MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Can a person walk into a gun show and come out with a firearm without so much as a simple background check?
In President Joe Biden’s gun violence press conference this past week, he referred to the “gun show loophole.”
“Most people don’t know that when you walk into a store to buy a gun, you have a background check,” Biden said during the press conference. “You go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want with no background check.”
On Thursday, the Batesville Civic Center was preparing for its two-day gun show on the 17th and 18th.
Promoter of the show, William Chancellor said his gun shows aren’t as easy of a way to get a firearm as the President thinks.
“They got to do a background check, whether that person is a licensed vendor or an unlicensed vendor. They’re going to do a background check.”
There’s paperwork involved, and potential gun buyers must show a valid form of ID to the vendor.
“There’s 4473′s that they have to fill out, just like they would in the gun shop in town or in a pawn shop. They got to fill out those background checks. They’ll run that into the FBI, and the FBI will run the background check,” Chancellor said.
If someone from out of state wants to purchase a gun, they can purchase it, but it is then shipped to the address that is on that ID. A buyer can’t take it with them when leaving the show.
Chancellor said even the antique vendors, most of them private collectors, at least check valid IDs and take down the personal information of who they’re selling to.
“They are just as liable for making that sale as the person who’s buying it, so there has to be the responsibility on both sides.”
The gun show promoter did acknowledge there is a thing called straw purchases, where someone who has a criminal record or doesn’t want their name associated with the purchase of a firearm, could get someone else, one with a clean record, to purchase a firearm for them.
The charges on straw purchases are heavy, resulting in ten years of jail time for both the purchaser and the one receiving the gun, as well as up to $250,000 in fines.
“If you get caught, it ain’t pretty,” Chancellor said.
Chancellor has over twenty years of experience in law enforcement and says his gun shows are kept within the law and that it will be just that this weekend, within the law.