10 months, 4 weeks ago
That’s a phrase that you’ve doubtless heard recently, and will hear again. As we’ve discussed, it’s a phantom. It doesn’t exist. It isn’t real – there is no gun show loophole. That’s a fabricated phrase to make the legal transaction of firearms sound scary and evil. What is legal in a home, or parking lot, or building, or anywhere else where firearms are legal, is also legal at gun shows. A person-to-person transaction can occur without going through a Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer and paying a transfer fee.
But on to a commentary by Clayton E. Cramer at NRO’s Corner on this subject.
It is an article of faith that closing the “gun-show loophole” would make America a safer place. But that is what it is: faith. In 2008, three criminologists (one of them not at all friendly to guns) studied the effects on murder and suicide rates in California (which prohibits private sales without a background check) and Texas (which does not). They looked at homicide and suicide rates for adjacent ZIP codes for a week after gun shows. They found no change in suicide rates, and in Texas, which has no restrictions on private party sales, a small but statistically significant reduction in gun homicides.
This might seem surprising, and at first glance, it is. Except for one little detail: Criminals appear not to buy guns at gun shows, because guns are expensive. It is so much cheaper to steal guns instead. At Newtown, the killer first murdered his mother to steal the gun. At Clackamas Mall in Oregon in December, the shooter used a rifle he’d acquired by stealing it from a friend. In April of 2007, David Logsdon of Kansas City, Mo., murdered his neighbor and stole her late husband’s rifle for a mass murder.
I do not have a serious problem with requiring all firearms sales to go through a background check. But I do have a serious problem with pretending that this is going to make much of a difference in murder rates. You want to do something about murder? Look at the typical murders — not the highly atypical ones.
What a strange commentary. After demolishing the notion that person-to-person transfers have anything whatsoever to do with personal or public safety, the author acquiesces and says that he doesn’t have a serious problem with outlawing person-to-person transfers.
For the record, I have a massive problem with making person-to-person transfers illegal. Forcing all transfers to go through an FFL (for which form 4473 is filled out) is the equivalent of a national gun registry. It’s busybody meddling by the federal government into everyone’s business, and it would effectively turn grandpa, who wanted to gift his Remington 10/22 to his grandson under the Christmas tree, into a felon.
No, and a thousand times no. Ignore the phrase, and resist further changes in the laws. Don’t give the gun control crowd yet another unconstitutional victory over the second amendment.