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Never underestimate the lengths to which the mainstream media will go to clear a path to the nomination for Hillary Clinton. Up to and including knocking down one of the best loved, most repeated justifications for enacting new gun control laws. Case in point: Bernie “Get Off My Lawn!” Sanders’ invocation of the infamous “gun show loophole” during last night’s Democrat debate . . .

As Nick pointed out, there wasn’t a lot of talk about guns last night, mostly because the five candidates were largely in lockstep agreement that Americans’ 2A rights need to be dialed back. But ol’ Bern, defending his marginally less prohibitive stance where firearms are concerned against attacks from Hillary, made sure to play to the crowd and call for closing that supposedly gaping chasm in the law.

Stepping up in the cause of truth (and shoring up Hillary’s flagging poll numbers), this morning’s Politico ‘Wrongometer’ fisks some of the points made last night, letting loose with this one:

Sorry, Bernie: The “gun show loophole” doesn’t exist

When Bernie Sanders mentioned closing the so-called “gun show” loophole—one of the most widely supported gun-control measures on the left. But there’s one problem: the “gun show” loophole doesn’t actually exist.

There’s nothing in particular about gun shows that allows otherwise illegal gun sales to occur. Sanders instead is referring to an exclusion in the gun laws that does not require a background check in a private sale. It doesn’t matter if that sale is at the seller’s home or at a gun show, a background check is not legally required.

A refreshing moment of clarity, no? Not really. Just a prime example of the lengths (even committing a Kinsley gaffe) to which those on the left will go to ding Hill’s biggest rival.

Will this put paid to Dems using the non-existent loophole in order to justify their calls for universal background checks? Don’t bet on it. No fallacy, no juicy bit of agitating anti-gun agitprop is out of bounds when the cause is civilian disarmament. Or getting a Democrat elected.



[h/t DC]

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  1. The reason you didn’t get more on guns might also have something to do with the fact that Jim Webb was completely ignored. I didn’t like that bit about background checks, but I think this meant information sharing, not a prohibition of private sales.

    • I really wanted to hear what he had to say, I was yelling at Anderson Cooper every time he cut Webb off.

    • I hear ya on webb, but he no longer has a place in the democrat party. I watched Frank Luntz’ panel on Megyn Kelly’s show after the democrat debate.

      100% of the panel of democrats he had said that He needed to go. They all, to the last one, wanted him kicked off the stage.

      Conservative Democrats have no home at this point.

      • “Conservative Democrats have no home at this point.”

        Sure they do. It’s called the Republican Party.

          • Exactly. Of course for people like me who never fit either mold, I’m still screwed. Why is it that individual liberty and responsibility are in the opposite camp from leaving our grandchildren a planet worth having? All politicians should be sent to the sun in a rocket.

      • “Conservative Democrats”

        Sure. My car has a 4 cylinder V8 engine. Black is white. Up is down. Short is long. I slammed a revolving door. I live on the second floor of a vacant lot. I floss my teeth with shaving cream. I eat coffee with chopsticks. My penis is a vagina.

        • Is that you, Caitlynn?? But seriously–yes, on the national scene “pro-life Democrats” = “pro-gun Democrats” = Nessie, Sasquatch, the chupacabra, the yeti…

        • Just like there are RINOs, thereare DINOs. Sometimes politicians don’t toe the party line. What’s more is that Jim Webb is not a career politician.

        • @JAlan– I personally think Jim Webb is a grade-A jackass. But that’s not the important thing–can you tell me where Webb ever failed to “toe the line” (and BTW, thanks for using the correct expression!) when it counted, when it would actually make a difference in favor of gun rights? Bart Stupak supposedly did not “toe the line” on abortion–except when it counted, then he provided the actual literal go-ahead vote in favor of it. And then, to add insult to injury, like the good “pro-life Dem” that he is (read: hopeless sniveling hypocrite) he played like he was “surprised” and “disappointed” that Obamacare actually funded abortions. Until someone shows me different, I will assume Webb acts like every other “conservative” Dem that I know of–when push comes to shove, they will fold like a cheap suit.

  2. I know the democrats are generally stupid, I know they pander to stupidity, hell that is after all their voting base. However when you hear over and over that there is NO gun show loophole, that it does not exist, I would think some of these people would want to research it out and see who is lying. The very fact that they are not willing to do that and follow in lockstep to what the filth that Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin Malloy are saying is proof of how ignorant they are. You literally have to be mindless to support any of the democrats.

