Guns Online: No Permit Needed

There are no firm stats on the number of guns sold annually through sites such as Florida Gun Trader, because no registration is required and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives doesn't track them. Some critics suggest that tighter reins be kept on the trade of such high-powered arms. Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, for one, last month signed on to a national campaign advocating stricter background checks on gun sales.

But David Bradford, the site's Austin, Texas-based owner, says Florida Gun Trader and similar sites are part of a long tradition of advertising for firearms. The site, which launched in 2007, has 33,000 visitors a month and has seen membership grow 13 percent monthly this year.

"Firearms have been a part of classified ads since the first ones were printed back in 15th-century England," Bradford says via email.

Toys of the trade.
Toys of the trade.

As for Florida Gun Trader users, they look out for themselves. Like most sellers on the site, McGuire says he requires buyers to fill out a "bill of sale" and to have a Florida driver's license. Many advertisers also ask to see a valid concealed weapons permit.

"Everyone is straight-up on there," he says. "There's a few conspiracy nuts who think the government is tracking us through the site and a few scammers too, but it's mostly just guys who love guns."

Guys such as Eduardo, back in the parking lot. He works for the City of Miami Beach ("So obviously I can't be out here doing anything that's not legal," he says). He grew up in a military family in Santo Domingo, he says, and spent some time in the Dominican army before coming to Miami. Guns are a way of life for him. "Just think of what I can get when I sell this one," he says excitedly, folding the cardboard box flaps over the M16 in his car's trunk. "There's some incredible guns out there that I've never even tried."

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>> "...a matte-black assault rifle — a new Colt M16 .22LR... roadside assault-rifle sales could walk away from Eduardo's car with the kind of high-powered weapon used by Marines in Afghanistan.<<ROTFLMAO!  Maybe "Nancy-boy" Marines in Afghanistan use a gun like this, but its most-common use in that theater is probably shooting rats.

The  Colt M16 .22LR chambers a standard .22LR cartridge that produces a muzzle velocity of about 1200fps with a 40-grain bullet.  At 100 yards, it's rated at about 90 foot-pounds of force.A Colt M-16 (or its more common variant, the M-4) fires a .223 caliber 55-grain bullet at 3240 fps and is rated at 1000+ foot-pounds at 100 yards. The M-16 packs about 7 times the wallop at 100 yards that the M-16 .22LR does at the muzzle. In effect, the M-16 .22LR is the next step up from a high-end pellet gun (7 grain pellet, 1000fps). There are less powerful cartridges - but they are few.

Beyond that, the .223 Remington cartridge used in M-16M-4 is at the low-end of "high-powered" weapons. The military ball .30-06 round, first used over 100 years ago in the 1903 Springfield, is a 165 grain bullet traveling at 2800fps with a 100-yard force level of 2426 foot-pounds - more than twice the 'punch' of the M-16 and almost 27 times as much as your "high-powered" weapon example.Tim, I think you've just established a new low for the definition of "high-powered weapon".  Can slingshots and BB guns be far behind?