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Old March 13, 2009, 02:39 PM   #1
johnwilliamson062
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Minimum price on guns

I have racked my brain trying to think of firearm regulations I believe would actually work. I am not talking about tougher consequences for illegal actions, but bans or restrictions that might slow down the flow of illegal guns. All the data I have seen points to previous bans being ineffective.

All I could come up with is a price floor on firearms, specifically handguns. Say a price floor of $250 or $300. There could possibly be exceptions for single shots or 22 caliber and less rimfires.

This would eliminate the majority of the"high point" class firearms from circulation. It would push prices on higher end firearms up, but nothing like a tax of 500% or even 100%(which is what I see as likely in the future considering our economic situation).
This price floor would not affect me very much so I might selfishly sit by and let it go if I thought I could avoid a big tax or outright ban.

Thoughts? (on the ban not my willingness to be complicit if the restriction does not affect me)
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Old March 13, 2009, 02:45 PM   #2
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Say a price floor of $250 or $300.
And force me to pay more for the crappy guns I buy?

Seriously, I think you'll get a lot of flak from the die-hard RTKBA, GOA tattoo-on-the-bicep kinda guys by suggesting any restriction on the sale of guns.
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Old March 13, 2009, 03:06 PM   #3
johnwilliamson062
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As far as "common sense" "reasonable" "effective" gun regulation this is all I came up with that I would be willing to sit down discuss/think about.
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Old March 13, 2009, 03:09 PM   #4
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Setting a minum price on guns would seem to me to discriminate against poor people. I would equate that to a poll tax.

The criminals will just pay what they have to for a gun. The reason they buy cheap guns is not because they dont have money. They figure why pay more for something I have to throw away.

You are not going to stop the bad behavior with guns with more laws. All of the illegal arms trafficiking that goes on in this country today violates many laws at both the state and federal level. You can't make that behavior anymore illegal.

Laws prevent bad behavior through deterrence. There will always be a perentage of the population that will not be deterred no matter what laws are on the books. If these people aren't deterred by the current law what makes you think they will be deterred by new laws. What's an extra $150 dollars for a gun when the crimes they are committing can cost them 5+ years and a fine larger than $100.

In order to prevent the vast majority of criminals from affording guns you would necessarily have to prevent the vast majority of law abiding citizens from affording guns.
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Old March 13, 2009, 03:13 PM   #5
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I'm a die-hard free market supporter. I'm generally opposed to any government regulations on the free market that would infringe on how an individual store owner decides to sell/price/market his products. I don't really care if it's a toy store, grocery store, or a gun shop.

Also, there are some uses for crappy guns. I'm personally a bit of a gun snob, but I know there are people out there who want a gun that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and don't care too much about the quality. If that's what they want, let them buy a cheap Hi-point.
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Old March 13, 2009, 03:21 PM   #6
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The other side of the argument

And one which was brought up back in '68 when "Saturday night specials" were a buzz word, and the Congress in its wisdom created size requirements and other restrictions prohibiting import of certain guns.

Don't poor people deserve the same ability to protect themselves?

Lower income families, often living in more crime ridden areas, arguably have a greater need for affordable guns than the rest of us. But the only guns they can afford are the cheapest ones. Raise the price ceiling, by artificial means (taxes, permit costs, "required" training costs, etc.) and the simple fact is that some people will not be able to get a gun (legally), and may suffer death or injury as a result.

There is also an added unintended consequence. Many times victims and LEOs have been saved because the cheap, "SNS" gun in the criminal's hands fails to work. Creating a price ceiling, or other regulations (melting point limits, etc.) with the intent of doing away with the cheap, shoddy "SNS" class of guns, IF sucessful, would (and has) resulted in a better class of firearm in the hands of the criminals.

The same GCA 68 that banned the import of the "cheap shoddy pot metal" guns, based on arbitrary rules also banned the import of the Walther PPK. These kinds of things have been tried before, and failed. If tried again, they will fail again.

The problem with the flow of "illegal guns" is that they are "illegal". ALL the guns made in the US are legal, when and where made, and legal, when and where first sold. The problem is people. People breaking the law, by buying guns where legal, and selling them where not. The guns on the street in NYC/DC/other restrictive areas, is not caused by the gun makers (no matter what the politicians in those areas say), it is not caused by the FFL dealers in neighboring or even non neighboring states. It is caused by criminals, (gun runners-NOT gun dealers), breaking existing laws.

Like drugs, like alcohol, like ****, like any banned or restricted item, guns will be made available to those willing to break the laws and pay what the illegal suppliers want. This is a basic fact of human nature, and no mere law will stop it. The only thing that can control it is efficient and effective enforcement of the laws, arresting and jailing offenders. Trying to remove or limit the source is like trying to get the genie back in the bottle. Even if you could somehow manage it, someone else will be along shortly, to let him out again.

