Democrat Debate: Sanders, O’Malley Don’t Know California Has No ‘Gun Show Loophole’

Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

During the December 19 Democrat debate, presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley both pushed for expanding background checks to gun shows because of the San Bernardino attack.

However, San Bernardino is in California, where the “gun show loophole” does not exist.

At one point during the debate O’Malley looked at the camera and said, “When [ISIS] does training videos that say the easiest way to get a combat ‘assault weapon’ in the United States of America is at a gun show, then we should all be waking up. We need comprehensive gun safety.”

It is worth noting that the main tenet of the Democrat’s “comprehensive gun safety” is expanded background checks–which already exist in California, and which were impotent to prevent the San Bernardino attack. It is also worth noting that expanded background checks–by their very nature–eliminate private sales at guns shows, thereby eliminating the fabled “gun show loophole” Democrats so often reference.

Sanders took the same position as O’Malley, but did so through the language of “creating a consensus” for “comprehensive gun safety” that would include closing the “gun show loophole.” Yet again, the so-called “gun show loophole” is non-existent in California–it had nothing to do with the San Bernardino attacks.

San Bernerdino attacker Syed Farook acquired the handguns used in the attack “legally”–i.e, via background checks–and the rifles used in the attack were acquired “legally” as well, by Enrique Marquez who says he left the guns with Farook “for safe storage.”

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