Gun Show Loophole and Online/Internet Sales Loophole

I can’t believe people still try to make this out to be an issue. Let me be as clear as I can be: There are no such loopholes.

Mythical 40% Number

It is very common for people to say that 40% of gun sales are via private sales. President Obama has said it, VP Biden has said it, and many others have perpetuated this number as being valid. A private sale is when a private citizen sells a gun to another private citizen. The 40% number is pretty close to being a unicorn number in that it is not real, but people continue to talk about it as if it is real. Just for some history, there was a telephone survey done in the 90’s (before the National Instant Check System was created in 1998 for background checks) where people were asked if they had a background check done when they bought their gun. 35.7% said that they didn’t have a background check done, which was rounded up to 40%. Of course, the survey didn’t ask if the gun was a gift, inherited, a prize in a raffle, or whatever interesting circumstance may have happened for them to get their new gun. In any case, it was before the creation of the NICS, so the availability of background checks didn’t exactly exist.

For a bit more info, these were the options in the survey:

    • Yes
    • Probably was/think so
    • Probably not
    • No/definitely not
    • Don’t know
    • Refuse to report

64.3% replied Yes or Probably was/think so. So, obviously that means that 35.7% didn’t.

Reality – Yes, the Truth is Easy to Find

Firearms dealers are subject to the same laws whether they sell guns at a Gun Show or via an Online Sale. Firearm dealers are not allowed to use different rules for sales at Gun Shows or Online Sales. In all cases, a firearm dealer must, by law, they must, perform a proper background check, or transfer the firearm to another licensed dealer that then must perform the background check.

It is the law. There is no “loophole” in either case. Dealers are required to follow the same rules and laws at a Gun Show as they must follow in their stores, and dealers are, also, required to follow those same laws and rules when selling to somebody through the Internet.

To be even clearer, a dealer is not allowed to mail a firearm to a person’s address that bought the gun online. If anyone buys a gun through an online dealer, they must either go to that dealer and go through a background check, or have the gun to another licensed dealer that must then run the background check. If the selling dealer sends the gun to another licensed dealer, they need to verify the license of the receiving dealer. The BATFE is pretty clear about how this works, and they audit dealers on a regular basis to make sure they are following the rules.

Even if President Obama insists that people can have guns shipped to their house, it isn’t true. Even if President Obama insists that 40% of people don’t go through background checks when they buy guns, it isn’t true. Yes, even our President can lie to us. He does it pretty well.

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