Do Gun Shows Have Loopholes?

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Nashville Tennessean newspaper's lead story headline is "NY
slams gun show u2018loophole' in Tenn." The story is about a purported
undercover investigation of gun shows done by the City of New York.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long been an anti-gun activist.

Bloomberg sent investigators to gun shows in Tennessee and other
states, using tiny hidden cameras to record what they considered
illegal activity. They allege that guns from Southern states are
regularly found to be used in felonies in New York, and that it
is too easy for criminals to buy guns at gun shows.

The article
spotlighted one gun show held in Nashville that attracts 250 gun
dealers and up to 10,000 people every month. Gun dealers must be
licensed by the Bureau or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF).
Background checks on buyers must be performed by dealers. Penalties
for selling guns to felons can include fines and imprisonment for
the dealer.

The New York
investigation showed that most dealers were law-abiding and that
most sales were legitimate. So, where is this alleged "loophole"
in the law?

It's found
in individual liberty and property rights.

Any of the
attendees at a gun show are free to offer their own guns for sale
to any other attendee. They may not represent themselves as dealers
under penalty of law. But nothing prevents them from striking up
a conversation with another attendee and offering to sell a privately
owned firearm. They also don't have to be bothered with the firearms
registration paperwork that a dealer must complete.

I've seen this
every time I've attended a gun show. There are people walking around
with guns on their shoulders with a "for sale" sign attached
to the gun. And any time a sale is made by an individual, they simply
take their transaction out to the parking lot where the money and
firearm changes hands. It is a completely legal transaction between
two individuals.

No background
checks need be done when an individual sale is made. So there is
the possibility that an individual could sell a firearm to a felon
without the seller's knowledge. There is also a chance that a buyer
could make a firearm purchase on behalf of another person.

But it seems
to me that the only "remedy" for this "loophole"
is to pass a federal law which only allows firearms to be bought
and sold through licensed dealers. And a law like that would be
no remedy at all. It would violate individual property rights in
a chilling way. It would also be unconstitutional, but that has
not ever slowed federal and state lawmakers from passing legislation
that infringes on the right to keep and bear arms.

The solution
for crime reduction is rescinding all gun laws that prohibit or
restrict the rights of any person to keep and bear arms. Armed populations
are polite populations. Ask Switzerland. Criminals are far less
likely to commit a crime when there is the likelihood that the victim
(or someone nearby) will be armed.

So, three cheers
for individual liberty and property rights! Hip, Hip, Hurrah!

10, 2009

D. Longcore [send him
] is president of Abigail Morgan Austin Publishing Company.
He is married to “his Redhead” Julie, has three wonderful children
and three even more wonderful grandchildren. Visit his secessionist
website at:

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