Unfortunately, current federal law requires criminal background checks only for guns sold through licensed firearm dealers, which account for just 60 percent of all gun sales in the U.S. A loophole in the law allows individuals not “engaged in the business” of selling firearms to sell guns without a license—and without processing any paperwork.
This means that in many States guns can be sold privately or at flea markets or at actual gun shows to anyone. Given the estimated 5,000 gun shows that take place annually, some of them huge gatherings, combined with flea markets and individual private transactions, we're talking big numbers.
This is how the gun culture is feeding the criminal world. This is how gun proponents who oppose common sense laws that would restrict their hobbies or rights under the 2nd Amendment are contributing to the problem, and in my opinion, responsible for it.
Background checks that are required in gun stores when purchasing from a licensed gun dealer should be universally applied. In two Western States, where individual rights are generally championed, changes have come. Too bad it took something like Columbine to open their eyes.
"If we can save up about $200 real quick...we can go to the next gun show and find a private dealer and buy ourselves some bad-ass AB-10 machine pistols."
- Columbine killer Eric Harris, who was 17 years old at the time
In two states, voters themselves closed the loophole when their legislatures refused to do so. On November 7, 2000, the citizens of Colorado overwhelmingly voted 70% – 30% in favor of Amendment 22, closing the gun show loophole in their state. The referendum followed the tragic shooting at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. One of the guns used at the Columbine shooting was purchased at a Colorado gun show.
In Oregon, voters also voted overwhelmingly, 62% – 38%, in favor of Measure 5, effectively closing the gun show loophole in their state.
What's your opinion? Is this loophole as bad as it seems? Wouldn't honest law-abiding gun owners themselves what to put a stop to it? What do you think?