Katie, get your gun lawyer.
By now you’ve probably heard about Katie Couric’s new anti-gun documentary “Under The Gun,” and how her producer doctored video of interviews with gun owners in order to make them look stupid and heartless. Couric’s producer and director, Stephanie Soechtig, admitted to doctoring the video, and Couric herself kinda sorta apologized for it.
But that’s not the worst thing that happened with the making of this documentary. It turns out that Couric’s production team deliberately conspired to violate federal gun laws. According to video obtained by Ammoland, a shooting sports news website, one of Couric’s producers deliberately committed at least four separate felonies by purchasing four separate firearms across state lines without a background check.
In the video, Soechtig openly admits that she directed one of her employees to purchase guns across state lines, and that he absolutely followed her orders:
SOECHTIG: We sent a producer out and he was from Colorado. He went to Arizona, and he was able to buy a Bushmaster and then three other pistols without a background check in a matter of four hours. And that’s perfectly legal. He wasn’t doing some sort of underground market.
And he just met someone in the parking lot of Wendy’s and bought a Bushmaster. Legally. Like, this is legal.
Except it’s not legal. Like, it’s illegal. Super duper illegal. Quadruple illegal in the case of the Soechtig employee who purchased four firearms across state lines without processing the sale through a federal firearms licensee (FFL) in his home state of Colorado.
Federal law is abundantly clear on what types of transactions require federal background checks. Gun owners tend to understand these laws incredibly well. Gun controllers like Soechtig do not. Under federal law, all gun purchases from an FFL must be accompanied by a federal background check. It doesn’t matter if the FFL sells a gun at a retail location, at a gun show, or out of the back of a car in a Wendy’s parking lot. All FFL transactions require a federal background check. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from: if you buy a gun from an FFL, the FFL must confirm that you have passed a federal background check.
Next we have interstate purchases, all of which must be conducted through an FFL in the buyer’s home state. It is illegal to purchase a gun across state lines unless the transaction is processed through an FFL in the buyer’s home state. And what did we just learn about all FFL purchases? That they require federal background checks. Ergo, all interstate purchases must be accompanied by federal background checks.
What does that mean? It means that a producer who resides in Colorado cannot legally buy a gun in Arizona unless that gun is shipped to an FFL in Colorado, whereby that FFL confirms that the Colorado resident can legally own that firearm. The Colorado resident who bought the gun from someone in Arizona cannot take possession of that gun until the Colorado FFL receives the gun from Arizona and confirms that the Colorado buyer can legally own that weapon. Once that happens, the Colorado FFL would transfer possession of the gun to the Colorado buyer.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives even has a handy FAQ on its website which directly answers the question of whether you can buy a gun across state lines:
How may an unlicensed person receive a firearm in his or her State that he or she purchased from an out–of–State source?
An unlicensed person who is not prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms may purchase a firearm from an out–of–State source, provided the transfer takes place through a Federal firearms licensee in his or her State of residence.
[18 U.S.C 922(a)(3) and 922(b)(3); 27 CFR 478.29]
But that’s not what happened according to Soechtig’s very own testimony. According to Soechtig, she gave direct orders to an employee of hers who lives in Colorado to buy some guns in Arizona without undergoing a federal background check. He then acted on those orders, and, according to Soechtig’s own admission, proceeded to illegally purchase four separate firearms from a seller in Arizona. And if he was purchasing the guns for Soechtig rather than himself, you can add illegal straw purchases to the list of federal crimes.
Soechtig’s employee, acting on her orders, repeatedly violated federal gun laws. And he did so not just because of his own monumental ignorance, but because of the aggressive ignorance of Stephanie Soechtig, Katie Couric’s hand-picked producer, director, and writer of the anti-gun documentary.
Soechtig’s chest-thumping ignorance and arrogance on display in that interview–“Legally. Like, this is legal.”–are a perfect example of why so many gun owners care so little about the opinions of sanctimonious gun controllers. Because they have absolutely no clue what they’re talking about. They don’t understand how guns work. They don’t understand crime statistics. They don’t know the difference between semi-automatic and automatic. And they can’t even deign to spend 5 minutes researching actual gun laws before declaring that those laws just aren’t sufficient.
The one thing gun controllers all agree on, however, is that strong enforcement of commonsense gun laws is key to preventing senseless gun violence. Katie Couric, Stephanie Soechtig, and their entire anti-gun documentary team now have a chance to put their money where their mouths are. If enforcement of federal gun laws is essential to preventing gun violence, then Soechtig and her team must pay the price for their willful and admitted violations of federal gun laws.
When Soechtig and her team plea to federal charges for violating the nation’s commonsense gun laws, we’ll know they’re serious about cutting down on gun crime. Until then, we’ll know they’re just a bunch of ignorant, gun-trafficking profiteers who want to take away our rights while they violate with absolute impunity the very laws they demand.