October 9th, 2009
07:52 PM ET

Gun show loophole

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/10/07/new.york.gun.show.sting/art.gun.show.afp.gi.jpg]


New York’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, unveiled the results of a 4 month investigation into illegal practices at gun shows. It may shock you to know how many sellers ignore the questionable backgrounds of interested buyers. The investigation also highlights a dangerous loophole that could potentially put guns in the hands of criminals.

The investigation took place in Nevada, Ohio and Tennessee. Do you know the gun laws in your state? What about neighboring states?

Tonight Randi Kaye digs deeper. Tune in at 10pm ET to hear her report.

Check out this chart for trends in crimes committed with firearms from 1973 – 2006.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gun Control • Gun Violence
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. whitney

    This is a shocker. I can't believe that people can really buy guns that easily. Just knowing that anyone with an ID can by a gun, is really a scary situation to think about. IMaybe they would hurry things up a little if they lost a family member by senseless gun voilence and the police had to quit looking for the person because the gun wasn't traceable to anyone. What a world. Whitney 23, Louisiana

    October 10, 2009 at 2:57 am |
  2. Kjell (WA)

    Steps should be taken to make gun shows required to run BG checks like a gun store. Lets face it criminals will obtain firearms despite the laws, after all they live outside them.

    October 10, 2009 at 2:49 am |
  3. bob

    I believe that all americans should have the right to bear arms. I also believe that all private gun purchases should not have to go through a background check

    October 10, 2009 at 12:14 am |
  4. Michael Santos

    My name is Michael Santos and I have been shot by an illegal handgun. My younger brother was also shot by an illegal handgun. My other younger brother was murdered at the tender age of 14 years of age and I have a half brother who has a brother who also was murdered with a handgun. So yes I am for closing the gun show loophole. Michael Santos New Bedford, Massachusetts

    October 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  5. Craig P

    There is absolutely no need for this law, in the day and age. What difference does it make where a gun a purchased? Every buyer should pass a background check! I am pro gun rights, but I also believe in safety! I'm a gun shot victim myself, believe me, but how can we allow people to just walk in and buy a gun, no questions asked, I honestly believe its a privilege and this law is a poor example of the great responsibility that privilege carries.

    October 9, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  6. Jason from North Dakota

    I own close to 200 rifles, pistols, and shotguns. Only a few are used for hunting purposes and the rest are rare collector items or limited editions. I have never sold or intend to sell any of them. None of them are military as I see no reason for citizens to have them. I am a lifelong member of the NRA. I see no reason not to close the loophole. If you can't pass a background check you shouldn't have a gun. There are those that believe that this would be the first step to the government taking all guns. I do not believe this as the law abiding gun owners are also vote owners and the government knows it.

    October 9, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  7. Dan

    If guns were the problem, we would hear of cops shooting cops, and soldiers going crazy and shooting each other by the thousands.....this simply does NOT happen.

    October 9, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  8. Dan

    Armed citizens will most likely be the first to aid you in time of need. There will NEVER be enough police around. Even if 911 is called and the police get there in a record 2 minutes...think what the criminal could do to you in a full 2 minutes. Try it now...start counting...and think. The police will only bring the body bag and take a report.

    October 9, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  9. Darrell

    All I have to say is that there has never been a gun that killed anyone. There has to be someone using it. Criminals will always find a way to kill you. You can kill someone with a butter knife. More gun laws are not the answer. They only hurt the law abiding citizens. An unarmed nation is a nation of slaves.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  10. Justin Lehr

    I am a gun owner, a member of the NRA, and a veteran of the war in Iraq. I recently purchased a pistol at a gun show in Ohio. I was shocked to have picked it up without a background check, a reciept, or a single question asked. Good thing I'm not a criminal or a psychopath! Certainly, something must be done about this, before we lose our right completely.

