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I recently ran a quote of the day from the Boston Globe based on their editorial Close loopholes on existing gun background checks. In it, the anti-ballistic Boston burghers assert that “Gun control advocates point out that 40 percent of all gun sales are exempt from background checks because the seller is a private party operating online or at gun shows.” This is a lie, perpetuated by the anti-gunners to justify gun control legislation for legal gun buyers. I know of two studies on the subject. The first was published in 1984 by James D. Wright and Peter H. Rossi, who interviewed roughly 600 felons who admitted to committing a crime with a firearm. The majority of them got their firearms through . . .

theft from persons who own and use firearms legally.” The majority. Which means the 40 percent stat the anti-gunners throw around re: gun show purchases could be true. Only it isn’t. In 2001, Caroline Wolf Harlow, Ph.D published a survey of convicted criminals in 1991 and 1997 who used a gun. Click here to check it out. Stats above. To repeat . . .

• In 1997 among State inmates possessing a gun, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 12% from a retail store or pawnshop, and 80% from family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source. [NB: the Brady Background Check law went into effect in 1998, after the survey period.]

When it comes to public policy, garbage in, garbage out. If proponents of civilian disarmament wish to replicate this study to justify their claim that gun show sales have risen from .7 percent to 40 percent of guns used in firearms-related crime, I’m sure The People of the Gun would help with funding.

Meanwhile, the antis and their media enablers should stop lying to the American people. Then again, how else would they convince them to surrender their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms?

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    • That was a 1994 study of around 600 felons who admitted to committing a crime with a firearm that concluded:

      First, because criminals acquire and use guns as much for self-protection, viable social policies should address the issue of reducing the violence and routine carrying of guns that appear to be endemic to many impoverished urban neighborhoods. Second, a major source of supply to the illicit firearms market is through theft from persons who own and use firearms legally; cutting down on the theft of firearms ought to be a second goal of social policy. Third, gun-control measures that attempt to interdict the retail sale of weapons to criminals through legitimate channels miss as many as five-sixths of the criminal firearms transactions. Fourth, sentence-enhancement policies that would punish more heavily crime in which guns are used are largely irrelevant to the more predatory guns users. Fifth, some of the more often discussed gun-control measures, such as a ban on cheap handguns, may prove to have counter- productive consequences, as some criminals switch to more lethal weapons.

      • Possession of a stolen firearm should be a top-tier felony in its own right. Criminals should be more afraid of being caught with a stolen gun than of the actual crimes they’re committing, as there is no justification for being in possession of such an item. If someone is carrying a stolen firearm it can be assumed that they intend to use it to cause harm.

        Require DAs to fully prosecute stolen firearm possession and felon firearm possession cases fully. Make it so they do not have the option to null proc or dismiss these charges, and you will see very quick results.

        • +1, Sian.

          I get frustrated at times because we responsible gun owners need more alternatives to combat gun control FUD – fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

        • While a nice thought, if it worked, historically the introduction of such draconian punishments has resulted in the criminals decision that the best course of action is to avoid leaving behind any living witnesses, an outcome I don’t think we want to promote.

          • Cliff, I recall some data to the effect that minimum sentences, “get tough on crime” legislation, hasn’t reduced crime, but just costs more in housing convicts. Higher operating costs result in budget cuts for rehabilitation, recidivism goes up. Rinse, wash, repeat.

            Am unaware of data to support ‘no witness left behind’ claim. What do you suggest?

        • GGO-

          “Possession of a stolen firearm should be a top-tier felony in its own right. Criminals should be more afraid of being caught with a stolen gun than of the actual crimes they’re committing…”

          This is the portion I was referring to. To make the object, in this case the firearm, the most serious portion of the crime, as opposed to the criminal perpetrator himself (herself) and the crime committed, is counter-productive. At best you will make criminals turn to other tools or weapons, at worst you will convince them that if they are to be severely punished for using the firearm the best course of action is to ensure they are not caught – leave no witnesses.

          The most obvious historical record of this would be in medieval England where it was believed that death by ever more gruesome forms of capital punishment would convince criminals to not be criminals and so was used for crimes even down to petty theft. The result was not less crime, but fewer witnesses and a rise in homicides.

