Gun ownership 101 | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

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Buck Boring, owner of Buck’s Guns, recently showed off two semi-automatic rifles in his shop. Above is a modern AR-15 sport rifle, the other a vintage Remington with wood trim. Both work on exactly the same principle. Also on the counter is the form that a buyer has to fill out together with the required ID and the permit for handguns.

It’s a controversial and often emotional topic.


While the debate rages over who should, who shouldn’t, what type they should and shouldn’t be allowed, the basic mechanics of firearms and the laws governing their purchase, use, and carry are often not well understood.

A current example? Actress Alysa Milano said at a gun control rally in Dallas, Texas: “I don’t think buying an AR-15 should be as easy as getting a caramel macchiato at a Starbucks.”

Chloe Cathcart, 16, a sophomore at Fort Dodge Senior High, said something very similar during a recent gun inspection.

“There’s a problem when a kid who can’t buy cigarettes can buy a gun like an AK47.”

Both are wrong under federal and state laws.

Buck Boring, owner of Buck’s Guns at Fort Dodge, has gone through the process a customer must follow before the licensed dealer can sell them a gun.

It’s paperwork first.

“The form 4473 has to be filled out first” he said. “This information is used by the NICS background check. It is also the record that I have to hold. “

NICS is the national Instant Criminal Background Check System. The FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation is responsible for this.

The next step depends on the type of firearm purchased and whether the buyer has a permit to buy or carry.

Iowa law requires that one of them buy a handgun. The permits have a NICS control number that Boring puts on the form instead of doing the background check. Long guns can also be purchased with the permits. For those who buy a long gun without a permit, it’s the call-in check.

Background checking on dial-in can result in one of three boring options.

“Continue, rejected or opened” he said.

The procedure is obvious. There is nothing in the database to prevent the buyer from buying a firearm.

Denied will cause you to leave the store.

“You’re done here, buddy” he said.

Open is vague.

“I can sell it, but it’s my choice” he said.

Boring decides against it.

“I will not do it” he said. “I’ll just say no. I’d rather be on the safe side than I’m sorry. “

Once the process is complete, the customer pays for their gun and it is now theirs.

Boring must follow the same procedure no matter where he sells a gun; that includes gun shows where there aren’t any “Gap in the gun show” for dealers.

“It’s about a private sale” he said. “An individual can go to an exhibition and sell his collection.”

“For me there is no loophole” he said. “If you’re a dealer, no matter where you are, you do the paperwork. It’s exactly the same process. “


To obtain approval to buy or promote in Iowa, an applicant must contact the local sheriff’s department.

Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs said there are currently 3,618 valid permits in Webster County; 112 of them are purchase permits, the rest is carry.

He doesn’t have to turn down very many, he said.

“It’s a very small number” he said. “I’ve probably turned 10 down over the course of my time here.”

Before he issues a permit, there are still some papers. For a permit to carry, an applicant must provide evidence of weapons training, fill out the relevant form and pay a fee.

There is the form and the fee for a purchase authorization.

Both are five-year permits.

Stubb’s staff will submit the applicant’s name through the NICS database.

“It’s the same as your criminal history” he said.

There are a variety of criminal convictions that prevent an applicant from being issued a permit. Every crime is an automatic bar, as are most types of domestic violence convictions. Under Iowa law, Stubbs said, conviction of a grave gun misconduct is also a barrier to approval.

“It is a crime under Iowa law” he said.

Only actual convictions count.

Mental health

Mental health issues, some of which exclude gun possession, must bring the courts to justice. It doesn’t count to see a depression counselor.

“You have to be ordered to a facility” he said.


There are legal restrictions on where a license holder can carry a weapon. Prohibited places include schools and their property, the judicial area of ​​courthouses, police stations, prisons, and most federal real estate such as the post office.

Private property owners can post signs prohibiting firearms on their property if they wish.

While private sales are legal in Iowa, Stubbs urges caution.

“The smart thing is to ask for ID and ask for their permission.” he said. “You don’t want to open up.”

This permit is actually a legal requirement for the private sale of handguns in Iowa.

As a licensed dealer, Boring may not be able to sell privately, but he knows many who do.

“Most of the people I know will ask for permits and ID.” he said.


Much of the recent debate has centered around so-called assault rifles.

“It is a modern sports rifle”, Boring said. “You will not find the term assault rifle in the BATF regulations.”

BATF is now actually BATFE: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

The term assault rifle is used casually and incorrectly to refer to semi-automatic rifles that share cosmetic features with weapons that can fire fully automatically in the military.

“You can’t go to Walmart and buy a military-grade gun.” he said.

Semi-automatic, whether rifle or handgun, simply means that the energy of the fired cartridge is used to mechanically load the next cartridge. The trigger fires one shot when pulled and must then be released for the next shot.

Fully automatic means that the weapon fires until the trigger is released or the ammunition is used up. This type of weapon is strictly regulated by federal law.

Many popular hunting rifles work just like the AR-15.

The AR-15, which is so much in the news, is a semi-automatic.

Boring is unsure why AR rifles have become a focal point in the gun control debate.

“Take the Ruger Mini-14 as an example”, he said. “It shoots the same round as an AR, it’s almost the same gun, but nobody complains about it. However, the AR looks like an M4. For some reason they pretend it’s the worst machine in the world. “

Magazine capacity

Magazine capacity is another topic that is discussed frequently. The term large capacity magazine is often used to refer to any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, regardless of the weapon for which it is intended.

“That depends on the AR” Boring said. “Some come in their 20s, some with 30s, some with 10s. When I was in the military, it was 20. “

Most of the shooting community use the term standard capacity magazine, or just magazine.

Boring said the term was mostly political and quite arbitrary; the 10-round cutoff appears to have originated in states like California that have decided to pass magazine bans, he said.

“If it’s over 10, it’s a high capacity.” he said. “It just kind of got stuck. There’s nothing in the books that makes a high-capacity magazine. “


Stubbs and Boring both see a few common misconceptions.

A transport permit is required for Stubbs.

“You don’t need a take-away permit to go to the shooting range and shoot.” he said.

The weapon must be legally transported there; that is, unloaded and not accessible in a suitcase or other container.

For Boring, it’s confusion about legal semi-automatic rifles and machine guns.

“They are not even the same” he said. “The outside may look the same, but the inside is completely different.”

A thrust bearing, a device that uses the gun’s own inertia to increase the speed at which the marksman can pull the trigger, was another hot button problem.

Boring is of little use to them.

“This is a piece of plastic waste” he said.

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