US President Barack Obama is taking aim at the so-called “gun-show loophole”.
Obama’s most recent executive order on gun control tries to clarify a distinction in federal firearms regulations between gun sales by private individuals by guns sales and businesses.
Currently, federal law requires companies that sell guns to have a federal firearms license. By contrast, the law leaves transactions that are private unregulated.
Is this type of distinction warranted?
Defenders insist that background checks on private firearm transfers – for instance, between relatives, collectors, and gun enthusiasts – would unduly burden the private possession of firearms. Critics allege the “loophole” is exploited to sell firearms to people who couldn’t pass a federal background check.