The Truth About Public Support for “Closing the Gun Show Loophole”

(courtesy washingtonpost.com)

The above pie chart comes courtesy washingtonpost.com. It arrived yesterday underneath the headline President Obama’s executive orders on guns are very popular. Even if he isn’t. “Strongly support” is the most popular response to “Would you support or oppose an executive action that would require anyone who sells a large number of guns per year to require background checks including those sold online or at gun shows?” You may also notice . . .

the words “a large number of guns.” Neither the President’s new executive orders nor the Post define the term “large number of guns.” What constitutes “a large number of guns” to you and me is certainly not what the average American considers “a large number of guns” – as evidenced by the mainstream media’s willingness to call a small collection of firearms an “arsenal.”

In any case, we can conclude — as the President does — that most Americans want sellers at gun shows to put their customers through a background check. However, 73 percent (53 percent plus the 20 percent who “somewhat support” the notion) does not constitute the “90 percent of Americans” that the President and other gun control advocates love to claim as the percentage of citizens who want to “close the gun show loophole.”

Interesting also that the Post doesn’t put exact numbers to the percentage of Americans who “somewhat oppose” or “strongly oppose” the Executive Order’s [supposed] intent to require background checks at gun shows. (It will do very little to achieve that end). The total number of those opposing the proposal is 27 percent, which is close to a third of those surveyed.

Question: how many of these respondents have been to a gun show or purchased a gun at a gun show? I’m thinking very, very few. I reckon the Post’s response reflects the percentage of Americans who support background checks generally. Would they support background checks for private, person-to-person sales? Maybe so. But maybe not in as great a number.

That said, the fact that 27 percent of our citizenry reject background checks at gun shows ain’t nothing. Remembering that a Department of Justice survey revealed that .7 percent of “crime guns” come from gun shows. Equally, that the right to keep and bear arms is subject neither to the democratic process or arguments of social utility. Which, factually, don’t add up. FWIW.

comments

  1. avatar VTMasters19D says:

    I have been looking for clarity on Executive Orders and if citizens are legally obligated to conform to them or not. Nothing found that is concrete for me. What is TTAGs input on this? Obviously I know you don’t offer legal advice etc, but I do know you folks are very knowledgeable. Thanks.

    1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

      Not a lawyer and do not officially speak for TTAG but when it comes to an EO you might need a proctologist because an EO can send the ATF, IRS, or FBI up your arse, just because.

    2. avatar Ty King says:

      Executive orders are a power granted by the constitution and these particular orders primarily work on the regulatory interpretation of a vague (but not unconstitutionally vague) statute. It’s law. There’s a lot of case law on regulatory law which affirms my position, but IANAL.

      1. avatar Bill in IL says:

        Sorry Ty, but Executive Orders are NOT in the Constitution. Unless you have the double plus super secret version that nobody else has seen.

        1. avatar int19h says:

          Constitution doesn’t use the term “executive order”, but it vests executive power in the president, and executive order is nothing more than president issuing directives to some executive agency, so it’s basically just an exercise of executive power.

          So EOs are perfectly fine, so long as president directs the agencies under his control to do something that is within the powers of the executive, either granted directly by the Constitution, or when Congress writes a law that requires interpretation to be meaningfully applied (but then that power is limited by the vagueness of the law).

    3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      VTMasters19D,

      Executive orders directed at executive agencies are lawful as long as the policy directives are consistent with existing law.

      Having said that, even if an executive order defies existing law, it is anyone’s guess whether a court of competent jurisdiction will even hear a challenge much less render a righteous court order to stop the executive order.

      And even if a court of competent jurisdiction issues an order to stop agencies from carrying out the executive order, that order is only as good as the willingness of executive branch personnel to abide by the order against themselves. For example, according to Wikipedia, in the case Worcester v. Georgia

      President Andrew Jackson reportedly responded: “[United States Supreme Court Justice] John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!”

      President Abraham Lincoln also ignored an order from the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney regarding Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus rights in 1861.

      In practice, law is whatever a judge says it is and whatever enforcers are interested in doing … regardless of what it is on paper. And that is why we have the Second Amendment and why many (most) of us need to be armed: if the day comes that our own government ignores the clear and righteous rule of law, we will have to restore order ourselves.

  2. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    The Truth? ……….they cannot handle the truth. America has spoken via its purchased firearms.

  3. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    And this is why low information voters will do us in.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Fortunately low information voters mostly don’t.

      1. avatar Bill in IL says:

        Then please explain how Oblah blah got elected twice.

        1. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

          1st elected for “Change”. 2nd election for more #freeshit

  4. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Possibly off topic: Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the ’68 GCA expressly prohibit requiring BG checks for person to person transfers?

    So, the irony here would be gun control is stopping them from more gun control.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I don’t recall there were any BC in 1968, in fact until the Brady Bill in 1993.

