View Full Version : Mississippi legal question please.

September 19, 2010, 12:17 PM
Chicago Tribune has a frontpage article regarding a gun that was illegally bought (Straw buyer) from a pawn shop in Ed's Pawn Shop in Byhali Mississippi by Michael Elliott that was later used to kill CPD officer Thomas Wortham IV.

The Tribune is calling Mr Elliott's behavior a "split-second decision". The article also states that the LEOs were able to trace the gun to Mr. Elliott within 7 hours by the serial number on the gun, by using a federal firearms trace to match the serial number on the gun sold to Mr Elliot to Mr Elliott's purchase of the gun from the pawn shop "which had been reported to the ATF as a matter of routine". The article also states that he filled out a form and lied in box 11a asking if he was the actual buyer of the gun.

Sounds to me like a reqular 4473 from a FFL.

Is there a waiting period for handgun buyers in Mississipi?

Just curious.


Aguila Blanca
September 19, 2010, 01:30 PM
So 4473s, with the firearm's serial number, are "routinely" reported to the BATFE now? I thought they were supposed to just sit in the FFL's file drawer.

September 20, 2010, 01:42 AM
There is no waiting period in Ms. Most all my weapons were legally purchased at bass pro, gander mountain, and a local gun shop where I live. You fill out the form. They call it in and you get your firearm.

I live in MS now. I lived in Texas and Louisiana where there is no waiting period either..

Jim S.

Uncle Buck
September 20, 2010, 06:34 AM
Missouri has no waiting period. (Unless you call waiting for the shop to finish their phone call a waiting period. :D)

I wondered about that part of the story about being able to trace the firearm.

Does this mean the firearm was new and the company was able to trace it to the distributor, then to the pawn shop, who in turn said they sold it to Mr. Elliot?

Or does it mean that Mr. Elliot reported it stolen (I am assuming there is some kind of data base for stolen firearms) and it was able to be traced that way?

Maybe (?) the gun was bought new by Mr. Smith. Authorities contacted the company, the company said they sold it to XYZ Distributors and XYZ Distributors said they sold it to Joe's Gun Shop. Joe's Gun shop said they sold it to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith said he pawned/sold the gun to Eds Gun shop. Eds Gun shop said they sold it to Mr. Elliot.

Either way, Mr. Elliot lied on a federal form and received six months in prison for it. (Other than the fact a police officer/veteran died, it had a happy ending.)

September 20, 2010, 08:46 AM
Ya'll assume the info made public is accurate?

Did he admit to making a straw purchase or did they convict on "evidence" ?

Could he have legally purchased it, then decide he didn't like the firearm and sold it?


September 20, 2010, 10:13 AM
here is the story (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-09-18/news/ct-met-gun-officer-wortham-20100830-98_1_guns-mississippi-officer-thomas-wortham-iv)

and another tread (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=423642) working the same story, slightly different angle.

September 20, 2010, 11:52 AM
Thanks, That is why it is nice to see a link in the OP...
Yep he screwed the pooch and paid for it...


September 20, 2010, 12:44 PM
I live in Madison,Mississippi. And have bought guns here over the last 10 years. There is no waiting period on gun purchases other than the 15 or so minutes it takes for the FFL holder to call and get approval from the FBI .

Aguila Blanca
September 20, 2010, 02:34 PM
This part of the article bothers and puzzles me:

Within about seven hours, using the gun's unique serial number, a federal firearms trace led investigators to Elliott's purchase at Ed's, which had been reported to ATF as a matter of routine.
Since when are handgun purchases reported to the ATF "as a matter of routine"? Every FFL I have dealt with and everything I've read says that the 4473s remain in the FFLs possession unless he goes out of business. They don't report all handgun sales to the BATFE.

Or do they?

September 20, 2010, 05:05 PM
Thanks, That is why it is nice to see a link in the OP...

Given the new policies about Copyrighted Material I am trying to avoid problems. That was why I put the publications name and names in the article so people could find it if they wishes.

I was probable being too cautious.


September 29, 2010, 09:27 PM
I've lived in MS for 15 years and own an AR, a 1911 and an FS92, all in my name purchased locally and I've always been put on a 72 hr. waiting period. Been told because of my social (I'm originally from SD), this is just standard OP. After the three days, I've always been cleared to take possession of my firearm. PITA, but I don't think it's a trust issue, I can have anything I want within Federal statute, I just take it as a normal procedure.

