A new state law in Virginia expanded voluntary background checks on private sales of fire arms at a Virginia gun show doesn’t seem to be yielding the results supports thought.
The program was put into place last year and in the first year, only 54 background checks were requested by private sellers across 77 gun shows in the entire state. And only one gun buyer was actually denied the purchase of a gun.
Well, What’s the Difference?
Federally licensed gun vendors are required to do mandatory background checks on customers hoping to purchase and their results from last year were drastically different. 39,738 checks were performed by the federal vendors and that resulted in 325 denials of purchases.
Why are the Numbers so Drastic?
It appears the private dealers themselves are the ones not requesting the background checks on their own customers. If a check isn’t done in the first place, then there is no way to check if your customer has been charged with a crime or has any kind of violent past. Unfortunately, the police keep no record of the number of firearms sold at gun shows by private sellers but on average, about 15 to 20 sales happen over a typical weekend at these shows.
“Back when this law was passed, the Virginia Citizens Defense League believed that it would rarely be used because gun owners really did not want what it offered,” Van Cleave said. “VCDL went along with the law because it was voluntary and it was part of a package that ultimately expanded recognition of Virginia’s concealed handgun permit by more states.”
Supporters of the law are now rallying to push for mandatory background checks on private purchases, but with no way to track this in public records, the accuracy may never be correct.
What do you think of this law? Should private dealers subject their customers to background checks such as federal vendors do? Tell us below!