Is Biden Admin Poised to Exploit ‘Gun Show Loophole’ Fraud?

Canik iStock 1182677191
Anti-gunners say a new Biden adminmistration rule to crack down on the “gun show loophole” will reduce violent crime. It does not appear such a loophole actually exists. IMG iStock-1182677191

The Biden administration is preparing to enforce a new “rule” requiring thousands of people who buy, sell or swap firearms at gun shows to obtain a firearms dealer’s license beginning May 19, thus closing the so-called “gun show loophole,” as explained by

An OpEd in the Vancouver Columbian Monday declared the new Biden rule is “attempting to close a sacred portal into American gun culture.”

There is just one small problem. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) surveys of federal and state prisoners revealing the sources of guns used in crime, this “loophole” doesn’t actually exist. These surveys have consistently shown that less than 1% of criminals get their guns at gun shows.

A BJS report titled Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016 revealed the following statistics:

  • 90% did not obtain it from a retail source.
  • 43% obtained it “off the street” or from the “underground market”
  • 7% found it at the scene of the crime
  • 6% stole it
  • 0.8% obtained the firearm at a gun show (emphasis added)

Likewise, this BJS report revealed, “About 1.3% of prisoners obtained a gun from a retail source and used it during their offense.”

Long story short, criminals do not typically obtain their firearms from gun shops or gun shows, and the Justice Department knows it. The BJS is part of the DOJ.

Yet, back in 1996, according to a fascinating history published at Wikipedia, “the Violence Policy Center (VPC) released Gun Shows in America: Tupperware® Parties for Criminals, a study that identified problems associated with gun shows.”

Elsewhere, the gun prohibition lobby has mischaracterized gun shows as “arms bazaars for criminals.”

True, the Columbine killers did obtain their firearms from an adult who legally purchased them at a gun show. But the Wikipedia article reveals, “The fundamental flaw in the gun show loophole proposal is its failure to address the great majority of private-party sales, which occur at other locations and increasingly over the Internet (emphasis added) at sites where any non-prohibited person can list firearms for sale and buyers can search for private-party sellers.”

How does this effort to close the alleged “gun show loophole” square with information from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the umbrella organization for the firearms industry? It doesn’t. According to the NSSF website, “Fact: According to a January 2019 U.S. Department of Justice survey of prison inmates, less than one percent (0.8) of criminals that possessed a firearm during their current offense acquired their guns from gun shows. By contrast, nearly 50 percent reported acquiring their guns illegally, such as by theft or on the black market.”

Anti-gunners have come up with another strategy to wage war on gun shows. It’s the 10-day waiting period. It is pretty difficult to complete a firearms transaction taking 10 or more days at a weekend (two-day) gun show.

The “gun show loophole” isn’t the only prevarication pushed by the gun ban crowd. Their effort to ban so-called “assault rifles” might be the mother of all shady efforts, based strictly on homicide statistics.

A look at historic data from the FBI annual crime reports reveals that in any given year, the number of homicides involving rifles of any kind is a fraction of all murders committed in the United States. More people are murdered with knives and cutting instruments. For example:

  • In 2019, according to that year’s FBI Uniform Crime Report, there were 10,258 homicides involving firearms, of which only 364 were known to have involved rifles of any kind. That year, the FBI data shows, 1,476 people were killed with knives or other sharp instruments.
  • During the previous year (2018), the FBI reported 10,265 slayings involving firearms, but only 297 of those were committed with rifles. That year, the FBI says 1,515 people were murdered with knives or cutting instruments.
  • And back in 2017, again according to the FBI report for that year, the country posted 10,982 murders where guns were used. Only 403 of those incidents involved rifles. That same year, 1,591 people were stabbed or slashed to death.*

(*Note: There are no background checks or waiting periods to purchase knives, which are found in literally every household kitchen in America.)

If rifles of any kind are used in such a small fraction of murders across the country in any year, why are so many people so determined to ban semiautomatic rifles? Would it be in order to get the public used to the idea that under the Second Amendment, it actually is okay to ban certain guns?

There are already indications that federal lawsuits will be filed to restrain or enjoin the enforcement of this new Biden administration attack on gun shows and the people who regularly attend them.

The proverbial bottom line appears to be pure show business. The Biden administration wants the public to believe it is doing something major about preventing criminals from obtaining firearms, when in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

Likewise, banning a whole class of firearms—there are lawsuits seeking certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court challenging semi-auto bans in Illinois and Maryland, both involving the Second Amendment Foundation and others—may seem like a major step in the eyes of network news organizations and ill-informed voters, but it is likely more flash than substance.

The irony here is that the data suggesting all of this is little more than showmanship comes from the Justice Department, which presently is under control of the Biden administration.

About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

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