The Gun Show Problem: 70 Seconds To Buy A Gun At Gun Show, No Questions Asked
A hidden camera investigation demonstrates how easy it is to buy guns at gun shows without giving identification. CNN’s Martin Savidge explains the results of the undercover report.
Background checks are not required for private sales, but the seller is legally obligated to check the buyer’s ID to verify that person is not from out-of-state.
The CNN crew that visited Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia was able to purchase several weapons without having to prove residency or fill out paperwork, but not in every interaction with a seller. In once instance, a seller tells our producer that he got a gun “off a police officer.”
The total weapon haul from the weekend was three semi-automatic handguns with extra magazines and one semi-automatic rifle with a 30-round magazine. The total spent was $2,800. No identification was given, leaving zero paper trails. The guns were turned over to CNN security to deal with.
Watch the video to see the gun show investigation, and then watch NRA President David Keene’s response:
By the way, NRA President David Keene is wrong, DEAD wrong on the gun show statistics he cited.
Here’s the truth:
A recent study comparing gun shows in California (a state that regulates gun shows and private firearm transfers) with gun shows in states with little to no such regulation found that at gun shows in states with less regulation, straw purchases were more common, armed attendees selling guns were more common, and vendors were more likely to sell assault weapons and 50 caliber rifles.1
A study by ATF found that 25% to 50% of gun show vendors are unlicensed.2
ATF reviewed over 1,500 of its investigations and concluded that gun shows are a “major trafficking channel,” associated with approximately 26,000 firearms diverted from legal to illegal commerce. Gun shows rank second to corrupt dealers as a source for illegally trafficked firearms.3
From 2004 – 2006, ATF conducted 202 investigative operations at 195 guns shows, or roughly 3% of the gun shows held nationwide during this period. These operations resulted in 121 arrests and the seizure of 5,345 firearms.4
For additional information about gun shows, including background information and state and local laws on the topic, see LCPGV’s Gun Shows Policy Summary.
- Wintemute, Garen J., Gun Shows Across a Multistate American Gun Market: Observational Evidence of the Effects of Regulatory Policies, 13 Inj. Prevention 150, 154-155 (2007), at “http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/cgi/reprint/13/3/150. [↩]
- U.S. Department of Justice & Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Gun Shows: Brady Checks and Crime Gun Traces 4 (Jan. 1999). [↩]
- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Department of the Treasury, Commerce in Firearms in the United States xi, 1, 12 (Feb. 2000). [↩]
- Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Investigative Operations at Gun Shows i, iv-v (June 2007). [↩]
they’re playing portishead and the cure at my work ^_^
Gentlemen, take note.
We know Oswin was a Dalek…
And we assume she died…
But what if she didn’t? What if she lived and eventually went insane and became the Dalek Emperor? The one at the Game Station.
And then Rose Bad Wolfed her ass.
But because she was Rose…
the pizza guy clearly wanted to talk to me about game of thrones really badly but i think he felt like i didn’t care… i cannot express how much that wasn’t the case
Metsa told us he was hungry – he had missed breakfast again this morning. On Monday, he had purchased a cup of coffee and a few items at a $5 buffet, so with that $7 out, he had about $30 left for this shopping trip.
Under those restrictions, he bought bread, peanut butter, spaghetti and a can of sauces, packaged salami, eggs, frozen orange juice. Rep. Metsa had to put a few items back at check-out (one loaf of bread and a can of beef ravioli) because he went over the 30 dollars.
While he was shopping, Metsa constantly stopped to add up the total cost of the food to make sure he could afford the essentials like milk and eggs, something he wasn’t used to doing. “In my regular diet, I enjoy more fruits and vegetables,” he told us, but he needed to make sure he had some income left for the rest of the week’s expenses. Luckily, there was a head of lettuce and some potatoes that were on sale for $0.38. Otherwise, his haul was heavy on salt and fat, and low on nutrition.
Metsa mentioned how he had gotten to the store and how it would fit into his transportation budgets. In this case he had a friend (our staffer) to pick him up to take him to the store, so he didn’t have to take the bus. In most areas, the bus isn’t even an option, so gas and insurance need to be considered.
“It would be even more challenging if I had to do this for a month – or had a family,” Metsa reflected, “If I had a family I might have to make hard choice, like giving up my car that requires insurance so I could have a larger food budget for my kids.”
Tomorrow, Rep. Metsa will attempt to find a place to live on a monthly housing budget of $359.
