational, the only consideration should be the fact that he negligently discharged a firearm in a public place. Who cares whether he had a permit - would that make his negligent discharge any better?

    According to the linked article at the head of the thread:

    "Burress' possession of a loaded firearm outside of his home without a permit, which is a Class C violent felony under New York state law, is more than enough to strip considerable judicial discretion when it comes time for sentencing."

    So he is to be punished for having a loader firearm outside his house without a permit. Such a "crime" can be committed by a lot of people - a business owner who has a gun at his business to defend against robbers, someone walking home at night in a bad neighborhood and carries a gun in case he (or *she) gets jumped, etc.

    So these people have to get permission from the government if they want to have some practical means of denending themselves? If they don't get permission, then they are endangering cops and kids?

  • ||

    If the law were rational, the only consideration should be the fact that he negligently discharged a firearm in a public place.


    Exactly. Unfortunately for Burress, in New York this means facing a mandatory minimum sentence. He should have done his homework, and if he did but still chose to concealed carry, then he knew what he was risking.

    I like that question because that is the point of the article ... "if the law were rational".

    So these people have to get permission from the government if they want to have some practical means of denending themselves?

    Short answer: Yes, they do, under current laws in most States. In New York State, in particular. I'm not sure that there is a gun owner alive who does not understand that.

  • Mad Max||

    I suppose the take-home lesson here is - if you're going to negligently discharge a gun in the public streets, or in someone's place of business, make your you have a permit for the gun, so that the courts will treat you more leniently.

    What the heck is up with that? Negligent discharge is negligent discharge. If you have a permit, all the more reason to be more responsible. Yet a permit can, in the People's Republic of New York, give you a ticket to a more lenient sentence. Because, if you have a permit, that makes you more responsible, never mind that your actual behavior negates that presumption of responsibility.

    The important thing, in the Soviet Socialist People's Republic of New York, is that someone with a gun permit is *more law-abiding* than someone without one. So if you have a permit, and you negligently set off your gun in a public place or someone else's place of business, you get a break - but if you defend yourself against an aggressor with a gun for which you lack a permit, you are a dangerous felon.

    OK, I got it.

  • ||

    kwais | December 5, 2008, 3:23pm | #
    The thing that most jumps out to me about this whole thing, is what a giant turd Bloomburg is.

    ...

    BUT, again, biggest news here is what a turd Bloomburg is.



    kwais: hate to break this to ya, but Bloomburg's turdishness is not in fact NEWS!

  • Helen Lovejoy||

    Will someone please think of the children?

  • ellipsis||

    Most states allow private party handgun sales without any regulation. Or paperwork. Cash and carry, and completely legal.

    California isn't one of them. "Private" sales have to be done through a gun dealer.

    So you can bypass the 4473 in most states. And completely legal.

  • ellipsis||

    BTW, private party sales have been labeled by anti-gunners as "the Gun Show Loophole."

  • ||

    Thanks, ellipsis.

  • ||

    So, how can I get on the jury in this case?

    I've got the two scariest words in the world for mandatory minimum sentencing laws: Jury Nullification.

  • Other Matt||

    kwais: hate to break this to ya, but Bloomburg's turdishness is not in fact NEWS!

    Agreed.

    In furtherance of the 4473 thing, one of the differences between "registration" and that process is that you can further sell the firearm without further notification to anyone. Most registration schemes require you to tell the state/city/county when you transfer it.

    For instance, in MD, I can see a handgun to someone in VA if we go through a FFL. I don't have any requirement to tell MD about it, even thought they keep the original transaction record forever. It's close, and a major privacy infringement if nothing else, and a waste of money, but it's not registration.

  • Corduroy Rocks||

    Back to Plaxico's handling skills.

    Only an idiot carries a chambered Glock in his pants. There's only a trigger safety between you and less junk in your trunk.

  • ||

    James Butler, while I understand your argument, that the laws exist and he knowingly broke the laws, that does not mean there is an argument to be made both about mandatory minimums and the laws themselves. First, mandatory minimums, by their very nature, make punishments for crimes obtuse and not subject to the appropriate application of these punishments by judges. With mandatory minimums, you are logically saying that this crime, 100% of the time, deserves this harsh sentence. Such a statement is quite the bold one considering the politicians who arbitrarily set these sentences do so before these crimes are even committed, without knowing the details. In crime, the details matter.

