Clayton Cramer has an essay up about criminals using stolen identities to get around the NICS system. He makes this observation:
My second thought is that if, as the gun control advocates claim, criminals can easily buy guns at gun shows and from private parties, why did Labeet go to the extra work and risk of buying guns from a licensed dealer, using a stolen identity that might risk getting him caught? This really does suggest that Labeet considered purchasing guns from a dealer less risky than buying them through the â€œgun show loopholeâ€ that we hear so much about.
My guess is, because finding the guns he was looking for would have been more difficult using this method. I’ve seen folks wandering gun shows with a flag in the barrel looking to sell a firearm. I have seen a few M1 Garands, and maybe a Mauser or two, but most of the time the guy is selling a deer rifle or a shotgun. Even if you find someone with the gun you want, there’s always the chance he’ll think you’re shady and refuse to sell it to you. I certainly wouldn’t sell a gun to someone I had a bad feeling about, and I think most gun owners feel the same way. A private owner has more incentive to discriminate than a dealer does.