“We need to acknowledge that our system is giving extremists far more influence than the voters would,” Dionne argues. “That’s why American democracy is deadlocked.” ›
Here is the problem: A substantial portion of the Republican Party’s core electorate is now influenced both by hatred of Obama and by the views of the ultra-right. Strange conspiracy theories are admitted to the mainstream conversation through the GOP’s back door — and amplified by another fight for market share among talk radio hosts and Fox News commentators.
That’s because the Republican Party is no longer a broad and diverse alliance but a creature of the right. According to a March Washington Post/ABC News poll, 65 percent of Republicans called themselves conservative, just 27 percent were moderates and 7 percent were liberals. Democrats, by contrast, are far more middle of the road: 43 percent called themselves liberal, 38 percent moderate and 16 percent conservative. Among independents, moderates predominated at 46 percent.
Our Constitution combines with the way we draw congressional districts to overrepresent conservatives in both houses. The 100-member Senate is based on two senators per state regardless of size. This gives rural states far more power than population-based representation would. The filibuster makes matters worse. It’s theoretically possible for 41 senators representing less than 11 percent of the population to block pretty much anything.
In the House, those gerrymanders helped Republicans keep control even though more Americans voted for Democrats in the 2012 congressional races.
This representational skew affects coverage in the media. Most Americans may care more about jobs than deficits. But if a right-tilted power structure is talking about deficits all the time, members of the media feel obligated to cover the argument they hear in Washington, even if that means downplaying views held by a majority of the voters — and even if the economic data say we should be talking about growth, not austerity.
It is infuriating that such a tiny minority of radical extremists are able to wield such incredible control over the entire governing of my country. This system is broken, and it is failing to represent the will of the majority.
As Americans scramble to complete their taxes this week, a report released today finds that the federal government funnels nearly $300 billion in taxpayer dollars to businesses in states where it’s perfectly legal to discriminate against LGBT workers.
Although nine in ten Americans mistakenly believe that it is already illegal to fire someone simply for being LGBT, there is still surprisingly no federal law to protect LGBT workers from employment discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. To date, only 21 states and the District of Columbia have laws that explicitly prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Sixteen states of those states have employment nondiscrimination laws that also explicitly cover gender identity. This means that in the vast majority of states, LGBT people have no legal protection from bias, harassment, or discrimination on the job.
According to the report, in 2012 alone the federal government awarded $293 billion to contractors in states that have no state-level protections for gender identity/expression in the workplace, with $249 billion of that total going to states that also have no protections for sexual orientation. This is a significant problem considering the high rates of discrimination that LGBT people continue to face in the workplace. Anywhere from 15 to 43 percent of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people have experienced discrimination and harassment on the job. Even worse, a staggering ninety percent of transgender and gender non-conforming employees report have experienced harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job, or had to hide who they are to avoid it.
It’s worth noting that LGBT employees of the federal government itself are afforded significant protections from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. However, these protections do not extend to LGBT employees of companies that do business with the federal government, even though federal contractors often work alongside and perform the same work as federal employees.
President Obama can change that by issuing an executive order to level the playing field for LGBT employees of federal contractors so that they are evaluated based on their abilities, qualifications, skills, and job performance, and not work-irrelevant characteristics like their sexual orientation or gender identity. If signed, this executive order would cover more than 20 percent of the American civilian workforce — including extending protections to an additional 16 million workers. In doing so, this order would help fill significant gaps in nondiscrimination coverage for LGBT workers, who await the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would make it illegal in all 50 states to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Protecting workers from employer discrimination through an executive order is not unprecedented. For the past 70 years presidents from both political parties have used executive orders to advance workplace protections. In 1941, for example, President Roosevelt issued an executive order that banned federal contractors from discriminating against workers because of race, creed, color or national origin, serving as an important precursor to the passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. President’s Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and others have issued similar executive orders to advance workplace fairness.
In its most current form, Executive Order 11246 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors, with contracts in excess of $10,000 from discriminating in employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. President Obama can and should swiftly add sexual orientation and gender identity to that list.
For the overwhelming majority of Americans, there is nothing controversial or unpopular about President Obama issuing an executive order for these basic workplace rights. Seventy-three percent of voters support workplace nondiscrimination protections for LGBT workers. Even a majority of Republicans support this commonsense policy. Yet despite the momentous public we’ve seen over the past month in support for LGBT equality, the battle for equal protections in the workplace wages on.