Heads Up

Looks like Frauk Lautenberg is proposing a new law that will “close the gun-show loophole.”
Of course, there is no such “loophole” — nothing that is illegal outside of a gunshow becomes legal on show grounds: dealers must still conduct background checks. Private individuals can sell their guns to other private individuals (( So long as they’re not doing so as part of a business. It’s really meant for occasional sales. )) outside of the show, but many do so at gun shows as there’s a much larger market of gun enthusiasts roaming around looking for deals. Such shows tend to attract a large amount of cops, so there’s essentially no funny business. Very few (( I seem to recall the number being about 1%, but I can’t find the exact number. )) guns used in crime come from gun shows; most are stolen.
According to Lautenberg’s website,

The Senators? bill would close the loophole by requiring background checks on all sales at gun shows.? The bill defines a gun show as any event where 50 or more guns are offered or exhibited for sale. In addition, the bill would require:

  • gun show promoters to register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), maintain a list of vendors at all gun shows and ensure that all vendors acknowledge receipt of information about their legal obligations; and
  • federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to submit information, including the manufacturer/importer, model and serial number of firearms transferred at gun shows to the ATF?s National Tracing Center (NTC).? No personal information about either the seller or the purchaser would be given to the ATF.? Instead, as under current law, FFLs would maintain personal information in their files.? The National Tracing Center would request personal information from an FFL only if a firearm becomes the subject of a law enforcement trace request.

Emphasis mine. That part really worries me — why should guns bought at shows have to submitted to the NTC while guns bought outside of shows don’t? I wonder if such a requirement would fall afoul of the FOPA ’86?
There’s some fluffy compliments from the usual suspects: Reed, Feinstein, Helmke, etc. They talk about how this particular bill will be a panacea to gun-related crime without any references. They even trot out some people connected to Virginia Tech victims.
While the bill doesn’t explicitly prohibit individual person-to-person transfers (( Even if it did, criminals would just ignore it and sell guns illegally as they do at present. )), it’s a big, troubling step in that direction.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind if ordinary people had access to NICS if they wanted to run a check on a potential buyer, but this particular bill is a bad idea that would have no effect on crime.
I don’t have a bill number, but I urge you to write to your Congressmen to oppose this legislation.

4 thoughts on “Heads Up”

  1. I can’t find anything. I scoured govtrack and the official website. Nothing. Which leads me to one of two conclusions:
    A: It doesn’t exist and there blowing smoke to distract us.
    B: It’s an ammendment to a bill and will therefore be impossible to find.

    1. Senators and Representatives both make up Congress, so both are Congressmen.
      I recommend contacting both, as it’s possible that a similar bill will be introduced in the House. Why not head them off ahead of time?

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