Posted by: Jay | April 16, 2008

Again With The ‘Loophole’ Nonsense

Oliver Willis is complaining that MSNBC won’t run an ad about the so called “gun show loophole.” MSNBC says the ad is too “controversial.” I say the ad is just plain nonsense. For the uninitiated, let’s make a few points clear:

1. There is no gun show loophole. Federally licensed firearms dealers are required to perform background checks at gun shows just like they do at their stores. It is as simple as that.

2. Transactions between two private individuals doesn’t require a background check and this is where the people get their “loophole” nonsense from. They paint a picture of some guy heading down to a gun show with his arsenal of weapons and selling hundreds of them throughout the weekend. Anybody selling that amount of guns would be engaging in business and would be required to obtain a federal firearms license.

3. The term “unlicensed dealer” is also bogus because there is no such thing. If I sell my car to another person does that make me an “unlicensed car dealer”? It’s a term made up by gun control advocates because it sounds sinister.

4. Less than 2% of people who commit crimes with guns purchase them at gun shows. That means, 98% of all crimes committed with a gun were purchased or obtained from other sources. Yet, we have all three presidential candidates, mayors and other advocates behaving as though there is some kind of epidemic of crimes being committed by people who purchased guns at gun shows. In addition, anybody that even attempts to purchase a firearm from a private individual when they’re prohibited by federal law from doing so, is already committing a crime.

UPDATE: One other factoid that gun control groups tout with regard to gun shows is that “30 to 50 of vendors at gun shows are unlicensed dealers.” The problem with this statement is that it makes it appear as though every vendor at a gun show is selling guns. That’s not the case. Some vendors sell books, clothing, accessories, etc.



  1. you’re absolutely right about the gun show loophole being overhyped. the real loophole is the private individual transaction that you mentioned, that’s the most common source of guns for criminals. i don’t understand why there isn’t a registration system for guns to track these types of transactions.

  2. […] Jay has more. […]

  3. off topic but Florida just passed a law that states that Employers and business owners can no longer bar workers and shoppers from bringing guns onto their property. I don’t know about that..if it’s my property I should be able to say whether you can bring a gun on it or not.

  4. “Some vendors sell books, clothing, accessories, etc.” Etc. includes buffalo jerky. Mmmm, bufallo jerky.

  5. Uncle,

    Doesn’t the new FL law state that the firearm must remain locked in the employee’s vehicle? Is that not private property as well? This may be a case of whose Private Property rights take precedence…

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