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CNN may have committed a federal felony

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CNN may have committed a federal felony

Old 02-21-05, 05:52 PM
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CNN may have committed a federal felony

http://smallestminority.blogspot.com...is-jed-at.html
http://smallestminority.blogspot.com...cnn-video.html
http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIP...17/pzn.01.html

super condensed version:
(on camera): What we're about to do is perfectly legal in dozens of states where cash-and-carry is the rule, a private seller, a private buyer. There will be no background check, no government waiting period, no government paperwork at all. In fact, the only paper that will change hands is the money we use to buy our .50- caliber rifle.

(voice-over): The transaction at a house in suburban Houston took about 20 minutes. We walked out with a case holding the gun critics say is the perfect terrorist weapon, a brand new .50-caliber with scope, bipod and directions. <b>We flew home.</b>
Guns are checked as baggage. And when the bags arrived for our flight, I simply picked it up and left.
face to face sales are legal between residents of the same state in their state. unless the cnn reporter happened to be a legal resident of TX who just happens to work in Atlanta they committed a felony by buying a gun out of state and taking it across state lines without going through an FFL

Last edited by mikehunt; 02-21-05 at 06:00 PM.
Old 02-21-05, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
face to face sales are legal between residents of the same state in their state. unless the cnn reporter happened to be a legal resident of TX who just happens to work in Atlanta they committed a felony by buying a gun out of state and taking it across state lines without going through an FFL
Yup, that is my understanding also. However, I would be a little surprised if CNN were that stupid and didn't use a Texas resident to make the purchase. I would think that a substantial percentage of CNN's reporting staff, currently working out of Atlanta, are not Georgia residents. I know that I would not dig too deep of roots if hired as a reporter for an national news organization. Employment in that business is far too ephemeral for that to be a wise decision.

.50BMG is the perfect "terrorist weapon" huh? How many people on earth could even fire a rifle accurately enough for the enhanced range offered by the .50 over an off-the-shelf Wal-Mart .308? How many competitive 1000 yard match shooters even use a .50? I know the only one I know personally doesn't.
Old 02-21-05, 06:02 PM
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even if a texas resident actually handed over the money, the cnn reporter still took possession(so it was two face to face "sales") and flew back with the gun, so it was still transferred out of state without going through an FFL.

Last edited by mikehunt; 02-21-05 at 06:07 PM.
Old 02-21-05, 06:05 PM
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While it may be a crime, I doubt any CNN reporter will do any time.

It was a stupid stunt, and the voice-over message is so far from reality, it's surprising--even for CNN. Obviously, CNN is running out of terrorist episodes and need to create a hyped story that happens thousands of times without any single terrorist event happening.

You don't need an FFL to sell a weapon from your personal collection, unless you're a dealer, and from my understanding, a person from Texas could sell his weapon to a person in Idaho, with no legal repercussions.

Also, I thought you could sell a gun from your "personal collection" in any state, no matter which state you were from.
Old 02-21-05, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
even if a texas resident actually handed over the money, the cnn reporter still took possession and flew back with the gun, so it was still transferred out of state without going through an FFL
Wait, if I am a Texas resident and make a legal private purchase of a rifle and then fly to Georgia with it, I have committed a felony? That wasn't my understanding. My point is that the CNN reporter who actually purchased the rifle was probably a Texas resident.
Old 02-21-05, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
While it may be a crime, I doubt any CNN reporter will do any time.

It was a stupid stunt, and the voice-over message is so far from reality, it's surprising--even for CNN. Obviously, CNN is running out of terrorist episodes and need to create a hyped story that happens thousands of times without any single terrorist event happening.

You don't need an FFL to sell a weapon from your personal collection, unless you're a dealer, and from my understanding, a person from Texas could sell his weapon to a person in Idaho, with no legal repercussions.
Not if it was shipped to Idaho. That much I know. Interstate sales of any firearm have to go through an FFL. Even if the person from Idaho came to Texas to purchase the rifle, I still think the sale has to go through an FFL.

