By Lydia Wheeler - 05/19/15 03:15 PM EDT
Bill would require background checks for private sales at gun shows
A House Democrat has introduced legislation that would require sellers to obtain a background check for all guns sold at gun shows.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday reintroduced the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act, a bill long championed by former Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.),.
The bill would subject anyone selling or transferring a gun to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and require that transfers be reported to the attorney general.
Maloney said a background check is required when a Federal Firearm Licensee wants to sell firearms at a gun show, but no such requirement exists for private sales.
Gun show operators would be required to register with the attorney general and provide information on upcoming shows, including the identity of all firearm vendors, and keep a record of all vendors’ identities.
The legislation would call on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to hire investigators to inspect gun shows and examine records kept by gun show operators and vendors.
“Background checks keep guns out of criminal hands, but for no good reason current law allows many guns to be sold without this basic step," Maloney said in a news release. "It wouldn't be hard for gun show hosts to set up a background check station for private sellers. Many states already have this requirement, and my legislation would nationalize it.”
While Maloney supports legislation that would universally expand background checks to cover gun shows and the internet, the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act is more narrowly focused on closing one loophole in what Maloney referred to as the nation’s Swiss-cheese background check system.