          If you are going to the chair for robbing the 7-11 with a stolen gun or going to the chair for killing the clerk and four shoppers, what’s the difference?

          I think a review of the actions of felons facing arrest on the “third strike life without parole” provision might be educational.

        • Sian,
          When I was 17 in high school (I was an honor student / athlete who didn’t drink or use drugs, generally a good kid) I had an opportunity to pick up an AK-47 for $500 from a wayward former best friend from the 8th grade. I already had several guns given to me as gifts from family, so don’t pull the it’s illegal for 17 year olds to but guns card on me card. It most likely was stolen. I didn’t end up buying it, but this is an example of how your vitriolic one size fits all “there ought to be a law” mentality does and can continue to do way more harm to good folks than bad.

        • My reasoning for this follows pretty darn simply.

          The majority of murder suspects are known criminal quantities. They’ve been caught before. They have committed violence before. More often than not, they’ve been caught with guns they don’t rightfully own before.

          Time and time again, these people serve 2-5 and then are back out on the streets, and that’s when they end up murdering someone or someones, when by all rights they should have been locked up until they were 60 years old. There’s several very poignant examples in the last 5 years in Florida alone. Career criminals who inexplicably were out on the street with a 20 felony record and 3 years served. These are the people doing the murdering in our society. I see little compelling reason not to throw the book at violent offenders who use stolen weapons. It doesn’t really scoop up anyone undeserving, and it severs these people from the environments that drove them to where they were in the first place.

          • That just sets up the police state even more. The best and most logical solution for serious crime is the death of the aggressor at the hands of the intended victim or their guardians. The only real reason these criminals recycle so often is that so few of their victims are prepared in any way to stop them in the first place. …which is, of course, why crime flourishes. Criminals want weak, helpless, frightened victims. It is up to each individual not to give them what they want.

            More “laws” and more police won’t ever change that.

        • “Possession of a stolen firearm should be a top-tier felony in its own right. ”

          Like in California where stealing a firearm is a misdemeanor, but selling one without a background check is a felony? Tell me when that starts making sense.

        • MamaLiberty, I disagree.

          I don’t see how laws that punish blatant criminal behavior create a police state. I don’t see how keeping actual habitual repeat violent offenders behind bars is a bad thing.

          Civilian self-defense is a symptom of a system that has failed, not a desirable result. It’s a final solution when all other avenues have failed to stop a violent criminal. Every single DGU should be considered in the context of the state failing to do its job, because in most cases the perp is a known quantity who they had the opportunity to lock up for a good long while in the past, an opportunity that they declined to take.

          • Sian, I think it is equally valid to look at the issues of self-defense and violent crime in the opposite way as you describe.

            We believe that criminals have a short horizon and are poor judges of the probability of being caught. So, they commit crimes with too little regard for the consequences of being imprisoned and the probability of that outcome.

            If we conceive of self-defense as primary then we bring the consequences of crime into the present and raise the probability of being caught-in-the-act. Worst case, the criminal is killed on the scene. Less-worse case, he is wounded and is arrested when seeking medical treatment. Best case is that he successfully completes the crime and gets away.

            Under self-defense as primary the criminal is less likely to pursue a life of crime. That is the primary objective. Fewer criminals to process means lower cost of operating prisons and fewer criminals being schooled in their trade. Fewer criminals are being abused by other prisoners and guards.

            Admittedly, not everyone will defend themselves. Not everyone who does defend himself will succeed. So, we still need a secondary system of chasing-down criminals, prosecuting them and imprisoning them. (We also need to prosecute and imprison those criminals who are caught when wounded.)

            Our culture of the 20th century disarmed the law-abiding. Laws restricted concealed carry and culture suppressed the practice of open carry. We only defended ourselves with arms from home invasions. My sense is that where we disarmed (on the street) the criminal justice system failed us. Where we remained armed – in the home – self defense kept home invasions in check.

            If-and-to-the-extent that we re-arm ourselves in public (and increase the practice of arming ourselves in the home) we will restore the historic norm of self-defense as primary and return the criminal-justice system to its historical secondary role. My expectation is that this will work better than what we have.

            The criminals have so over-loaded the criminal justice system with case-loads and inmates that this CJS no longer represents an effective deterrent. Judges have to “ration” cells so they impose lighter and lighter sentences. Prosecutors have to “ration” trials so they plea-bargain away more crimes that are prosecutable. In most areas of the country criminals have little to fear from victims.