My contention is that if the purchaser is still legally a Texas state citizen but does not currently reside in Texas, it may not be illegal.
Old 02-21-05, 06:09 PM
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if the cnn reporter was a texas resident then that's correct, no crime was committed.
Old 02-21-05, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Also, I thought you could sell a gun from your "personal collection" in any state, no matter which state you were from.
you can, but the person you sell it to has to receive it through an FFL holder in their state, what is known as a transfer. The buyer pays the dealer a fee and has the normal paperwork and NICS check done on them
Old 02-21-05, 06:13 PM
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I guess I'll have read a little more on this one. But what I do know, is that CNN was totally retarded running a story like this. And then the media wonders where terrorists get their ideas. Thanks to CNN broadcasting this to the world, someone might actually decide to try this route. And CNN will wash their hands in a little ceramic bowl, claiming innocence.

Many terrorists are simply not aware of the ways of getting weapons within the US, but thanks to CNN educating the criminals of the world, a terrorist might actually succeed.
Old 02-21-05, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I guess I'll have read a little more on this one. But what I do know, is that CNN was totally retarded running a story like this. And then the media wonders where terrorists get their ideas. Thanks to CNN broadcasting this to the world, someone might actually decide to try this route. And CNN will wash their hands in a little ceramic bowl, claiming innocence.

Many terrorists are simply not aware of the ways of getting weapons within the US, but thanks to CNN educating the criminals of the world, a terrorist might actually succeed.
OK, first off, I doubt that there is a single terrorist in this country, especially one with any ties at all to a terrorist organization, who didn't already know that he/she could purchase a firearm privately without a background check. This is hardly sensitive information.

I definitely fall on the pro-gun rights side of the fence but even I would prefer it if the law stated that all firearm sales should require a background check. This wrinkle would hardly cause any real harm to gun shows in this day and age of instant checks over high-speed data links and/or the phone. This is more of a theretical concern, however, since acquiring a firearm without a background check is trivial now and would continue to be trivial even if the intra-state legal "loophole" were to be abolished.
Old 02-21-05, 06:28 PM
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while this isn't conclusive of state of residence, the reporter mentioned in the transcript, Drew Griffin, is not listed as working in TX anywhere on his cnn bio page which makes me think it's not likely(but not impossible) he is a texas resident
http://www.cnn.com/CNN/anchors_repor...ffin.drew.html
Old 02-21-05, 06:30 PM
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The Media is after the .50 now. I think it was last month 60 Minutes did a story on the .50 rifle. Tell all they ways it could be used by a terrorist. It seem every year media outlets do stories on the .50 hoping someone goes out and follows their instructions.

Sometimes I feel like the media is mad that someone hasn't commited a serious crime with a .50 rifle. So they'll keep pushing these stories till someone does.
Old 02-21-05, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Manco
The Media is after the .50 now. I think it was last month 60 Minutes did a story on the .50 rifle. Tell all they ways it could be used by a terrorist. It seem every year media outlets do stories on the .50 hoping someone goes out and follows their instructions.

Sometimes I feel like the media is mad that someone hasn't commited a serious crime with a .50 rifle. So they'll keep pushing these stories till someone does.
Well, it is sort of an easy target, pun intended. I suspect that the vast majority of .50 BMG owners fall into the "look, cool, I have a .50!!!" crowd. In other words, the same people that also buy Street Sweepers and TEC-9s.
Old 02-21-05, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JustinS
OK, first off, I doubt that there is a single terrorist in this country, especially one with any ties at all to a terrorist organization, who didn't already know that he/she could purchase a firearm privately without a background check. This is hardly sensitive information.
Well, this is where terrorism gets an association that is often wrong.

You'd be surprised at the intelligence level of terrorism. It's quite low, but very opportunistic. We're not talking IRA terrorism here which has a large infrastructure and has many connections worldwide, so maybe I need to clarify.

We're talking about isolated cell groups (Muslim and Christian) who are not connected to bigger groups. Most of the cells within the US are isolated groups, small numbers, and all of them looking for ways to kill people and make a name for themselves.

It's not one big huge terrorist organization which is supremely intelligent, acting like a Godfather movie. It's far from.

I guess CNN should start having a weekend bomb-making recipe hour, to inform everyone on just how easy it is to make a bomb and kill someone. After all, a terrorist group already has this information. Further, let's have CNN dedicate another hour to tactical simulations of rooms in residential and business environments, to show the American Public how easily this information is obtained, because...after all...terrorists already have this information.

