Letter to Legislator: "There is simply no such thing as a 'gun show loophole.'"
Editor's Note: The following letter was submitted by Buckeye Firearms Region Leader Larry S. Moore to a legislator who made comments to the media regarding the mythical "gun show loophole." Have you contacted your own legislator to inform them of the truth? The letter below provides an excellent template...
May 2, 2010
The Honorable State Representative Clayton Luckie
77 S. High St
Columbus, OH 43215-6111
Dear Representative Luckie:
I am writing regarding the issue of gun shows that have been in The Dayton Daily News lately. The Dayton Daily News is not reporting the story with honesty. However, as a gun owner, it is the treatment I've come to expect from much of the media.
There is simply no such thing as a "gun show loophole." It is a term generated by those who oppose the private ownership and sales of firearms in Ohio and the United States. It is unfortunate that you appear to have been fooled by their claims.
Under federal laws, the Gun Control Act of 1968 and various revisions to date, a person is either a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder subject to the rules of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) or a person is a private citizen. The FFL dealer must conduct background checks regardless of where the dealer may sell firearms, at his store, a gun show or any other venue. A private citizen, while under federal laws to not sell to people who are convicted felons, minors or others under firearms disability, does not have access to the law enforcement systems to perform any background checks.
FBI studies, including "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on America's Law Enforcement Officers" and "Killed in the Line of Duty" plus other more recent studies focused on the source of firearms used by criminals in violent crime. The studies consistently indicate that 1% or less of the firearms used in crime come from gun shows. Most guns come off the street from other gang members or even from family members.
Certainly guns may be bought through what is known as a straw purchase at any gun store or gun show. This is an illegal activity. This is where a person without a record is recruited and paid to purchase a firearm for the criminal. The person making the buy completes the BATFE background check form 4473 and submits the purchase as their own. One line on that form asks, if the firearm being purchased is for their personal use. This is where the straw purchaser lies on the form by replying yes. Lying on the form is a felony although it appears that prosecution of the straw purchaser is lax by the federal government. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has information on straw purchase and has worked with the retail industry on straw purchase education and prevention. (http://www.nssf.org/Newsroom/factsheets/straw-purchase.cfm) Additional information the NCIS background check process can be found at: http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cjisd/nics/nicsfact.htm
Additionally the FFL license holder is required by law to immediately report the sale of two or more handguns to the same person with a week to the BATFE. The laws are in place to target the illegal purchases of firearms. Gun owners, politicians and the various ministers involved have the same goal of keeping guns out of the hands of convicted criminals. Unfortunately the largest source for criminals to obtain guns is gangs or family members who ignore the law. It is quite possible that family members within the churches of Dayton have illegally supplied guns to their relatives.
Looking back at the history of gun control laws, I find it ironic that the first gun control laws passed after the Civil War were to keep gun out of the hands of the freed slaves as the southern whites and previous owners feared retribution. The black patriots who blazed the trail of equality in the 1960s often carried guns for their protection. Robert Williams' book, Negroes with Guns (1962), presents some of this history. Additionally, Robert Hicks, a Louisiana civil rights legend, is reported to have carried guns for their protection during this period citing the Second Amendment freedom. There are plenty of other examples that could also be referenced.
This information seems to be ignored by the current civil rights leaders in our communities. They seem intent on disarming the people. These laws often leave the very people in the worst neighbors without the protect they need from the drug and street gangs.
Today gun owners view our struggle to keep and bear arms as a civil rights issue for all races and all law-abiding citizens. There are bad dealers and there are people illegally supplying guns to criminals. Passing new laws will not stop the already illegal and immoral behavior. I am gravely disappointed that ministers wish to deny me rights because of the false premise of the gun show loophole. The goal of the national organizations is to chip away at our freedoms under the US Constitution. Their ultimate goal is to outlaw the private sales of firearms.
I would urge the ministers to be very careful in denying the rights of others. It is only a small step from denying rights under the Second Amendment to denying religious freedom or other civil rights that so many have fought so long and hard to retain.
Please seek other answers of education about firearms and violence, of stopping family members from providing firearms to minors and convicted felons and to the restoration of the family and values in America.
I sincerely hope you will stop the unwarranted and unwise attempts to limit the civil rights and freedoms of gun owners in Ohio.
If I can be of service to your office in this or any other matter, please feel free to contact me at the above address or at (937) XXX-XXXX home or (937) XXX-XXXX cell.
Larry S. Moore
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