A waiting period?

Apparently Washington State has a waiting period for people that want to purchase a handgun and don’t currently have a Washington Concealed Pistol License.

However, the waiting period doesn’t apply to rifles.

This is a perfect example of why “gun control” is usually the stupidest form of governmental regulation.  Follow me on this one: I cannot go in to a local gun shop and buy a used Ruger Mk II pistol without waiting for the local police department to do a “background investigation” on me (even though all they do is run a NICS check and a local felony search, awesome) which usually takes 5 business days.  However, it is perfectly legal for me to walk in to the same store and buy an AR15, a case of 5.56 NATO ammo, a bucket full of PMags and then waltz out with my new purchase after having the standard NICS check performed.  So remember, underpowered and inefficient pistol = too dangerous to trust the NICS system.  However, a rifle with 30 round magazines = totally okay.

People that understand shooting see why this is ludicrous; but it’s a perfect illustration of gun control in general.  There is nothing about that particular gun law that would do anything to stop crime; the odds of BFE PD catching something on their check that wouldn’t turn up on NICS are astronomical; yet they insist on running it that way (which costs the taxpayers money, mind you) for everyone that doesn’t have a concealed carry permit.

Ah, gun control: what you do instead of something.


  1. It is said that ‘ Ignorance of the law is no excuse ‘ . For the ‘Anti Gun Zelots’ ( and a few others ) it should also be said that ” Ignorance is no excuse for making a law ” .

  2. I live in Maryland. There is a 7 day waiting period for any handgun and extra paperwork. Additionally before a handgun can be purchased the gun needs to be approved by the handgun approval roster, so we get any new handgun later than the rest of the country assuming we get it at all. As if that wasn’t enough any new handgun needs to have a spent shell casing from the factory, which can be problematic for some manufacturers. Additionally there is a 30 day waiting period between handgun purchases so you can only buy 1 pistol a month. (If you apply for a Maryland Designated Collector license you can ignore the 30 days between purchases though so of course I have a Designated Collector license.)

    Certain rifles and shotguns such as the AR-15, AK-47 SPAS-12 are on an “Assault Weapons” and are therefore subject to the same “additional” background check and 7 day waiting period. (Strangely the gun banners in the state capitol are so afraid of the AK-47 and all it’s clones that they list it twice… no joke.) It also means that we cannot buy them at an out of state gun shop the way we can buy with other rifles.

    The strange thing is that they are extremely slow to put new “assault rifles” on that assault rifle list. So the FN SCAR, FN F2000, FN PS90, Bushmaster ACR, Sig556, Robinson XCR, are not on the list. This makes them all much more tempting purchases for those of us in Maryland because they are then cash and carry like every other rifle or shotgun. Even stranger is that the list excludes the Colt AR-15 HBAR by name. Every other AR-15 is 7 days waiting period, the HBAR is a cash and carry. I have no idea what the thought process was on that one.

    It makes me wish I was still living in Pennsylvania that’s for sure.

    1. Move back to PA!

      Is the NRA challenging those laws yet? I know they have started to in some states, are you lucky enuf to be one of them?

  3. (1) Waiting periods target handguns because they are far and away the most common firearms used in crimes for obvious reasons.

    (2) Yes, waiting periods are still stupid. All that business about a cool down period is total BS.

  4. I bring this argument up around people that are already comfortable with guns but not politically active. DO NOT bring it up around firm anti’s. They might get half a clue and add waiting periods to rifles that “can be used to kill at hundreds of yards”.

    1. Yeah, no SBR and SBS for the little people, no machine guns either. You can own a suppressor and mount it to your gun, but firing it is a gross misdemeanor. But there’s no exemption for LEO in the law, so the cops don’t even bother to enforce that.

      Oh, but AOW is fine, so you know if you want a Serbu Super Shorty you’re golden.

      1. Don’t hate on Serbus man! Besides, I have heard rumors that there is a way to build an SBR that is not an SBR as long as you build it from the ground up and register it as an AOW.
        Stupid laws become even more entertaining when you start to find loopholes.

        1. That would apply for a gun that is a smoothbore “handgun”, or a “handgun” with a forward vertical grip “at an angle to the axis of the bore”.

          Both of those configurations are No-noes for a “pistol” or “revolver”, so any gun with either one of those that has a barrel too short to be a long arm must be either a “machinegun”, a “Short Barrelled Rifle”, a “Short Barrelled Shotgun”, or an “Any Other Weapon”.

          Machineguns go “ratta-tat-tat”, and you can’t register a new machinegun as a transferable one anyway.

          SBS and SBR are just what they sound like — short rifles or shotguns. If you take your shoulder stocked Mossberg 500 and shorten the barrel to 14″ with a pistol grip, it is an SBS. If you take you AR15 with a VFG, and replace the stock buffer with a pistol buffer and install an M4 (14.5″) upper, it is an SBR.