    • The issue, John, is that they DON’T hear that the gun show loophole doesn’t exist. They keep to their echo chambers similarly to TTAG’ers keeping to theirs and they don’t HEAR that side of the argument. The only reason we hear about it here because it’s used as ammo to fuel the fire and, frankly, keep the rhetorical circle jerk in motion.

      It is what it is, and it pays the bills, I don’t fault either side’s media for not actually doing their job and providing unbiased data.

  3. Meanwhile, Joy Behar says that she was aroused by Bernie Sanders. Yup, sexually aroused. So now I understand the source of that metallic buzzing background noise that I heard on “The View.”

  4. I’m sure Politico will call Hillary! out the next time she uses that phrase, too. Yep, I’m sure. Surely.

  5. politico is Hillary cheerleaders this is less about recognizing a non existent “loop hole” and more about knocking Sanders down a peg

    • At least now we’ve got it in writing from a (sort of) mainstream Statist news organization: The Gun Show loophole doesn’t exist. Be sure to save that article.

      • Yep, you’d better screen-shot and save it, because I bet it’ll be gone soon after she wins the nomination (if not before).

        The memory hole is deep and fast when it benefits Dems.

        Mark my words and see for yourself.

  6. Why is Bernie spouting the same language that originated from studies made in the early 90’s? Because he doesn’t know the issues, just the talking points.

  7. So Politico told a half-truth.
    The rest of the truth, that gun show vendors are people engaged in the business of selling guns and are therefore required by federal law to have an FFL, and that they are required to conduct a background check on every buyer regardless of the venue, is ignored.

    So they can crucify Sanders while allowing the low information voters to continue believing any thug can stroll into a gun show and walk out with a Glock.

    • Curtis, that is not even close to correct information for many states, although it MIGHT be accurate in your state/locality.

      Federal law/guidelines says that gun owners may make an occasional sale of firearms to improve or change their collection without any legal requirement to become a licensed firearm dealer. And none of the states, localities, or gun show organizers in the states where I have lived or visited require table renters to be a firearm dealer (otherwise the junk dealers, beef-jerky sellers, and all the other non-gun-related crap tables would be gone). I’ve been renting gun show tables for decades, just to sell-off old holsters, rifle stocks, revolver grips, and other accessories I no longer need. I am usually joined by several other like-minded gun enthusiasts to help spread out the cost of the table. We rarely have any guns on the table unless we are looking for a trade, but we have sold guns on occasion, and there has never been a problem with it. Considering the local BATFE agents have been regular customers and acquaintances, I think I’d know by now if there was a legal problem with this set-up.

      • In Illinois we have to use the Illinois State Police website and do a background check using the buyer’s FOID information, and the waiting period is supposed to apply. 24 hours for long gun, 72 for hand gun. I would bet that most of us follow the rules in Illinois. I for one do not want to end up as the litmus test in Illinois…

  8. Usually the gun show loophole is mentioned by “them” in the same breath as internet sales. Without FFL involvement both are ghosts. Control of private party face-to-face transactions is what they want, but do not know how to say it.

    • They don’t want to stop at face to face transactions only involving guns I fear. I wholeheartedly believe they want to know every little deal that happens in every little corner of the country.

      They’d probably really love to tax street corner drug sales and prostituting as well.

  9. “…mostly because the five candidates were largely in lockstep agreement that Americans’ 2A rights need to be dialed back.”

    Dan, I luv ya, but I am on a mission to correct this mis-statement wherever and whenever I find it.

    The right to keep and bear arms is a natural, civil and Constitutionally PROTECTED right. It is not a “Second Amendment Right” as in it is granted to us by the government by the Second Amendment. The point of the 2A is only to protect that right from government infringement.

    • How right you are! It needs to be shouted from the rooftops more often. We get nothing in the form of rights FROM the government. We were born with them. Government is FORBIDDEN to take them. Period

  10. Although it is interesting what they did to ding Sanders, me thinks some editor @ politico is gonna get in trouble for this one. It will be cited to since they are the only “authority” libs respect. I am actually glad they did this for 2 reasons:

    1) Biden probably won’t get in so Bernie is the only threat on the witch’s left, which tacks her harder ledt

    2) Recent fox news poll had the witch lose to every one of the major GOP candidates in a general election, while Biden beat every one of them. If we gotta go to war, I would rather take on McGovern/Mondale than Al Gore

  11. Best thing we can all do is send money to Bernie’s campaign and vote for him in an open primary state. Hillary actually has a shot at winning, which is a disaster.

    • Careful, that line of thinking backfired on me in ’08. I went so far as to change my voter registration to Dem (FL has closed primaries) so I could vote against Shrillery in the Dem primary. Yep, I voted for that steaming pile that I believed COULD NOT beat the repubs. Fvck me in the goat-ass, but I was so wrong.

