Virginia law enforcement officials are calling for tougher gun background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and a federal law that would close the so-called “gun show loophole.”
“This is not about infringing on people’s right to own guns, purchase guns, sell guns," Fairfax City Police Chief Richard J. Rappoport said Tuesday, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Law enforcement and lawmakers ought to sit down and try to figure out how we can regulate that in a way that keeps guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”
Rappoport, a former head of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police, joined several other law enforcement officials and gun safety advocates at a news conference in Richmond.
They spoke in support of a federal law to close the gun-show loophole, which allows the purchase of guns from unlicensed sellers without a background check.
Rappoport said as things stand now virtually anyone can purchase or have someone purchase a gun for them at gun shows or even over the Internet without using real names.
He said those kinds of sales ought to be outlawed “so that we move legitimate buyers and legitimate sellers into a legitimate marketplace that’s regulated.”
But Philip Van Cleave, president of the gun rights organization, Virginia Citizens Defense League, told the Times-Dispatch that people should be able to sell guns just as they would sell anything else over the Internet. He cited Craigslist.com as an example.
“Are they going to get rid of Craigslist? Of course not. They’re just going to pick on guns,” said Van Cleave, who added: “We don’t want guns registered in Virginia. It is not the government’s business to know how many guns you have.”
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