Lautenberg Fights to Close Gun Show Loophole
New Jersey’s senior U.S. Senator has reintroduced his legislation to close the gun show loophole.
Senator Frank Lautenberg says there is a significant loophole in U.S. law that allows guns to be sold, even to criminals and the severely mentally ill, by unlicensed sellers at gun shows without conducting background checks.
His measure would require that background checks be conducted on all firearms sales at gun shows, even sales by private parties.
“Criminals, terrorists, the mentally ill and other dangerous people shouldn’t be able to walk into a gun show and walk out with guns and assault weapons, no questions asked,” Lautenberg said, “closing the gun show loophole is a simple step that we can take to increase gun safety and prevent dangerous weapons from getting into the wrong hands.”
He also says, “An overwhelming majority of Americans want to stop unchecked sales at gun shows, and this bill would do just that. I have beaten the gun lobby by getting my legislation to close the gun show loophole through the Senate before, and I am confident we can do it again.”
The Senator has been working to close the gun show loophole since 1999, when he first introduced legislation to require background checks for all guns sold at gun shows. Later that year—in the wake of the Columbine tragedy, a republican-controlled Senate passed Lautenberg’s legislation as an amendment to a juvenile justice bill, however the gun lobby killed the legislation in the House-Senate conference.
Last week, President Obama called for legislation to require background checks on all guns sold—including all guns sold at gun shows—as part of his gun violence prevention recommendations.