Senators Introduce Bill to Close ‘Gun-Show Loophole’
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm
It’s a curiously enormous loophole in the federal effort to keep firearms out of the hands of felons, fugitives, minors and the mentally ill: Unlicensed gun-show vendors — unlike their licensed counterparts — have no obligation to do background checks on prospective weapons buyers.
Today, Democratic Sens. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Jack Reed (R.I.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) re-introduced legislation to close that loophole by requiring all gun-show vendors to perform background checks on potential customers.
“Allowing sales at gun shows without identification, without accountability and without knowing whether the buyer is a felon or mentally ill, is unacceptable,” Feinstein said in a statement. “This legislation proposes common sense protections that do not limit the rights of law abiding citizens to own and purchase guns.”
But the bill has a tough road ahead. The National Rifle Association, which opposes the proposal, is a juggernaut of political influence in Washington, and Democratic leaders, including President Obama, have all but conceded that gun reforms are likely going nowhere this year.
It’s a familiar scenario. Indeed, when the Senate passed a similar gun-show proposal in the immediate wake of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, the NRA lobbied it dead in negotiations with the House. If it couldn’t pass in that political environment, don’t go holding your breath for passage in this one.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.