After Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) held a presser putting forth their background check “compromise” this morning, it was gun shows and internet gun sales are in their crosshairs.
The “compromise” consists of closing the so-called “gun show loophole”–something that Democrats and Republican Moderates like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) have been wanting to do for years.
This supposed “loophole” consists in the fact that some private sellers rent a table at gun shows and make secondary gun sales. In other words, they set up a table to sell their dad’s guns, or their own guns, or the guns their neighbor doesn’t want anymore. These sales require no background check because they are secondary, used gun sales.
What Manchin and Toomey are proposing is an incremental expansion of the NICS background check system that would include these private sales too.
This really is a slippery slope–for once the expansion of background checks starts, where will it stop?
Their compromise also consists in passing laws requiring background checks for internet purchases–something that already exists, and has existed for years and years.
If an Arizona resident purchases a gun off the internet from a store in Florida right now, that gun is shipped from a federally licensed firearms dealer (FFL) in Florida to a FFL in Arizona. IT IS NOT SHIPPED TO THE INDIVIDUAL WHO BOUGHT THE GUN. Once the FFL in Arizona receives the gun, he calls the consumer who then comes to the gun store, does a background check–and only after passing it–gets to take the gun home.
Republican Senators and Democrat Senators from red states who are running for re-election in 2014 should think long and hard before supporting an incremental expansion of background checks, an attack on gun shows, and the passage of laws that already exist, simply for the sake of saying “we did something.”
It should also be noted that nothing in this compromise corrects a problem that allowed Sandy Hook to happen. Adam Lanza did not buy his guns at a gun show or over the internet–he stole them.