          HOWEVER, as long as you start with a receiver that has NEVER had a shoulder stock installed, you can register it as an AOW. So, if you start with one of those Mossberg 500s that came from the factory with the pistol grip and has never had a stock installed, you can register it as an AOW and stick a 14″ barrel on top. If you start with an AR15 pistol (or a “virgin” receiver that has never had a stock installed), you can register it as an AOW and stick the VFG an a 14.5″ M4 upper on it.

          Physically identical configurations, but one pair are legally “Short Barrelled” and one pair are legally “Any Other Weapons”. NOTE — you cannot ever, ever, EVER, install a stock on an AOW. If you want to stock your AOW, contact ATF to change the registration to SBS or SBR (as appropriate). They may make you pay a seperate “making” tax, as you are legally “making” a new NFA firearm.

      2. Oh, right, we’re talking about Washington STATE.

        When I read Tam’s comment I at frist thought, “Well, yes, our pointy-haired would-be masters in DC have been funny about NFA since 1934.”


  5. There’s a law here (I don’t know if it’s federal or not) that I can’t buy a handgun in another state and bring it back here.
    For example(and this actually happened) I can’t drive the 20 minutes to Bass Pro Shop over the Ohio River in Indiana, buy a Browning Buckmark that was on sale and then drive it home. Nope..I have to pay to ship it from the store to a FFL over here and then wait a week for it to show up then go pay the transfer fee to get my pistol.

    HOWEVER…I can go over there and buy a semi-automatic shotgun and weigh my car down with boxes upon boxes of buckshot and just leisurely drive back across the border without a care in the world.(That one was just an example.)

    1. That’s federal actually. You can’t buy a pistol in another state without having it transferred to a local FFL. Longarms are fair game.

      1. Well..good thing that’s cleared up…and still insanely lame.

        Personally..I think .22 firearms should be immune to most current firearm laws (as a stepping stone) since they can’t do much.
        But to the anti’s..a gun is a gun. Ya know..just like how a 35mph Vespa is just as dangerous as a Corvette ZR1.

        1. Does that apply to moving from one state to another with handguns as well?
          If it does I could be in some trouble here………

          I was a resident of the state they were purchased in at the time of purchase, but later moved, taking guns with me.

          1. It would vary from state to state. Call the state police of the state you are moving to in order to find out. If you moved from PA to MD like I did I called the MD State Police and asked them and though MD requires you to fill out additional paper work when you purchase a handgun in the state they told me (At least at the time when I moved) that I did not have to do anything but observe safe transport laws (like keeping the guns in the trunk.)

            Now in certain states that might be a different story. I know for example that in CA AK-47s and .50BMG rifles are banned outright (ironically so is the Walther P22s because it has a threaded barrel) and while I believe you were grandfathered in and allowed to keep them if you had the rilfes in question prior to the ban you are not allowed under any circumstances to move to the state and bring an AK-47 or .50BMG rifle with you.

            Even stranger still is the fact that despite the ban California will bend over backwards for you to have all this banned weaponry if you are supplying these evil guns to a film crew so they can make a movie or tv show. Apparently in California it’s ok to film over the top fake violence but not ok to protect yourself from it.

          2. Zermoid,

            The ban on getting firearms across state lines is a Federal one, and it applies to acquisition. Once you legally possess the gun, Uncle Sam doesn’t really care if you take it across state lines when you move, other than having you notify ATF’s NFA branch for change of address on NFA registrations (and ATF permission slips – which are pretty much “shall issue” as long as the gun is kosher in the new state – to cross state lines with any NFA stuff except silencers or AOWs.)

            That doesn’t change anything inregards to whether your gun (and we’ll only discuss non-NFA; ATF will turn down a request to move an NFA gun to a state where it’s prohibited) is legal in the new state. That is a question you’ll have to ask that state. As far as I know, there is no state that would require you to transer already-owned guns through an FFL if you moved into the state.

            But I am neither a lawyer nor omniscient, and the stupidity of legislators never ceases to amaze me.

  6. “I have no idea what the thought process was on that one.”

    The Colt HBAR is a gamer gun used in “highpower” matches. Since that particular weapon was cited as having a legitimate sporting purpose it was excluded from the waiting period.

    My question: is there a background check for AR lower receivers in Maryland? Does it depend on what is stamped on them?

    1. In MD it doesn’t seem to matter what is stamped on them. You can’t buy a Colt HBAR lower to avoid the waiting period or additional paperwork as a stripped lower is treated like a complete AR-15. I think buying a Colt HBAR and swapping out the uppers is sort of illegal in MD too, I hear varying things from different dealers regarding this subject.

