“Under the Gun” Producer Violated Federal Law during Filming

Ammoland and the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL) have revealed yet another major problem with the maligned anti-gun documentary, “Under the Gun”. As Modern Rifleman reported last week, the piece (and its producers Stephanie Soechtig and Katie Couric) has already come under fire from Second Amendment supporters and the media for deceptively editing interviews with the VCDL. Now, it looks like Soechtig and her crew might have violated federal laws in pushing for “universal background checks”.

In an interview with The Lip TV back in February, Soechtig recalled sending a producer from Colorado to Arizona with the intent to make face-to-face purchases once there. She claimed that the producer succeeded in buying three handguns and a rifle from a private seller in a Wendy’s parking lot. According to Soechtig, this is evidence that more laws are needed. In reality, she, her producer, and the private seller broke numerous laws with the purchases. Specifically:

  1. Transferring, selling, trading, giving, transporting, or delivering any firearm to any person who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe does not reside in the state in which the transferor resides. (Seller) (18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(5))
  2. Transporting into or receiving in the state where a purchaser/recipient resides any firearm purchased or otherwise obtained outside that state (without first having it delivered to a Federal Firearms Licensee). (Producer) (18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(3))
  3. If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense, and at least one person commits an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy, each party to the conspiracy can also face an additional fine and imprisonment for up to five years. (Producer, Soechtig)(18 U.S.C. § 371)
  4. Soechtig and her producer may also have violated 18 U.S.C. § 922(a)(6) regarding straw purchases if she furnished the producer with funds to acquire the firearms on her behalf.

Soechtig portrayed her actions as perfectly legal, when in fact they were not. Multiple felonies were committed by her and her producer. Unfortunately, they may also have tripped up an unknowing private seller in the process. Considering her offenses, it’s difficult to see how more laws would prevent these types of transactions.

From the sounds of things, VCDL is going to push this issue with the ATF. I’ll follow any developments, but I’m not optimistic. David Gregory already showed us how this sort of thing typically plays out.

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