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Monday, January 12, 2015

Less than .5% of 2014 Gun Show Background Checks in Virginia Were Denied

The Richmond Times Dispatch has the story here. And, you'll see a new "loophole" designated in the story - the "private-sale loophole."
“Unless the private-sale loophole is entirely closed, requiring background checks at gun shows alone may do little to curb people who are legally prohibited from buying or possessing a firearm from buying one from a private seller,” said Baker, who in September published an article titled “Reducing Gun Crime in Virginia: Trends and the Need for Clear Thinking in Public Policy” in The Virginia News Letter, a Weldon Cooper Center publication on public policy issues.

“I don’t think making background checks limited only to sales that take place in public venues like gun shows and stores is going to stop the type of sales that lead to criminals buying guns,” said Baker, who supports the Second Amendment right to own a firearm but favors reasonable restrictions in obtaining guns, including universal background checks. “To have real teeth and dissuade people from selling guns to criminals, all firearm sales should require a background check.”

“Doing that would place the burden not only on criminals to not pursue firearms but also on people looking to sell guns, too,” Baker added. “This has the potential to limit the available markets in which those legally prohibited from buying firearms are able to do so. Governor McAuliffe’s current proposal only partially gets at one of those markets."
You may recognize the source of that quote - it's criminologist Thomas R. Baker, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs who has analyzed crime and firearm sales data in Virginia from 2006 to 2012 and found even though firearms sales increased 101% during that period, crime declined 28%.

The take away from the article is the total number of background checks at gun shows in 2014 were 33,484 and only 169 (.5%) were denied.  Of those that were denied, 59 were charged, an even smaller .18% of the total background checks run.  That means that 110 people that were originally denied were likely false positives.  We don't know because that was either not pursued by Baker in his study or not useful information to advance the narrative that we need so-called "universal" background checks to keep criminals from getting firearms.  It seems to me that what we are left with is rather than gun shows being the "Arms Bazaars" that we are constantly told they are, it confirms what the National Institute for Justice told us back in 1998, that very few criminals try and buy firearms at gun shows.

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