Friday, December 11, 2015

Straw Man Arguments For Gun Control: Gun Show Loophole, Internet Sales, and Straw Purchases

Once again, there was another mass shooting.  This time in San Bernadino.  Once again, the Democrats are trotting out a symphony of calls for new, common-sense gun control laws.  President Obama, only a day after the San Bernadino slaughter, vowed to close the Gun Show Loophole using an executive order.  Earlier this year, Hillary Clinton said, that if she was President, she would use an executive order to not only close the Gun Show Loophole, but also, ban Internet sales and Straw Purchases that evade background checks.

First of all, understand that there is no such thing as a Gun Show Loophole.

Under existing federal laws -- the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1994 -- anyone selling more than 4 guns a year, and if those guns haven't been made earlier than 1944, and therefore not considered antique, are required to obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and initiate an instant bckground check with a 5-day waiting period on every gun they sell.  Thus, there are very few sellers of guns at Gun Shows who will be willing to pay upfront promotional fees to set up a table to only sell 4 or fewer guns.  The only ones that do are typically selling antiques that don't require background checks and don't require an FFL.

The hidden agenda of the political left is to cite the supposed Gun Show Loophole as a means to force background checks on all firearm transactions; even if you are selling a hunting rifle to your brother-in-law.  Something that would almost surely be impossible to enforce and would require millions of man hours to do so. Further, it would do nearly nothing to reduce gun violence and gun-related crime in this country.  According to a 2013 report (page 13) from the Bureau of Justice, a survey of 18,000 state and federal prisoners revealed that only 8-tenths of a single percent of them that used guns at the time of their arrests, had purchased those guns at a gun show.  Also, there was no indication in that report as to whether or not they were purchased without any federally mandated background check.

Then, there's the "Internet" straw man argument.  Just like the Gun Show sellers, Internet sellers must also have an FFL if they plan to sell more than 4 guns a year.  But, there's an additional federal law that says no guns can be sent directly to someone in the mail or via another conveyance such as UPS.  Instead, a firearm must be sent first to an FFL dealer, who in turn will process a required background check and hold the gun for the mandated 5-day waiting period.

Lastly, there is the "Straw Purchase" argument.  A straw purchase is when someone buys a gun for someone else.  Specifically, if they buy a gun for someone who wouldn't pass a background check.  However, this is already covered by existing laws.  It is a federal crime to purchase a gun for someone that is a known felon; or who knowingly intends to use it in the commission of a crime; or has a mental illness.  Again, the issue here is enforcement. There is always going to be the person who buys a gun for a felon, or a terrorist, who will grind off the firearm's serial number and make it untraceable to the original owner.   In actuality, millions of Americans are, in a way, guilty of straw purchases.  Someone who buys a firearm for the home, that is accessible to others has engaged in a straw purchase.  Buying a gun and giving it to a friend or family member who is being stalked or threatened would be considered a crime under what the Democrats would consider a straw purchases.  Buying a gun as a gift also, technically, is a straw purchase.

Essentially, the Gun Show Loophole, Internet Sales, and Straw Purchases are all false arguments that will do very little to stop mass shootings and murders throughout the country.  We already have enough laws to cover any of these scenarios.  Maybe Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton -- both lawyers -- and other Democrats should spend more time getting acquainted with the existing laws before calling for new ones that just copy the old.


Obama looks to use executive power to close gun loophole:

Three Pinocchios:  Clinton’s claim that 40 percent of guns are sold at gun shows and over the Internet:

Gun Control Act of 1968:

Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act:

Justice Department Report: Firearm Violence, 1993-2011:

The Facts about Gun Shows:


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