Good column today. One correction or clarification, though. There's a lot of talk about the "gun show loophole" but in Tennessee a firearm dealer (a term defined in the code by reference to federal law) must still do a background check and complete the same paperwork as if you bought it in his store. see Tenn. Code Ann. 39-17-1316. You are correct that no background check is required for a private sale, or occasional sale, as long as the gun was originally purchased legally and the seller is not disqualified from gun ownership. I do not think this exception applies to gun dealers, but only to non-licensed sellers.So if I, as a private citizen without a federal firearms license, wanted to sell you a gun, regardless of whether it was at a show, I could legally do so without a background check.You are correct that guns can be bought legally without a background check, but those sales are certainly not confined to gun shows.
True, and what you've brought up is perhaps yet another flaw in the way gun control advocates talk abnout the issue--- "Gun show loophole" has become, for many of us, shorthand for any sale that goes through without a background check.I was on a pro-gun site one day last week where the legion of NRA talking points guys were trying to convince me that background checks are too expensive and difficult for a private seller to obtain. I spent fifteen seconds Googling and pointed them to a site that will do one for $20.It' past time to change that law. It would not have prevented the VA Tech massacre--- The gunman had no criminal background, so he had no reason to avoid a check.But if gun rights advocates are playing straight with us when they say they want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals (And in all honesty, I found nothing but apathy for the idea on the gun rights sites) then this inexpensive, quick measure could easily acheive that.If you're selling a firearm, you should do the background check just as a gun store should. If you fail to, and you sell to a felon that commits another crime with it, there should be criminal and civil liabilities.
Good talking to you, by the way.
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