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Old January 15, 2013, 04:34 PM   #1
dayman
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"Gun Show Loophole"

I'm not a fan of crowds, and I don't like buying expensive stuff from private sellers, so I have to confess I've never been to a gun show.

From the news one gets the impression that you can buy whatever you want at a gun show without any checks (which if true would be a pretty big loophole in our current controls). From - presumably better informed - sources online one gets the impression that that's nonsense.

My question is why - if it doesn't exist to begin with - are so many people opposed to closing this loophole. I'm not looking to start an argument, but closing an imaginary loophole seems like a pretty easy concession to make.
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Old January 15, 2013, 04:38 PM   #2
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People are concerned about it because even though no "gun show loophole" exists, what some people are actually proposing is making all private, non-licensee transactions a matter of a federally regulated and checked procedure.

These proposals would not apply merely to gun shows, but to all private, non-licensee transactions.
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Old January 15, 2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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The issue is not gun shows. The issue is private sales without background checks. Many such sales occur at gun shows because that's where the buyers happen to be, but in states where such transactions are allowed, they could just as well happen in a private home or in a gas station parking lot.

Many people object to the idea of the government looking over their shoulder if they choose to sell their own personal property.
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Old January 15, 2013, 04:45 PM   #4
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As mentioned, it's a backdoor or proxy to attacking the private sale. I think as an attack vector against the "RKBA" it makes an entity to the feds called the "gun show", which I don't think currently exists in law at least at the federal level. Gun shows represent an aggregate of, if you're against gun ownership, the wrong sort of people gathering in large numbers to do the wrong thing. It could open the door further to messing with gun shows as a full entity, or to harangue the non-gun dealers present at gun shows on future gun bills.
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Old January 15, 2013, 04:57 PM   #5
Glenn E. Meyer
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At first the mythology was that any gun could be bought without NICS or the other official forms of checks at gun shows.

This was shown to be untrue but it was argued that gun shows were an easy venue for private sellers to meet. Some shows had tables of 'private' sales that were there constantly or folks who always had a a few guns they toted around for 'private' sales.

Thus, the show was seen and called in some places a risk for or attractive nuisance for potentially illegal purchases.

Private sales at a show would have to go through a check. I presume the parking lot would be patrolled.

That's the story.
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Old January 15, 2013, 05:02 PM   #6
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I hate jumping into this frying pan, but I have 2 comments / questions...

BTW... I sell at only one local gun show, I do not sell weapons, but rather ammo, reloading components, & hunting stuff I no longer need ( it allows me funds for new purchases )... personally I'd like to bring a gun or two, but the local show I attend, requires a tax I.D. number ( which in essence means I'm a "business" ) my understanding of the laws ( & I'm not a lawyer, & hate that stuff ), is if I'm a business & selling guns without an FFL, then I'm in violation of the law... ( feel free to explain how / why I'm wrong... please )

I bought a gun from a guy a couple tables down from me at that local gun show, several years ago... the guy had 20-30 rifles for sale on his table, but didn't have an FFL, I didn't have to fill out any paperwork on the old Swiss straight pull bolt rifle I bought... it didn't make me nervous buying from him, but I would never put myself, as a seller, in that position ( legally )

my 2nd point, is more of an observation of the proposed changes... how on earth can these guys pass laws, that are in no shape or form enforceable ??? if I were to sell my buddy a gun I had before the ( pre all encompassing registration date ) there would be no record of me owning it, & thus no record of the sale... what motivation would either of us have for going to the gun shop & paying a fee to transfer that unregistered gun??? as an FYI... I "trade in" any handgun to the local FFL, as I want paper trail, that say's I don't own it any more, but that is just not practical on grandpa's shotgun... the proposed law is not inforceable ??? & in fact tempts regular law abiding citizens into becoming fire arms criminals... those passing such laws should be ashamed
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Old January 15, 2013, 05:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
what motivation would either of us have for going to the gun shop & paying a fee to transfer that unregistered gun???
Peace of mind, which is probably worth more than $25 to you. The low likelihood of getting caught is mirrored by the unimaginable penalty if someone backtracks the gun to you for some reason and either of you mentions the terms of the sale.
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Old January 15, 2013, 05:50 PM   #8
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Gotcha, thanks.
So the "loophole" is really just the fact that gun owners are exercising their 1st amendment rights along with their 2nd.

I have sold a few guns in parking lots - which is legal in my state. So that would be a marginal pain next time I want to change things up, but I'd still give them that - and the mental health reporting - over restrictions on what I can own.

