Ten myths compiled by Sen. Chuck Grassley following President Barack Obama’s executive actions on firearms.
Myth No. 1: Firearm purchases at gun shows do not require a background check due to the “gun show loophole.”
When the president and others refer to the “gun show loophole,” they imply that there are no background checks being done at gun shows. As a result, much of the public has been misinformed and are led to believe that individuals who purchase firearms at gun shows are not subject to a background check.
In reality, there is no “gun show loophole.” If an individual wants to purchase a firearm from a licensed firearms retailer, which typically makes up the majority of vendors at gun shows, the individual must fill out the requisite federal firearms paperwork and undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check.
The only firearms that are being purchased at gun shows without a background check are those being bought and sold between individuals, peer-to-peer, as opposed to buying a firearm from a gun dealer. These private sales are not at all different from selling a personal hunting rifle to the owner’s niece or nephew down the road. It is a private sale, and no background paperwork is required. The gun is private property, and the sale is made like a sale of the family’s good silver. The one difference is that the locus of a gun show is being used to make the private sale.
Under current law, an individual is permitted to occasionally sell part, or all, of his personal firearms collection. These private sellers, however, cannot be “engaged in the business” of selling firearms. “Engaged in the business” means they can’t repeatedly sell firearms with the principal objective of earning funds to support themselves. Some of the individuals who wish to sell a portion, or all, of their personal firearms collection do so at the show and might display their wares on a table. These “private table sales,” however, are private, peer-to-peer sales and, therefore, do not require a background check. The president cannot change criminal statutes governing requirements for which sellers must conduct background checks. His new actions don’t do so and don’t claim to do so.
In a peer-to-peer, private firearms transaction, it is already illegal to sell a firearm to another individual if the seller “knows or has reasonable cause to believe” that the buyer meets any of the prohibited categories for possession of a firearm (felon, fugitive, illegal alien, etc.).
Source: 10 Myths About Guns