I don't think so.

CNN made this story not to inform the public--because the firearms issue has been tossed for decades in the media an in Congress, but merely to get attention to their news channel. What they didn't think about, as usual, is how the information could spark events by opportunistic people who normally wouldn't have thought of this in the first place.

And why they are so concerned with a .50 cal is beyond my reason. A .50 cal is not a "terrorist weapon" in the first place. A terrorist's weapon is a weapon which can easily be transported, broken down, and ammunition that can easily be obtained throughout the world. It is also a weapon which can easily be replaced, in case the weapon is lost during combat.

I tend to agree that the media has some hard-on for the .50 cal, merely because it has big bullets, and looks scary.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 02-21-05 at 06:39 PM.
Old 02-21-05, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JustinS
Well, it is sort of an easy target, pun intended. I suspect that the vast majority of .50 BMG owners fall into the "look, cool, I have a .50!!!" crowd. In other words, the same people that also buy Street Sweepers and TEC-9s.
somehow I kind of doubt that simply due to the cost of a .50BMG rifles. they aren't $300 TECs, even the cheap .50s are a couple thousand dollars
Old 02-21-05, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I guess I'll have read a little more on this one. But what I do know, is that CNN was totally retarded running a story like this. And then the media wonders where terrorists get their ideas. Thanks to CNN broadcasting this to the world, someone might actually decide to try this route. And CNN will wash their hands in a little ceramic bowl, claiming innocence.

Many terrorists are simply not aware of the ways of getting weapons within the US, but thanks to CNN educating the criminals of the world, a terrorist might actually succeed.
Man....you are on a roll. Hell, I can figure out how to get a gun...anyone with google can. give me a freakin break.
Old 02-21-05, 06:51 PM
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CNN is a corporation. They will get off with a slap at worst. All they need to do is say it was staged (faked re-creation of something that they <i>could</i> have done) and no-one will be able to prove otherwise.

Now, if this had been a private individual, then they'd likely be in jail.

Last edited by naughty jonny; 02-21-05 at 09:43 PM.
Old 02-21-05, 07:02 PM
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From Federal Firearms Regulation Reference Guide:

From whom may an unlicensed person acquire a firearm under the GCA? [Back]

A person may only buy a firearm within the person's own state, except that he or she may buy a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee's premises in any state, provided the sale complies with state laws applicable in the state of sale and the state where the purchaser resides. [18 U. S. C 922( a)( 3) and (5), 922( b)( 3), 27 CFR 178.29]


What constitutes residency in a state?

The state of residence is the state in which an individual is present with the intention of making a home in that state.(I would assume thats the state where your working. Even if the guy has a Texas drivers license and mailing address but works in Atlanta..-Manco) A member of the Armed Forces on active duty is a resident of the state in which his or her permanent duty station is located. If a member of the Armed Forces maintains a home in one state and the member's permanent duty station is in a nearby state to which he or she commutes each day, then the member may purchase a firearm in either the state where the duty station is located or the state where the home is maintained. An alien who is legally in the United states is considered to be a resident of a state only if the alien is residing in that state and has resided in that state continuously for a period of at least 90 days prior to the date of sale of the firearm. [18 U. S. C. 921( b) and 922( b)( 3), 27 CFR 178.11]

Last edited by Manco; 02-21-05 at 07:09 PM.
Old 02-21-05, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Well, this is where terrorism gets an association that is often wrong.

You'd be surprised at the intelligence level of terrorism. It's quite low, but very opportunistic. We're not talking IRA terrorism here which has a large infrastructure and has many connections worldwide, so maybe I need to clarify.

We're talking about isolated cell groups (Muslim and Christian) who are not connected to bigger groups. Most of the cells within the US are isolated groups, small numbers, and all of them looking for ways to kill people and make a name for themselves.

It's not one big huge terrorist organization which is supremely intelligent, acting like a Godfather movie. It's far from.
Please. Direct and constant contact with a Mensa-like terrorist thinktank is hardly a prerequisite for knowing what is already common knowledge among anyone who ever buys and sells firearms (see: millions of people). Just because some surburban housewife doesn't know that she can buy a rifle via private sale without a background check doesn't at all mean that any terrorist would not know that already.