            Together with the dissolution of culture (as a consequence of the dissolution of the family) nothing remains to inhibit the attraction of a life of crime.

          • We’ll have to agree to disagree, I suspect. The “state” has no legitimate role in the lives of people who own themselves and are responsible for their own lives and safety. Of course not everyone chooses self ownership, and therefore will always be a pool of helpless, if not willing, victims for criminals – government types and free lance.

            The police state comes into being because people mistakenly accept the bogus “authority” of the controllers. The self owners, to one degree or another, are forced to participate and robbed to pay for it. The self responsible are never given the chance to opt OUT and deal with the consequences without coercion and theft.

  1. Smoke and mirrors, all of it. Where the gun came from after a shooting (or before) is no more relevant than where the rock came from after it smashes a window or someone’s head. It is the human being holding the weapon that makes the difference. Only human intent and action can make any tool a “weapon” in the first place. Otherwise, it’s just a hunk of metal or a lump of rock.

    • I agree. Just as water seeks its own level, a criminal will obtain a gun by whatever means necessary, whether through various lawful means or otherwise. Illicit avenues would be preferable, I’d say, because there is no documentation of the transaction.

      Still, antis look at where firearms are normally bought and assume that that’s how criminals buy them, too. It’s a view ignorant of reality, but that’s never stopped them before.

      99% of people griping about so-called gun show loopholes have never been to a gun show. They don’t know that it costs to enter and that it costs to set up a table. They don’t know that everyone, or at least the FFLs, all know each other. They don’t know that there are uniformed police on guard and likely undercover ATF in the crowd.

      None of this is a favorable business climate for an underworld gunrunner to unload his wares. That’s why virtually every gun at a gun show is sold by an FFL who abides by background check laws and puts the lie to the gun show loophole myth.

      • We have a public-information task in front of us. There is an important distinction we need to make clear:
        – “controlling” guns at the point-of-sale;
        – “controlling” guns in the possession of prohibited persons
        While these two alternatives to attempt to “control” guns seem related, they are really quite different; and this is a really important distinction to us.

        To imagine that guns can be controlled at the point-of-sale is to believe that one can plug the holes in a sieve. The fallacy is that when one hole is constrained or plugged, the others will take-up-the-slack.

        Law enforcement has a good chance of catching a felon-in-posession any time he is either keeping at home or carrying outside the home. Felon-in-posession is a “slam-dunk”: have the gun; have the felon = felon-in-posession. Conversely, chasing the chain of possession from the felon to the person who diverted it from legitimate-to-illegal commerce takes resources. If the criminal-justice-system discounts the crime of diversion compared to felon-in-posession we ought to be concentrating on the latter.

      • As some of the regulars on this site know, I research, fact check, and triagnulate. Still looking, but sadly there’s nothing authoritative that I’ve turned up so far. Maybe some insights can be teased out of Fed or state DOJ + maybe some PDs. Bottom line: nothing I’ve found.

        Will be writing to our (CA) AG Harris and others. Baffling why something that has Obama + other pols wringing hands seems to have so little data behind it and they are dealing in factoids. Or ignorance.

        Robert & Dan: here’s an opportunity to tap Bloomberg’s pockets for a research grant.

    • Tommycat; I have the impression that you were commenting on the old data I (MarkPA) reported in the post above. Sorry that I don’t have anything else; I just happened to see this report available on Amazon and had just ordered it.
      By its intrinsic nature, the only folks who are apt to have access to such data are the ATF; and, they are probably not much interested in disclosing the data available to them.

      All of the data available to us – whether it’s the table in the OP or the publication I cited – is somewhat limited in shedding light on the character of trafficking. E.g., for gun shows it’s not clear whether these are purchases from FFLs at gun shows or from non-dealers. Clearly, the former are subject to BCs while the latter are not. We don’t know whether the “friends/family” cases are straw-buys or the handing down/over of a gun that may have been in the family (friend’s family) for some number of years.