October 2, 2010, 09:30 AM
That's horse-puckey c_jackson.

Whoever you're dealing with either doesn't know the law, or is intentionally screwing with you. Call the Oxford Field Office (BATFE) at (662) 234-3751 and double-check the legality of your 72-hour hold.

October 2, 2010, 10:38 AM
Not only is there no waiting period, but if you have a MS firearms permit (our ccw) then they don't even do a background check on you. The ffl writes your permit number (usually the same as your DL) on the paper and give you your gun.

@C_Jackson, I second what coastie said. Just because you were born somewhere else doesn't mean they can make you wait. I was born in OH and I've never had a problem buying a firearm here. They're jerking you around.

44 AMP
October 2, 2010, 02:04 PM
OK, assuming I accept that number as accurate, think about it for a moment.

They have the gun, they know the maker, and ser#. One phone call (10min, tops) tells them where, when, and to whom it was first sent. Then another phone call to the next link. Once they get down to the first private individual sale, it gets tougher, but how long do you think it will take them to contact all the licensed dealers within a couple hundred mile radius from where the gun was last sold? Especially pawn shops?

A cooperative dealer might look up the 4473s for them while they are on the phone. Or an agent visiting the shop can look through them (because it is an official investigation). IF you only count the time spent on the phone, or actually at shops looking over records, 7 hours doesn't seem radically unreasonable.

It could be another case of factually accurate, but misleading reporting, as usual.

Aguila Blanca
October 2, 2010, 02:30 PM
Ever look in a bound book?

They are on paper, so it's not like a computer database that can be sorted on any column, depending on what you're looking for. Basically, they are roughly chronological. In a busy shop, it could take a few hours just to follow one firearm. Say I buy a gun that the shop has had on the shelf for six months. There's an entry from six months ago when the gun came in. Then there's an entry on the date I bought the gun. In a busy shop, think about how many pages there must be to cover a six month period.

So the gun is used in a crime, the police have the gun and the serial number. They call the manufacturer, who tells them that the gun was sold to Jerry's (a distributor). Jerry's tells the police (or the BATFE) that they sold the gun to Ned's Sporting Arms in East Overshoe, Nebraska. They call Ned, and since they can tell him when he received it he can find the "IN" entry pretty easily.

But that only provides a starting point for looking for the "OUT" entry. Somebody has to sit down with Ned's bound book and methodically look ar every entry on every page, in the serial number column, until they finally arrive at my name.

And then I tell them I sold it two years ago to a guy named "sumdood" that I met at the range. And I can prove that at the time of the crime I was in another state. End of the line.

44 AMP
October 2, 2010, 02:52 PM
Except in this case, the "strawman" admitted he bought the gun for someone else, and that he got $100 for doing it. At least, that's what one article was reporting.

If he sticks to that story in court, its a slam dunk. "I didn't know it was wrong" ain't gonna cut it.

October 8, 2010, 09:41 PM
If he sticks to that story in court, its a slam dunk. "I didn't know it was wrong" ain't gonna cut it.

It did not cut it. He served 6 months in jail for being a straw buyer.

I wish it was a 5 year sentance instead. JMHO.


October 9, 2010, 06:47 AM
that's a bunch of horse pucky NukemJim.... you are submitting to the conclusion that existing gun laws and regulation are good....

the straw purchase rules... I don't even think they are a law... are just another silly thing the BATFE came up with to try and make us safer that has accomplished ZIP. Well actually....

What it has done... is make you a criminal and ultimately a felon with few rights if you bought a gun and then at a later time (what is that time frame?) decided to sell it to someone else... Because obviously you lied on the form.

October 9, 2010, 09:37 AM
blume357, Just curious did you read the article that I was refering to? (I did not post the link due to excesssive caution but others did.)
Judging from your last sentance I do not believe so.


October 10, 2010, 03:50 AM
I'm telling you guys, I crap you negative, I've purchased an AR-15, an M1911, an 870n Remington shotgun and my M9 (92FS) 9 mm handgun through a local gunshop and every time I've been put on a 72 hr. waiting list. With every firearm I've purchased, I've always been put on a 3 day hold. Mind you, I've always been given those firearms at the end, but I always thought that's the way it works with out of towners. I've been living down here for over 15 yrs. and it's always been the same. My wife can get business done in less than five minutes, for me, it's always been three days.