  5. avatar Jeff the Griz says:

    Big question how many is “a large number”. Most of these media twits consider 3 guns an arsenal.

  6. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    All background checks are an infringement of a constitutionally protected right, serve no legitimate purpose, and would fail any level of properly applied scrutiny, even if the right to keep and bear arms were legitimately subject to a social utility test.

    1. avatar Tim Bradly says:

      “All background checks are an infringement of a constitutionally protected right”

      Everyone here likes to say this, but no one seems to be able to actually explain how a background check infringes on anyone’s right to keep and bear arms.

      1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        Well, if you have to go to an FFL to do it and the FFL charges you that falls under the criteria of a “poll tax.”

      2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        Just off the top of my head:

        One, they introduce a government-imposed burden into the process of obtaining a firearm.

        Two, any “requirements” the government places on the exercise of a right are inherently a violation of constitutional protection against any government infringement.

        Three, they involve and inform the government of a private citizen’s exercise of a right the government has no business being involved in or informed of.

        1. avatar IYearnforanARinCali says:

          Agreed. The free exercising of our 2nd Amendment rights should be as simple and unobstructed as buying an auto part, simply walking in and buying something at Autozone should be the gold standard of 1) buying any firearm you can afford, 2) buying any silencer you want, 3) any accessories you want, and with the same lack of informing the state that anyone is buying X item at X price without any tax beyond sales.

          I really wish this would become the position of all gun rights advocates, since having to be on the back foot against incremental exclusion from the RTKBA is not working, but it is the role we are placed in as we do not ourselves have representatives who will listen to us.

      3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Tim Bradly,

        Would it be righteous if government required a background check — which requires driving to a federally licensed entity and paying them a fee — before doing any of the following:
        (1) Speaking
        (2) Publishing
        (3) Attending worship service
        (4) Petitioning government for a redress of grievances
        (5) Assembling peaceably
        (6) Exercising our Fifth Amendment right to remain silent
        (7) Asserting our Fourth Amend right to be secure in our personal property
        (8) Purchasing vegetables of our choosing
        (9) Playing golf
        (10) Being intimate with our spouse

        If it is wrong for government to require background checks before exercising all of the other rights in that list above, they are wrong on firearms acquisition and possession.

        And I haven’t even touched on the endless possibilities for government to abuse implementation of background checks. For example government could severely under staff background checkers and bring firearm sales/acquisition effectively to a halt. Or government could define almost any “condition” to be a “prohibited person”.

        1. avatar Larry says:

          Sorry but 1-10 in your example can’t take a life.

          Well maybe if have a weak heart and a super hot wife #10 might kill you:) Not a bad way to go though.

          Your comparison is weak at best.

        2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Sorry but 1-10 in your example can’t take a life.

          A firearm can’t take a life, either. It has no agency; it is an inanimate object.

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          Larry,

          Do you remember the 911 caller about two years ago who said that a man in a Walmart was armed with a rifle and trying to kill people? Let’s ask that man what happened as a result of the 911 caller who exercised his right to free speech. Oh, wait. We can’t ask that man because HE DIED when the police arrived and, acting solely on the word of the 911 caller, promptly shot and killed the patron in Walmart who was doing nothing more than goofing around with a BB gun.

          Of course yelling “Fire!” in a crowded building would never create a stampede that kills anyone. Oh, wait …

          As for playing golf, a golf ball could never hit anyone in the head and kill them. And a golfer could never swing a golf club into someone’s head and kill them. Oh, wait …

          Oh, and I omitted our right to go to the store and purchase nylon pantyhose without a background check. It’s a good thing no one has ever used nylon pantyhose to strangle anyone. Oh, wait …

          Shall I continue?

        4. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Well, nobody else said it, so; A firearm can’t take a life, either. It’s against the law!

      4. avatar Stinkeye says:

        Ask anyone who has failed the background check whether or not it infringed on their right to keep and bear arms.

        The 2A doesn’t say, “the right to keep and bear arms, only for those who are on an approved government list, shall not be infringed.”

      5. avatar donny77 says:

        A lot of people won’t like this, truthfully, the first time I read it I thought is was crazy as well, however, I have come to support the idea. If the People’s right to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed, then that means they cannot ban felons from having guns. And why should they? If they are not in prison, they have been deemed safe to return to society have they not? If you cannot prohibit people from owning guns, what is the purpose of a background check? As has been said, it adds a tax to a guaranteed right. It potentially delays the right, and a right delayed is a right denied. Background checks serve one purpose, to deny a constitutionally protected right.

