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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Roanoke Times Peddling Tired "Gun Show Loophole" Again

This morning's Roanoke Times is running an editorial titled "Find a way to narrow the gun show loophole." It's a response to a hearing held by the Virginia Crime Commission this past Tuesday. You may recall that before the Senate Courts of Justice Committee spiked Governor Tim Kaine's "gun show loophole" bill for good in January, it referred it to the Virginia Crime Commission for study.

During the hearing, pro-gun legislators made it clear while there is no "loophole" and thus they have no interest in passing a law that closes something that does not exist, the law is unclear on who is a dealer and who is a private seller. Senator Ken Stolle of Virginia Beach suggested that a way to clear this "confusion" would be to set a threshold for the number of guns sold, to determine who escapes federal requirements.

The Times applauded members of the Commission for "not getting bogged down" in the arguments made by both sides of the issue and for considering other options. Then the Times offered their own - something along the lines of everyone entering a gun show would have to show an ID, undergo a background check, then get a credential that allows them to approach any vendor. I don't know about you, but I go to gun shows to look around. I haven't bought a gun at a gun show in years - I have dealers that I have relationships with in my area and those are the folks that I turn to when I want to purchase a firearm.

I will give the Times credit for originality, to an extent. This proposal sounds more like the one several years ago that would have required gun show promoters to register with the government and keep records of everyone who attends a show.

I've said it once and I will say it again - there is no gun show loophole. Studies conducted by the Clinton Justice Department showed that criminals rarely acquire their guns at gun shows. This is just one more attempt to put gun shows out of business. People like me who go to shows simply to browse and not purchase would be deterred by the requirement of having to wait for a background check before entering -thus reducing the profit margin of the promoter and some shows would likely go out of business. But, that is likely what folks like the Roanoke Times wants anyway.

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