Florence, Oregon Man Claims Gun Store 'Violated His Second Amendment Rights' for his Antifa Support

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

A Florence, Oregon man is being refused a gun transfer and background check, not by the government, but by the store. Why? He handed over, unprompted, a card stating his support for Antifa. Honestly, he should have seen that coming.


A Florence man is hoping that a gun shop owner changes his mind about doing a background check.

Mark Iannicelli says the Florence Gun Shop won't give him one, meaning he can't get the gun that he bought online when he lived in Colorado. Iannicelli said a routine background check, required to get his already purchased gun -- has turned into a major headache.

"It's because I had given him this business card, and he said he didn't feel good about it because he didn't support Antifa, and I explained to him it's more like a movement,” Iannicelli said, referring to a card he had presented to the gun store owner that included links to several websites about self defense, including one operated by a Portland-based Antifa group. “You know I have never actually gone up there and marched with Antifa, but he was adamant he wasn't going to sell me the firearm."

The gun store owner is perfectly within his rights to refuse to transfer the firearm. I have sold and transferred guns many times, both as an independent dealer and as an employee, starting when I was a teenager working the Sporting Goods counter at the Woolco in Cedar Falls, Iowa in the late 70's. I can think of several occasions in which I have flatly refused to sell a gun to a certain person because something felt wrong, or even because of more obvious reasons; one man, already in the paperwork process of buying a small pocket pistol, commented to me "...my in-laws won't give me any more s*** now that I have this," at which point I terminated the transaction and told him to get lost.


Gun dealers, in my estimation, have not only the right but the responsibility to refuse the transfer of a firearm to any individual who seems hinky. Having sympathies for Antifa, in my estimation, is one of those disqualifying characteristics; I would have refused that transfer as well.

Here's the funny bit:

Iannicelli feels his second amendment (sic) right to bear arms has been violated by the Florence Gun Shop making him unable to complete his gun purchase. Iannicelli felt the shop denied his background check because of his personal business card that included a link to a website affiliated with Antifa. In addition, Iannicelli said a gun store should not be able decide whether or not to give a background check based on political affiliation.

The Second Amendment rights of Iannicelli — or anyone else — are not part of this issue. I'm as staunch a Second Amendment absolutist as exists, but in this case, the Second just isn't a part of the discussion, and that's very revealing to Mr. Iannicelli's lack of understanding of Civics 101. No government official has denied him his Second Amendment rights; they are intact. That's just not an issue. What has happened is that a responsible gun store owner, after the revelation of the transferee as being sympathetic to a group known for political intimidation, physical attacks, and rioting, has refused to be a party to transferring a firearm to that person.


The owners and employees of the Florence Gun Shot are in the right here.

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