        Now background checks were initiated against felons, as this was low hanging fruit. Who wants a “felon” to have a gun? Of course, when background checks first started, if you were a felon you probably were convicted of a violent crime like assault with a deadly weapon or murder. Now days you can be a felon for crossing an imaginary line with your firearm, doing some drugs, filling out a federal form wrong, the list goes on. Now they want to add mental health patients to the list? See where we are going?

        I know, the NRA line is we need to keep guns out of the hands of mental patients, but why? While all mass shooters have mental issues, not all people with mental issues are violent. We cry and scream not to judge gun owners by the actions of criminals and less than 1% of the gun owning community. Why then do we turn around and want to hold all mental health patients for the actions of a few? The truth is, when humans try to classify groups in order to exclude a segment of that group, they do so based on the same principals of racism, classism and discrimination that always is applied unfairly. It is not the moral thing to do.

        That is why the second amendment exists. Our forefathers understood human nature, and as soon as you start down the path of denying any group a particular right, it is only a matter of time until only the ruling class has that right.

        1. avatar Larry says:

          “That is why the second amendment exists. Our forefathers understood human nature, and as soon as you start down the path of denying any group a particular right”

          It is absurd to think if those same “forefathers” were alive today that they would not be in favor of some type of restrictions, if for no other reason that the technology advancements in firearms.

          Both sides need to compromise. The Pro Gun people need should be in favor of background checks. The Anti-Gun need to allow the requirements to pass a check to be changes to reasonable reasons. Like to your point, there should be at least two types of Felons, violent and non-violent. Non-violent should not be blocked. Same for mental illness.

          However neither side will budge.

        2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          It is absurd to think if those same “forefathers” were alive today that they would not be in favor of some type of restrictions, if for no other reason that the technology advancements in firearms.

          You mean, those same forefathers who had the most technologically advanced firearms of their day? Or those same forefathers who had cannon in their private arms collections?

          Both sides need to compromise. The Pro Gun people need should be in favor of background checks.

          Why? What do background checks accomplish? In the two decades that we’ve had them, what empirical evidence is there of the accomplishments of background checks?

        3. avatar donny77 says:

          “It is absurd to think if those same “forefathers” were alive today that they would not be in favor of some type of restrictions, if for no other reason that the technology advancements in firearms.”

          First, you have to understand they didn’t unanimously approve everything in the Constitution. They made compromises. Sure, I will concede some would want restrictions, but others would not. I would almost guarantee however, that their response would not be to “reinterpret” the constitution. They left a mechanism for chaning Government. The second amendment prohibits Government from regulating the People’s right to keep and bear arms. The ONLY way to change that is a constitutional amendment.

        4. avatar int19h says:

          The Founding Fathers would likely be aghast at NFA, GCA, Brady and all other federal gun laws, on the grounds that it’s not the job of federal government to regulate such matters, and that it doesn’t have the authority to do so under the Constitution. On the other hand, on the question of whether the states have right to institute background checks and other forms of gun control, you’d probably have many different answers, depending on who you asked. Either way, it would be up to the citizens of those states to figure it out (e.g. by explicitly protecting RKBA in state constitution), and not for feds to intervene one way or the other. Remember, 14th Amendment didn’t exist back then, and not because they forgot about it.

          I’m not saying if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Just understand that you can’t really meaningfully ask “what would the Founders do?”, given that the present political system is vastly different from what they had, both on paper and in fact.

      6. avatar Larry says:

        Let me say now, my response won’t be popular on this site. I am for the most part pro-gun. I own a lot of firearms, I have my CCW and carry all the time, and I am lifetime NRA member.

        Pro Gun and Anti Gun are NEVER going to work things out. There needs to be some common ground and I just dont see it happening.

        I have no problem with a back ground check for every firearms sold. Sold from the maker to the gun store. Sold from the gun store to the citizen. If a citizen wants to sell to another citizen, they should have to go through the current background check. If a single firearm is lost or stolen anywhere in the chain, you should have to legally report it. I would vote to yes on this tomorrow if I could. Any violation of these proposed laws should be prosecuted harshly. All of the firearms I have bought have gone through a Federal background check.

        To me that is just simple logic. Will it solve all of the problems? Not even close. Would it stop some bad people from getting guns, I believe so yes. How many, probably not many. If actually prosecuted I could see it stemming the flow of private gun sales to bad people, which is where most bad people probably get guns. If the law hammered a private gun seller’s a few times the word would get out and I believe it would cut down on a good amount of private gun sales to bad people. Most people do it for quick cash, it is money driven.

        Firearm ownership is a right in the bill of rights. However a device that engineered and built with the sole purpose of destruction (paper, animals, other people) should not be handed out to people that have criminal records, especially violent criminals. I would also lump in certain (not all) mental illnesses.

        As the Anti-Gun people love to say….you need a license to drive a car, why not one to own a gun?

