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Yesterday, I surfed past a story about a negligent discharge at the Egyptian Collector’s Association Gun and Knife Show in Bloomington, Illinois. I thought about blogging it as an Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day. Other than the fact that one bullet injured two people by violating the three rules (trigger discipline, muzzle control, all guns are loaded), there wasn’t really much “there” there. But today I read the ATF is investigating. Huh? “The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms [and Explosive and Really Big Fires] is working with the sheriff’s office to determine if federal rules against having loaded weapons at a gun show were violated,” reports. “and if so, by whom, said the sheriff.” I think that’s “by who”. Anywho, what rules might those be?

Background: Mayor Bloomberg, The Brady Campaign and the rest of the gun control posse have been chasing the “gun show loophole” for years. That’s the crime wave enabling ability for a private seller to sell a gun to a private individual without running said buyer through an FBI NICS criminal background check. A “problem” that accounts for a small fraction of the guns used for criminal purposes, most of which hit the streets through the theft of said guns via legal owners.

Since the Supreme Court’s McDonald decision incorporated the Second Amendment (it now trumps local and state law), gun rights have been ascendent. The gun grabbers have grabbed onto the scandal-ridden, criminally inept, gun aversive, power-grabbing ATF as their fall-back position. What they can’t achieve by legislative means—more restrictive gun control laws—they seek to create by bureaucratic fiat.

So . . . what right does the ATF have to police gun shows for NDs? Since when is mistakenly bringing a loaded gun into a gun show a federal beef? Who decided that gun shows need to be a gun-free (no concealed carry) killing zone?

Click here for miscellaneous gun rules and regs for flea markets, which “do not meet the requirements of Title 18, United States Code, Chapter 44, regarding gun shows!” But are the same rules for events that do. Go figure.

The ATF rules for gun shows prohibit out-of-state gun dealers from selling their wares in-state. In-state gun dealers must do the FBI check for out-of-state buyers (thank God for wireless). But they can’t sell them handguns. And an out-of-state private individual can’t sell anyone a handgun, either. I feel safer already! But nope, these are not the droids I’m looking for.

Quick aside: it seems that federal ruiles prohibit gun shows from selling guns for self-defense. As defined by Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 178.100 . . .

“(b) A gun show or an event is a function sponsored by any national, State, or local organization, devoted to the collection, competitive use, or other sporting use of firearms, or an organization or association that sponsors functions devoted to the collection, competitive use, or other sporting use of firearms in the community.”

You see why gun rights groups don’t trust the feds? And here’s the thing: I can find no federal regulation re: unloaded guns at gun shows. I’ll call around when people start waking up.

Meanwhile, I wonder why such a federal rule would exist anyway. What business is of the federal government to mandate gun show safety or, indeed, enforce it? Just another example of needless, power-hungry ATF overlap. Someone ought to put that dog back in its kennel.


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  1. ATF agents allowed 1500 live rounds into gun shows in order to track them and now one of them is responsible for extracting a pound of flesh. First GunRunner, now AmmoRunner. Oh the humanity.

  2. Since the “rules” only mention collecting and “sporting” use, whatever that is, I suppose that Self Defense by way of exclusion is not a legitimate purpose for a gun at a gun show.
    I also have been wondering ever since 1968 and the beginning of the Form 4473, what makes my ID (personal govt issued Identification) invalid just because I cross a state line? Is it not possible to obtain the SAME info about me everywhere? And since the NICS checks began the state line becomes even more of a stupidity, especially with all our so called modern technology.

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