Remember the law of unintended consequences. All actions have them. One fine example was the complaint of the anti-gunners about the increase in "easily concealable" pistols after the passage of the 94 AWB. Since magazines holding more than 10rnds were banned, makers found that "full size" pistols (with only 10 rnd mags) weren't selling too well. So they shortened the butts (to match the size of the legal magazines), and the slides/barrels to balance the guns, making them smaller, and "more easily concealable" in the eyes of the antis. This came about, almost entirely as an unintended consequence of the law that anti's get passed!

No matter what you do, some people are never happy!
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Old March 13, 2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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All this would do is raise the price for guns. It would discriminate against poor people, and depress overall sales.

Do you think the 3rd largest (by volume) gun manufacturer in the United States (Hi-Point) is just going to shut down if the minimum price of guns is now $250 instead of the $150 they sell for now?

No, they're just going to raise their prices to the minimum. Then all the other manufacturers who consider themselves to be better than Hi-Point would raise their prices accordingly. Do you think Kel-Tec would sell guns for $300 when Hi-Points were $250? No, Kel-Tecs would go to $400. And so on and so on...

So you'd feel it, when your higher end guns all went up by $100 or more. Nice of you to suggest that you could support higher gun prices because it wouldn't affect you.

Do cheap guns get used in crimes? Yes. Do cheap guns get used by people who can't afford nicer guns and still want to protect themselves, or just participate in shooting sports? Yes. A whole lot more than they do get used in crimes.

This type of thinking leads to bans, just the same. When higher prices don't bring down the crime rate, then the prices will just get set higher and higher.
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Old March 14, 2009, 04:52 PM   #8
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Poor people have RKBA also.
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Old March 14, 2009, 05:11 PM   #9
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Minimum price...you've got some pretty big cajones for posting that one.
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Old March 14, 2009, 05:31 PM   #10
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I am against this on a plethora of levels. From free market, equal rights, economic, and on and on.

Hey, hamburgers contribute to a lot of health problems. If we made the minimum price of a hamburger $20 would that help? Would it raise the price on other foods? Would it hurt low income individuals' abilities to eat?
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Old March 14, 2009, 06:04 PM   #11
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Please stop giving them ideas its hard enough for me to come up with the current prices of say some sigs or custom kimbers for example.I hate to have to take a second morgage to afford one.
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Old March 14, 2009, 07:13 PM   #12
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Raising the price on guns would do ZERO, nothing at all PERIOD to decrease illegal gun trade.... in fact it would do the exact opposite. Think about it for a second, truly.
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Old March 14, 2009, 07:18 PM   #13
johnwilliamson062
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All this would do is raise the price for guns.
I think this would have very little affect on Ruger, Smith and Wesson, Kimber, etc. It would certainly bump them, but not that much. Kel tech can much more easily say, if we raise our prices to $25 more than hi-point people will still not buy them, that small price difference separates our product form a marketing perspective and soon hi-point will be out of business. I think this is especially true in the long term. Has the $200 tax on suppressors caused the base price of suppressor to increase? No it wiped out commercial producers of low quality products.

I like the equal protection argument. The law says I have the right to defend myself if in imminent danger of serious bodily injury/death, minimum price removes that legal protection for the poor. All the poor people I know who worry about protection have terribly vicious pit bulls. No, I am not joking.


Quote:
you've got some pretty big cajones for posting that one
You been vacationing in Terlingua? I doubt this is the most controversial thing I have posted.
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Old March 14, 2009, 07:24 PM   #14
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Here's an interesting link that you should read. It gives a good history of the origins for gun control in the U.S.

http://www.lizmichael.com/racistgc.htm

In other words...a big B.S. on any kind of "price floor" on firearms.
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Old March 14, 2009, 07:32 PM   #15
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You been vacationing in Terlingua? I doubt this is the most controversial thing I have posted.
Sorry, I don't hang on your every word. Suggesting that a minimum price of legally obtained firearms would reduce the flow of illegal arms is both counter-intuitive and ballsy to front on a site that is known for advocating for the RTKBA.
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Old March 14, 2009, 08:24 PM   #16
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and soon hi-point will be out of business.
And once Hi-Point is out of business, all crime will cease? Hi-Points are the only guns used in crimes in the United States?

Your reasoning gets further and further away from reality. Restricting access to inexpensive guns will just increase the amount of violence used to obtain guns.
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Old March 14, 2009, 08:44 PM   #17
johnwilliamson062
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Please stop giving them ideas
I am far from the first to bring this up. The link provided by USASA listed several similar attempts at controlling cheap handguns.

Quote:
to front on a site that is known for advocating for the RTKBA.
And isn't this forum here to provide a venue for discussions just like this? I don't see how it is possibly inappropriate for me to bring this up.

