Myth BUSTED: The Gun Show 'Loophole' is a Giant Distraction
After every mass shooting that doesn't involve a black shooter (like all of Chicago or gay and black Vester Flannigan), leftists drag out their arsenal of anti-gun ideas, in hopes of finally stripping Americans of their Second Amendment right. One favored weapon in their war chest is the "gun show loophole." If you listen to leftists, this is what the gun show loophole is:
Anyone can go to a gun show and purchase a gun from a seller without a background check. Therefore, according to leftists, gun shows are filled with criminals looking to evade the law. It's a gun-buying free for all, filled with hicks, nuts, racists and anarchists.
But is that perception true? Eh, not really. When I say "not really" I mean no. Shouting through a bullhorn ala Reverend Sharpton no. Here's the trick, though: liberals mislead on what the gun show loophole actually is.
This is how CNN defined it in a recent article about Hillary Clinton:
Under current law, gun buyers are allowed to purchase weapons from private "occasional" sellers without background checks.
In my researching frenzy, I found that to be true. The catch is how we define "private, occasional sellers." Clinton, Obama, Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein and your neighbor who threw eggs at your car for daring to slap an NRA bumpersticker on it, all believe that every seller at a gun show is a "private, occasional seller." But they're wrong. Perhaps because they've never been to a gun show in their entire lives, or because they just don't care about facts. Knowing leftists like I do, I'll go with both.
Here be some facts, yo. From the Cato Institute:
Since 1938, persons selling firearms have been required to obtain a federal firearms license. If a dealer sells a gun from a storefront, from a room in his home or from a table at a gun show, the rules are exactly the same: he can get authorization from the FBI for the sale only after the FBI runs its “instant” background check (which often takes days to complete). As a result, firearms are the most severely regulated consumer product in the United States — the only product for which FBI permission is required for every single sale.
Most people selling guns at a gun show are gun dealers. All the same rules and regulations apply to gun dealers. Got it? Not that they matter to people who are allergic to facts, but here are some more about guns from gun show purchases, also from the Cato Institute:
According to an NIJ study released in December 1997 (“Homicide in Eight U.S. Cities,” a report that covers much more than homicide), only 2 percent of criminal guns come from gun shows.
That's not very many. But two percent for leftists warrants more attention than that. Relevant side note: the homosexual population is less than two percent. Look at how the left via Hollywood and the media blew THAT out of proportion. Okay, now back to guns:
That finding is consistent with a mid-1980s study for the NIJ, which investigated the gun purchase and use habits of convicted felons in 12 state prisons. The study (later published as the book Armed and Considered Dangerous) found that gun shows were such a minor source of criminal gun acquisition that they were not even worth reporting as a separate figure.
(Of course some criminal gun acquisition at gun shows is perpetrated by “straw purchasers” who are legal gun buyers acting as surrogates for the individual who wants the gun. Straw purchases have been federal felonies since 1968.)
As someone who's been to a gun show before, let me describe the scene: picture a giant room, sometimes a convention center. Usually you have to pay to enter the show. The last show I went to, I had to show I didn't have a gun (for reasons that are self-explanatory). Vendors at the show sell more than just guns. A lot of vendors sell books, accessories (holsters, belts, conceal carry purses, food, etc.). Since this is a capitalistic enterprise, vendors have to pay up to sell their goods at the show.
Which means gun shows are a horrible place for "private, occasional sellers," which is what the "gun show loophole" is referring to. From The Washington Times:
Gun shows aren’t the equivalent of the Wild West. The vast majority of vendors at the shows are fully licensed dealers who must run the FBI check at the time of sale. What the gun grabbers are really after are transactions between private individuals trading or selling their personal property.
Let's switch up commodities for a second. A car dealer is someone who sells a crap ton of cars in a year. It's what he does for a living. A private seller is that guy who sells you his old El Camino for $200 bucks. You probably shouldn't buy it. Have some pride. He doesn't sell cars all the time, in fact he may only sell one or two cars in his life. That's the difference between a dealer and a private seller. The same applies to a gun. Walk into a gun show and you're going to encounter gun dealers. But your grandma who's selling her late husband's Colt isn't a dealer. She can sell or give the Colt without running a background check. Because she's a private, occasional seller.
Review: vendors at gun shows are primarily gun dealers for obvious reasons (makes no financial sense for someone to sell at a gun show if they're not selling large quantities of guns). They have to run a background check. That's the law. So stop harping on about it. We're sick of it.
Depending on your state's law, a private individual can sell a gun to another private individual.
That's it. But here's the takeaway: criminals, by definition, do not obey the laws. So someone who clears a background check can be a "straw purchaser" and give the gun to his crap weasel friend who wouldn't have passed a background check. There's not a single law you can put on the books that a criminal cannot get around. Heck, we outlawed murder a long time ago. Let's talk about how well that worked out. Your neighborhood hoodlum will laugh at your laws as he splutters away in the El Camino.
Which is why good guys need their guns.