gun show loophole

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More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws by John R. Lott

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In fact, unlike the other violent crime categories, the FBI Uniform Crime Reports don’t even list how many rapes are committed with guns. What is probably most clear from this result is that closing the gun show loophole does not reduce defensive gun uses that stop rapes. Castle Laws Fourteen states adopted Castle Laws in just 2006 alone. It is hard to think of any gun-control law that has been adopted in so many states in just a single year. Yet, this book represents the first research on the impact that the socalled Castle Doctrine, or Castle Law, has on crime rates. These Castle Laws eliminate the requirement that people in their own homes retreat as far A D E C A D E L AT E R | 331 Table 10.12 The impact of “closing” the gun show loophole on violent crime rates Change in the average crime rate after the gun show loophole is closed (%) Murder Rape Robbery Aggravated assault 2% –3.0%*** 3.0% –2.1% Note: Examining the before-and-after average crime rates from closing this loophole was accounted for in figures 10.1a–10.1i.

Other gun laws besides right-to-carry laws might also affect crime, and the estimates therefore take into account one-gun-a-month regulations, assault weapons bans (whether there are state bans when the federal ban is not enforced), background checks on the private transfer of guns (essentially “closing” the so-called gun show loophole), the Castle Doctrine (which absolves people of having to retreat when they are being threatened with deadly force), one-gun-a-month rules, and bans on relatively inexpensive guns (so-called Saturday night specials). These gun laws may be important for explaining changes in crime rates. But, perhaps more important, these other gun-control laws appear likely to be hot topics in the near future. Shortly after the November 2008 election, Barack Obama’s transition Web site noted that Obama and Joe Biden “support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country A D E C A D E L AT E R | 255 childproof. They also support making the federal Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004 permanent.”90 Due to the big differences between concealed-carry laws in different states, as well as differences in the percentages actually getting permits, I also account for the different permit requirements in the estimates.

Presumably if assault weapons are to be used in committing any particular crime, they will be used for murder and robbery, but the data appear more supportive of an adverse effect of assault weapons bans on murder and robbery rates. Gun Show Regulations Despite the impression created by the term gun show “loophole,” there are no different rules for buying a gun at a gun show than anywhere else.202 Gun-control groups, such as Third Way (formerly Americans for Gun Safety) identify eighteen states that have closed the loophole, but interestingly, prior to 2000, only three of these states had laws that even mentioned gun shows. So how can a state close a gun show loophole if the laws didn’t even mention the term “gun show”? The issue is really private handgun transfers. What usually constitutes “closing the loophole” is mandating background checks for private transfers of handguns.


pages: 436 words: 125,809

The Way of the Gun: A Bloody Journey Into the World of Firearms by Iain Overton

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And those concerned about this have estimated that as many as 40 per cent of gun transactions are conducted without such checks.64 A US government report concluded that gun shows were the second-leading source of guns trafficked into the illegal market.65 Certainly there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that these loopholes should be of concern to the US public. There was Ali Boumelhem, a member of Hezbollah, who was imprisoned for trying to smuggle US guns back to Lebanon. He had been buying weapons at gun shows in Michigan.66 Or Conor Claxton of the IRA, who had gone to South Florida gun shows to buy guns to smuggle back into Northern Ireland.67 Even an Al Qaeda spokesman has remarked on the gun show loophole, encouraging American jihadists to ‘go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?’68 The concern of Americans on the Mexican border, though, was not about what was going south. Rather they were upset at what was heading north.

And looking at crimes solely within 25 miles of a gun show ignores findings about the geography of illegal gun markets; roughly two-thirds of gun crimes are from firearms purchased out of state or far away from the scene of the deed. 66. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/opinion/2001-12-13-nceditf.htm 67. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/13/us/nation-challenged-gun-control-gun-foes-use-terror-issue-push-for-stricter-laws.html 68. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/closing-the-terror-gap-and-the-gun-show-loophole/2011/06/06/AGTKubKH_story.html. Perhaps the most notable non-international case, though, was the Columbine High School massacre. The two perpetrators bought two shotguns and a Hi-Point semi-automatic from a private seller for cash at the Tanner Gun Show in Adams County, Colorado. No questions were asked, and no paperwork was filled out. A fourth gun was also purchased directly by the boys from a private seller, who in turn had got it from an unlicensed seller at the Tanner Gun Show. 69. http://www.buzzfeed.com/juangastelum/militia-leader-calls-on-members-to-go-armed-to-the-border#6d6htr 70. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/09/central-america-child-migrants-us-border-crisis 71. http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118759/nra-and-gun-trafficking-are-adding-fuel-border-migrant-crisis Chapter 14: The Lobbyists 1.

The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard

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Aside from the unexploded bombs in the cafeteria, the police found twelve other devices throughout the school. 202 THE AMERICA THAT REAGAN BUILT The massacre at Columbine initiated a spate of copycat imitations at other U.S. high schools. President Clinton sent a letter of condolence, and then flew to Colorado to personally comfort the families. The shooting ignited the gun control battle again across the nation, and the Clinton administration called for new measures to apply the Brady Gun Law prohibitions to juveniles, closing the so-called ‘‘gun show loophole’’ that allowed people to buy guns at events without a background check. Still, after all the investigations and explanations, the media reports and government bulletins, no one had any real answers for why the shooting happened. At decade’s end, some of the more cherished icons of American life lay shattered in the public eye. America might remember its legacy as a ‘‘city set on a hill,’’ but the nation’s cities themselves were shown to be seething cauldrons of racial animosity.