Fugitive Siblings' Crime Spree Was Made Possible by Florida Gun Laws

fugitive siblingsThe manhunt for the three fugitive siblings from Florida ended on Wednesday when the trio was arrested after a high-speed chase on a stretch of Colorado highway. Authorities are relieved that the "Dougherty Gang," as they're being called, were caught before any civilians or police officers had to die. But now that the siblings are in custody, maybe we should be figuring out why, exactly, it was so easy for three convicted felons to collect an arsenal including an Uzi, an AK-47, and many more deadly weapons.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Florida's gun control laws are among the most lenient in the country, surpassing even Arizona by the standards of some. I was shocked to learn that private firearms sales between residents are permitted without any processing through an FFL.

Well, that explains how 21-year-old Ryan Dougherty, who has 14 felony arrests on his record, managed to buy an AK-47 at a pawn shop while he was still a teenager.


Now, I'm not trying to start a debate about what exactly the precise implications of the Second Amendment are for our modern times (although, funny thing, our forefathers didn't have semi-automatic weapons, 'member?).

That said, I just feel like there's something a tiny bit off about a system that allows a kid wearing a court-ordered ankle-monitoring device to waltz into a pawn shop and leave with an AK-47. Am I wrong, or does that sound like it should be a Saturday Night Live skit along the lines of "Appalachian Emergency Room"?

The disturbing part -- oh wait, I mean the other disturbing part -- of this story is that the siblings possessed an arsenal so large, they had to store it in a custom-built underground bunker beneath their house. And when the police got there, after the initial bank robbery/attempted murder of a cop that kicked off the nationwide chase, the entire bunker was empty.

So that was some serious heat they were packing, across state lines ... states whose gun control laws might not have been quite as hands-off as the laws in Florida, but I hardly think the Dougherty gang was concerned, do you?

Did Florida's gun control laws make the Dougherty gang's crime spree possible?


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