It’s known as the “gun show loophole.” Federal law requires criminal background checks only for guns sold through licensed firearm dealers. The “loophole” allows individuals “not engaged in the business” of selling firearms to sell guns without background checks.
However, even though they are not required to perform background checks, private dealers cannot sell a firearm to someone they believe could not pass a background check. New York City ran an undercover investigation on private gun sales at gun shows and found that was not the case for many “dealers.”
NYC created a website around the investigation. As they noted, investigators tried to purchase guns at a gun show after telling private sellers that they probably could not pass a background check. The result was that 19 of 30 private sellers, or 63%, broke the law by completing a sale to a buyer who they thought could not pass a background check.
Watch four different videos on these illegal sales:
Meanwhile, licensed dealers cannot allow a “straw sale,” which is when someone acts as an intermediary in a purchase, filling out the paperwork and having their background checked, but in reality buying the weapon for someone else. This “straw sale” is a federal felony. 16 of 17, or 94%, of licensed dealers approached by investigators at gun shows were willing to sell to someone who appeared to be a straw purchaser.
Watch two videos showing examples of those felonies:
Additionally, these are not supposed to be people involved in the “business of selling guns.” In fact, one private seller bragged of selling 348 guns in less than a year. That sounds like a business. It also sounds like the IRS would be interested in that activity and that, if he was reporting it as income, it would therefore necessarily be a business.
The report also notes that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has identified gun shows as the source of more than 30% of all illegally trafficked guns in the country. It would seem there needs to be some legislation, although you know it won’t happen if the NRA has anything to say about it, in the area of guns shows, at the very least.
Originally on SNAFU-ed