Whether you agree with it or not at least those restrictions follow some sort of logic. As long as he didn't look suspicious a criminal in my state could buy pretty much any gun he wanted via the classifieds. My state also has very little gun crime, so I don't think it's an issue, but at least I can follow the line of reasoning.
Banning semi-autos with a pistol grip on the other hand....... not so much.
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Old January 15, 2013, 06:29 PM   #9
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The "gun show loophole" does not exist. FFL dealers at gun shows are required to have the purchaser complete a 4473 and the FFL must submit the info to ATF for the NICS check which usually takes 30 seconds. This the same process that must be used at the FFL dealer's normal place of business.

Gun owners who are not FFL dealers may sell a firearm to another person at a gun show or at home without obtaining a 4473 and submitting it to the ATF for a NICS check.

In other words, gun owners who are not FFL dealers are not treated by federal law as though they were FFL dealers.

If anti-gun people insist on calling this a "loophole", they should refer to it as the "private sale loophole", the same "loophole" that exists for any personal property for which there is no registration or license requirement such as a used lawn mower or virtually any other product often found at a garage sale.

PS I believe sellers at gun shows in some jurisdictions must be FFL dealers and some jurisdictions do not allow gun shows.
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Old January 15, 2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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The Gun Show Loophole is a favorite whipping boy and talking point for Bloomberg in particular.

The anti gunners, and hence the media, claim 40% of guns are sold without background checks. Anyone know where they ginned up that number. Seems extraordinarily high to me.
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Old January 15, 2013, 07:09 PM   #11
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Plus there's an added and blatant in-your-face expense involved. When you buy from a dealer that gets absorbed into your final bill and you can't see it. When you buy from a private sale and have to jump the hoops, you end up paying that use fee, and possibly a use tax on top of it.
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Old January 15, 2013, 07:13 PM   #12
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Are there any other private transactions between individuals that are required to go through such a check?

Quote:
The anti gunners, and hence the media, claim 40% of guns are sold without background checks. Anyone know where they ginned up that number. Seems extraordinarily high to me.
I believe it's a statistic widely cited by the Brady Campaign, so of course it's highly scientific and unbiased.

We've been running an informal poll at http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=511888 and after 74 responses, the mathematical weighted average is 23.5%, and that among those of us who are much more familiar with firearms and firearms transactions than the average US citizen. The average in the general population is probably much lower.

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Old January 15, 2013, 07:35 PM   #13
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I'd challenge anyone to come up with even anecdotal evidence that gun shows are a significant source for crime guns.

Lanza didn't buy one there. Cho, Loughner, Holmes, and the others didn't buy one there.

Folks, gun shows and private sales are simply not a big enough problem that they need to be regulated. Asking for more restrictions, no matter how "harmless" they may seem, is a slippery slope.
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Old January 15, 2013, 08:04 PM   #14
Glenn E. Meyer
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An attempt to cancel gun shows at the Austin event center was turned down by the City Council. State Attorney General told them he would sue them into the ground.
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Old January 15, 2013, 08:18 PM   #15
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Mass-shooting-driven gun control pushes end up conflating the unrelated "crime stats" and "mass shootings".

Crime = Chicago, DC etc. = Ban Private Sale + "oh I lost it" (registration equivalent)

Mass Shootings = Ban certain Hardware Types


It appears that the realistic gun control push at the federal level will be against mags and the private sale.
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Old January 15, 2013, 09:25 PM   #16
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It was was a problem that was "created" by the media and anti gunners. They needed a reason to go after private gun sales, so they made the gun show loophole. They claim you can walk into a gun show and purchase a fully automatic firearm, grenade launcher, and even RPG's. the talk about it repeatedly on TV and the sheep eventually say"bah..bah, gun shows are bahhhddd". So it begins. The same as most "anti's" have no idea that an AR-15 fires only one round when the trigger is depressed. This is a world of manipulation and misinformation of the media and the anti gun crowd. It is hard to convince people that their politicians and their favorite news station, has lied or fed them misinformation...
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Old January 16, 2013, 01:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
The anti gunners, and hence the media, claim 40% of guns are sold without background checks. Anyone know where they ginned up that number. Seems extraordinarily high to me.
I think I found the primary source of this statistic. Which as you'll note says "Perhaps" and then fails to provide any reference

Quote:
Today, private parties can buy
and sell many guns a year while
claiming not to be engaged in
the business. Perhaps 40% of all
gun sales nationwide — roughly
6.6 million transactions in 2008
— are made by private parties.
Moreover, private parties can sell
handguns to anyone 18 years of
age or older; licensed retailers
cannot sell handguns to anyone
under 21 years of age
Source
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Old February 4, 2013, 03:01 PM   #18
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I live in Oregon, where there is no registration on firearms, and have been many gun shows here but not in any other states. I see people having their backgrounds checked at gun shows, and believed this to be the case across the country, so was confused by the "Gun Show Loophole". I thought the "Gun Show Loophole" dog and pony show was resolved back when the anti-gun types called it "Kitchen Table" sales.

