Gun show sales not big source of problemsSo why all the fuss? People can buy and sell guns (nearly) anywhere anytime. Why are gun shows singled out?
Recently, the state Crime Commission deadlocked over whether to recommend closing the so-called gun-show loophole. The issue has become a perennial at the General Assembly, which is considering the matter once again this year. Once again, legislators should vote no.
Licensed firearms dealers — those who buy and sell guns as a business — are required to conduct background checks on prospective buyers.
The “loophole” in question refers to the fact that individuals selling guns from their own private collection do not have to — either within gun-show venues, or in the parking lot, or in their own homes.
Gun-control advocates often muddy the issue by referring to “unlicensed dealers” at gun shows, of which there are indeed many. They sell holsters, flashlights, hunting knives, T-shirts, books, gun safes — even jewelry. But an unlicensed dealer who sold guns as a business would invite felony charges under federal law.
Gun-control advocates also suggest, albeit with scant evidence, that gun shows supply a significant share of the weapons used in crime.
Federal data indicate otherwise. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report, “Firearm Use by Offenders,” only about 1 percent of guns used in crimes come from gun shows.
Another study, by the FBI concerning attacks on law-enforcement officials, found that 97 percent of the offenders had procured their weapons through illegal means.
Private sales among the hunters and target-shooting enthusiasts who frequent gun shows are simply not a significant source of weapons used in crimes. Gun shows, then, are not the real issue — except to those who recoil viscerally at the sight of large numbers of firearms in one place.
Referring to a “gun-show loophole” muddies the issue by implying, falsely, that individuals can sell or buy guns freely and without background checks only at gun shows. In fact, they can do so many places. [link] [my emphasis]
On a related topic, why would seemingly sane people see the carnage unfold at Virginia Tech in April, 2007 and relate what happened to gun shows?
The only explanations I can come up with are that some citizens are mindless idiots, easily led down a path, while others have nefarious motives that go well beyond the silly argument relating to the "gun show loophole." They see it as one small step toward an outright ban.
In any case, they all need to stop. If they think their efforts are going to - in any way - reduce crime - they are sadly mistaken and/or delusional.