  7. “I think .22 firearms should be immune to most current firearm laws (as a stepping stone) since they can’t do much.”

    Bobby Kennedy may disagree.

  8. “He can disagree all he wants, he’s not around to voice his opinion.”

    Incorrect, he’s a Democrat, he still votes despite the minor handicap of being dead.

  9. “He can disagree all he wants, he’s not around to voice his opinion.”

    Incorrect, he’s a Democrat, he still votes despite the minor handicap of being dead.

    Only in Chicago…

  10. Actually, being an Illinois resident – we’ve got our own brand of stupid with the FOID card:

    First you have to get the card – which takes ~1-2 months, then you have to wait 24 hours for a long arm or 3 days for a pistol.

    I tend to buy all my long arms in Wisconsin, because there is no wait.

    The true absurdity here is that I’ve got a safe full of all sorts of guns – what purpose does a “waiting period” serve at that point? I mean, if I was truly bent on a nefarious purpose, I’d just grab something out the safe and commit mayhem…

    1. I agree with you. Once you already have a handgun or two what purpose does the background check serve? Supposing the purpose for the waiting period is to allow an angry person to cool off you would think having a dozen pistols would exclude you from that requirement.

      1. Now a liberal might use this an excuse FOR a gun registry: e.g. IF I knew that you had so many guns, I’d ALLOW you to bypass the waiting times…

        1. And again I reply. . .

          i will HAPPILY register my designated militia weapon. Just so Uncle Sam knows I’m ready for any call up.

          First though, who do I send the $586 check to for my selective fire M4 — The US Treasury, the US Army, the National Guard Bureau, or do I just PayPal it to Colt?

          I’ll be a sport and register my designated militia sidearm — what’s a used cop Beretta 92FS go for these days, about $350? I figure a milsurp M9 should sell for the same. . . or would I have to pay the replacement cost of around $400, or whatever the DoD contract calls for?

          Oh, you want me to register my OTHER guns?

          Sorry, um, I don’t like guns — they’re icky. Don’t have a one, nope, nope! Um, that’s just a 1911 shaped cell phone. Opposite my OTHER (phone shaped) cell phone. I like to make a lot of calls. . .

          Don’t believe me? OK, show me the warrant or get the Hell off my grass!


  11. Here in FL I too must wait three days to pick up a handgun after purchase UNLESS I trade a handgun in during the sale. Long arms are cash and carry after the NICS.

    The law also applies to cops. A cop, wearing his personal or issue handgun must still wait the three days to pick up his new pistol unless he has a CWP. Of course he does not need the CWP under LEOSA and we have another catch 22 for us to commiserate with.

    1. Finally, a use for HiPoint firearms.

      Buy a few HiPoints over the months, then trade them in to avoid the waiting period.

    2. I read a while back that a special forces unit stationed in Commiefornia were about to deploy and they wanted to buy some personal sidearms to take over there (specfor can supply their own sidearm) and even THEY weren’t immune to the Commiefornian waiting period..which wouldn’t end until AFTER they were already over on the other side of the world getting shot at.

  12. I teach the Florida concealed weapons permit course and I agree that the laws are in need of an overhaul, but at least we have them.

    (As Tom pointed out that a cop can’t buy a handgun while on duty in uniform with a dept gun on his side w/o the waiting period)

    My main problem with the Florida law is that a person who attends a two gun show concealed weapons course that consists of a law lecture and the firing of one shot (not even at a target) is qualified to carry a gun out in public.

    1. ‘My main problem with the Florida law is that a person who attends a two gun show concealed weapons course that consists of a law lecture and the firing of one shot (not even at a target) is qualified to carry a gun out in public.”

      In Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, and Most of Montana that certainly hasn’t been an issue.

      and the number of states expand greatly if you count ones that allow permitless open-carry, or require no classes for a permit.

      Certainly training is a good thing, but I haven’t seen any evidence in any sort that issuing permits, or giving intensive training courses does anything to improve gun safety.

      Sure does make exercising your rights a LOT more expensive.

      (and I understand you’re and instructor, So I hate to bring up facts that go against your line of work)

      1. I agree, if we’re viewing firearms are part of a right to self defense, restricting that right to people who have training seems a bit off.

        That said, I’d love more incentives in the gun community to get more training. Like “take our pistol training class and get 15% off ammo, guns, and holsters bought at the store” or more advertisement for the local IDPA clubs, that sort of thing. Incentives are better than requirements.

        1. Simple solution, Gun safety taught in all accredited schools. Americans should be expected to know reading and writing and ‘rithmatic, as well as how to run a basic computer, general laws, civics, basic ettiquite…and how to safely handle and deploy a centerfire pistol, revolver, rifle and shotgun.

