It's Easier to Buy a Gun than a Used Guitar

Feb 7, 2013

In a national poll released Thursday, Quinnipiac University found no significant voter opposition to background checks for all gun buyers.

It didn’t take long for commentator J. Cullens to pass the background check when he bought a gun in December.

But after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut, he’s not sure if buying a firearm in Louisiana should be so easy.

In Louisiana, the wait for a Glock 19 like this one can be just 30 minutes, while it's 30 days for a used guitar.
Credit Keith LaFaille / Flickr

Three days before the Newtown shootings, I purchased a new hand gun from Cabela’s.

I went into the store, it was a Tuesday afternoon, it was pretty busy; I had to pull a number to see a clerk.

I picked out a 9mm Glock 19, asked to buy it.

I was thinking I was going to have to wait before they let me leave the store with it, but, somewhat to my surprise, they directed me to a computer screen and instructed me to answer about a dozen questions regarding my citizenship, whether I had ever been convicted of a felony, domestic abuse – pretty straight forward. It took me about five minutes or less to answer.

About a half hour – probably less than a half hour later – my name was called. I was told I passed the background check and they handed me my new Glock.

The next week, I wanted to get my son a guitar for Christmas, so I went to the Guitar Center, looked around saw the perfect Gibson Les Paul in the used area, picked it out, walked up to the counter expecting to leave with it just like I left with my Glock.

But I was told that there was, according to Louisiana law, a 30-day hold placed on used guitars. I had to put the guitar on layaway and come back about two weeks after Christmas.

So although I had my new gun for Christmas, my son had to wait until after Christmas for his guitar.

And this experience made me wonder, especially after the Newtown shootings makes me wonder whether, if as a matter of Louisiana law we have got to wait 30-days to get our hands on a used guitar, maybe just
maybe we can wait 30 days to get a new gun.

J. Cullens is an attorney in Baton Rouge. He is also an underwriter of WRKF and a member of the station's board of directors.

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