The anti-gun types seem to be very effective in pushing this aspect of their gun-control, and the only real motivation I can see is that to regulate private transactions would require that the item being bought/sold be logged in a database that tracks who owns what, I just don't see any way to require background checks of private transactions without a national registry and big trouble for possessing an un-registered firearm.

So it seems to me that the purpose for universal background checks is universal gun registration and this has been their goal for a long time.
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Old February 4, 2013, 05:04 PM   #19
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When you are a private seller at the gun shows I have been to, you have to sign in, show ID and sign in the gun as well as yourself as a person selling. Meanwhile there are deputies and ATF folks at the show. What criminals are visiting these shows to engage in illegal sales?
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Old February 4, 2013, 06:41 PM   #20
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This is a link to an article discussing how disingenuous the President and other gun control proponents are in their use of the statistics in this study, summarized here.

Among other things, the author points out that the survey was done almost 20 years ago (1994), had a very small sample size (251), that over 75% of the referenced sales occurred before mandatory checks were implemented, and that if you break out the data to expose assumptions made (about friends, family, and other transfers), a truer number of unchecked transactions is 11.5%.

I also located this report, by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2001, that surveyed inmates on how they obtained firearms, and what firearms they used. Less that 2% obtained them at gun shows or flea markets (what percentage of those had background checks done was not specified), and less than 2% used full auto or the dreaded “military-style semiautomatic firearm” (pistols, rifles or shotguns with high capacity mags and the usual scary cosmetic features).
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Old February 4, 2013, 06:44 PM   #21
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The source at the link is the New England Journal of Medicine. The NEJM is a long time gun hating outfit known for making up "statistics".
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Old February 4, 2013, 08:22 PM   #22
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Quote:
y question is why - if it doesn't exist to begin with - are so many people opposed to closing this loophole
HUH?!?!? If it doesn't exist, how can it be closed?

It does NOT exist - period. Folks are free (in most states) to sell their private property to someone who wants to buy it. They are free to sell guns at garage sales - been there done that - through newspaper ads - again been there done that - or in the parking lot of ....(fill in the blank).

Some folks prefer to hit a target audience - those found at gun shows. no different than you taking your used car to a car show and trying to find a buyer, or your lawn equipment to a garden show, or any of a number of alternatives analogies
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Old February 4, 2013, 09:10 PM   #23
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Peace of mind, which is probably worth more than $25 to you. The low likelihood of getting caught is mirrored by the unimaginable penalty if someone backtracks the gun to you for some reason and either of you mentions the terms of the sale.
Peace of mind can be free if you use a Bill of Sale when you sell any firearm. No need to pay $25 or whatever cost to the LGS. Keep records of all your firearm sales if you choose, and keep them in your home.

On that regard, even if a gun you previously owned was used a crime after you sold it to someone else, the court would have to prove you were in possesion of the gun and was there at the scene of the crime. Nothing to worry about if you actually aren't involved in the crime.

Same thing if you sell a car to a private individual. If later that week after you sell your car, the new owner does a felony with the vehicle (robbery etc), they have to prove you were driving it (which you won't be.)
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:06 PM   #24
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There is a 'gun show loophole' that I wouldn't mind closing, but am generally also neutral toward.

I see some private sellers who are at every gun show in the state, all the time, always with a table full of guns, never the same guns, who actively buy and sell at the shows. They are not FFL holders, but 'private individuals selling their collection.'

This seems like an open dodge to me, as it appears to me that they meet the legal definition of a dealer, as they are in the regular business of buying and selling firearms, so it seems like they should have an FFL.

I know they're not an FFL because I've sold two guns and bought one from two of these non-dealer dealers.
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Old February 4, 2013, 11:34 PM   #25
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Gun shows don't have anything to do with it. That's just what it's called because it sounds scary. Pretty much every guy selling guns from a table has (or needs!!!) an FFL and will conduct background checks. Sure, private sellers might bring a few guns in, but not that many.

What it really regulates is private sales of firearms.

Should you be able to sell a gun to someone without federal involvement? That's all it comes down to. Nothing more, nothing less.
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