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Did the FBI have a database to check rifle ownership?

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16 minutes ago, Gerry Down said:

I'm just picturing a scene where a thug comes into the shop covered in tattoos and wants to buy a handgun. Am I going to sell it to him no questions asked or will I ask for ID?

I'm going to ask for ID.

If someone doesn't want to show ID in buying a gun, they have no business buying a gun in my opinion. 

You have formed your opinion based on a 2023 perspective. Those of us who were living in the US in 1963 and were aware of the conditions (or lack thereof) related to gun sales have no trouble with the concept of buying/selling a gun with no questions asked. In large cities, in many cases, it was a matter of "don't ask, don't tell".  As in, "Don't tell me if you're planning to use the gun I'm selling you in a crime; I really don't want to know. Serial numbers weren't tracked, and there often wasn't even a paper trail.

In 2023, that may seem incredible. In 1963, that was the norm. And it was not only in retail gun stores [in my small town, hardware stores sold guns], but many guns that changed hands in cities did so at pawnshops. And pawnshops were the kings of "don't ask, don't tell," unless you were pawning a gun. Of course, if you were pawning a gun in 1963, you could give a fake name/address, as it generally was assumed that you wouldn't be back to redeem the gun out of hock. [If you've seen any 1930s Hollywood portrayals of gangsters, there was more truth than fiction in how guns were obtained and disposed of through pawnshops.]

In another vein, I recall how many people came into my family's farm equipment business and commented how "convenient" it was for US gun manufacturers that the alleged murder weapon in the JFK case was some unknown Italian rifle. It kept the stigma off Winchester, Remington, Savage, Marlin, and all the other major US rifle manufacturers. Imagine the black eye for Winchester if one of their .30-30 rifles had been used. Or Remington if the crime had been pinned on one of their famous Model 70 rifles. Some people expressed the idea that the Carcano being tagged as the murder weapon was a bit TOO convenient.

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The gun shops that Oswald ordered his weapons from were under investigation by Senator Tom Dodd's committee in 1963 which has caused some to wonder if LHO was working to help document how easy it was to order guns by mail.

In 1963, this was a big issue to Senator Dodd because his state (connecticut) was the leading gun manufacturer in the nation and gun sales were being severely impacted by a flood of cheap, imported surplus firearms.  There were several hearings held on this problem in January, March  and May  1963.   (Juvenile Delinquency, Hearings before the Subcommittee, to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency, of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 88th
Congress, First Session,)

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