      What I thought particularly interesting about the (admittedly old) study is that 1/2 of the guns covered by their investigations came from what ATF characterized as “rogue” FFLs. I found an internet source that says there are 123,000 FFLs. That’s quite a lot of potential “sieve holes”. If just 1% are actively engaged in trafficking then that would be 1,230 sieve holes. If just 1/10 of 1%, there would be 123 sieve holes; 1/100 of 1% is still 12 sieve holes. We would be naieve to believe there are fewer than 12 “rogue” FFLs.

      Given that anyone with an FFL has virtually unlimited access to new guns and ample access to used guns, as long as there is any opportunity to run a rogue FFL there is little government could do to choke-off this source of supply. I can imagine a variety of strategies. Shady guy A forms a corporation, gets an FFL, opens his doors, passes an initial inspection or two and then sells the stock to shady guy B. B then runs the business into a legit/rogue operation or a 100% rogue operation. When he’s due for another ATF inspection he flees. Another possibility is to buy a small FFL business that is failing or the owner is retiring. Convert the legit operation into a legit/rogue operation, then flee before the ATF shows up for another inspection.

      I do NOT impune the FFL industry as a whole. We probably have 99% squeaky-clean FFLs, another 0.9 clean FFLs; but that still leaves 0.09 shady or rogue FFLs. If the FFL industry is really this clean then it would be hard to imagine how the ATF could make it any cleaner. The options (e.g., making the FFL industry an oligopoly of very large chain stores) are not politically palatable.

      While it’s interesting – to us at least – to learn more about gun trafficking patterns, ultimately, I don’t think knowing more precise data really informs policy options. Constrain or close one hole and the flow will simply migrate to another flow.

      For example, suppose the ATF waived a magic wand and eliminated all potential for a rogue FFL to operate. That large source of supply could be instantly replaced by smugglers. Guns would be exported to South America and then smuggled into the US via the USVI or Puerto Rico with no potential for customs inspections.

      My conclusion is that there is NO VIABLE policy option to constrain gun trafficking in America. We are not Japan or Singapore where there are just a couple of gun shops in the country and just a few hundred legal gun owners. We have as many guns as population and 1/3 of the population are gun owners. The sources of supply to criminals and crazies are virtually infinite.

      The benefit of constraining the source of supply to criminals/crazies by 1% or even 10% must be weighed against the burden to law-abiding gun owners who would not be either willing or able to comply with new laws such as UBC. Even if we could achieve a 10% reduction in the supply of illegal guns that desirable goal would not be justified by putting 5% of our tax-payers in prison for several years.

      Perhaps our message to non-gun-owners should run along these lines; i.e., controlling guns at point-of-sale is futile.

  2. Robert – may I post this to the Boston Globe comments under that article? Full credit & links to this post.

  3. There is a Federal government report titled: Following the Gun: Enforcing Federal Laws Against Firearms Traffickers” prepared by ATF in 2000. The data studied are quite old July ’96 – Dec ’98, just following the implementation of NICS; nevertheless, it does have some insights. They cite “corrupt FFLs” as the source of nearly half the diverted guns covered by their study.

    Assuming this finding is not an anomaly, it might explain much of the 39% “street/illegal source”. Obviously, any licensed FFL can acquire all the guns it could market illegally. Its problem is to either: obscure its illegal sales while remaining in business; or, fleeing scot-free before the ATF can complete its investigation.

    It’s clear enough to all of us that 98% – 99% of FFLs run clean to squeaky-clean operations. Yet, if even 1% or 2% of FFLs can – at any one time – operate as fly-by-night FFLs then there is nothing whatsoever that could be done to plug this “hole” in the sieve. Is America willing to go to a measure so drastic as to license only State-operated gun stores?

    The 39% “friends or family” look like one-off or few-off straw-purchases. So long as a given individual – a “girlfriend” for illustration – straw-purchases only a couple of times per year LEOs are not going to make prosecuting her a priority. UBC wouldn’t have much of an impact; such a straw-buyer would simply file a stolen-gun report shortly after each purchase/sale. LEOs won’t get around to paying a call on her until she reported a dozen stolen guns in 6 years and the statue-of-limitations is about to run-out.

    The 12% = 8.3 + 3.8 purchased from retail stores and pawn shops suggest that 12% of guns are purchased by criminals before their first felony conviction. Hard to put much of a dent in this figure.

