Testing Minnesota’s “Gun Show Loophole”

A certain representative with the last name Paymar has been trying to pass a law here in Minnesota to close the “gun show loophole.” Of course if you’ve been reading this site for any amount of time you know it’s not a “gun show loophole” but private property right.

Well a journalist by the name of Matt Snyders decided to test the “gun show loophole.” What he discovered is something us gun owners have known forever, buying a gun from a dealer regardless of venue requires paperwork, a NICS check, and here in Minnesota a permit to purchase or carry for certain firearms. First let’s bring up Mr. Paymar and his qualifications on firearms:

Paymar has never fired a handgun, nor has he ever attended a gun show. He was moved to act, he says, after seeing a YouTube clip. In it, Colin Goddard, a Virginia Tech massacre survivor who was shot four times, attends gun shows and successfully buys firearms without undergoing a background check or even being asked to show identification.

He’s never fired a handgun nor attended a gun show? In politics that makes him the most qualified person to write a law restricting both. In the real world that makes him uneducated and whole incapable of writing legislation that affects either.

He also brings up the Virginia Tech shooter who legally purchased both of his guns not a gun shows, but through a dealer. That means the Virginia Tech shooter when through the paperwork and background checks to obtain his weapons. In any logical argument that would make the example of Virginia Tech irrelevant and inadmissible. But as we all know anti-gunners don’t use logic instead opting for hysteria.

Anyways Mr. Snyder put forth the following mission for himself:

So I decided to try to buy a gun. To hear the Citizens for a Safer Minnesota tell it, this would be an easy task. I didn’t have a permit, but surely these gun merchants would insist I purchase their wares, federal red tape be damned. I might even enjoy it.

Obviously he should have no problem here. After all according to the anti-gunners you can just walk into any gun show and walk out with fifty machine guns without raising any eyebrows. But the truth, as usual, is at odds with what the anti-gunners think. The first gun show Mr. Snyder attended yielded several things. First it wasn’t just guns for sale:

Over at a literature table, dozens of books offer a history of killing machines from the 18th century to the present. Nazi-themed tomes, for whatever reason, seem particularly popular.

This is where the anti-gunners claim those of us in the shooting culture are Nazis. The truth is far less insidious though. Many gunnies are also big history buffs. They don’t collect World War II memorabilia because they think Hitler was right, they collect it because it’s a part of history that should never be forgot. One of my uncles actually collects many items from World War II from flags to helmets. He’s not a Nazi, racist, or bigot. He’s a history buff and owing a piece of history is a big deal for him. It’s no different than owning a jacket worn by a famous movie star except the memorabilia from various wars actually has meaning since good men shed blood over it. So how did Mr. Snyder fair on the gun front? Well:

Before any transaction is finalized, all licensed vendors must place a call to the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System, an all-day hotline that every diligent vendor has on speed dial and which is referred to as “Nicks” (NICS). If the call turns up any felonies, instances of domestic abuse, or mental illness, the sale is canceled.

“This is not the venue for selling machine guns,” Tim adds as he nods respectfully to a passing browser. “Those are hard to come by. Only hard collectors get into them. Very expensive, plus there’s a $200 federal transfer tacked on for every sale.”

That’s a dirty little secret the anti-gunners never tell you. All transactions through dealers requires a NICS check and an ATF form filled out while machine guns are heavily regulated. So that only leaves sales between individuals:

About 12 minutes later, a prim man wades through the booths, black Romanian WASR-10 AK-47 slung over his shoulder. A white sheet of paper taped to its glistening black barrel announces its price: $500 or best offer.

“I want my baby to go to a good home,” he says, eyeing me up and down.

I can tell by his squinting, sun-weathered eyes that he doesn’t mean mine.

And as Mr. Snyder found out most individuals are picky where their property winds up.

That’s one failure so Mr. Snyder attends another gun show. First of all he finds out unlike what the anti-gunners claim gunners are not racists:

When three black men enter the show at around 1 p.m., however, no one pays them much mind. Asked about their experience here, they seem more taken aback by the question’s presumption than the surroundings.

“I’ve been to three gun shows, and I’ve never had a problem,” says Grant, turning to his friends for corroboration. They nod. They’re not here to purchase, Grant adds. For many, gun and knife shows are the male equivalent of window-shopping for shoes.

And later Mr. Snyder again attempts to obtain a firearm at a gun show without a permit or background check:

“You have your permit to purchase, right?” asks the vendor.

The answer to the question was an unfortunate no.

“No permit to purchase?” he said. “You’re shit outta luck, my friend.”

This “loophole” is starting to look more like a brick wall. How does Mr. Snyder fair at the next show? Surprisingly just as well as the other two mentioned shows:

But three consecutive attempts yield reactions ranging from apologetic to annoyed.

“No permit to purchase, no sale,” snaps a looming, pear-shaped man as his plump hands hastily repackage what would otherwise be a sale. “Wasting your time here without one. Good day.”

The vendors here are sticklers on every provision, clause, subsection, and footnote on the books. In one case, a clean-cut seller in a charcoal-black Harley Davidson shirt conversed curtly with two men, one who appeared to be in his 70s, the other fiftyish. The vendor refuses to sell more than two handguns to the befuddled duo.

“Them’s the rules,” says the vendor. “I don’t give a fuck, but them’s the rules.”

“Well, in that case, I’ll just buy the Colt and sell it to him,” replies the elder of the two.

“Now that’s a straw buy,” retorted the vendor. “One hundred percent illegal. I don’t give a fuck, but if I were to sell ya that after you just told me that, I’d lose my license!”

“I’ve known him since he was this high,” says the man, holding his liver-spotted hand four feet off the floor.

“I understand that, but it’s worse than dealing with the IRS if I sold ya two!”

Six days, three gun shows, and 19 attempts to buy handguns sans permit had yielded zero sales.

That’s right six days, three gun shows, 19 attempts to purchase, and zero guns. Some loophole that turned out to be. So much for that “gun show loophole” that allows anybody to purchase untold numbers of guns without any regulation.

So the next time you hear a blow hard anti-gunners claiming anything about firearms go talk to somebody in the shooting community. We have experience and knowledge in the firearm fields, we know the laws, and we will give you the truth instead of the hysteria.

3 thoughts on “Testing Minnesota’s “Gun Show Loophole””

  1. Exactly right, I’ve bought several guns at Mn. gunshows and have been required to submit to a background check every time. I don’t know about other states, but in Mn. the so called gunshow loophole is pretty much non-existent.

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