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Biden’s Plan to Make Gun Show Sales Safer

Republicans are choosing NRA funding over safeguarding American lives

In a significant move aimed at curbing gun violence, President Joe Biden has taken a decisive step forward by implementing measures to make it more difficult for individuals ineligible to possess firearms to acquire them. This action comes as the nation approaches the 25th anniversary of the tragic Columbine High School massacre, where 13 innocent lives were lost to gun violence perpetrated by students who obtained their weapons without undergoing background checks.

The issue of gun violence linked to purchases made without proper background checks, commonly known as the gun show loophole, has plagued lawmakers and officials since the Columbine tragedy. The new regulations, set to take effect in a month, address this critical gap in gun safety, which has been exploited in numerous mass shootings over the years. Public support for these changes was evident during the 90-day comment period, with two-thirds of the 400,000 responses favoring the implementation of the new rule.

The gun show loophole, also referred to as the “private sale exception,” allows individuals to sell firearms in informal settings like gun shows or flea markets without conducting the background checks required of federally licensed gun sellers. Under the new rule, sellers engaged in the business of selling guns for profit, even in small-scale transactions, must register as federally licensed firearms dealers and conduct background checks on buyers.

Biden's Plan to Make Gun Show Sales Safer

Biden’s Plan to Make Gun Show Sales Safer (Credits: Reuters)

The U.S. Justice Department estimates that over 23,000 unlicensed dealers will now be subject to the new requirement, significantly increasing the scrutiny on tens of thousands of gun sales annually. This measure aims to close the blind spot in gun transactions, ensuring that law enforcement can verify the legitimacy of both the seller and the buyer, thus enhancing public safety. Importantly, the rule exempts private gun collections and transfers of family heirlooms, preserving the rights of responsible gun owners.

Critics of the new regulations, including Republican Senators John Cornyn and Thom Tillis, have voiced their opposition and intend to introduce a resolution to overturn the measures. Despite representing states with significant gun-related fatalities, their stance raises questions about their priorities and motivations. While a majority of Americans support stricter gun sale laws, some lawmakers may prioritize their financial ties to organizations like the National Rifle Association (NRA) over the safety of their constituents.

The implementation of mandated background checks for gun show sales represents a crucial step toward enhancing public safety and closing loopholes that have contributed to tragic incidents of gun violence. It underscores the importance of treating all gun transactions equally, regardless of where they occur, and highlights the need for lawmakers to prioritize the well-being of their constituents over financial interests.

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