Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

No, It’s Not Harder to Buy Allergy Medicine than a Gun

Friday, September 14, 2018

No, It’s Not Harder to Buy Allergy Medicine than a Gun

A twist on an inaccurate old anti-gun talking point is making the rounds on social media. On September 10, anti-gun public relations professional Wendy Zipes Hunter tweeted about a purported recent trip to drug store. Hunter claimed, “Couldn’t buy Claritin D today because my drivers license just expired - govt rule- wish the govt was that strict about buying guns.”

The message reached a wider audience when it was retweeted by Fred Guttenberg, the father of one of the shooting victims in Parkland, Fla., who wrote “Harder to buy Claritin D then a gun. No further comment needed. Just let that sink in.”

There are substantial federal rules regarding the sale of pseudoephedrine- a precursor chemical for methamphetamine production. Therefore, Hunter and Guttenberg’s claims were a somewhat less egregious tweak on a series of wholly indefensible statements made by former president Barack Obama. However, retail gun sales are far more restricted than sales of Claritin-D and other products containing pseudoephedrine.

On March 6, 2015, Obama told a crowd in South Carolina, “And as long as you can go into some neighborhoods and it is easier for you to buy a firearm than it is for you to buy a book, there are neighborhoods where it’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable — as long as that’s the case, we’re going to continue to see unnecessary violence.” The ludicrous statement earned the president three Pinocchios from the Washington Post fact checker. Undeterred, on July 7, 2016, Obama stated to an event in Dallas, Texas, “We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.” Those remarks earned the commander in chief another three Pinocchio rebuke from the Post.

The matter of pseudoephedrine is a bit more complicated.

In relation to federal law, the distribution of medication containing pseudoephedrine is governed primarily by the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005. The law requires retailers to keep products containing the chemical compound behind the pharmacy counter or in a locked container away from the direct access of customers.

The sale of certain quantities of medications that contain pseudoephedrine is subject to a recordkeeping requirement. Retailers must maintain a logbook of sales that contains the name and address of a purchaser, the time and date of the sale, and the product and quantity sold to the purchaser. The purchaser must present an identification card or document, which can include a driver’s license, school identification card, or voter’s registration card. The purchaser is required to sign the logbook and the retailer must maintain the record of the sale for at least two years.

A retailer may not sell a single purchaser more than 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine in a single day or more than 9 grams in a 30-day period, under most circumstances. Sales of less than 60mg of are not subject to the recordkeeping requirement.

State laws on the sale of pseudoephedrine vary significantly. As of 2015, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Rhode Island did not have state laws concerning distribution of the substance. In contrast, Mississippi and Oregon require a prescription to buy drugs containing pseudoephedrine.

Some states have created an age requirement of 16 or 18 to purchase the drug. A handful of states have restricted access to pseudoephedrine for those who have a criminal history relating to methamphetamine.

In order to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), 18 U.S.C. 922(t)(1)(C) requires that the prospective buyer present “a valid identification document… of the transferee containing a photograph of the transferee.” The identification document must comport to the definition in 18 U.S.C.1028(d)(2), and thus be,

a document made or issued by or under the authority of the United States Government, a State, political subdivision of a State, a sponsoring entity of an event designated as a special event of national significance, a foreign government, political subdivision of a foreign government, an international governmental or an international quasi-governmental organization which, when completed with information concerning a particular individual, is of a type intended or commonly accepted for the purpose of identification of individuals

Hunter would not have been able to purchase a firearm if she had presented her expired driver’s license to an FFL. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has made clear that as it relates to firearm purchases,

if the law of the State that issued the driver's license provides that the driver's license is invalid due to any reason (i.e., the license is expired or is no longer valid due to an unreported change of address), then the driver's license may not be used for identification purposes

Purchasers must fill out ATF Form 4473. The form requires buyers to list their name, place of birth, current address, date of birth, height, weight, and race. The forms also asks a series of questions to determine if the prospective buyer is prohibited from possessing firearms. An FFL is required to use the information provided on the Form 4473 to query the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to determine that the FBI does not have any records indicating that the purchaser is prohibited from possessing firearms. The FFL also records information about the firearm to be transferred onto the Form 4473. 27 CFR 478.129 requires FFLs to keep each Form 4473 “for a period of not less than 20 years after the date of sale or disposition.”

