WASHINGTON�The Violence Policy Center (VPC) joined U.S. Senators Jack
Reed (D-RI) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) in their effort to close the gun
show loophole by requiring mandatory background checks at all sales at
gun shows. At a news conference today, Senator Reed announced he will
take up the effort to close the gun show loophole in the 107th Congress.
The VPC first uncovered the giant problem of gun show sales in its 1996
report Gun Shows in America: Tupperware� Parties for Criminals.
This report first exposed the dangers of gun shows, where many sales are
legally completed without background checks of any type.
"This legislation would shut the door on Tupperware� parties for criminals,"
said Kristen Rand, the VPC's director of federal policy. "Gun shows will
no longer be a place to buy guns with no questions asked. Senator Reed
will continue the fight begun by Senator Lautenberg to keep guns out of
the hands of kids, criminals, and the mentally ill."
Because the requirement for background checks applies only to federally
licensed gun dealers, gun sales by private individuals occur without any
checks. The gun show loophole is only one part of a much larger problem.
In fact, an estimated 40 percent of guns are legally sold or transferred
without background checks�through classified advertisements, Internet
transactions, and person-to-person sales.
"Guns used at recent tragedies�including Columbine and California's North
Valley Jewish Community Center�were bought without background checks at
gun shows. This exemption is a lethal loophole," Rand said today.