In other words, there is no "gun-show loophole." The phrase is an audacious lie, invented by people who want to abolish privacy for firearms owners. Indeed, the figure of 700,000 gun purchasers who were turned down includes people who were turned down when attempting to buy at gun shows from federally licensed firearms dealers.
As Kopel points out, anyone "engaged in the business of selling guns" must comply with the same federal laws as any other gun daler:
you must have a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Your customers must fill out the federal registration paperwork, and you must put your customers through the National Instant Check System (or its state equivalent). This is true whether you sell from a retail store, from a home-based business, or at a gun show.
So, besides the obvious political gain to be had from demagoguery, why do McCain and Lieberman tell these lies? Because they want to shut gun shows down entirely. A bill they have written (or, perhaps more accurately, a bill the gun-ban lobbyists supporting them have written) contains some very scary, sweeping measures which single out gun shows for a higher degree of regulation than any other channel of legal gun sales:
The bill indirectly requires that people who attend gun shows must be registered. The bill even requires that people who don't sell guns (e.g., the numerous book, food, and clothing vendors at gun shows) be registered; and it would allow the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to demand a list of every book being sold by a book vendor. Finally, McCain-Lieberman authorizes BATF to create additional, limitless gun-show regulations, which could be used to make it nearly impossible for gun shows to be held.
So if you believe the Second Amendment means what it says, and that you're one of the "people" who has the "right to keep and bear arms," you should contact these Senators and explain to them exactly how you feel.Posted by wasylik at June 4, 2002 07:36 PM