  12. Webb was ignored to push Hillary up as Webb is less left extreme than any on stage. He’s also likely the most experienced and sharpest cookie of the bunch. Again, no one wants to hear a wise person speak. The “loophole” is an old word game which only works on those who don’t know what a gun-show is or how they work.

  13. Pretty soon, the Dems will be trying to close that pesky “Citizenship Loophole.” You know, the one about voting and stuff.

    • You mean pretty soon they WILL close it; they’ve been “trying” for a long time now. Moonbeam is already proposing automatically registering the illegals to vote when they sign up for their Cali-issued DLs.

  14. Gang bangers from Chicago are going to gun shows in droves to buy their weapons from private dealers who don’t run background checks…..Said no one ever!!!

    • Generally speaking, those so-called “unlicensed gun dealers” at the gun shows I’ve attended are selling the types of guns not wanted by ‘gang-bangers’: older collectable revolvers, shotguns and rifles….probably from their own collections.

  15. “Closing the gun show loophole”, “universal background checks”, these are the words of anti-civil rights bigots. Their agenda is criminalizing the transfer of firearms between private citizens, with draconian punishments in the form of lengthy prison sentances and exorbitant fines for otherwise law abiding citizens. Lets call it what it is.

  16. “not require a background check in a private sale.”

    Unless you are in the now closer to communist State of Washington.

    Sure, it’s unenforceable, but the electorate bought the BS hook, line, sinker, and bobber hereabouts.

    It can’t be challenged unless someone actually gets arrested, so it is in limbo for now.

  17. The media and everyone from Bloomberg to the NAACP have been spouting this gun show loophole tripe for years. Just another attempt to lie to the uninformed masses who vote Democrat in order to push their agenda.

  18. “Gun Show Loophole” is a colloquialism used to refer to private sales made to strangers by gun owners who are not licensed as gun dealers. It stems from the reality that gun shows are a preferred venue for making such sales to strangers. The internet is another preferred mode for arranging such transactions.

    Private sales by gun owners not licensed as dealers were exempted from background checks, based on an understanding that those owners would be selling or giving guns to friends, family or other individuals who they personally knew to be eligible to possess guns lawfully.

    That understanding has not worked out in practice. A small contingent of gun owners have been making private sales to strangers, often with the express advantage of circumventing background checks that would establish the purchaser’s ineligibility. The exemption for private sales has made it impracticable, if not strictly impossible, to prosecute such unscrupulous sellers.

    Anyone who sells a gun to a stranger outside of the background check system is an enemy of responsible gun ownership, an enabler of the opponents of Second Amendment rights, and should be treated as a pariah by any responsible community of gun owners.

    Closing this “loophole” (an accurate term for what this exemption has become in the hands of unscrupulous private gun sellers) is a good in itself, and could be made even better by pairing it in a bargain with a pro-gun reform that the NRA and its membership favors.

    • “Gun show loophole” and “internet gun sales” are weasel-word phrases used by gun grabbers who (a) ignorantly believe or (b) want everyone else to ignorantly believe that unlicensed dealers are sitting at tables full of guns at gun shows selling dozens of weapons a day to any jackalope who walks by, or sitting in a warehouse in front of a PC shipping hundreds of guns a week through parcel post to anyone who e-mails them a credit-card number. And their object is not to stop black-market dealers, it is to chip away at gun rights and individual rights and property rights in any way they can.

    • “Closing this “loophole” (an accurate term for what this exemption has become in the hands of unscrupulous private gun sellers) is a good in itself, and could be made even better by pairing it in a bargain with a pro-gun reform that the NRA and its membership favors.”

      It is in no way ‘good’ in its self.

      The private sale background check generates a defacto gun registration list of gun owners and the guns they own.

      A really handy list to have when gun confiscation starts…

    • A small contingent? You must be joking. There is much more than a small contingent engaged in private sales with strangers in just my state, hell just in my city. I have purchased and sold this way many times without breaking any law and will continue to do so.

      I bought a .22 rifle for $40 not that long ago and the idea of paying about half of that again to another stranger so that it can be registered sounds like a shit sandwich without the bread. There are also other steps one can take besides a background check if desired. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Your assumptions about people that buy and sell this way sound much like those of an anti.

      Do you really feel the remarkable amount of unconstitutional laws we already have that infringe on the 2A are not enough? Even if someone obeys every one of those laws that is still not good enough for you and they are an enemy of responsible gun ownership and should be treated like a pariah? It doesn’t even matter if a crime is committed or not? The truth is that you just don’t like it so it has to go for everyone else. That sounds disturbingly familiar.