    The other ironic thing I find about mandatory minimums is that politicians recognize that there is a spread of severity for a crime. For example, we don't simply set a mandatory sentence for a crime, merely a mandatory minimum and a maximum. So politicians recognize that not every crime is the same, and that judges/juries should make the decision about the severity of the punishment based on the crime. These politicians then turn around, and in their infinite wisdom, declare that yes, there are important differences between crimes, but these differences could *never* mitigate a sentence below what WE say.

    Finally, the sentences themselves are absurd. You should have the right to carry a gun as long as whoever owns the property you are on says its o.k. I think there could be a public good by having permit laws, since guns are objects of violence, and then therefore there would need to be punishments for breaking them. However, punishment for committing such a non-violent crime, such as not having proper documentation for your gun at the time, should not carry a multi-year penalty in prison. The punishment simply does not fit the crime. As James Butler mentioned earlier, if he had actually accidentally shot and killed someone and was charged with negligent homicide, THAT charge would only be for 4 years. How absurd.

  • ||

    So, he gets six months off for bad aim?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Robbie | December 6, 2008, 10:48am | #

    You should have been around for the thread on the L. Drew internet harassment/Terms of service violation thread. There was an odd contingent of "libertarians" arguing that we should strive for laws so rational that a strict algorithmic application of them would be the most just, because discretion on the part of those in the judicial system to determine the need for prosecution based on the facts of the case was a bug in our judicial system.

    an individual's actions should always be judged on an individual basis-not by the opportunistic politicians that pass mandatory minimum laws.

    agreed.

  • ||

    About Plax and the permit question:

    I've read that Burress had an expired FL CCW.

    However, the TV news keeps showing the receiver's home in New Jersey. Now, the wounded Jint may only live there during the season, and may continue to be a legal resident of Florida. No matter which state he is a citizen of, Sunshine or Garden, I don't believe the Empire one recognizes any carry permits other than its own, which are notoriously hard to obtain.

    Kevin
    (Annoyed Giants fan)

  • Craig||

    No judge in the state of New York, no matter what evidence is given, no matter how sympathetic the judge may be to a man whose teammate had a gun pointed at his head less than a week before, no matter what damage lengthy incarceration may do to the man's career, family, and reputation, will be able to lessen the sentence accompanying a guilty verdict.

    Fortunately, the jury has complete freedom to weigh the appropriateness of the law as well as the facts of the case, and to return a verdict of not guilty, striking down this obvious attempt at tyrannical rule.

  • ||

    The Manhattan DA will probably try to stack the jury with Jets fans.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Please.

    If everyone in NY caught carrying licensed guns outside their own houses (never mind the unlicensed ones)went to jail, the state would have to hire a dozen cruise liners to house all the inmates.

    The real low-renters and the influential get the charge plea bargained down and only one count is ever filed. Only the "poster child" gets no bargain... sort of the old Soviet "show trial to educate and inform the masses" system. If guilty-as-sin-of-murder O.J. Simpson had been named Homer Simpson the recent Nevada problem would have netted him maybe six months in jail and an anger management seminar. But they wanted him; again the old NKVD "show me the man and I'll find you the crime" approach.

    As a Reason reader imagine for a moment what would happen if you could "rent" policemen and DAs to arrest and prosecute criminals, in other words the end of the selective arrest and prosecution system. Three 40 yr. minimum drug charges against Dalton/Yale students and one five year in prison-only gun charge against a prominent elected official later and the laws would change. "Discretion" they call it.

  • ||

    Hey no one answered the question as to why my Nevada drivers licence works in NY,

    By my concealed carry licence doesn't.

    Any takers?

    And yeah I knew Bloomberg was a tool. But that is the thing most illustrated in this story.

  • ||

    Because the law says you can't drive without a license. The states issue licenses. The states then say "Hey, we will be nice about it and respect licenses from other states". They don't have to do this. If they felt that a certain state had inadequate standards for licensing, they could still refuse licenses from that state. The reason that New York doesn't respect permits from other states is because they don't like how other states give permits and would prefer to do it themselves.

