Gun shows are dealers, dealers require background checks, if Fuzz sells me a gun he does not have to do a background check.
THUS, Pistols at gun shows still require background checks.
Bill Bernstein, owner of East Side Gun Shop in East Nashville, objects to these ostensibly casual sellers on business grounds. Strictly speaking, they don’t pose direct competition to his business, since he stays away from gun shows. But their regular activities end up looking very similar to his, just without the rules, regulation and red tape.
“It’s their ‘private collection,’ ” he said, “[but] their private collection changes every week, and every week or every gun show they’re out there with a different table of guns, buying, selling, trading. I’m sorry, to me that person is an unlicensed dealer.
Bernstein is not calling for stricter regulation of what he considers “unlicensed dealers” for the purpose of stronger gun control, but rather in the interest of general fairness. Simply put, they’re cutting corners where he can’t. But his complaint also lends credence to the primary argument against the legal exceptions that allow such activity.
Under the guise of a casual private sale, these unlicensed dealers are able to operate outside of rules and regulations, such as required background checks, that would typically govern sales of similar volume and frequency. On the flip side, they create a quasi-legitimate market where individuals who would otherwise be prohibited from obtaining a firearm can purchase one. It is a felony to knowingly sell a gun to a prohibited person, but without a required background check, the situation effectively becomes one of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” regardless of the intentions of the dealer.