    Any attempt at interdicting the division of guns from the legitimate market to the black-market is futile in an environment such as America; i.e., where 1/3 of the population owns guns and is determined to maintain this liberty. There will always be too many “holes” in the “sieve”. Plug or constrain one hole and the others will take-up the slack. Therefore, it really doesn’t matter which channel (FFL, straw-buyer, theft, etc.) is the source; there will always be a source.

    There are 250 million cars in America; some of which are used in crimes. There are 320 million guns in America; some of which are used in crimes. In neither case does crime-control at the Point-of-Sale (cars or guns) make any practical sense.

    Imposing a penalty on prohibited-persons in possession of guns can raise the “cost” of pursuing a career as an armed criminal. Yet this is already the law (felon-in-posession); it’s merely a low-priority crime so prosecutors don’t enforce this law with the rigor it may warrant.

    • The stat about the “rogue ffls” is bogus. Since 99% of new guns are sold through an ffl, it figures that 99%of crime guns can be traced to one. This is still a vanishingly small number of guns when compared to the general population of guns, though, and if you happen to be the premier gun shop in your area, like Buds Gun Shop, you will be labeled a rogue seller simply by virtue of your cornered market.

      • My read didn’t conform to your description.

        Suppose there are 10,000 FFLs (don’t know what the real number is but it’s probably on this order). My take is that 9,997 are good to squeaky-clean. Sure, you will have 1 out of 300 or 500 4473 forms that aren’t perfect; but that’s not going to result in an investigation.

        My take is that these very few “rogue” FFLs are probably really serious problems. Could be that:
        – a guy decides to get his FFL, make a lot of money, then disappear;
        – a guy is going broke in his little business and decides to take the plunge;
        – a guy is a manager or employee and he violates his store’s policies.

        There just isn’t much the ATF could do in any of these cases. What they COULD do would be politically unacceptable. They have already driven most of the kitchen-table FFLs out-of-business. We really wouldn’t accept the ATF raising the entry-level to becoming an FFL to the point where only big-box stores could get a license. That would drive out-of-business the rural hardware store.

        The rude facts of life are that when you have a large number of participants in any market you really can’t keep a sharp eye out for every last one of them.

        Yes, you are correct that all guns found at crime scenes can be traced to an FFL. But that is where the trail is apt to go cold. If it was sold just weeks or months ago you can reasonably contact the buyer and ask what happened to his gun. Chances are, you have a claim that it was stolen, lost or sold. Only if you can accumulate several crime-guns traced to the same guy can the ATF justify opening an investigation on him. If the FFL’s volume is commensurate with gun sales traced to him then there is NO indication of “rogue” activity.

        Where the traces to an FFL are not commensurate with it’s total volume then you might have a rogue FFL or maybe just a rogue employee. Or, maybe you just have an FFL who operates in a market where it’s patronized by lots of straw-buyers. The ATF has to do an investigation and see what evidence they come up with.

        My point here with “rogue” FFLs is simply this: If there are thousands of FFLs there has got to be at least a few who are (one way or the other) bad apples. Given the volume they can divert in a short period of time, this is a pretty big single hole in the sieve. If the ATF can’t spot and arrest these few quickly enough then either:
        – “rogue” FFLs are a problem; or,
        – point-of-sale gun-control is an exercise in futility.

        Whether any one of the channels for trafficking is major/minor is neither here nor there. Constrain or plug one hole in the sieve and the others holes will cheerfully accommodate the trafficking flow. Point-of-sale gun-control is an exercise in futility.

        I doubt this conclusion “Point-of-sale gun-control is an exercise in futility” will meet with much debate in this TTAG forum. What is a more interesting question for us is: What – if anything – we ought to try to do about present and future point-of-sale gun-control laws?

        Should we try to repeal the laws requiring licensing of gun dealers? From the pragmatic – sieve – viewpoint, this effort makes sense. Politically, it probably doesn’t make sense. Licensing gun dealers is a feel-good regulation that un-committed voters will want to maintain. Doing anything about this is probably a waste of time or, at best, a low priority.

        Should we try to repeal the laws requiring NICS checks at gun dealers? Pragmatically, this is a waste of time. Politically, it’s feel-good.

        Stopping UBC is a really high priority because this threat promises to make many law-abiding gun owners criminals because they don’t BC their family members, friends and acquaintances. This is where – I think – we need to prioritize.

