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The Gun Show Loophole Explained



Salesman selling pistols and revolver assorted firearms for sale at gun show | The Gun Show Loophole Explained | Featured

One of the things the folks on the left love condemning is the “gun show loophole.” Learn more about it as you continue to read below.

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In this article:

  1. Does It Exist?
  2. Consulting U.S. Law Shield
  3. Background Checks

Gun Show Loophole Myth | What You Need to Know

Does It Exist?

Chances are if you read Gun Carrier on a consistent basis, you are pro-gun and understand this loophole is non-existent. It is, however, a good idea to have a solid argument for when these things come up, so we're going to discuss it right now.

The far-left wants us to believe a good portion (sometimes citing as high as 40%) of all gun sales take place at guns shows where no background checks are required.

An example of a far-left publication spewing this nonsense came from CNN, who is teaching exactly that. I'll save you from having to read it. It states:

A background check is conducted only in store purchases. There, gun buyers have to fill out a form from the ATF, or the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives — not what unlicensed gun dealers would do.

Consulting U.S. Law Shield

Before I begin to make my point, let me state why I believe I'm qualified to talk about this. I work in and for the firearm industry in various roles.

Writing for Gun Carrier (formerly of, The Truth and a few others) is not the only thing I do. I actually consult with a company called U.S. Law Shield, who is a firearm legal defense company.

And, because I consult for them, I get to go to gun shows all over the state a few times each month to represent this company.

In other words, I'm not some desk jockey with no experience. I actually work a table at multiple gun shows a year.

So, first off, each and every table at the gun show perform a background check on each person buying a weapon.

Why? Because more often than not, those tables have people who own gun stores, and not some random person.

Why does the radical left blow this so far out of proportion? Well, they need something to talk about.

Plus, every so often, you will see an attendee walking around with a hunting rifle or shotgun strapped to his back with a piece of paper attached.

This paper has a listed price for the firearm in question. Usually, the firearms are too expensive they won't sell during the course of the day.

Why don't they sell? Because they are often high-end firearms or collector's pieces and the seller won't budge at all on the price.

So, more often than not, at least from what I've seen, these firearms do not sell.

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Background Checks


I have never seen anyone carrying an AR15 or handgun of any kind to sell in a private sale. Does it happen?

It might, but I've never seen it. One thing I have seen, though, is plenty of people getting denied during the background check itself.

For one reason, there may be a flag on the person trying to buy the firearm and unable to purchase.

In other words, the system in place does work to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

Therefore, the first statement by CNN is totally false about conduction of a background check is only in stores. Any credible business is going to cover their arse as much as possible with the sale of firearms.

Now, let's tackle the second statement, which is only partially false. As we learned, some private sellers can try to sell a firearm to someone at a gun show, even though they are usually unsuccessful.

So, they don't have to get a background check if they buy one of these very limited, overpriced hunting firearms at a gun show.

However, the vast majority of all firearms sold at gun shows are done by a federally licensed gun seller, who has to perform a background check on the person actually buying the gun. It's the law.

Believe it or not, most gun shop owners and employees don't want usage of their firearms in crime. Not only does it suck for the people getting shot/losing loved ones, but it can cause drama for them, too.

Why would they ever put their livelihood in jeopardy?

Learn more about the gun show loophole in this video by The Daily Share:

Is there a loophole? Nope.

When you look at it in light of the context of what's actually happening, and from the point of view in which hundreds—if not thousands—of guns can be sold during a gun show, and only a very tiny percentage of them even have the possibility of being a private sale, the chance of there being an actual loophole dwindles significantly.

And, when you take into account a lot of the private sellers never actually agree on a price, it goes down even further.

What do you think about the gun show loophole? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 18, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. George Steele

    May 29, 2023 at 4:55 PM

    This is dishonest. It’s not whether or not most, or some, or usually, or anything of the sort is representative of the transactions. The question is: is it EVER possible for a PRIVATE individual to buy a gun from another PRIVATE individual – at a gun show or otherwise – without a background check having been run on the buyer, in any state in the union? And the answer to that question is YES – it IS possible to buy a gun without any paperwork whatever or any background check whatever.

