No, There Is No Gun Show Loophole

The phrase “gun show loophole” is meant to convey the idea that gun shows are rife with people buying and selling guns without a background check. The clear implication is that such places are a hotbed of criminals trying to obtain firearms for use in their illegal activities. Hell, many of the people who use the term even believe that such a loophole exists.


However, writing over at Ammoland, Florida gun rights activist Marion Hammer, notes that a recent Department of Justice study found that to not be the case at all.

Be aware: the so-called “gun show loophole” is just another manufactured anti-gun fraud. There is NO GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE. PERIOD.

In 2016 The U.S. Department of Justice conducted a study of prison inmates. Included in that study was the collection of data to show where prisoners get the guns they used in the commission of crimes. The DOJ Press Release explains how the study was conducted. The Pie Chart of DOJ Data distills the information and makes the results more clear. The full DOJ Report gives more detail.


Gun Shows accounted for 0.8% of firearms acquired by criminals, while Underground/Street purchases accounted for 43.2%

Of course, this isn’t anything new. We’ve known for quite some time that criminals get their guns on the black market. In fact, just 10.1 percent obtained theirs from a retail source of any stripe.

Another 17.4 percent of criminals got their guns at the location of a crime, such as stealing it themselves, or from someone else who brought the gun, such as a partner.


That’s more than 60 percent who obtain their guns through some form of illegal means.

So, while anti-gunners continue to push for universal background checks to curb the tide of guns, it’s important to remember that most guns used by criminals aren’t subject to background checks. Couple that with the 10.1 percent that passes background checks and you end up with almost 71 percent of guns used by criminals not being slowed down in the least by universal checks.

Additionally, the 25.3 percent of guns used by criminals that come from an individual are often from a friend or relative. In fact, 10.8 percent are bought for the prisoners. In other words, they’re straw buys. The rest usually comes from people who likely know the criminal’s status as a felon and sell, trade, or rent the gun anyway.

In other words, there’s little reason to believe universal background checks will do anything but make life more difficult for law-abiding citizens.

Either way, though, this does pretty conclusively prove that the “gun show loophole” simply doesn’t exist and even though face-to-face sales happen at gun shows, they’re not remotely the reason criminals have guns. They’ve got them because they’re criminals and this is just what criminals do. They get guns so they can break the law.


New laws won’t stop them, either. You need to do something to get them to not want to commit crimes in the first place, and that’s not going to be accomplished with gun control laws. After all, murder control, rape control, and robbery control haven’t exactly slowed them down, so I don’t know what good gun control is ever going to be.


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