    Youngstown, Oh

    October 9, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  11. Jim

    Theres no such thing as a private dealer. If you have a Federal firearms license you are a dealer. If you are selling guns you own you are a private seller and are not required to do backround checks on long guns. Bloomburgs joke of a investigation fails because none of the people actually were criminals, they only were posing as criminals. Real criminals dont go to gun shows, they buy guns on the street which are stolen from legal owners or from illegal straw purchases. You cant legislate intent and god forbid you actually convict criminals and put them in prison and keep them there.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  12. Mike

    When does the mayor of a city in one state have the authority to run "sting" operations in other states. The agents purchasing those gun should also be charged with a crime. They were not federal agents and were transporting guns across state lines, a felony.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  13. Bruce

    Unfortunately you can't show how may people have been saved from harm by having a gun. There are more drunk driving deaths than from firearms so this report is just another farce; another way to try to take away what has kept the people free here in the US. Look at the county in Georgia that the sheriff armed elderly people and the crime rate dropped then look at Miami that has a harsh gun law and their rates skyrocketed. In our community you won"t get a enforcement officer for things like robbery, just a form to fill out to send in to them. So that's alright I'll keep my guns and I really want the selling laws loosened.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  14. tim

    i live in florida, sellers may not need a licence to sell a gun privately but there is a way to check if a background check has been done on a person. if the seller requires to see concealed weapon permit. then the person has had a background check performed on them by the state.
    if the buyer does not have a permit, then the gun should not be sold to them.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  15. John Lewis

    Owning many guns myself for recreational activities, I agree that the gun show loop-hole is dire need of reformation. I am not aginst owning firearms but I think everyone can agree that we don't want gun in the hands of criminals.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  16. Dan Scott

    Yes, 90% of guns used in crimes are imported to New York. Because NY doesn't make firearms. Additionally the highest population in New York is in the city which is right next to what....? New Jersey, and Conneticut..... No way the heartland of American firearm production, Savage arms, Springfield, Colt Smith, and Wesson. Is this really any surprise?

    October 9, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  17. Danielle

    It is truly astonishing to see how many private gun sellers there are all over the country who are willing to sell guns to criminals. These sellers are essentially criminals themselves if they knowingly sell a gun to someone they don't believe can pass a background check. Innocent people are dying because of gun trafficking and we need to put an end to the gunshow loophole. President Obama needs to step up on this one.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  18. ConcernedCitizen

    Private citizens in states are allowed to sell firearms within the state. There is nothing the federal government can do.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  19. Mike Slisher

    I thought it interesting that Bloomberg's investigator did mention the fact that what was happening already violated federal law. So, this begs the question: how will additional laws stop criminals?
    I also thought it interesting that Bloomberg's investigators are themselves under investigation by the BATFE for violation of the "straw man" purchase law. But... that would ruin a perfectly good story, wouldn't it?

    October 9, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  20. Steve

    I own a shotgun and a small caliber pistol for home defense. I think that the law abiding citizen should be allowed to own a firearm however the gun show loophole – as shown on AC tonight clearly needs to be closed.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  21. Marilyn Smith

    Why can't we begin targeting the problem of illegal gun sales by the U.S. government only allowing the production of bullets through the US military and, or government owned facilities.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  22. Floridian

    Anderson, we were at a garage sale today, and about 5 hunting guns were laying out in the driveway for sale. Anyone can buy these! Nobody was regulating the sale of those guns. I thought, what the heck is this? Very scary! Sarasota is a scary place to live.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  23. Daniel Durham

    Anderson thats not the half of it. I have heard that it is legal at many gunshows to sell semi-automatic AK 47 assault rifles and then sell the kits to make them fully automatic as long as it is at a seperate booth. These Shows absolutely make a mockery of any kind of gun control in this country. How can you do detailed background checks in that kind of fast paced flee market atmosphere. I am tired of the arguement that we need guns because the bad guys have guns, if the bad guys have auto AK 47s, then your screwed anyways.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  24. Annie Kate

    I have no idea what our gun laws are – have never needed to know because we don't have guns. We don't hunt nor do we feel threatened so there is no reason to have one. The only lethal weapon we have at my house is my son behind the wheel of a car and we ARE working on that one.

    October 9, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  25. JD (Pittsburgh, PA)

    I saw this headline pop up and I was hoping it was about Anderson's recent gun show. Needless to say this is quite interesting as well.

    October 9, 2009 at 8:41 pm |