          Do with these skills what you want, but you will be taught and asked to demonstrate proficiency.

    2. Given the tactical nature of the OVERWHELMING majority of lawful self defense shootings, why would you need training, aside from a pamphlet telling you the basics on gun-prohibited zones, gun-prohibited activities, and what the law considers “lawful self defense”.

      After all, if you can’t fit that all on to one side of one sheet of 8.5×11 paper at 12 point type, then obviously your state’s law is too complex.

      We demand dirver’s licenses because driving on public roads is a PRIVLEGE.

      We demand hunting and fishing licenses, becuase taking fish and wildlife (traditionally considered “public property”), especially when taking them from public lands or waterways, need to be organized somewhat so they don;t all get wiped out. But hunting and fishing are not normally considered “rights”, but again, PRIVILEGES.

      Training is a great idea, but law abiding citizens, even those who absolutely lack ANY formal training, generally prove to be less of a hazard to the innocent public in a shooting incident than trained POLICE OFFICERS. (There ARE tactical advantages to knowing without a doubt who the bad guy is — cops rolling up rarely have that advantage.)

  13. Any Felon trying to buy a firearm of any type in any legal manner has an IQ lower than his shoe size , now if you take a look at the other end of this our Congressmen and Senators ( Lawyers ) that made these laws see all gun people as having an IQ lower than their shoe size , while at the same time we all look on our senators and congressmen and know dam well they have no IQ , at;s why 4 we replaced them last night .

  14. I think handgun/long-gun dichotomy is a hold over from early gun control incrementalism. In the dark ages when hunters didn’t think about shooting violent criminals in their living rooms or on their streets you could get people to vote away their freedoms and prohibit “bad guns” as long as you left all of the anti-deer and anti-duck weapons alone. The gun banners figured they would get those later, after assault weapons. That didn’t pan out, so we are stuck with the current idiocy.

  15. Personally I think the current “you don’t need to have that weapon because you can’t hunt with it” thinking is completely wrong. Even many ‘gun people’ seem to think that way too.

    The 2nd amendment incorporates Militia into it, so if anything military arms should be more protected than a hunting arm, if you can actually divide the 2 as most “hunting” guns are descendant from military weapons of one time or another.

    Therefore anything now or formerly used by armed forces should be specifically protected under the 2nd amendment.

    1. It is a very credible argument that anything that is in current or former use by our Armed Forces — or is of the same class of weapon in as commonly are in current or were in former use by armed forces around the world would qualify provided they are “arms” in the meaning of the 18th Century formal useage of the word.

      However, “arms” did not have the same meaning it does today of “any weapon”. It referred to individual weapons for individual use, and excluded heavier ordnance such as crew served or fire support weapons (those pieces of ordnance were, oddly enough, called “pieces of ordnance”).

      “Arms” also included the military accoutrements necessary to be an effective soldier, such as cartridge box. . . but did not include uniforms, rations, tentage, etc.

      You would be hard pressed to qualify something like a single bore .410 full choke skeet gun as an “arm”, likewise an electronic release .22 Olympic Free Pistol, but short of that, it’s amazing what has passed for arms over the years — especially in European armies. (Heck, .25ACP pistols were considered typical staff officer pistols not so many decades ago!)

      You can easily make a case that weapons such as the M249 SAW, M203 or M79 grenade launchers, and larger (but still easily man portable) weapons are not “arms”, but rather “pieces of ordnance”, in which case they are not protected by the Second Amendment.

      The fact that ordnance doesn’t necessarily qualify for protection as “arms” doesn’t automatically mean that such are prohibited, either. (There is no explicit protection to wear blue suede shoes, either — Yet Elvis wasn’t arrested and sent to the Gulag.) Unlike some other nations, this is one of, “Anything not specifically prohibited is allowed,” rather than, “Anything not specifically allowed is prohibited.”

      And we know that the Founders had no problems with private ownership of some impressive collections of ordnance, aside from some fire safety rules like, “Don’t store loaded grenades or more than 50 lbs of powder in an urban home, because it’s dangerous to your neighbors and the bucket brigade volunteers if your place catches fire.”

      1. And then you have the wonderful military reasoning that a rifle is not a gun, but a ‘weapon’ and that the howitzer being towed by truck is a “gun”.

        Also any ship mounted artillery is a “gun”.

        Apply that to current laws and see how it works out.
        I can appreciate that kind of “gun control”!

  16. Actually, a surprising number of shipboard and (obsolete) shore defense cannon are technically designated as “rifles”. . . like the 16″ Naval Rifle.

    Or the Warm Fuzzy for any infantryman who has ever worked with one — the Reckless (Recoilless Rifles, whether the shoulder fired Carl Gustav, or the jeep mounted 106mm).


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