Keep and Bear Arms
Home Members Login/Join About Us News/Editorials Archives Take Action Your Voice Web Services Free Email
You are 1 of 380 active visitors Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Main Email List:

State Email Lists:
Click Here
Join/Renew Online
Join/Renew by Mail
Make a Donation
Magazine Subscriptions
KABA Memorial Fund
Advertise Here
Use KABA Free Email




Keep and Bear Arms - Vote In Our Polls
Do you oppose Biden's anti-gun executive orders?

Current results
Earlier poll results
3566 people voted



» U.S. Gun Laws
» AmeriPAC
» NoInternetTax
» Gun Show On The Net
» 2nd Amendment Show
» SEMPER FIrearms
» Colt Collectors Assoc.
» Personal Defense Solutions



Keep and Bear Arms


Archived Information

Top | Last 30 Days | Search | Add to Archives | Newsletter | Featured Item

Pro & Con: Regulating gun show sales of firearms

Friday, October 13, 2000


Who could possibly oppose closing the gun show loophole? Preventing criminals from obtaining guns is everyone's goal. It is an important goal even though fewer than 2 percent of criminal guns originate from gun shows. Yet, Measure 5 has little to do with gun shows and will not stop criminals from obtaining guns.

Claims about a loophole have convinced many people that the rules for buying a gun at a gun show are different from buying a gun elsewhere. That is false. Two types of people sell guns: registered dealers and private individuals. Registered dealers must fill out the same forms and meet the same requirements regardless of where they sell a gun.

Private transfers are unregulated, but they are unregulated both inside and outside a gun show. If the initiative passes and private transfers at gun shows are regulated in the same way as the sales by registered dealers, the initiative's advocates will next complain about a new loophole, private transfers outside of shows.

The initiative clumsily attempts to plug this new loophole by defining "gun shows" so broadly as to encompass many non-gun show transfers of guns. If a father owns a gun collection and gives one to his child for Christmas, that transfer risks being classified as a "gun show."

Even the authors of the initiative apparently realize that even these broad gun transfer checks will not stop criminals who don't want their transfers monitored. To try tracking transfers, they mandate that registration records will be kept by the government for five years on all guns (not just handguns, which is the current rule). Unfortunately, such cumbersome measures will increase crime, not decrease it.

Licensing and registration may sound like effective crime fighting tools: If a gun is left at the scene of the crime, one could possibly trace a gun back to its owner. But, amazingly, despite police spending tens of thousands of man hours annually administering these laws for decades in Hawaii (the one state with both rules), or in Chicago and Washington, D.C., there has not been one single case where the laws have been instrumental in identifying someone who has committed a crime.

The reason is simple. First, criminals very rarely leave their guns at the scene of the crime. Would-be criminals also virtually never register their weapons.

Yet, aren't background checks effective in preventing criminals from getting guns? Unfortunately, no. Despite extensive research, there is not one single academic study concluding that background checks reduce violent crime.

Criminals aren't stopped simply because they don't obey the laws. But it is the law-abiding citizens who suffer the consequences. For example, the Brady Act's waiting period prevented women who were stalked or threatened from quickly obtaining guns for self-defense.

Measure 5 faces even worse problems with indefinite delays possible in obtaining a gun. The poor will also bear the brunt of the fees and risk being priced out of gun ownership. They are the ones most vulnerable to crime and who benefit the most from being able to protect themselves.

Furthermore, the rules are needlessly complicated. For example, if the gun is not transferred within 24 hours of approval, the entire process has to be gone through again.

Even if a gun show initiative indeed reduced crime, why have a definition so broad that it criminalizes the simple transfer of a gun between family members? Rules discouraging law-abiding citizens from obtaining guns or diverting police resources to handling unproductive paperwork increase violent crime.

John Lott Jr. is a senior research scholar at the Yale University Law School and author of More Guns, Less Crime. The second edition of his book "More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws" will be published in June of 2000.

More Guns, Less Crime
by John Lott, Jr.

Hard Cover
Click Here

Click Here


Printer Version

A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government. George Washington

COPYRIGHT POLICY: The posting of copyrighted articles and other content, in whole or in part, is not allowed here. We have made an effort to educate our users about this policy and we are extremely serious about this. Users who are caught violating this rule will be warned and/or banned.
If you are the owner of content that you believe has been posted on this site without your permission, please contact our webmaster by following this link. Please include with your message: (1) the particulars of the infringement, including a description of the content, (2) a link to that content here and (3) information concerning where the content in question was originally posted/published. We will address your complaint as quickly as possible. Thank you.

NOTICE:  The information contained in this site is not to be considered as legal advice. In no way are Keep And Bear Arms .com or any of its agents responsible for the actions of our members or site visitors. Also, because this web site is a Free Speech Zone, opinions, ideas, beliefs, suggestions, practices and concepts throughout this site may or may not represent those of Keep And Bear Arms .com. All rights reserved. Articles that are original to this site may be redistributed provided they are left intact and a link to is given. Click here for Contact Information for representatives of is the leading provider of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) and digital certificate solutions used by enterprises, Web sites, and consumers to conduct secure communications and transactions over the Internet and private networks., Inc. © 1999-2023, All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy