Worried about Violent Stranger Online

So I was browsing craigslist last night and this posting caught my attention:

I thought the post seemed scary enough to warrant sending her a fake e-mail to see if I could find out who she was so I could potentially report her. This is what I sent:

Now she has replied with her phone number, should I call the cops? According to facebook, she seem’s like a young (her friends average age is 18) loner; she wants to buy a gun off a stranger in a city where firearms are basically prohibited and definitely not owned by average citizens.

what should I do?

Sounds to me like a girl who might be scared. Maybe one of her friends was just assaulted or something, and she is looking for a way to protect herself.

Are guns basically prohibited, or are they ACTUALLY prohibited? I don’t know the laws where you are located, but unless she communicated to you she wants to do something illegal, or is planning to (ie kill someone), I would just let it go.

ETA: I am not a lawyer YMMV blah blah blah.

I know that under no circumstances would it be legal for her to purchase a gun off craigslist. I suspect, but am uncertain, that it is a crime to attempt to do so. Here is the process that she should have been going through instead:
[li] Obtain an application form for a ‘Possession/Acquisition License’ - available at the post office.[/li][li] Successfully complete the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and the Canadian Restricted Firearms Safety Course (or challenge the exams). See www.FirearmsTraining.ca for an explanation.[/li][li] Forward the License application with proof of Safety Course completion, photo and appropriate fees to the Canadian Firearms Centre in Miramichi, New Brunswick.[/li][li] Police background checks will be completed as well as reference and spousal checks (the authorities seem to have given up on reference checks as they are too time-consuming {and probably the most valuable part of the screening process!!}).[/li]If anything shows up on these checks, even if you were a victim of a criminal act (theft, assault, etc.), the application will be forwarded to the Chief Firearms Office (CFO) of your province for further investigation.
[li] If approved, a firearms license will be produced and mailed to the applicant (currently 1 to 2 months)[/li][li] Join an approved handgun club, such as the Eastern Ontario Handgun Club.[/li][li] Complete a mandatory Club level handgun safety course and serve a probation period.[/li][li] Fill out an application for an 'Authorization to Transport (ATT)* - club executive will forward to the CFO along with their recommendation for processing.[/li][li] Further police checks may be done along with a second computer record check.[/li][li] If approved, an ATT will be mailed to the applicant, or in Ontario, to the club.[/li][li] At this point, you may purchase a handgun from a gun shop or an individual. The registration must be called in for approval.[/li][/ul]

Call the cops now, rather than continuing to contact her.

If she’s attempting to get an illegal firearm, they can follow it up, or not. For that matter, this may be some wierd cop bait for catching people dumb enough to sell handguns over the public internet.

so apparently she is a young mother. in the newborn baby hospital photos, she clearly has a black eye.


(Moderator: removed link)

She said she wanted to learn how to use a gun and maybe buy one (perhaps she doesn’t know if it’s even possible to practice without purchasing one, or any of the logistics involved). If you want to continue communicating with her, ask about her license and training. When she tells you she hasn’t any, explain that you cannot sell her a gun and that you’ll send her some info on what steps she must complete before she can legally obtain one. Emphasize that she’d be in BIG trouble if she pursued it under the table. And include some info in the email on local self-defense training, as well as contact info for local women’s shelters and explain that they can provide more info on self defense.

Maybe I missed something. How did you find out her facebook info and find pictures of her on the internet?

And why are you posting them here?

Wait a minute.

It’s illegal to buy firearms where you live? I presume it’s also prohibited to seel firearms, then? And that’s exactly what you offered to do, in a very traceable e-mail? This may not turn out well for you.

if it’s illegal for her to “maybe buy” a gun on craigslist, is it also illegal for you to mention that you have “several items on site that could solve your problem, and can get others if there is something specific you are looking for”? (eta: tdn beat me to it)

I’m with Cat Fight; the girl’s most likely just scared and ignorant of gun laws. if you’ve never been a victim of domestic abuse and witnessed the ineffectualness of police in dealing with it (not their fault), you can’t understand her mindset.

The person I’m getting the wierd vibe from is the OP’er.

The girl posts asking to learn to fire a gun and maybe buy one. The OP’er is “concerned” by such a “scary” post. Does he report the post as against board rules? No. Does he respond to her and explain that, hey, you don’t really know who you’re dealing with on Craigslist but here’s a reputable gun dealer you might talk to? No. Does he tell her, you’re not allowed to buy or sell guns on Craigslist? No.

Instead, he e-mails her in a fashion that will reasonably make her think he is willing and able to help her. He has several guns that might suit her. He can get others. What price does she have in mind? He then explains to us the process to legally obtain a handgun – but he doesn’t explain that to her. Instead, he checks out her facebook page and finds – and re-posts – a picture of her.

This isn’t reading like “concerned” to me. It’s reading like “creepy.” And I mean him, not her.

Picard Kills Kirk Facebook pictures were easily obtained after she responded to my fictitious offer which was sent from a fresh hushmail account.

tdn: I sincerely believed someone’s life may be at risk and so I sent a completely fake e-mail to this girl in order to obtain more easily tracable contact details for her. I knew that it would be very difficult to get her name/address from just an anon craigslist account, but this way I can potentially give the police what they need to quickly intervene before someone gets hurt. I don’t live in that area, and I am confident that I would not be investigated as a gun-dealer (I posted this thing to my own facebook when I saw it!).

That’s what it sounds like, IMHO.

So instead of giving her any information that could be of use to her, on either weapons or crisis intervention, and instead of even trying to find out any of the details of her situation so that you could even know if she needs help and, if so, what kind, you’re trying to obtain her personal contact information, just so you can pass it on to the po-pos on the off-chance they might need it?

Why didn’t you just go directly to the police? “Helping” them by offering to do an illegal act is probably not the best way to get this young mother maniac off the street.

I would just wash your hands of the whole thing and forget about it. I cannot see any way this could end well for you, and it’s not like she said, “need gun fast to kill abusive boyfriend!”

It’s not illegal to buy or sell firearms in Canada, but there are legal requirements for “transferring” the ownership of a firearm (either through selling, giving, or trading).

The buyer in the OP seems to be trying to circumvent the legal requirements. In particular handguns face greater restrictions.

If that’s the case, then you should have called the cops two hours ago! I am sure they have people who deal with this all the time. Not to insult your detective work and general concern, but they probably have a lot more practice with extracting information out of craigslist posters than any of us do. Be careful, I think you might be on thin ice.

Also, doesn’t Craigslist have a “report this post” function also? The OP sounds like BS to me.

I still think it would be nice of you at the very least sending her an e-mail with the correct procedure to buy a gun.