As for age restrictions, 18 U.S. Code § 922(b) states that FFLs are prohibited from selling or delivering,

any firearm or ammunition to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than eighteen years of age, and, if the firearm, or ammunition is other than a shotgun or rifle, or ammunition for a shotgun or rifle, to any individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than twenty-one years of age

Federal law prohibits several categories of individuals from possessing firearms and FFLs from knowingly transferring firearms to them under 18 U.S.C. § 922(d) and (g). These categories include anyone who has been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment of more than one year, fugitives from justice, unlawful users of controlled substances, those adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution, and those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

Federal law governing the retail sale of firearms is more liberal than the pseudoephedrine scheme in one respect. Federal law does not ration the number of firearms a law-abiding individual may purchase in a given time period. However, under 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(3), the sale of multiple handgun to a single purchaser within five consecutive business days is subject to a further record-keeping requirement.

Back when the Post admonished Obama for comparing gun sales to produce, he noted, “The gun debate is serious enough that it should not be poisoned by exaggerated claims and faux statistics.” They’re right. Hunter and Guttenberg’s inaccurate statements may not have been as ridiculous as the former president’s, but that shouldn’t be anyone’s yardstick for honesty.

 

TRENDING NOW
Video: Arrogant Illinois State Senator Proposes Confiscating Guns

News  

Friday, June 21, 2019

Video: Arrogant Illinois State Senator Proposes Confiscating Guns

Anti-gun lawmakers, including some of those vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, are becoming increasingly open about their desire to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens and jail those who don’t comply. Perhaps taking a cue from their strident ...

Bloomberg Course: Certified in Advocacy

News  

Friday, June 21, 2019

Bloomberg Course: Certified in Advocacy

We did it. We “earned” a course certificate for the Bloomberg School’s massive open online course titled “Reducing Gun Violence in America: Evidence for Change.” After six grueling weeks we have heard what Michael Bloomberg’s ...

A Tale of Two Rallies

News  

Friday, June 21, 2019

A Tale of Two Rallies

The 2020 presidential contest is now underway in earnest. On Tuesday, President Trump officially kicked off his reelection campaign to a packed house at the 20,000 seat Amway Center in Orlando, FL. Earlier that day, ...

Governor Abbott Signs Ten Pro-Second Amendment Bills into Law

Monday, June 17, 2019

Governor Abbott Signs Ten Pro-Second Amendment Bills into Law

Governor Greg Abbott has now signed all of the NRA-supported legislation which the Texas Legislature sent him during the 2019 session.

California DOJ Proposes “Emergency” Regulations Requiring Federally  Compliant IDs for All Firearm and Ammunition Transfers

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

California DOJ Proposes “Emergency” Regulations Requiring Federally Compliant IDs for All Firearm and Ammunition Transfers

Yesterday, the California Department of Justice officially submitted proposed “emergency” regulations that, if adopted, would require federally compliant California driver license or identification cards whenever attempting to purchase a firearm and, beginning July 1, 2019, ...

New Jersey: Legislature Passes Smart Gun Legislation

Friday, June 21, 2019

New Jersey: Legislature Passes Smart Gun Legislation

On Thursday, both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature passed “smart gun” legislation despite this technology being more science fiction than reality.

California: Legislative Update and Hearings Next Week

Sunday, June 23, 2019

California: Legislative Update and Hearings Next Week

No summary available

Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

News  

Friday, June 7, 2019

Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

If the 2020 Democrat presidential primary is any indication, that party’s base and donor class will accept nothing less from their nominee than commitments to sweeping gun control. And the contenders appear happy to accommodate ...

California: NRA and CRPA Submit Opposition to DOJ’s Proposed “Emergency” Regulations Requiring Federally Compliant IDs for Firearm and Ammunition Transactions

Thursday, June 20, 2019

California: NRA and CRPA Submit Opposition to DOJ’s Proposed “Emergency” Regulations Requiring Federally Compliant IDs for Firearm and Ammunition Transactions

As reported earlier, the California Department of Justice recently proposed “emergency” regulations that, if adopted, would require federally compliant IDs whenever attempting to purchase a firearm and, beginning July 1, 2019, any ammunition in the ...

Oregon: Session Nears End, Senators Prevent a Quorum

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Oregon: Session Nears End, Senators Prevent a Quorum

Today, the Oregon Senate Minority Caucus left the Capitol building and are refusing to attend floor sessions in order to prevent a quorum on certain pieces of legislation.  Because of this, anti-gun legislators are now threatening ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.