October 10, 2010, 03:57 AM
I've never committed a single crime in my life, but I've always been told, "since your social is out of state, there's a 72 hour hold on your purchase." I always thought it was just business as usual. after three days, I've always been released to take possession of my firearms. I'll even put my wife, Jo, on here. She thought it was weird as hell too. For a lot of years, she thought it was because of my military background or because I'm Sioux Indian. It happens every time I buy a firearm in Mississippi, without fail. I alwys have to wait the 72 hr. period.

October 10, 2010, 04:06 AM
BTW, I've got every one of my weapons registered in my name. My 12 ga. shotgun, my AR-15, my Remington Model 7400 .270 deer rifle and my M1911A1 and my 92FS mm handguns. Hell, I thought that was the way MS law worked.

October 10, 2010, 07:54 AM
I misread your post... you wrote "straw buyer' and I saw "straw purchaser" maybe?

My only real gripe was the stupid BAFTE regulations.


what do you mean by 'social out of state'? what exactly does that mean.... if I read that right...how in the world can an FFL know where your social security number was issued and what in the world would that have to do with anything anyway....

October 10, 2010, 08:38 AM
At one time the first three numbers in your social was a geographical code to where the # was issued, I think they have quit doing that though.

October 15, 2010, 12:55 AM
The first three digits in anybody's SSN denotes the State they come from. Although, higher population counts lead to different numbers within that particular State, eg. New York, California, Florida, etc. lead to a change on the second digit and, in many cases, denotation in the -xx identity within the State itself. For instance, the first three digits of your Social indicate the State/ or area inside the State in higher populace ( kind of like an area code), the second two digits narrow you down to where you were in that particular State/region of the State at the time of your birth, the last four indicate which application for said SSN you were at the time it was applied for when your birth certificate was authenticated by the Social Security Administration. The first three of mine are 504, denoting SD ( low population density, almost everybody from SD has this as their first three). In MS, it seems to be a red-flag even though I've spent almost two-thirds of my life here. Look this one up, guys, especially those of you fact-finders. It's like a serial number for humans being, at least those of us calling ourselves US citizens.

Aguila Blanca
October 15, 2010, 02:06 AM
I've never committed a single crime in my life, but I've always been told, "since your social is out of state, there's a 72 hour hold on your purchase." I always thought it was just business as usual.
I don't believe I have ever given out my social security number when purchasing a firearm. It says on the form "optional" for that box. I know what "optional" means, so I "opt" to leave that blank.

But my last name isn't Smith or Jones, and my first name is even less common than my family name, so the likelihood of there being a prohibited person with the same name within 5,000 miles is negligible.

October 16, 2010, 09:19 PM
Horse Puckey!

If the whole "area code means you wait 72 hours" deal is correct, then why am I able to go to the store and buy any gun I want without a waiting period whatsoever? I was not born in Alaska, my SSN did not originate from Alaska, I have no form of Alaska ID, and I have never had any sort of waiting period.

#1 Do you have a Mississippi driver's license?
#2 (Referring to post #22) Where and how, exactly, do you have your firearms "registered"? There is no federal registry and there is no registry in the state of Mississippi... So how/where/why exactly???

My guess is that you're dealing with an FFL who does not know the law in its current form.

Call the BATFE Oxford field office @ (662) 234-3751, tell them what's going on, and find out for sure.

Or you could just stop putting your SSN on the 4473; it's an optional block, not required.

October 16, 2010, 10:31 PM
The Chicago Tribune story (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-09-18/news/ct-met-gun-officer-wortham-20100830-98_1_guns-mississippi-officer-thomas-wortham-iv) is strange in several respects.

It must have been a very nice S&W .45 that he "paid $1,500" to buy, particularly since it was supposedly to be sold "at an estimated 100 percent markup." Chicago gang members must have lots of money to burn.

Regarding the gun's serial number being traced in seven hours:

By then, Gates' trafficking scheme, including Elliot's role in it, had long been uncovered by a Chicago police and ATF task force.

It also seems strange that the purchaser was charged, tried, and convicted of falsifying the 4473 so quickly that he didn't know the gun was used in a murder.