Image courtesy of Cody Davis
Two days after the worst mass shooting in American history, and my local gun shop in Virginia showed no hesitation in selling me an AR-15.
In fact, they really wanted me to buy it. And I was only there for five minutes.
I walked into the store and told them I was interested in something for home protection and target practice. The woman behind the counter smiled and asked, “Rifle or shotgun?”
After I set the gun down to take a photo of it, the manager of the store walked up and finally asked my age. When he learned that I was 20, he simply took a shoulder stock from a cabinet and set it right beside the gun.
“Wait,” I said. “Just adding a butt to the rifle lowers the buying age from 21 to 18?”
The two sellers smiled and nodded. They then informed me that I couldn’t purchase a handgun, but I could buy a shotgun or rifle as long as it had a stock.
“Now do you want to take a look at the AR-15s?” the lady asked me.
Seconds. It took seconds for the salesman to take an AR-15 off the shelf and begin selling it to me. If I had stayed for maybe three minutes longer to fill out less paperwork than I did for the hiring process at my school’s bookstore, I would’ve driven home with an AR-15.
No delay. No extensive background check. Just my recently expired driver’s license, my vehicle registration, and filling out some paperwork.
Ultimately these are the laws we have, this shop hasn’t done anything wrong. But if a 20-year-old college student can walk into a gun shop and be out in minutes with an AR-15, and you believe nothing needs to be changed, you need help.