  • ||


    If the statutory penalty for this crime was to be shot in the leg, the law would be thrown out as cruel and unusual punishment.

    But somehow, the repercussions Plaxico has faced so far are not deemed sufficiently harsh.


    What is fucked up about the so called criminal justice system is that judges are too intellectually and morally vacuous to apply such logic to the law.

  • ||

    After listening to seemingly thousands of idiots call in about this case, one of whom claimed to be former prosecutor who and that "he'd never seen a judge send someone to prison without a mandatory minimum", I think I know how we've gotten to this state.

    There are a lot of people out there who have an imaginary perception of "liberal judges" who refuse to send guilty parties to prison. How they square this notion while living in the country with the largest prison population in the world, I have no idea.

  • Other Matt||

    The reason that New York doesn't respect permits from other states is because they don't like how other states give permits and would prefer to do it themselves.

    Actually, NY State does issue permits which are good everywhere but...NYC. It's not a State issue.

    Go figure.

  • Other Matt||

    Hey no one answered the question as to why my Nevada drivers licence works in NY,

    By my concealed carry licence doesn't.

    Any takers?


    Because it's covered by the US Constitution and therefore should be exempt from state infringement?

  • Other Matt||

    However, the TV news keeps showing the receiver's home in New Jersey. Now, the wounded Jint may only live there during the season, and may continue to be a legal resident of Florida. No matter which state he is a citizen of, Sunshine or Garden, I don't believe the Empire one recognizes any carry permits other than its own, which are notoriously hard to obtain.

    FL issues non resident permits, I had one for a while until VA started issuing non res permits. However, FL nonres is good in PA, if I wanted to carry there. Some other states also, I don't recall but it's easy to look up on the web. NY doesn't recognize anyone's permit, resident or not, I don't believe.

  • ||

    as a gun-owning libertarian who disagrees with mandatory minimums, i can find no sympathy for plaxico. taking a loaded glock hanging from his waistband into a club endangers everyone there. i've never felt the need to pack in public; rural oregon where i live is pretty safe. this wasn't responsible gun ownership, this was a celeb bolstering his badass gangsta image and fortunately shooting only himself. sure bloomberg's a turd, what about it? new york city is full of turds. bye-bye plax, too bad, so sad.

  • ||

    Gun Control Act of 1968, § 178.124 Firearms transaction record, enabling the use of the federally required Form 4473 as a de facto registration. If it's an over-the-counter purchase of a shotgun or rifle by an in-State resident, Form 4473 is not required.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. The 4473 is retained by the dealer who sold the firearm. The ATF cannot pull up my name and trace what long guns or handguns I may currently own. Also, on private party sales, there is no 4473 required - only on dealer sales. All dealer sales, long gun or handgun must have a 4473.

    James, in Californistan, there is full handgun registration, but that is STATE not federal law. And, all private party sales must be recorded/cleared through a licensed dealer (handgun or long gun) - again based on state law. You got very bad info from that gun store.

  • ||

    Wait... this person knowingly took a gun with him, that anybody with any semblance of reason would know is illegal, to a crowded club and because of his incompetence and negligence discharges it and... fortunately... hit him instead of flying through some innocent chump's skull.

    And the article wants to defend why he SHOULDN'T get 3.5 years?

    Call my some crazy conservative but 3.5 years for doing something so fucking stupid that so narrowly might have killed another person out of gross negligence seems pretty appropriate in this case.

  • ||

    That would be fine if 3.5 year were the penalty for unlawful discharge, but that's not what Burress is facing. He's being charged for having the gun at all, regardless of intent or recklessness.

  • ||

    Only an world-class idiot carries a chambered Glock in the waistband of his track pants without any kind of holster.

  • ||

    kwais,

    For the same reason your Massachusetts marriage license is no good in other states, if you're gay: there's a longstanding "public policy exemption" to the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

    Contracts and documents from one state are to be treated as valid in another state, unless the other state has specifically established a different policy.

  • Jigaboos J. Jigabooze||

    "African-American" + loaded firearm, safety off = prison time.

    Arithmetic that even a libertarian can handle, eh?

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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