The Gun Show Loophole
I attended a gun show this morning. It was held at an Elk's lodge in the county where I live. Many people who view this blog have probably never been to a gun show. Most gun shows are full of good people many (if not most) of whom are veterans that served our country. The individuals that sell from their private collections seem to be much more interested in changing their collection rather than making money. These people often just sell enough to buy something else that they have been wanting. All gun shows that I have attended have been EXTREMELY crowded and yet everyone still seems to be kind and friendly. I couldn't count how many times I was bumped into today. Many liberals seem to scream and cry about the so-called "Gun Show Loophole." The actual goings on is no different than someone selling their own possessions at a garage sale. Here is the description from wikipedia:
The "Gun show loophole" is a term coined to describe the legal sale of firearms between private individuals at gun shows in states where this is legal. When these sales take place at a gun show, some perceive a "loophole" in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), although these laws have never applied to individual-to-individual sales of personal firearms. United States federal law requires persons engaged in interstate firearm commerce, or who are in the business of selling firearms, to hold a Federal Firearms License and to perform checks prior to transferring a firearm, but there is an exemption for private sales by individuals who are "not engaged in the business" of selling firearms, or who only make "occasional" sales. Unlicensed private sellers are permitted by law to sell privately-owned guns at gun shows, or at private locations, in 24 states (as of 1998).
Although gun shows remain a point of concern, a 1997 Department of Justice survey of 3,959 inmates found that only 2% stated that they had bought a gun used in a crime from a gun show. The remaining 98% were obtained from other sources, in which the criminal had no direct connection with a gun show. The most common sources (35%) were family or friends.
Licensed gun dealers that sell at gun shows must, by federal law, strictly adhere to background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Additionally, some states and parts of states have laws requiring that a purchaser observe a waiting period before taking possession of a firearm from even private sellers, unless a CCW license is held by the buyer. These waiting periods typically range from 3 to 10 days depending on the state where the firearm is purchased.
These waiting periods may not apply to firearms that fall under the "curio & relic" classification when they are sold to holders of a federal firearms license pertaining to curios and relics. Curios and relic firearms are treated like all firearms including waiting periods for unlicensed individuals.
Tom Mangan, of the ATF, has stated, "There is no limit to the amount of guns that a private collector can have. Some have 10; some have 1,000, if I go to a gun show and state that this is my private collection, I am not required by law to ask you for identification, ask you to fill out any paperwork or conduct a background check."
The ATF has reported that between 50% and 75% of the vendors at these venues possess a Federal Firearms License. Remaining vendors may sell a variety of firearm and non-firearm items. Individuals who are not in the business of selling firearms, and who thus are not required to possess Federal Firearms Licenses, may make legal private firearm sales to residents of their own states, subject to state law. Federal law does not require a background check on such sales.
Private sales between attendees or between attendees and non-dealer vendors are not uncommon at gun shows, though they make up a small fraction of the guns sold.
Some question the usefulness of laws that would make private sales at gun shows illegal, while the same private sales would be legal in the parking lot.