Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mark Kelly on Gun Shows: Correct

There is no argument against Kelly's article other than falsehoods.
First, there is a gun show loop hole.

At gun shows, some of the sellers are Federal Licensed Firearms Dealers. They are required by law to check the buyer in the NICS system. While this does not rule out the issue of straw purchases, or the massive holes in the NICS system, or the three-day default rule--they are checked.

At other tables--at the same show, right next door to the ones described above, are tables where the sellers are not Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers. These tables also offer every type of gun for sale that the FLFD's do. But there is no background check required. None. At all.

In fact, the tables often have signs that read "No questions asked". And indeed, none are asked--expect "how much", and perhaps, "would you like a bag for that?"

This is because those dealers fall into the loophole where they have classified themselves as "hobbyists". Such "hobbyists" are often large scale dealers with extensive inventories, often larger than those of the FLFDs.

They purchase guns in states with very weak gun laws--often Mississippi, for example, or Virginia--and then sell these guns at gun shows in states with regulations are more strict.

The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 listed a number of categories of individuals who, by law, could not purchase guns: Felons, the seriously mentally ill, and so on.

At gun shows, felons, the mentally ill--anyone, in fact, can walk up to one of these tables operated by a so-called "hobbyist"--even if he makes his primary imcome from this "hobby"--and buy whatever gun they want, as many as they want, any ammunition they want, as much as they want.

With no questions asked.

If gun show sales are not uniformly required to have background checks, any felon, anyone with mental illness, or anyone fro one of the other prohibited categories, who could not purchase at a FLFD, will simply go to a gun show, and buy one, or two, or three, or ten--as many as they like--with no questions asked.

The same issue applies to guns sold over the internet by such "hobbyists". Or in so called "transfers" that are not conducted by FLFDs. There are no background checks--none at all--for these sales.

This is why the NRA and its cohorts are being so fervent about the gun show loophole--which supposedly "doesn't matter", so I wonder why they would be so strident about it.

Because as long as the gun show loophole exists, anyone who wants to evade the background check system will be able to do it simply and easily, and defeat any efforts at meaningful and effective gun control, which is the goal of the NRA.

Pic from:  via AP