Wednesday I sold a gun. This was a barely used Ruger LC380 that I bought myself as a “hooray I’m single” present with the intent of using it as a carry piece. It’s a really good gun for it’s purpose, but I had my sights set on something different that would fill it’s role.
I followed all of my state’s laws and even went further to safeguard myself and the purchaser from any future problems by checking his ID and having him fill out a bill of sale with the serial number of the pistol, driver’s license info, etc. This also included a statement that he was legally able to purchase the firearm.
As the negotiations and the meet-up were planned I found out that he was a kid, just turned 21, and lived in a pretty crappy part of town. After the sale I did a little research on his neighborhood. Basically, it’s shit. It’s worse than that, he lives in an area referred to as the “Murder Factory“. Not only does our local paper have a special section on their website, there’s a documentary titled “Kansas City Murder Factory” about this kid’s zip code.
Wanting to know exactly how shitty his neighborhood is, I searched some crime stats and ended up at a real estate info site that had a graph plotting the crime rate of his zip code against the state and the nation. It’s bad.
One of my acquaintances is in law enforcement and after the transaction he asked for the kid’s name so he could see if he was a felon, on parole, etc. This isn’t something that I really wanted weighing on my conscience, but I was awfully curious. To my relief, he came back with a clean slate and my friend saying, “are you sure that’s where he lives?”
I’m still torn about this, and I probably will be for a while. Given that the kid had a clean record, a job, was very clear and up front about his age, showed his ID without question … I’d like to think this was a net good for his outcome. He even asked about safety and CCW classes so he could get his permit and carry legally. I gave him some direction and hope he takes it. I’d probably want a weapon handy if I lived in his neighborhood, too.
On the flipside, I sold a gun into the “Murder Factory”. The chance that this gun will be stolen or used in some nefarious purpose just jumped up quite a few notches.
So did I provide a good guy a tool to maybe keep him safe or did I just make a big problem worse by adding another firearm into the mix?