    I think pretending that it is NOT possible, with weasel wording that attempts to equate “unlikely” or “unusual” or “rarely” with NEVER is dishonest, and misrepresents reality. I have personally been at shows where there was an announcement over the PA system stating categorically that no background checks are required to buy a gun at that show. That does NOT mean that if you go to a table run by an FFL, that THEY will not require a 4473 and a NICS check – it just means that in THAT state, at THAT show, the transaction CAN happen.

    By lying about it, you undermine the credibility of everything else you write, and mark gun owners and buyers as dishonest. There IS a gun show loophole, and the only thing that matters is whether or not it presents a PROBLEM. It MAY. If the buyer is a felon, it IS a problem; but that felon knows damned well that it’s a problem, and is breaking the law – not by buying without a NICS check, but because he/she is a FELON. No lying on a 4473, no evading a NICS check – just breaking the law, period.

    And I have to believe that NO ONE wants to sell their gun, at a show or otherwise, to a FELON who might use it to rob, assault, or kill someone – unless that someone is also a felon. And LAW will NEVER stop such a thing from happening. Laws do NOT prevent crime. Laws DEFINE crime. Only FORCE prevents crime. Write all the laws you want, until you run out of ink – it will NOT stop individuals from conducting illegal transactions if they decide to do so.

    We ALL want crime controlled; the problem is that the gun controllers think that you can do it by controlling access to inanimate objects – which is idiotic. We need more focus on criminals, and not on the tools they use. And honesty about the issues.

  2. Paul

    July 28, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    You are totally right about the gun show loophole for buying firearms. I attended at least 3 shows last year and every table had someone performing background checks. I recently sent an email to the major news outlets asking why they never have a normal middle class person whom enjoys spending time at the range with family and friends on their show to give my point of view. Needless to say I never got a response from them .

  3. Thomas

    July 28, 2016 at 7:32 AM

    You need to get this info out to fox news, they have been exposing the lies of the left for quite some time.

  4. marvin rowe

    April 24, 2016 at 1:54 PM

    everytime i go to gun shows you need to filll out the form or you dont get the gun thats how far the LEF IS OUT TOUCH WITH REST OF AMERICA SEMER FI

    • Doug G Adams SR

      July 28, 2016 at 11:40 AM

      As a lifelong ‘gunnut’ , national level 3 gun competitor and ‘fair minded citizen’ – I want to opine that false info from the left OR right is not good. As long [55 years] as I’ve been going to gunshows, there have been ‘private collectors’ who operate under the radar for background checks’ – this could have changed in two yrs, I have not bought in that time – but I personnaly DO NOT like or VOTE for ANY of the ‘anti-gun’ candidates, but half-truths from any faction are damaging to ‘Law & Order’….Let’s stand on full truths and defeat the liberal half truths.

  5. Dlesh

    April 23, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    The gunshows I go to have signs posted all around, ALL gun sales on these premises must have a background check accomplished.
    So there is no loophole at all except for those that don’t follow the rules. 36000 gun laws haven’t prevented illegal activity, one more “law” is not going to change that.
    As far as those walking around with a gun in the show, they are also trying to get the dealers to buy them or trade them, that doesn’t require a check.
    But then lets talk about those that are denied. Some are misidentified and eventually cleared. A few are actually prohibited persons. So now the prohibited person has a couple of choices, continue his illegal ways and buy on the black market or steal them from someone, Oh even by attempting to buy a gun as a prohibited person, they have committed another felony.
    Background checks are a false sense of security and not worth all of the trouble and expense. Besides that it is a tax on a right and blatantly incongruous with how we treat other rights.
    There is no activity in the world where there is 100 per cent compliance with the intent, but liberals love to make good theater out of it. If you want to have a law and expect 100 percent compliance all you need is:
    Thou shall not injury or kill another human except in defense of one’s self or family
    You could get rid of all of the rest of the gun laws if you could get full compliance with just that one law.

    • Thomas

      July 28, 2016 at 7:40 AM

      My friend, it’s not about keeping AMERICA safe, it’s about disarming an entire nation completely, to get ready for a takeover, that’s why obummer and soros are flooding this country with muslims, and they have there own training camps right here on AMERICAN soil, look it up for yourself, if we loose our guns we loose our country!

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