I guess CNN should start having a weekend bomb-making recipe hour, to inform everyone on just how easy it is to make a bomb and kill someone.
I'm not sure which comparison is more fallacious: this or the "some **** just cut in line" comparison you made in the pizza parlor assault thread.

CNN made this story not to inform the public--because the firearms issue has been tossed for decades in the media an in Congress, but merely to get attention to their news channel. What they didn't think about, as usual, is how the information could spark events by opportunistic people who normally wouldn't have thought of this in the first place.
No argument. CNN's motives are certainly not altruistic.

And why they are so concerned with a .50 cal is beyond my reason. A .50 cal is not a "terrorist weapon" in the first place. A terrorist's weapon is a weapon which can easily be transported, broken down, and ammunition that can easily be obtained throughout the world. It is also a weapon which can easily be replaced, in case the weapon is lost during combat.
Many .50 BMG rifles are actually small and easily broken down and transported. Ammunition need not be easily obtainable throughout the world, only <strike>easily</strike> obtainable before the terrorist act occurs. What need is there to easily replace it? In fact, the .50 is an entirely impractical weapon under most scenarios.
Old 02-21-05, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
somehow I kind of doubt that simply due to the cost of a .50BMG rifles. they aren't $300 TECs, even the cheap .50s are a couple thousand dollars
I never said that .50 BMGs are nearly as numerous as TEC-9s, only that the same type of gun purchaser is inclined to buy either of them.

Or are you asserting that only poor people engage in "arsenal"-type firearm collecting? Even if that is true, it is a moot point. I used to live down the street from a guy, heck I was friends with him, who lived in an almost valueless 12-wide mobile home and drive a beater car but had $20K worth of firearms stored in extremely expensive gun safes in his house, including a .50 BMG. He had all this, along with a wife and a baby, on a Dominos Pizza assistant manager salary.
Old 02-21-05, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
I guess CNN should start having a weekend bomb-making recipe hour, to inform everyone on just how easy it is to make a bomb and kill someone. After all, a terrorist group already has this information. Further, let's have CNN dedicate another hour to tactical simulations of rooms in residential and business environments, to show the American Public how easily this information is obtained, because...after all...terrorists already have this information.

CNN made this story not to inform the public--because the firearms issue has been tossed for decades in the media an in Congress, but merely to get attention to their news channel.
Someone has a silly political grudge against CNN.

Just in case you forgot (which you seem to have) all of the majorsnews media organizations are for profit entities. You might not like it but it doesn't change the fact that they are. They are in this to make money -- CNN, CNBC, Fox News, etc. 24-Hour News Networks do a great job of providing news whenever you need it. With breaking news that is pretty great. In the 23 hours of regurgitation is is pretty bland.

Last edited by Alyoshka; 02-21-05 at 07:35 PM.
Old 02-21-05, 07:39 PM
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Actually, I like CNN, but think this story is rather ridiculous.
Old 02-21-05, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Actually, I like CNN, but think this story is rather ridiculous.
I think most of their stories are ridiculous. This just seems to be something that people would like to see though. Local news organizations do the same silly things about how waiters are stealing your credit card information. Then they go through and show you how the waiter can write down your info when he takes your card to pay. Like Justin points out, this story is not news because it isn't informing anyone about anything new. It's just rehashing information we all know.

I doubt CNN committed a felony. I think their legal departments would make sure that this was all done with Texas residents. Even if it wasn't Texas residents, wouldn't it be the reports who committed the crime? I don't think you can pass it off as following your superiors orders if they tell you to do something that is illegal.
Old 02-21-05, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Alyoshka
Even if it wasn't Texas residents, wouldn't it be the reports who committed the crime? I don't think you can pass it off as following your superiors orders if they tell you to do something that is illegal.
Well, CNN has some high-paid defense attorneys, and if the reporters said they were not aware of the legal implications, and that their superiors (maybe the editor) told them they were not commiting a crime, then they would probably have their wrists slapped with a "don't do that again."

It probably won't even get that far, unless you get some Republicans who mention the law and want to pursue it being enforced--which might be a good idea.
Old 02-21-05, 08:25 PM
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Ahh times like these make me happy I have my C&R FFL.

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