  4. Old stats are gooder here, actually; in 91 nics was not up, and in 97 it was in it’s first year. So this proves that even before nics, the number of gun criminals buying legally was vanishingly small. Kind of decimates the idea that legal buyers are the source of crime. But then, so does every other stat, and it doesn’t stop them.

  5. This doesn’t count as a scientific study?

    Harlow interviewed offenders. Watchel traced recovered weapons in Los Angeles. Many interesting tidbits:
    * Less than one-half of 1 percent of gun dealers were found to account for nearly 50 percent of all guns traced by ATF

    * There’s enormous variability in sources of guns depending on study (Table I).

    * Only about half (47%) of recovered guns were sold in CA

    * Stolen guns are a small contribution v. friends and family.


    MaximumMark 08/10/15 03:38 PM
    Quick Reminder: Criminals Do NOT Get Their Firearms from Gun Shows and Legal Private Sales
    By Robert Farago on August 10, 2015

    I recently ran a quote of the day from the Boston Globe based on their editorial Close loopholes on existing gun background checks. In it, the anti-ballistic Boston burghers assert that “Gun control advocates point out that 40 percent of all gun sales are exempt from background checks because the seller is a private party operating online or at gun shows.”

    THIS IS A LIE, perpetuated by the anti-gunners to justify gun control legislation for legal gun buyers. There is but one – count it one – scientific study on the source of criminals guns. In 2001, Caroline Wolf Harlow, Ph.D published a survey of convicted criminals in 1991 and 1997 who used a gun. Go here ( to check it out. Stats above. To repeat . . .

    • In 1997 among State inmates possessing a gun, fewer than 2% bought their firearm at a flea market or gun show, about 12% from a retail store or pawnshop, and 80% from family, friends, a street buy, or an illegal source. [NB: the Brady Background Check law went into effect in 1998, after the survey period.]

    When it comes to public policy, garbage in, garbage out. If proponents of civilian disarmament wish to replicate this study to justify their claim that gun show sales have risen from .7 percent to 40 percent of guns used in firearms-related crime, I’m sure The People of the Gun would help with funding.

    Meanwhile, the antis and their media enablers should stop lying to the American people. Then again, how else would they convince them to surrender their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms?

    If Governor Baker’s Executive Order #562 (To Relieve Regulatory Burdens) is going to be implemented in an even and fair fashion, it will mean that the commonwealth is going to have to repeal our draconian gun control laws that have had no real effect on violent crime. Gun-free zones and reduced-capacity firearm magazines only endanger law-abiding citizens who have the constitutional right to defend ourselves. Who needs a high-capacity (i.e.: 16 rounds) magazine? Try and business or home owner who is accosted by 3 or 4 armed thugs. How many times would YOU like to reload if your home is invaded? Gun control is all about the suppression of civil rights and not to make life safer. “When seconds count … the police are only minutes away”

  7. Why has no one pointed out the obvious – that a felon’s “friends and family” are likely to be fellow criminals who steal guns or trade in stolen guns? Good grief! Just combine the last two categories as illegal acquisitions. 80%.

    Now with the Brady background checks the number is 98%.

  8. Aren’t there local police at most gun shoes checking/clearing guns being brought in? Doesn’t common sense dictate that criminals looking to acquire firearms would avoid the oversight of law enforcement wherever possible?

    • CA (California – not Canada) requires those who pawn guns to undergo another background check when redeemed. The PD tells me that CA’s online system to track against stolen property lists still isn’t running 3 years after legislation was passed – still a paper system that’s typically filed, but not reviewed. Anyone that’s ripped off will be better served by taking lists and photos to local pawnshops and of course, checking Craigslist I was told.

      But your question intrigued me.

      Just submitted an online Public Records Act request to our sheriff for the number of stolen guns identified via our ‘no questions asked, gun buyback’ program. All the data I’ve seen indicates such buybacks have have no impact on crime.

      Sorry to say, but I’m not expecting that any data is captured and nothing done other than converting to scrap metal.

    • I’ve only been to one gun-show in my life. The show cable-tied my gun; but otherwise, I was not interfered with.

