Questions on internet purchases and the "gun show loophole"

JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior MemberPosts: 6,553 Senior Member

I keep hearing the talking heads talking about being able to purchase firearms over the internet without having to go through a background check.  I don't understand this, as I have purchased several guns over the internet, and every one had to be shipped from a FFL holder to an FFL holder, who then ran a background check on me.  All of these purchases were in Colorado, so perhaps it's a state law.

I even had a firearm I already owned shipped from Colorado to Texas, and had to have the gun sent to a FFL holder in Texas, who had to run a check.

If a non-FFL holder sells a gun to another non-FFL holder via an internet purchase, and a background check is not done on the purchaser, is that legal?  Is it a state by state issue?  Can someone explain this to me.

I also wonder about the so called "gun show loophole".   In Colorado, ANY purchase made at a gun show has to go through a background check.  If a non-FFL holder sells a gun, the purchaser must find a FFL holder at the show to run the check.  That's the law.  FWIW, usually the seller already has an arrangement with an FFL holder who will run the check, and the check is performed over the phone by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

What states do not have this or a similar law.

The point I'm getting at is whether or not the media and some lawmakers are crying wolf over this, or if it's legit.

Jerry

Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.

Replies

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,601 Senior Member
    Sometimes people walk the shows packing an arm thats been inspected and plastic tied against discharge in order to sell it. If not sold to a vendor but to another private party attending, no check?

    Two people arrange a sale on line. Conduct it in person. No check?

    These examples are indicative of creative license to manufacture alternative reality for political notoriety and sensationalist infotainment. With the very unfortunate consequences of eroding the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens. They in all likelihood have absolutely no preventative effect on crime.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,147 Senior Member
    Not one of these so-called "no background check" purchases has ever, to my knowledge, been tied to a mass shooting. The Democraps just want to increase gun laws incrementally until there are zero personal firearms available.
    JOE MCCARTHY WAS RIGHT:
    THE DEMOCRATS ARE THE NEW COMMUNISTS!
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,106 Senior Member
    There is no way, other than what Early outlined, to sell a firearm over the internet without a background check. I haven't been to a gun show in years here in TN, but it was common when I did for someone to carry a firearm that had been zip tied open into the show, and either trade it in to a dealer for something else (and background check done), or to sell to a private party (no background check done). And in TN, private sales are quite common and go through no background check. Personally, if I don't know someone VERY WELL then I will not deal with them, either buying or selling. I'm a great believer in the CYA Principle, and want to thoroughly minimize my exposure to buying a stolen firearm.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 4,729 Senior Member
    As mentioned above, two people can make contact via the internet, newspaper, gun show, or LGS bulletin board, etc and conduct a face to face business transaction, if legal in the state. Most of my purchases are private, as to keep my transactions from being federalized. 

    If you are concerned about a stolen gun, there's https://www.hotgunz.com/
    The firearm may be stolen and not in the database, but it shows you gave some effort researching. Also ask for a receipt with the seller's name and address. Another due diligence action.  


    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand
  • coolgunguycoolgunguy Senior Member Posts: 6,458 Senior Member
    edited March 13 #6
    The press to kill the "gun show loophole" is hype, and not much more.  Since private sales are legal and require no background check, it doesn't matter where they happen, or how they're conducted, as long as the parties involved are satisfied. At a business parking lot, gun show, in your driveway... all the same.  If a purchase is made from an FFL holder - no matter WHERE the sale takes place, INCLUDING gun shows or the internet - a background check MUST be performed, with the only exceptions being where a license (such as a CCL) serves as a "pre" background check... IOW, the buyer has already passed a background check.  

