Should someone who wants to buy a military-style assault weapon be required to undergo a criminal background check?
In America they don't have to.
In fact, felons, gangsters, wife-beaters, and the dangerously mentally ill can buy as many military-style assault weapons, semi-automatic pistols and other firearms as they can carry, with no questions asked.
They just have to know where to go.
It's no secret. There are thousands of gun shows in 43 states that don't require Brady criminal background checks for all gun show sales.
Why do criminals and traffickers go to gun shows? As the bank robber Willie Sutton might have put it, "Because that's where the guns are."
Our weak gun laws make it lethally simple for unlicensed gun vendors to sell as many firearms as they can to whomever they can, cash and carry.
Colin Goddard proved it. Colin survived being shot four times at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007. After learning more about our nearly non-existent laws restricting access to guns, he took it upon himself to document how easy we make it for dangerous people to get guns in this country.
Watch Colin's story here:
This past summer, Colin went to gun shows across America in Minnesota, Ohio, Texas and his home state of Virginia. Equipped with a hidden camera and accompanied by a resident of each state he visited, Colin filmed how recklessly -- even callously -- unlicensed gun sellers sold military-style assault weapons and semi-automatic pistols with no criminal background check, and without even requiring identification.
Currently, the Brady Law, requiring criminal background checks on gun buyers, applies only to federally licensed gun dealers. A loophole in the law allows the kind of gun sales that Colin was able to document in the video below: unlicensed gun sellers unloading their guns to anyone who has the cash.
Watch what Colin found here:
One gun show seller in Ohio sold an AK-47 military-style assault rifle to Colin's associate, even after he said he didn't have identification with him. After taking his cash, the gun seller told him, "Have fun with it."
Another gun seller in Minnesota sold a semiautomatic pistol with no questions asked. In fact, he clearly knew the underhanded nature of his business when he told Colin and his associate with a laugh: "OK, there's no tax. There's no paperwork. That's worth something." This seller clearly didn't care who his gun buyers were, anticipating that some of them will actually pay a premium to avoid a criminal background check altogether.
A gun seller in Virginia sold Colin a rifle with a high-capacity ammunition magazine and was only concerned about the sale price. He didn't ask Colin a single question about his background, didn't ask to see any identification, and didn't ask why he wanted the weapon.
The gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association, fights to keep these sales legal. Due to their lobbying, any felon can walk into one of approximately 5,000 gun shows in 43 states that do not require criminal background checks at gun shows, and buy whatever weapon he wants from these unlicensed gun sellers.
America's weak gun laws practically invite dangerous people to arm themselves.
You can help can change this by joining us in telling Congress to stand up to the gun lobby and require all gun buyers at gun shows to undergo a Brady criminal background check.
We make it too easy for dangerous people to get guns in this country. Tell Congress to close "the gun show loophole."
Please go to www.bradycampaign.org and sign our petition today.