        My whole point is there needs to be some middle ground. I am not in favor of magazine caps or a ban on types of weapons. However if something might help that does not impact a law abiding citizen from owning a firearm to defend themselves I am for it.

        Ok please do your worst to flame me to hell and back!!! 🙂

        1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          To me that is just simple logic. Will it solve all of the problems? Not even close.

          How about we start here: name even one problem that would be solved?

          Would it stop some bad people from getting guns, I believe so yes. How many, probably not many.

          Background have not stopped criminals from getting guns. Not many? Not any. Before implementation of BGCs, criminals got their firearms from FFLs 10-15% of the time. After implementation of BGCs, criminals continue to get the firearms from FFLs 10-15% of the time.

          If actually prosecuted I could see it stemming the flow of private gun sales to bad people, which is where most bad people probably get guns.

          Actually, the main sources are through theft (40%+) and from private transfers (friends/family/black market – 40%+). Background checks won’t do squat to prevent that.

          If the law hammered a private gun seller’s a few times the word would get out and I believe it would cut down on a good amount of private gun sales to bad people. Most people do it for quick cash, it is money driven.

          Right. The dude selling out of his trunk is going to close up shop, because of a new law.

          Do you actually think these things through?

          However a device that engineered and built with the sole purpose of destruction (paper, animals, other people) should not be handed out to people that have criminal records, especially violent criminals. I would also lump in certain (not all) mental illnesses.

          Anyone unfit to possess a firearm is unfit to remain in free society. No law will prevent such a person from acquiring a firearm, if such a person desires one.

          As the Anti-Gun people love to say….you need a license to drive a car, why not one to own a gun?

          This nonsense? Really?

          Let me know when you get your license to attend church, mkay?

          My whole point is there needs to be some middle ground.

          If the founding fathers intended there to be middle ground, they would not have put the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed in the constitution.

          However if something might help that does not impact a law abiding citizen from owning a firearm to defend themselves I am for it.

          Please explain how it will help? Seriously: how will words written on a piece of paper constrain the actions of people who do not care about words written on a piece of paper? And to the extent that any such laws are enforceable, please explain how they can be enforced effectively without grossly violating the rights of the law-abiding?

        2. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Larry, “private gun sales to bad people” are already illegal. It’s against the law to sell a gun to someone you know or have reason to believe is a prohibited person. Yet is still happens (though not nearly as much as I think you believe – most criminals get guns by stealing them or through straw purchases and such, not by scouring Armslist for a private sale of a Hi-Point). So how would another law making it “more illegaler” stop people who are already ignoring the existing law?

          Criminals don’t obey the law. It’s embarrassing to have to point that out to an adult…

        3. avatar Bill in IL says:

          You are not pro gun, not even close, you are a FUDD!

        4. avatar donny77 says:

          How do you find a middle ground between a groups that wants to take something and another group that doesn’t want to give it up. There is no middle there. What concessions are the anti-gun people willing to make? As for the pro gun, we did concede in ’32, in’68, in 86 and in 92. After that we said, “You keep asking for more, fuck off.” Don’t lecture the gun community on concession. The anti gun lobby has never conceded anything. Any rights we got back we got in spite of them not with them. Not one more inch.

        5. avatar LarryinTX says:

          How in the world do you believe the government could *enforce* those ever so reasonable demands? Because the words “death penalty” would come up very quickly. Why would I EVER report a sale, for any reason? How, in fact, do you propose to prove I did sell a gun at all? How do you propose to find out I ever owned the gun you claim I sold? How could you know whether it was stolen as I claim, lost as it may be, or sold? Your suggestion is not well thought out, until magic is invented.

        6. avatar int19h says:

          >> You are not pro gun, not even close, you are a FUDD!

          This attitude is exactly why you’ll get not just universal background checks, but also AWB, mag capacity limits etc etc. And very soon.

          Because when you “No True Scotsman”, eventually only very few will be “True Scotsman”. And then the rest will just ignore them and steamroll over them, politically and otherwise, because they can.

        7. avatar Larry says:

          @Chip

          “Right. The dude selling out of his trunk is going to close up shop, because of a new law.”

          Under my proposal how did that dude selling guns out of his trunk get those guns????

          Remember I said a background check for every transfer. Who was the last person to have the gun via a transfer? Was it the trunk dude?

          If so, and that gun is used in a crime, because trunk dude sold that gun to a bad guy….trunk dude pounds some rocks for the next 20+ years.

          If not then you go back to the last legal transfer. This person either sold the gun to trunk dude with out a background/transfer or the gun was stolen from him. So if he sold the guns without going through the background/transfer process, because he needed money quick or whatever, he gets to pound rocks for 20+ years. If it was stolen and he did not report it, then lets be lax on him and let him pound rocks for 10+ years. The only option this guy has to keep him from pounding rocks is legal transfer (background check) or if it was stolen, and he reported it under the requirements (time frame etc).

