HomeUSAGOA: So-Called Gun Show Loophole Anything But Closed

GOA: So-Called Gun Show Loophole Anything But Closed

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The Biden administration has been crowing about closing the “gun show loophole,” which never really existed. 

What happened was that someone could pay for a table at a gun show and liquidate part of their own collection by setting up where a lot of gun buyers were located. They couldn’t sell too many, of course, because that would cross the ATF’s line of being a dealer, but they could sell some.

Others could take a single gun to the gun show, walk around, and try to sell it to someone else, all without even bothering with a table. Why would they? It’s just one gun.

In truth, there was absolutely no difference between either of these and simply selling a gun to someone face-to-face.

Despite this, however, the myth of the “gun show loophole” was perpetuated by both anti-gun advocates and their lawmaker allies. It caught fire in the imagination of people who didn’t know any better to the point that many were shocked the first time they tried to buy a gun at a gun show and were told that the dealer would need to run a background check.

But now, the Biden administration claims that the gun show loophole is closed.

The folks at Gun Owners of America, however, disagree. After all, how can something that doesn’t exist be closed?

What the President, Attorney General, and the gun control lobby fail to mention is that the so-called “gun show loophole” never has existed. At a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Rep. Thomas Massie stated that “there is no gun show loophole.”[iv] ATF Director Dettelbach replied by saying “and there never was.” ATF’s rule also states:

The [Justice] Department also notes that the term ‘gun show loophole’ is a misnomer in that there is no statutory exemption under the GCA [Gun Control Act] for unlicensed persons to engage in the business of dealing in firearms at a gun show, or at any other venue.[v]

As it turns out, Americans who wish to purchase firearms commercially—whether it be at a gun show or physical store or even ordering online to be delivered to a physical store—must first fill out an ATF Form 4473 and the FBI must first complete a background check. Also, a recent firearms trafficking report published by ATF noted that “[f]ew investigations involved FFL traffickers and trafficking in firearms through gun shows.”[vi]

Despite claims from anti-gun advocates that this rule addresses a non-existed loophole, it illegally mandates universal background checks and more—a measure that Congress has never authorized and has consistently rejected. Therefore, Congress must overturn this power-grab by ATF which circumvents Congress to impose Universal Background Checks, a law that has never been passed.


The gun show loophole was just what I said earlier, a myth.

All that happened was that the ATF was able to redefine what “engaged in the business” meant, shifting it from a certain number of guns to whether or not one seeks to make a profit.

While the new rule is problematic to the extreme, it still doesn’t preclude someone from selling a firearm to someone else without a background check.

Meanwhile, dealers who set up tables at gun shows–which are most of the tables you see guns on, it should be noted–still have to conduct background checks in accordance with all relevant state and federal laws.

While the Biden administration’s new rule muddies the waters quite a bit, it doesn’t actually close any real behavior that was legal beforehand.

What it really does is give the media something to latch onto and pretend Biden accomplished more than he did.

It’s kind of sad, really, because for people who like to pretend to be in the know, the media continually gets this one thing wrong and has for decades now. While GOA has slapped them down over this before and likely will again, as well as other pro-gun groups doing the same, they’re not interested in actually getting it right. That would require work on their part, after all, and we know that’s not going to happen.

Read the full article here

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