    ETA: Of course, I am not a BATFEIEIO lawyer, nor have I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express lately, so grain of salt and all that...
    "Bipartisan" usually means that a bigger than normal deception is happening.
    George Carlin
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,553 Senior Member
    The press to kill the "gun show loophole" is hype, and not much more.  Since private sales are legal and require no background check, it doesn't matter where they happen, or how they're conducted, as long as the parties involved are satisfied. At a business parking lot, gun show, in your driveway... all the same.  If a purchase is made from an FFL holder - no matter WHERE the sale takes place, INCLUDING gun shows or the internet - a background check MUST be performed, with the only exceptions being where a license (such as a CCL) serves as a "pre" background check... IOW, the buyer has already passed a background check.  

    I know for a fact that not all states, such as Colorado and Texas, permit a CCL to be used in place of a background check.  I have a CCL issued by the state of Colorado, but still had to have a background check done when I purchased a gun from a gun shop.  Same for when I had my own firearm shipped to me from Colorado to Texas.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,743 Senior Member
    In many states there are very popular trading sites. In VA it's vaguntrader.com. Almost all my sales and purchases these days are done through this website. Typically I will meet the buyer or seller at my range or at the NRA HQ and transaction takes place in cash after a check of ID and either voter registration card or CCW. No record. No background check. Perfectly legal in VA and many other states. AZ had a similar website where I completed a few similar transactions. While the sales weren't completed over the internet, they were facilitated by it and likely wouldn't have been possible without it.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,220 Senior Member
    Right. And the only thing I can see happening if they close this "gun show loophole" is that the cost of background checks are going to go up-- since it gives FFL holders a captive market for all buying/selling transactions.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,220 Senior Member
    edited March 13 #10
    Some places around here are charging $50 to do a transfer-- for 5 minutes of paperwork! $20-$25 seems reasonable to me but I fear the $50 FFL transfer (or more) will become the norm. That is essentially a 10% tax on a $500 firearm. $50 AR lowers become $100 lowers.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 924 Senior Member
    Couple years ago I was quoted $150 for a transfer.  I did not do the transfer, instead my buyer had to jump through all the BS hoops his city put up to get a purchase permit.  If FFLs know that every transaction has to pass through a dealer for a check, and there are no caps on the cost for the transfer, it would be a safe bet that transfer fees are going to go up a lot.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,743 Senior Member
    Agree completely on issues with transfer fees if they somehow outlaw private sales. They either need to cap transfer fees or institute some sort of system where checks can be completed either at local PD station for a low fee or even allow checks to be performed directly by people engaging in the transaction directly. 

    All of that said, it's unclear that congress can constitutionally regulate intra-state party to party transactions like this. It would definitely make for an interesting supreme court case, at least if something like this were to successfully move forward at the federal level.  
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,106 Senior Member
    Outlawing private sales between individuals is the biggest joke out there in Congressional nitwit land. There is NO NATIONAL GUN OWNERSHIP DATABASE with serial numbers of firearms tied to an individual. So private sales will continue unabated in states that don't have de facto registration. How the devil can something be regulated when there is no way to know who has what?
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,553 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    Outlawing private sales between individuals is the biggest joke out there in Congressional nitwit land. There is NO NATIONAL GUN OWNERSHIP DATABASE with serial numbers of firearms tied to an individual. So private sales will continue unabated in states that don't have de facto registration. How the devil can something be regulated when there is no way to know who has what?

    I wonder about this.  Sometimes I watch the investigation ID cop shows that are based on real police investigations.   Invariably, a wizened veteran cop will say something like we traced the serial number of a firearm to a specific person.  I wonder how they do that if the background records are not supposed to be used like that, or even kept????
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,743 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    Outlawing private sales between individuals is the biggest joke out there in Congressional nitwit land. There is NO NATIONAL GUN OWNERSHIP DATABASE with serial numbers of firearms tied to an individual. So private sales will continue unabated in states that don't have de facto registration. How the devil can something be regulated when there is no way to know who has what?