          That threat of prison for 10 or more years should eliminate that 40% you quoted of sales to bad guys.

          Again logic and compromise.

          To your point of has back ground checks ever stopped someone? I have been at a gun store, buying a gun and someone in front of me was denied. Why…I have no idea, nor did the gun store. Maybe it was a mistake or maybe not. I am sure that (too lazy to look) there is some published number of how many people are denied each year? How many are legit is another question all together. The more important point that Pro-Gun people make and I agree with is why doesn’t the fed’s go after those that try buy a gun and denied based on real reasons (convicted violent felon etc). Basically enforce the laws we already have.

        8. avatar Chip Bennett says:

          Under my proposal how did that dude selling guns out of his trunk get those guns????

          Remember I said a background check for every transfer. Who was the last person to have the gun via a transfer? Was it the trunk dude?

          If so, and that gun is used in a crime, because trunk dude sold that gun to a bad guy….trunk dude pounds some rocks for the next 20+ years.

          If not then you go back to the last legal transfer.

          That would be all well and good, except:

          1. There are already about 350,000,000 firearms currently in circulation, with no traceability.

          2. The only way to enforce your plan is to establish a de facto, federal gun registry, which is both unconstitutional and statutorily illegal.

          To your point of has back ground checks ever stopped someone? I have been at a gun store, buying a gun and someone in front of me was denied.

          Denied at FFL != denied altogether. Again: only 10-15% of criminals obtained their firearms through FFLs, and that number has barely moved from prior to background checks, until now. That tells me two things:

          1. 85-90% of criminals use non-FFL sources to get their firearms. So, background checks fail to meet their intended purpose 85-90% of the time.
          2. Even with background checks, 10-15% of criminals were still able to get their firearms through an FFL, by passing a background check.

          Why…I have no idea, nor did the gun store. Maybe it was a mistake or maybe not. I am sure that (too lazy to look) there is some published number of how many people are denied each year? How many are legit is another question all together.

          FBI publishes those numbers, if you care to look. There are a lot of false positives, and for the legit positives, the arrest/prosecution/conviction rate is basically zero.

    2. avatar CB says:

      This is where the problems usually start. People read the text of the Constitution then make their own personal interpretation of what it means without regard for the centuries (literally) of legal findings regarding the same. It is universally accepted that rights are not without limits (e.g. slander and the First Amendment) so to declare absolutes that contradict virtually the entire history of the Constitution is not an argument that has any standing. Now you can legitimately argue what you consider “reasonable”, although even the most conservative judges on the Supreme Court have found that it is indeed reasonable to restrict access to guns for felons, the mentally ill, etc. We like to say that we don’t need new gun laws, we just need the government to enforce the laws we already have. IMO, if you really look at Obama’s EO, like him or not, that’s really all it’s doing.

      1. avatar donny77 says:

        The 10th amendment reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” You may think the idea that all rights have limits is universal, but it is not. First, the example used is incorrect. We do not duct tape mouths shut as they enter a theater. The first amendment does not protect you from the consequences of speech. Yes, you can be tried for libel, just like a gun owner can be tried for murder. You always have the freedom to say what you want though. Here is the big catch 22. In order for individual rights to be limited, the Government needs unlimited rights. This is clearly not the case. Individual rights trump Government powers unless expressly changed under law.

        Second, what is this statement, “the right of the People to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Is that delegating a power to the Federal government or is it prohibiting? It is prohibiting. It does not grant a right to the People, the People retained the right, then barred Government from its infringement. Now, you say the right can’t be limitless, but the Government is barred from limiting it. If you are saying the prohibition is not unlimited, then it doesn’t prohibit.

      2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        People read the text of the Constitution then make their own personal interpretation of what it means without regard for the centuries (literally) of legal findings regarding the same.

        We are a nation of laws, as defined by the constitution; not a nation ruled by the whims of black-robed tyrants.

        It is universally accepted that rights are not without limits (e.g. slander and the First Amendment) so to declare absolutes that contradict virtually the entire history of the Constitution is not an argument that has any standing.

        Slander inherently involves actual harm of another. The exercise of the right to keep and bear arms does not, any more than the exercise of the right of free speech.

        Misusing first amendment-protected rights to slander is analogous to misusing second amendment-protected rights to murder.

        Just as the right of free speech, when exercised in a manner that does not inherently harm another, is absolute, so is the right to keep and bear arms, when exercised in a manner that does not inherently harm another, absolute.

        Court have found that it is indeed reasonable to restrict access to guns for felons, the mentally ill, etc.

        Please name the law that has successfully restricted access to guns for felons, the mentally ill, etc.?

