I wish to express my serious concerns with Governor Kaine's proposal to force private individuals to perform background checks when selling at gun shows. This proposal would abridge the rights of private collectors while distorting the intent of the law.Jim Gilmore joins other Republicans who have expressed concern with the Governor's proposed changes in the law.
There is no "loophole" that applies to gun shows. Federal and state law applies to gun shows in exactly the same manner as anywhere else. The vast majority of sellers at gun shows are federally licensed dealers who are required under current law to perform instant background checks on their customers. The remainders are private sellers who are not required in any setting - gun show or otherwise - to submit to the same regulations that apply to licensed dealers.
There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that bringing the heavy hand of gun control down on private sellers (who are usually collectors who buy, sell or trade a very small quantity of guns) will do anything to reduce violent crime. A 2001 study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) found that less than one percent of guns used in crimes have come from gun shows. Numerous other studies by the Department of Justice and academia have revealed similar findings.
It is clear that subjecting private collectors to more gun control regulations would do nothing to reduce violent crime, while setting a dangerous precedent that all private firearms transactions would be subject to regulations that were intended to apply only to licensed dealers, not private individuals. Our attention would be better focused on enforcing current laws, and ensuring that law abiding citizens are not treated as criminals.
Jim Gilmore for Senate
Cross-posted at Bloggers 4 Gilmore