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Gun Show Loophole: 5 Facts About Buying and Selling Firearms At Gun Shows

Image: Gun Show Loophole: 5 Facts About Buying and Selling Firearms At Gun Shows
In this 2013 file photo, The Alabama Gun Collector Association Summer Gun Show. (Joe Songer/al.com/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 04:16 PM

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has estimated that 5,000 gun shows are held annually in the United States, attracting tens of thousands of attendees and resulting in the transfer of thousands of firearms. But those shows have come under fire as a result of what some describe as the "gun show loophole."

Here are five facts about buying and selling firearms at a gun show:

1. Federally licensed gun dealers are allowed to sell firearms at gun shows: The Gun Control Act of 1968 prevented federally licensed firearms dealers from selling at gun shows by ordering all sales to take place at the dealer's place of business, but the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 reversed that portion of the Gun Control Act. Today, BATFE estimates licensed dealers sell between 50 to 75 percent of the weapons purchased at gun shows.

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2. Background checks aren't required for gun show purchases in most states: The District of Columbia and 17 states require background checks for some or all private firearm sales but the remaining 33 states do not restrict private, intrastate sales of used firearms between private individuals, whether at gun shows or elsewhere..

3. "Gun show loophole" question has triggered controversy: The term "gun show loophole" has been used to refer to private sellers at gun shows not being required to perform a background check on or record the sale of firearms to private buyers. Gun control advocates complain that the loophole enables prohibited buyers to use gun shows to purchase weapons without a background check. It indicated gun rights enthusiasts counter that there is no loophole and that a federal law requiring background checks for all private party sales, whether at gun shows or not, would exceed the government's authority and be a prelude to registration and confiscation.

4. Gun shows are not trade shows: A gun show is more like a "gun-themed flea market" than a trade show. There will be vendors selling a huge variety of guns including old guns, new guns, and also accessories like holsters, ammunition, cleaning supplies, and other similar products.

5. You may be charged to enter: Many gun shows charge an admission fee which is typically $2 or $3 but some shows charge as much as $10 or more to get in.

This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has estimated that 5,000 gun shows are held annually in the United States, attracting tens of thousands of attendees and resulting in the transfer of thousands of firearms.
Gun Show, Loophole, Firearms, Facts
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2015-16-24
Tuesday, 24 Feb 2015 04:16 PM
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