Another Take on Bloomberg’s Gun Show Antics

Snowflakes in Hell has a nice little write up on Bloomberg’s latest little stunt. All in all it’s summed up greatly by the last paragraph:

What’s really disgusting about Bloomberg’s tactics, is none of these transactions and dealers shown here have anything to do with gun show loophole. It’s illegal to operate as a gun dealer, for livelihood and profit, without a Federal Firearms License. It’s illegal to knowingly sell guns to criminals. In all of these cases shown, they could be prosecuted under current laws. But he’s not going to tell you that, because the goal is to get rid of gun shows.

The so-called gun show loophole is more accurately known as a private individual selling their own property to another private individual. See the federal government claims the reason they have a right to control guns is due to the commerce clause. It’s stated in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution and states:

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

It relates to powers of Congress only. It grants Congress the power to regulate inter-state commerce. The claims are wide and varied but suffice to say since guns are usually built in one state and sold in another if falls under inter-state commerce according to the federal government. Since it falls under inter-state commerce they feel they have the power to regulate it as much as they can. This is what state laws like Montana’s Firearms Freedom Act are all about. They state guns produce, sold, and used inside the state of Montana should be free of federal regulation. Likewise if you are selling your gun to another person in the state it’s not inter-state commerce and hence the reason the federal government is unable to regulate it. Since these type of sales are exempt from federal regulations they do not require the seller to perform a NICS check,which would be illegal anyways.

I’ve covered this in my Truth About Guns podcast but I will state in here as well. Bloomberg and his posse are saying we should require private sellers to run background checks on buyers. The problem is private individuals are not legally allowed to do so only Federal Firearm License holders are allowed to access it. From the FBI itself:

Authorized use of the NICS is limited to the purpose of obtaining information on whether receipt of a firearm by a prospective transferee would violate federal or state law.

FFLs, their officers, employees, agents, and/or other representatives are permitted to request background checks of the NICS only for the authorized purpose.

Accessing or using the NICS, or permitting access or use of the NICS by another, for any unauthorized purpose is a violation of federal law, sanctions for which may include criminal prosecution; a civil fine not to exceed $10,000, and/or cancellation of NICS inquiry privileges.

So FFLs, their officers, employees, agents, and/or other representatives are permitted to request background checks. Likewise allowing any other person to access the NICS is punishable by a fine up to $10,000. The only way to access the NICS system is to get an account and in order to do that you need a Federal Firearms License.

Since it’s impossible for a private dealer to access the NICS system they can not run a background check. Hence the only way to legally require a background check is to force all sales to go through a licensed dealer. This is to say in order to sell your own property you would require the involvement of a third party. That is akin to saying it’s not your own property. Imagine if you had to go through a dealership every time you wanted to sell a car.

Since car accidents kill more people than guns every year (by a wide margin) wouldn’t it make sense to require a federal license to sell automobiles? That way a background check could be performed on potential buyers and if they had a past history of criminal behavior you could deny them access to one of the biggest means of death in this country. See how stupid it sounds when applied to cars? Why is it any different from guns? Remember automobiles are involved in far more deaths every year.

The bottom line is the anti-gun crowd wants to abolish gun shows. Not because they are a potential source for criminals to get their guns (very very VERY few criminals get their guns from gun shows, Snowflakes in Hell has the information on that). No it’s because that’s where those of us fighting for our right to keep and bear arms congregate. The only way to stop a movement is to break up the crowd. The anti-gun crowd is trying this through multiple angles such as pitting hunters against those of us who use guns for self defense.

Likewise I believe they are jealous since they lack a show type to congregate. Maybe they should start having anti-gun shows. I can see it now a place full of like minded people not buying guns. They could have tables empty and devoid of firearms and firearms accessories. I’m sure that would get a huge attendance.