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The gun show loophole lie

By John Bender
web posted February 11, 2013

The radical left is once again trying to gut the Second Amendment.  As things look right now they will not get most of their wish list passed.  The American people are too smart to believe that banning semiautomatic firearms and/or certain popular magazines will do anything to reduce crime. 

One lie the radical left has so far had success in getting people to believe is that there is a "gun show loophole" and that "loophole" needs to be closed by mandating universal background checks on all sales or transfers of firearms.  Unless civil rights groups like the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, the Second Amendment Foundation, and civil rights activists mount a huge effort to expose this lie and the consequences of universal background checks this could pass Congress.

To start, there is no gun show loophole.  Gun dealers have to do a background check no matter where they sell a firearm.  It doesn't matter whether they sell a firearm in their store, at a gun show, or in a back ally, they have to do a background check.  Anyone who says differently is lying.  To be fair, most of the so called reporters in the old media probably have no idea that this is a lie.  They are told there is a loophole by a political hack or a radical anti-Second Amendment group and never bother to check whether it is true or not.

There is exclusion for private citizens to give, sell, or trade guns they own without the expense and hassle of doing a background check.  When Sarah Brady bought her son a powerful rifle for Christmas in 2000, she didn't have to do a background check on her son before giving it to him.  When my father left the .22 rifle his father gave him to my son, the executor of his estate didn't have to do a background check on my son. When my neighbor sold her late husband's collection of World War I era guns she didn't have to do a background check on the collectors who bought the collection.

This exclusion is what the radicals want to eliminate.  Had there been a universal background check law when the previously mentioned transfers occurred, the three of us would have had to pay a licensed firearms dealer to do the background check before transferring the firearms.  But a criminal would not bother doing the background check and without universal registration there would be no way of knowing the transfer took place.

For a mandatory universal background check to have even minimal effect, the government would need to have a record of where every one of the 300 million guns now in private hands was on a specific start date.  This means they would also have to pass universal firearm registration.  Without that information there is no way to prove that a gun wasn't sold, lost, or otherwise transferred, before the law went into effect.

But there is a problem with universal firearm registration.  It does not apply to criminals or others who are barred by law from owning a firearm.  The Fifth Amendment protects these people from being forced to incriminate themselves.  The Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Haynes (1968) that a person illegally possessing a firearm, under either federal or state law, could not be punished for failing to register it.  So unless the radical left is against the Fifth Amendment as well as the Second Amendment, universal firearm registration can only apply to law-abiding citizens who are not mentally ill.

Hopefully, there are enough rational people in Congress to keep from passing a law that would only serve to inconvenience law-abiding citizens but do nothing to stop criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining firearms.  But, unless enough freedom loving people speak out and counter the lie the radical leftists could pass this bad law.

Every time some uninformed so called journalist spews the gun show loop hole lie call and write pointing out that there is no such thing.  Flood your local newspaper with letters pointing out that there is no gun show loophole.  The same laws apply at gun shows as apply in gun stores or in your home.   The leftists have been spreading this lie for years, but we can get the truth out if we all do our part. v

John Bender is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas.  He is a former staff writer for EtherZone.com and his columns have appeared in various print and internet publications. His work has been cited by Rush Limbaugh and he has been a guest on various radio talk shows including the David Gold Show, the Mark Davis Show, and the Armstrong Williams show. John Bender can be reached at: bender@texas.usa.com.





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