        It is one thing for a law to intend to do something; but when the law inevitably only serves to violate the rights of the law-abiding, while being utterly useless at effecting its stated intent, I don’t care what a few men in black robes say about it; it is unconstitutional.

      3. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Judges on SCOTUS are government functionaries, their “findings” which expand the reach of government are suspect, to say the least. If push comes to shove, it is the ruling of the people which will actually carry the day, regardless of the opinions of the late SCOTUS, and generally the people can read plain English, without legal crap blinding them to the obvious meaning of 27 words. More to the point, it will be the ruling of the armed people, everybody else can just hush.

  7. avatar TxGal says:

    Washington Post? Yipper, that’s reliable!
    Last time I was at a Gun Show, and it’s been years ago, you had table top sellers, all dealers ready to run your background check. Then you had maybe one or two guys wandering around with flag in the pipe “For Sale”, trying to sell a gun. Not seeing this as a huge issue. If you are a gang banger, probably don’t get your pistol at a gun show.
    Most of my gun collection come from on-line sellers, who ship direct to my designated FFL. There is no Gun Show or On-Line loop hole. Bogus position for EO

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “Then you had maybe one or two guys wandering around with flag in the pipe “For Sale”, “

      I go to a couple gun shows a year, usually when I’m in the market for something specific and want to see what deals I can get. For example, sometimes get pretty good (in the current market) prices on bricks of match .22 LR ammo.

      I’ve never seen a non-business (and presumably FFL) seller at a gun show. I’m sure they DO exist, but they are just not at the shows I attend….at least that I’ve noticed.

      I, like you and most here, concluded long ago, based on what *I* see at gun shows, that this “gun show loophole” nonsense is more non-problem problem creation for the purpose of proposing a solution…one that is not needed, won’t change anything in the long run and will fail to solve the problem it purports to solve.

      Which is the entire point, of course. Proggie Politicians are in the business of pushing solutions that won’t have any effect. That’s the point. If they solved a problem, it cuts into their “We are Needed To Solve This Problem” narrative.

      1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

        Just to play devil’s advocate, JR, I attend the Dixie show almost every time it’s in town (though I have never purchased a piece there *shocked face*) and see someone carrying a flag or sign on a firearm stating it’s for sale nearly every time. That said; of the (tens of?) thousands of people attending, how many are actually selling, and how many of those “selling” actually sell? Who knows. Non-vendor/FFL sales are an absurdly small percentage of sales at shows, and in general.

        The “Gun Show Loophole” is a fancy name for a problem that doesn’t exist. We all know that, but many muggles still think we ammosexuals have fully automatic weapons mounted above our headboards.

        1. avatar TR says:

          Heh heh right. *quietly removes full-auto AK from headboard mount*

        2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “Just to play devil’s advocate, JR, I attend the Dixie show almost every time it’s in town (though I have never purchased a piece there *shocked face*) and see someone carrying a flag or sign on a firearm stating it’s for sale nearly every time.”

          Don’t doubt that at all.

          Was just pointing out it’s not EVERY gun show, and re-emphasizing (like we all keep saying) it’s a misnamed non-issue.

  8. avatar Bob says:

    It looks to me that Obama is giving ATF a directive to “get into the knickers” of anyone at a gun show or advertising on the internet – and not just FFL or C&R holders. This appears to be a new and dangerous direction for ATF prying into the activities of ordinary citizens trying to sell their guns.

    To determine whether a citizen is “in the business”, ATF must look at several factors (see ATF-P-5310.2), including “whether you represent yourself as a dealer in firearms; whether you are repetitively buying and selling firearms; the circumstances under which you are selling firearms; and whether you are looking to make a profit”.

    The only way ATF can do this is by close scrutiny of individuals at gun shows and over the internet…… Since it is not possible to know which table holders have an FFL at a gunshow, it means everyone may well be under surveillance – and every gun advertised on the internet will attract their attention.

    And, of course, not every ATF agent (or informer) can tell the difference between antique and modern guns, so everyone will be under suspicion. Does this mean the rise of an American Stasi?

    1. avatar marty says:

      … Since it is not possible to know which table holders have an FFL at a gunshow,

      I have never been to a “Gun Show” yet, but I would think it would be easy to know ( at least if buying) who is an FFL, besides the fact most dealers (store/ shops) have signs promoting who they are.

      1. avatar Bob says:

        Marty: I’d suggest you attend a few gun shows so you would know what they’re like…… Most licensees do not have signs. You are correct in one respect – If you buy a gun and have to fill out a 4473 and get a background check, then it’s an FFL. C&R license and private sales do not require a 4473 or background check – depending on the state.

        1. avatar Red In Texas says:

          Are there gun shows that let individuals set up a table to sell their personal collection? I’ve been to several in Texas, and the only thing non FFL holders were selling was everything BUT firearms. Maybe some show “owners” do it differently?