    • iowaclass, you’re full or crap on multiple levels. First, gun shows have never been the “preferred venue” for making private sales (see the many jailed criminal studies/polls on this issue). In fact, for decades, the best/easiest/quickest way to make a private sale was through the Classifieds section of your local newspaper or an ad handwritten on a piece of paper stuck to a local thumbtack-type bulletin board. These were available 24/7/365 vs the short time gun shows are open, and the vast majority of private sales were made through these avenues. Internet-based bulletin board systems are nothing more than an updated electronic version of these old paper systems that reach a wider audience.

      Second, private sales were not exempted from background checks based on the mythical understanding you quoted, but due to the FBI objecting to allowing anyone to use the background check system for fear it would be overloaded with people checking on the backgrounds of their daughter’s new boyfriend, the new babysitter, or their vehicle mechanic/doctor/employees/boss, etc. To address these concerns, the FBI proposed that only licensed gun dealers be allowed to access the system, and only in conjunction with a verified purchase attempt. Later, the system was expanded to allow access by state agencies doing background checks for concealed weapon permits and other similar specific situations requiring checks (teachers, child day care workers, certain other jobs, etc.). I lived through this period of history, and followed the news on it very closely, and although the concerns you pointed out did come up in discussion, they were NOT the reason the system was set up as it currently exists.

      A formal background check is completely unnecessary for most private sales for the following reasons:
      – The buyer is often already known to the seller (not a stranger), as you said.
      – Many private buyers already own guns, so the usual stated purpose of a background check (to prevent people who shouldn’t have a gun from getting one) is moot. THIS IS IMPORTANT, AND SHOULD BE EMPHASIZED MORE OFTEN!
      – Many private gun buyers have already received a background check in connection with another recent purchase of a firearm from a Federally licensed gun dealer, receiving a concealed weapon permit, or being licensed as a teacher/doctor/pharmacist/HazMat truck driver or other job that requires a check. Just because the person doesn’t get a check at a particular moment in time, does NOT mean that they haven’t EVER had a background check. Scumbags usually start their scumbag career early in life, so any clean BG check on an adult usually means they are not a scumbag (although some certainly could be “late bloomers”, that’s not the way it usually works out).

  19. There is no “gun show loophole.” That portion of the law allowing private sale was intended. Only now with their agendas in front of them, do they call what was once intended, a “loophole.”

  20. Now that it has been said, and surprisingly clearly, we need everyone to quote that article, link to that article, drive that article so high in the search programs that it is the first thing anyone sees when they even think about searching the term. The anti-rights crowd love to quote news articles so lets make this one so important they can’t not quote it. Beat them with their own playbook.

  21. Let’s get at the root issue and who/what these people are. The root issue is they want to restrict our gun ownership. The who are the liberal left wing socialist party (Democrats). The what is the “gun grabbers”, as we refer to them here. So, let’s define “gun grabbers”; those who want to take our guns away, and are willing to do so by any means. The comments at the beginning here said these people talk about the Gun Show Loophole because they are out of touch and don’t really know that one does not exist. I wonder. Are they out of touch or are they playing to what they very well know is a lie in order to dupe the public? Like it or not, Hillary and these others are not stupid. You may not like them, you may disagree with everything about them. You may abhor them. Lord know that I do. But regardless, these a very intelligent people. And they will use whatever means are at their disposal to get what they want. How many times has the current administration lied to the people of this country, including Hillary while she was part of it and since? I have lost count. They believe themselves above the truth – above the law. Look how she continues to play off Benghazi and the email debacle as if these are no big deal. And that the investigations into them are nothing but political fodder for the right. Folks, she, and the others, have no problem standing in front of the world and telling bald face lies. So, using the gun show loophole as one of the poles to support their platform can just be another lie amongst the many already professed.

  22. Maybe Politico should go check out Hillary’s gun control platform. I’m pretty sure she wants to close the “gunshow loophole” too. Personally, I find it funny that the worst thing some Democrats can imagine is that an old white man might get their nomination and then go on to win the general election. They’re so afraid of it that they’re willing to sacrifice some of the party line on gun control and use it to eat one of their own. Hillary or bust!

  23. Gun show loophole has become a euphemism for background check free, gun purchases.

    Saying he’s wrong is like arguing that bleeding heart liberals have low blood pressure as a result of blood leaking into their chest cavity.

  24. So because you say something doesn’t exist it just doesn’t? You have no facts or numbers to back up this claim. So we are to believe you and that is that? This article is VERY disappointing and if you want to sway people in your favor, you had better do more homework in the future to prove you point.

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