    I wonder about this.  Sometimes I watch the investigation ID cop shows that are based on real police investigations.   Invariably, a wizened veteran cop will say something like we traced the serial number of a firearm to a specific person.  I wonder how they do that if the background records are not supposed to be used like that, or even kept????
    Every firearm is at least originally sold to an individual who had to fill out an ATF form. Start with that person, ask what happened to the gun, who they sold to etc.  Then follow the trail. Requires leg work but can be done. Obviously not in all cases. Requiring background checks would fill the holes in the data and could be done all by computer. Not sure where you heard data weren't supposed to be used that way. I thought it always had. Open to be edjumicated on the subject if my impression is wrong.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,106 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    Outlawing private sales between individuals is the biggest joke out there in Congressional nitwit land. There is NO NATIONAL GUN OWNERSHIP DATABASE with serial numbers of firearms tied to an individual. So private sales will continue unabated in states that don't have de facto registration. How the devil can something be regulated when there is no way to know who has what?

    I wonder about this.  Sometimes I watch the investigation ID cop shows that are based on real police investigations.   Invariably, a wizened veteran cop will say something like we traced the serial number of a firearm to a specific person.  I wonder how they do that if the background records are not supposed to be used like that, or even kept????
    Every firearm is at least originally sold to an individual who had to fill out an ATF form. Start with that person, ask what happened to the gun, who they sold to etc.  Then follow the trail. Requires leg work but can be done. Obviously not in all cases. Requiring background checks would fill the holes in the data and could be done all by computer. Not sure where you heard data weren't supposed to be used that way. I thought it always had. Open to be edjumicated on the subject if my impression is wrong.
    Here's the most massive clue to the puzzle. Before 1968 GCA, there was no such thing as a Form 4473. Millions of guns out there with NO PAPERWORK on them. After that, those forms remained with the dealer until the dealer went out of business. To trace a firearm like described, the manufacturer would have to be contacted to see where it was shipped (most likely to a distributor). The distributor would have to search their records for where it was shipped, and then query the dealer to look in the bound book and Form 4473s to see to whom it was sold. And then go to the original purchaser and see if they still had it or sold it to someone. And here's where you go down the rabbit hole and never emerge. It could have been traded to a licensed dealer at a gun show for another firearm. And if that firearm traded for was used, then the original search starts again. And if the original purchaser didn't keep the sales receipt and doesn't remember the name of the dealer/gun shop represented at the gun show, then it's game over. Same if it was sold to an individual.
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 3,601 Senior Member
    According to what I've seen on some a them true crime shows, there's homicide detectives that are real blood hounds. They'll chase them guns down to interviewing folks that supposedly had possesion according to other interviews. Of course not all HD's are as dedicated, but some thankfully have a real powerful conscious.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,106 Senior Member
    According to what I've seen on some a them true crime shows, there's homicide detectives that are real blood hounds. They'll chase them guns down to interviewing folks that supposedly had possesion according to other interviews. Of course not all HD's are as dedicated, but some thankfully have a real powerful conscious.
    "I ain't seen nothin'; I ain't heard nothin', I don't know nothin'. Hell, I don't even SUSPECT nothin'." :)
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 19,602 Senior Member
    tennmike said:
    "I ain't seen nothin'; I ain't heard nothin', I don't know nothin'. Hell, I don't even SUSPECT nothin'." :)

    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • alphasigmookiealphasigmookie Senior Member Posts: 8,743 Senior Member
    I would imagine for the most part most law abiding gun owners would try to be as helpful as possible if it was found that a firearm they once owned was used to commit a crime.
    "Finding out that you have run out of toilet paper is a good example of lack of preparation, buying 10 years worth is silly"
    -DoctorWho
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,106 Senior Member
    I would imagine for the most part most law abiding gun owners would try to be as helpful as possible if it was found that a firearm they once owned was used to commit a crime.
    I could tell you a few stories about that, but I don't feel like typing out that mess. Suffice it to say that if the initial contact from police with a person who had previously owned the firearm degenerates early into the cops making accusations and threats, cooperation generally ceases quite suddenly.


    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



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