        2. avatar Bob says:

          To: Red in Texas.
          Virtually every gun show in the country allows individuals to rent tables to sell their personal firearms. I only say that because I’ve had a table at hundreds of gun shows over the last 50 plus years.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          You just have to have some serious personal firearms, you have to buy that table, it would be an extremely expensive way to sell 2 or 3 guns, as opposed to just presenting them to a dealer to see what he’d offer.

    2. avatar Stinkeye says:

      “…and every gun advertised on the internet will attract their attention.”

      Then they’re going to need a few hundred thousand more agents, and Ritalin prescriptions for all of them, because there’s a metric shitload of guns advertised on the internet.

      1. avatar Bob says:

        Whoa, Stinkeye! Did you miss the part about:

        “ATF has established an Internet Investigation Center to track illegal online firearms trafficking…..” They’ve got the people and the resources.

  9. avatar Angrysnarf says:

    There is no gun show loophole in California

    Which states have this?

    1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

      Any state that allows private party transfers without an FFL getting involved. When I was a kid, my father had his FFL just so he could buy/sell/trade with his hunting buddies in CA.

      My home state of North Carolina allows private party sales without a background check so long as the purchaser has a valid concealed carry permit. Otherwise the purchaser is required to pick up a “purchase permit” from the county for a fee of $5 dollars and a BG check is run when said permit is applied for.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I really don’t understand why anybody would pay any attention to such a requirement. How is anyone going to find out? I mean, if the buyer appears dodgy, fine, but if it is your cousin, your neighbor, your son, why would you comply with this crap? And why would anyone even assume a seller had been advised of such stupidity?

        1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

          Not only do some states require FFL transfers, but they also have obscene penalties for owning/transferring firearms without the proper paperwork.

          I left the state for a LOT of reasons, my love for firearms is one of them.

    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      There is no “gun show loophole” anywhere.

      What does exist: a few states passed laws which require all people acquiring a firearm (whether through purchase, gift, or loan) to pass a background check before they can acquire any firearm from any source.

      Most states do not interfere with a person who wants to sell a personal firearm to another person … or to give a firearm as a gift to another person.

      1. avatar Matt Richardson says:

        Not only do some states require FFl transfers, but they also have obscene penalties for owning/transferring firearms without the proper paperwork. I left the state for a LOT of reasons, my love for firearms is one of them.

  10. avatar EJQ says:

    My dilemma? We are supposed to (or want to) transfer gifted rifles to son when he turns 18 in March, gifted pistols when he turns 21. Will we still be able to do this, or not? Although it’s a small “arsenal”, we’re not sure we can do this, any longer.

    1. avatar marty says:

      I believe (Federally) you can give them to him (He can own process) at anytime prior to those respective ages. He must be 18 and 21 respectively to buy firearm or ammo from a store.

      Of course a parent should know the maturity and stability of said youth.

  11. avatar Jeremiah S. says:

    I don’t think the amount of guns sold should be a determining factor at all. I think the biggest determining factor should be what perentage of their yearly income is from selling firearms. If it’s a huge percentage and they don’t have an ffl, I think that would be some cause for concern.
    It’ll never happen because the amount of people who would be caught doing that would be below negligible I think.

  12. avatar BDub says:

    Tried and true formula: Teach the public with tainted information and then ask them for their educated opinion…Oh look, they agree with the teacher!

  13. What I find more laughable than the “gun show loophole” canard is the “buy a gun on the internet” one. Unknowledgeable people probably think that someone can buy a gun on the internet and have it delivered to their door just like from Amazon. They are willfully ignorant of the facts and the law. The hoplophobes play on this ignorance with their propaganda.

    1. avatar Zymurgst says:

      People believe you can get guns direct from Amazon cuz this
      http://www.wired.com/2012/08/tv-amazon-assault-rifle/

      1. avatar Frank says:

        What’s with the Lutz calling 911? OMFG I just received a starry black rifle. Come take it from me before it makes me kill someone

        Once the cop shows up, no gun, no TV, no money returned, damn lucky he wasn’t shot or prosecuted.

  14. avatar TR says:

    I really wish the system proposed by someone here months ago would be implemented: You want to buy a gun from a guy you found on armslist, so you go to meet with him. You pull up your NICS smartphone ap, put in your SSN or DL# or CCW# and hit ‘submit’, and it gives you a code that expires in 48 hours. You show the code to the seller of the gun, who puts it into his own smartphone ap, which verifies the authenticity of the code, and you buy the gun. He now knows you’re not a prohibited person, but all the .gov has is a record of you obtaining a BG check code; they have no record of what firearm you purchased or whether you purchased it at all.