Quote:
In other words...a big B.S. on any kind of "price floor" on firearms.
I see that it has been tried before. I see that it is unconstitutional. That hasn't stooped any of the regulations listed in that link, although I think everyone here could agree they are all unconstitutional. I did not see anything indicating it did not slow street crime. Where are the statistics? I have seen them for every other type of gun control. I know guns are available internationally for less than high-points, and I know that our borders are truly IMAGINARY lines.

One of the crazy things about present pushes for gun control is its relation to "inner city" populations. Gun control advocates will openly admit they are trying to keep guns out of "inner city neighborhoods." The crazy thing is many of the advocates are from these same neighborhoods. Barack Obama, the first black president, has absolutely no problem saying 'we need to disarm young black populations.' I know Obama is not from the Ghetto, but some of the mayors, senators, reps, etc. that are pushing this issue are. They are actually trying to disarm their own constituents, which i believe to be a notable difference from those early gun control measure.
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Old March 14, 2009, 08:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
to front on a site that is known for advocating for the RTKBA.


And isn't this forum here to provide a venue for discussions just like this? I don't see how it is possibly inappropriate for me to bring this up.
I never said nor implied it was inappropriate. Feel free to explain how having a price floor will slow down the illegal firearm trade. Back up your premise with something.
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Old March 14, 2009, 10:32 PM   #19
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I don't understand how making cheap guns unavailable will reduce crime.
Are you saying that criminals go to the gun store and buy cheap guns; so you can price them out of the market? That can't be right...
Are you saying that cheap guns are stolen by the criminals more than expensive guns? That's possible, if all I can afford is a cheap gun, maybe I can't afford a safe for it...but still, how does changing prices make it harder for criminals to get guns, since they HAVE to steal it or break the law by buying it from someone FTF?
If anything, a low price limit would INCREASE crime, as the criminals would be more likely to commit crimes to GET a gun, and those guns they would be stealing are owned by people with more money, so they are more likely to report the theft...
Nah, I can't keep playing this game, this is just stupid.
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Old March 15, 2009, 08:38 PM   #20
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A huge number of guns in NY, LA and others are bought from dealers out of state and they are usually cheaper guns. Go to every dealer in Cincinnatti buy a hi-point, take it to NYC and sell for 50% mark up. Vances in Columbus was the third largest indirect supplier of such guns a few years ago(for some time they had an AF agent undercover in the store keeping an eye on things b/c of this). THe fact of the matter is a large number of pistols are from straw buys, not thefts.

Anyone who says a price floor on pistols would not reduce availability of legally purchased and illegally resold pistols doesn't know what they are talking about.
THe real fault of this is will this provide another revenue stream for organized crime? Will Tokarevs begin flooding into the US through Mexico and Cuba? WHat about AKs? I find it quite surprising they are not flooding in from Africa as it is. What criminal could pass up a full auto gun, even if it had to stay in the trunk? I have to imagine the $50 guns in Africa could be brought here and sold for $200 profitably.
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Old March 15, 2009, 08:49 PM   #21
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Pointless excercise....

Quote:
Anyone who says a price floor on pistols would not reduce availability of legally purchased and illegally resold pistols doesn't know what they are talking about.
Or, conversely, anyone who would advocate such a measure.....

Mighr raise the price, won't reduce the availability one whit.
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Old March 15, 2009, 11:07 PM   #22
johnwilliamson062
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Mighr raise the price, won't reduce the availability one whit.
I have problem spent close to a year of my life studying price controls both theoretical and historic and In all my reading they do have an effect no matter what the product. The question is are there such easy substitutes that they are just substituted with no actual effect. Would the world be any better if gangs went back to zip guns, or more likely were armed with old surplus? Maybe as some have suggested raising the price from $110 for a hi-point to $250 or $300 would not have a large effect, but it most certainly would have an effect on the availability of handguns purchased from legal dealers in deals that appear legal at their face(straw buys).
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Old March 15, 2009, 11:12 PM   #23
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following that logic leads to one place... pistols that cost less than $100,000 can't be sold. Your concept, if implemented, would be disastrous.
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Old March 16, 2009, 08:27 AM   #24
johnwilliamson062
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Well, I guess no one has any sort of fact or study to refute this.
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Old March 16, 2009, 09:47 AM   #25
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Well, I guess no one has any sort of fact or study to refute this.
Could it be that we are awaiting some fact or study to support your point? Perhaps our Central American cocaine runners can bring in an extra load of firearms and douse the demand curve? Perhaps "gun seeking" crimes could increase. Perhaps that kind of illegal trade practices might put makers out of business since I'd much rather have a Ruger over a HP if the price were the same. It would most certainly put the right to defend oneself and family out of the budget of a fairly large percentage of Americans.

Please, give us some understanding how this will make us safer before you close the debate for lack of "debate".
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