      I wonder how non-dealer sales at gun-shows occur. In my imagination it seems to me that most occur when a regular show-goer has a gun (or a few) he wants to sell and wanders around looking for acquaintances that he thinks might be interested. In most such sales the seller is apt to recognize a buyer from previous shows. He might not know the guy well; but, at least he as seen that particular OFWG before.

      I’ll grant that any minority is at liberty to attend a gun-show and keep his eye open for a non-dealer who seems to have gun(s) for sale. He is much less likely to habituate gun-shows in some geographic area so as to become recognized as a “regular”. As such, I wonder how much reticence a regular non-dealer is apt to have in selling to a complete stranger. If reticence is normal, a gun-show would seem to be a poor venue to go shopping for guns to divert to the black-market.

      • Mark,
        Was at Cow Palace show (San Francisco) yesterday and attended others there and at fairgrounds. Everything seems completely kosher and PD on premises too at all shows I’ve attended.

        There was a testing area for those with expired certificates or for renewals.

        One had a menu type sign for various Glock magazines including 17 (10 limit in CA) The seller apologized that they can’t sell them here – the sign is intended for other shows. Suspect show organizers wouldn’t tolerate anything improper – too much for them to loose. Haven’t parking lot sales either.

        Looking forward to Reno show.

    • Not only are there police present,both on-duty and off, but a couple of gun shows I go to have the pictures of felons known to have used weapons who live in the area. At one show I attended, this led to the arrest of one of those pictured despite his significantly altered appearance.

      Especially at smaller events, people who go to gun shows are NOT friendly to felons seeking weapons. When that one guy was arrested, the arresting officer was accompanied by two off-duty officers and a VERY hostile group of open carriers. If someone wants to impede felons from buying at gun shows, background checks aren’t going to do much — supplying pictures of known felons in the area would be much more effective.

  9. It’s interesting that after the Brady Bill, the same amount of crime guns purchased from retail locations shifted to friends/family. In other words, background checks had no effect, they were completely defeated by straw purchases.

  10. The bigger picture here is, as Americans, we have become complacently accommodating to liars. Most of which can be justly traced to the marketing wonks depicted in Mad Men, where the exaggeration,….or, the expedient lie is an acceptable business practice. There is no profit in lying if lying is not tolerated, and the anti’s know that Americans will tolerate a lie. They voted for Obama, didn’t they. So why go half way when you can go Full Monty?

  11. Tell this to the Seattle Counsel who plans to pass a tax on guns and ammo to keep them out of the hands of criminals.

    • “Tell this to the Seattle Counsel who plans to pass a tax on guns and ammo to keep gun stores out of the city limits.”


      Seriously one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever seen (unanimously-passed!). “About $300,000 in tax revenue (based on bogus projections from Cook County) used to ‘study the causes of gun violence'”. Why? Because an Asian “community leader” was shot in front of an (illegal) Hookah Bar by gang members at 3 AM. STUDY THAT YOU IMBECILES! Quadruple the size of your gang unit. Problem solved.

      Just like that stupid kid who stole his dad’s illegally-purchased gun and shot up MPHS a couple days before the I-594 vote. Yeah, because a prohibited person lying-on-and-passing a background check means we probably just need more background checks.

      I don’t want to live on this planet any more. It’s too bad its so close to Earth.

      • This beside the fact that courts have already ruled that a criminal doesn’t have to participate in a background check, which means that unless someone with no criminal record fails to do a background check, no one can be prosecuted for failure to do so anyway. So, under law, background checks apply only to the law-abiding.

  12. I am quite shocked the statistics in this survey shows that ~40% of the guns these felons got were either through friends or family. While another 40% were gotten through street or illegal source.

    Maybe this is why the anti-gun groups changed their tune from “Close The Gun Show Loop Hole” to “Close the Background Check Loop Hole” which is driving the push to require background checks on ALL gun transfers including private sells, laws which both Washington State and Oregon recently passed.

    • LOL… that may be the gun grabber’s stated reason, but nobody with two brain cells would really believe it would make any difference to the criminals. They’re not likely to submit to any BC in any case. They already don’t obey the “law.”

      • And many of them know they can’t be required to do a background check — so why would they suddenly decide to start obeying a law they’re exempt from?

  13. I am very much curious about the numbers from more recent years. 1997 was quite a while ago, after all.

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