    I would absolutely be in favor of this. Something similar exists for cell phones to check the ESN# and MEID for free to make sure they’re not stolen. Since they already have the database, it can’t be that hard to build an ap to interface and run the search and return an approval or denial.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      That is not what government wants to happen, or it would. They want more control. We want to know *why* they want more control, do they have a plan of some sort? Which armed citizens might interfere with?

    2. avatar int19h says:

      It was probably me – I pitched this a few times here (and elsewhere), except I also suggested issuing a verification code that the seller could store and later offer as conclusive evidence that a check has been performed, should they ever need to prove it beyond any doubt. As a software developer, I actually know how to implement such a system in a way that would ensure privacy of those being background-checked and and prevent a gun registry or something similar.

      I don’t think it’ll ever happen. Most people on the left don’t care because they don’t trust decentralized systems and think that the government is the best solution for everything; and they don’t care (or even like) the fact that centralized background checks effectively require a registry. Most people on the right who are vocal on this issue are against background checks in general, and those who aren’t don’t really want to go against their party’s platform.

  15. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Nobody ever asked ME about expanded background checks. How may TTAG people would even respond to such a ??? And I never wait around for canned(or recorded “messages”) on my phone…

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    What constitutes “a large number of guns”

    According to Attorney General Loretta Holder, oops, I mean Eric Lynch, a large number of guns is one or two. More than that would be a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious number of guns and would be punishable by exile to Kenya or something.

  17. avatar Bob says:

    I’m not a lawyer, and I don’t play one on TV…….

    One more thought…. If you are an individual with several guns you are selling at a gun show, ATF may decide to charge you with dealing without a license. Why? They just may not like you. Or they may be only trying to curry favor from the administration or get a promotion. They may plant evidence on you, or lie about how many guns they saw you buy/sell. Lies are not unusual for ATF agents (It’s well documented). Even though you are guilty of nothing, the legal fees to defend yourself may bankrupt you. ATF and the administration will get the publicity they want about getting tough on prosecuting unlicensed dealers. When you prevail in district court, the government will appeal the decision. By the time you win in the Appeals Court, you are deeply in debt, and the media will have forgotten your case. The government got the publicity it wanted – at your expense. You end up broke, maybe losing your job, your wife, your house and car, and the government get what it wants…..

    Think it won’t happen? Think again.

  18. avatar Anonymous says:

    There is no gun show loophole. Private sales were intended decades ago and were specifically written in law. The rules outside the gun show are exactly the same as those inside the gun show. The rules don’t change when you enter the gun show.

  19. avatar Al says:

    Background checks are worse than useless. They are a tool to harass law abiding gun owners and extort them for money. I live in CA where we have had UBC for over 20 years. It hasn’t stopped criminals from getting guns nor has it lowered “gun violence” (the term itself a perversion of statistics by mainstream media to further their antigun agenda). What it does do is
    1) Force everyone to go to an FFL. If I’m selling a gun to my best and trusted friend, who I’ve known for 30yrs, who owns multiple guns and has passed multiple background checks when buying new, we still need to go down to the shop and fill out forms, submit fingerprints, pay the fee.
    2) Allow the government to extort law abiding citizens. The CA gun transfer fee has built a surplus of 20 million dollars, and the CA gov has been re-appropriating it (stealing it) from CA gun owners to form a group of jack booted thugs for the sole purpose of gun confiscation. We CA gun owners paid the fee for the purpose of processing transfers. Any excess should be refunded to gun owners or used to make processing smoother. Instead it is being used, without our permission, but in the name of public safety, to confiscate guns from felons (and law abiding citizens who live with felons have had their guns taken as well).

    The irony: bunch of CA FFLs supported UBC in CA, when it was introduced, because they thought it would increase customers and sales. Instead, FFLs are forced to work for $10 for every private party transaction, which can take an hour if the seller/buyer are new to guns. That time could be used to make more money from people buying new, but UBC ties the FFL up because they are required by law to facilitate the transfer.

    The big issue with UBC, is the comparison of how much our right is infringed against how much good it actually does. Criminals source guns via alternative routes. They don’t buy them through legitimate avenues! They build them (guns are easy to build), steal them, or buy them from family and friends. UBC does nothing to prevent criminals from attaining guns. It only harasses law abiding gun owners and provide a means for the gov to extort them.

    *Feel free to repost this on other sites if you like it*

  20. avatar IYearnforanARinCali says:

    I think as a community we need to change up the argument from accepting Background checks as a stopgap measure to stave off outright confiscation and be resolute in our response to anti-gun clowns, so as to place the anti-gun wonks on the back foot. We need to shout long and loud about how all the firearms laws already enacted are not being strenuously enforced to truly address this violence epidemic that the left screams about. We need to bring out into discussion that every gun law passed now is designed to catch gun owners out on a technicality and NOT criminals, besides, public support for the 2nd is growing thanks to that ragamuffin Ohbama.

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