Why the Loophole on Person-to-Person Gun Sales May Have to be Closed

This story illuminates and makes a compelling case why the loophole on person-person gun sales, which do not require a background  check, may need to be closed.  This would also apply to gun sales by private individuals who sell their hardware at gun shows.

 “The West Texas shooter, Seth Ator, 36, failed a background check when he tried to purchase a gun in 2014, because he had been deemed “a mental defective” by a judge, according to law enforcement sources. He was later able to buy a gun from a private seller. He killed seven people and wounded 25 others on August 31 before being apprehended and killed by the police in a shootout.”

‘Under federal law, gun dealers — that is, people “engaged in the business” of selling guns — are required to have a license and conduct background checks. But private sellers, those who make “occasional sales” for a “personal collection or for a hobby,” can sell guns without looking into the buyer’s background. The law is vague and sets no limit on the number of guns a private citizen can sell, but guidelines from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say those “repetitively buying and selling firearms” for profit are unlicensed dealers, which is illegal.’

Closing the loophole would mean that if I, a private individual, want to sell a weapon to a friend, I would have to go with that friend to a duly licensed FFL-holding gun store and have the store conduct a background check on the buyer.  For the record, the fee for the background check is $5.00 in Florida, which means we are talking about a nominal fee.

The lives of many of our fellow Americans are certainly worth many times more than $5.00 and the inconvenience of making the trip to the local gun store to fill out a form; or going to the kiosk next to yours at a gun show where there is a gun dealer who can process the background check.

Think also of the peace of mind one will have knowing one did not sell a weapon to a Seth Ator.