Lautenberg’s Gun Show Language

The language is now available Thomas for Lautenberg’s gun show bill.  What’s interesting is that it doesn’t target private sales in general, but targets only gun shows.  In my opinion, it is intended to destroy gun shows, or at least seriously reduce their numbers, and frustrate being able to put them on.  Let’s take a look:

  1. A gun show, under this law, is defined as an event where more than 20% of vendors are selling firearms, where there are more than 10 people selling firearms, and when there are more than 50 firearms offered for sale.   This will probably cause flea markets and any place that’s not a licensed gun show to ban people from selling guns.
  2. Gun show promoters have to register with the attorney general according to regulations and fees defined by him.  They could make the fee 100,000 dollars.  The bill does not stipulate a fee.  This is entirely unacceptable.
  3. Anyone selling a gun at a gun show would have to show photo ID, be entered into a ledger, and be required to sign off on their requirements under this chapter.  This is true even if you’re just exhibiting a gun.  You don’t have to be selling it.  The promoter would keep the ledger, but would be required to keep it for as long as the attorney general stipulates.
  4. All transfers would be required to be transferred through a federally licensed dealer. It is a crime both on the transferors and transferees part for not doing so.  Federal Firearms Licensees will be required to enter details about the transaction into a bound book of some kind.  The bill also stipulates a separate form other than 4473, it seems. This new federal form will be reported to ATF.  They won’t require any identifying information about the transferees.  Multiple handgun purchase forms are required for these transactions.
  5. FFLs who transfer a firearm at a show will have to include a few transfer report form, separate from the current paperwork that records that a transfer has taken place.  What?
  6. Penalties go up to five years for doing a private transfer at a gun show, that goes for promoters who don’t do everything right too.
  7. Penalties of up to five years in prison are also added on to dealers who knowingly make a false record.

This law is aimed squarely at making gun shows so legally burdensome that no one in their right mind would organize one, and creating new criminal penalties for dealers who keep bad records. This must be absolutely opposed.  It looks like our opponents, rather than going for the whole private sale caboodle, have decided to specifically target gun shows.

Remember, in terms of organization, gun shows are for us what churches are to religious conservatives.  If they shut down gun shows, or make them entirely too legally burdensome to operate, they shut down a key locus of our ability to politically organize.  That’s exactly what the intent of this bill is.  Our opponents may be on the ropes, but they aren’t stupid.  It can’t be allowed to pass.

UPDATE: NRA offers its interpretation of this bill, saying it will do, among other things, make Camp Perry into a gun show.  This is not an unreasonable interpretation of the law.  Also:

If you are at home with a collection of fifty or more firearms, it would be a five-year felony to “offer” or “exchange” a single gun — even between family or friends — unless you first registered with the BATFE and paid a fee, the amount of which would be at BATFE’s discretion.

Checking back with the language of the bill, this is indeed the case.  There is no exception for homes.

UPDATE: More from NRA:

Even talking about a gun at an “event” could be seen as an “offer” to sell a gun. Even if you are not a dealer, but you display a gun at a gun show, and then months later sell the gun to someone you met at the show, you would be subject to the same requirements as if you had completed the sale at the gun show.

This is true.  It makes no distinction for venue.  If you make an offer to sell at any “event” or “gun show”, then later transfer them somewhere else, you’re still a felon.  Here’s the real zinger.  If you went to a “gun show” and offered to sell an SKS to your buddy while at the guns show, then a month later went to an FFL and did the transfer, with background check, 4473, and everything else, sorry, you’re still a felon, because you didn’t fill out the extra gun show transfer paperwork!

Folks, Frank Lautenberg has been in the Senate a long time.  He knows how to write legislation.  This is meant to put gun owners, where, in his mind, we belong — in federal prison.

8 thoughts on “Lautenberg’s Gun Show Language”

  1. Looks like the Anti’s first post-election salvo.

    This needs to be defeated completely and utterly. No “compromise” amendments, no weakening the bill, no nothing. Complete and total annihilation of this bill is the only acceptable strategy, and the only acceptable outcome.

    The NRA needs to come out swinging for this, and do so early.

  2. Even worse, if a non-dealer sells more than one handgun to the same person in a five day period, not only is there another additional form to report that “multiple transfer” to the AG, but they also have to copy that form to “the appropriate State law enforcement agency of the jurisdiction in which the transfer occurs.” (section (e)(5)(B)(ii))

    So, the FFL has to fill out the background check paperwork, a 4473, the gun show transfer form, and a multiple transfer form. And all of this on top of the paperwork they have to fill out just to be able to participate in the show in the first place.

    If you can’t ban gun shows, kill ’em by burying them in paperwork.

  3. The NRA could make it a “score” vote if it ever comes to that. I wrote Kyl. Pointless to contact McCain, he’s one of the people that started this lunacy by helping create the first one and he’s still said he supports it. So if it does go to a vote, even a “score” vote, he’s voting for it. Now he could change on that but really. Once he gets wind I wonder if he’ll co-sponsor it.

    I’ve been thinking of selling something at a show. Maybe I should speed that up.

  4. Pointless to contact McCain, he’s one of the people that started this lunacy by helping create the first one and he’s still said he supports it.

    It’s not pointless to contact McCain. He’s up for election, so there’s a good chance to get him to vote no. He can come up with all kinds of reasons not to support this bill, and still say “Well, I generally support this idea, but we need a better bill.”

  5. Am I reading the proposed Section 2(d), page 14, of the bill correctly? No reasonable cause or warrant required to perform an unannounced “Inspection” of my home (if I have more than 50 guns in my home – an “event”) by the Attorney General of the United States? While it is perhaps a stretch, the definition of gun show (“event”) promoter seems to cover a lot of territory.

    No compromise – kill this bill now!

  6. The criteria for a gunshow are connected by “and”. There must be 20% selling guns AND 10 people selling AND 50 guns for sale. Home sales would not be covered (except in really odd cases).

    This is a terrible law and needs to die, but let us not mis-represent it.

  7. (A) and (B) are joined with an and. The three points, the third of which is redundant with (A) means that any of those things call you to fall under (B), which is (A) is also true, makes you a gun show.

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