Once again, people are jumping on the anti-gun-show bandwagon without having the slightest fucking clue what they are talking about:

Two supervisors representing the San Francisco districts with the most homicides rallied in support of a state bill that would prohibit gun shows in a local concourse.

“The state-owned Cow Palace sits directly across the street from the neighborhoods that are most ravaged by violence and loss of life due to guns. It is an insult to the families of these victims for the state of California to allow the sale of guns to continue at this venue,” Sandoval said during Monday’s rally.

This is really starting to piss me off. These guys are government officials and they have no idea how gun shows work. It’s not a goddamn flea market, where any schmuck can walk in, plunk down some cash, and walk out with a gun, no questions asked. Having the show in a bad neighborhood doesn’t mean anything. The Cow Palace is an enormous venue that is very popular for large events precisely because of its capacity (it gets its name from its original use as a livestock auction center).

What, do people think gun shows have a drive-thru or something, with specially priced rifle/pistol combos, ready in 5 minutes and would you like fries with that? Somehow gun shows have this bizarre reputation as a place where there are no state or local laws regulating gun sales and purchases. Guys, your first clue should be that when people go after gun shows, they try to ban them outright instead of trying to regulate them. They’re already regulated as much as gun shops.

The California DOJ has a website of resources for gun laws, and it takes minimal effort to locate the relevant information. The pertinent section seems to be “12070 thru 12084 Firearms Dealer Licensing, Gun Shows”. It reads, in part:

12070. (a) No person shall sell, lease, or transfer firearms unless he or she has been issued a license pursuant to Section 12071.

There are a handful of qualifiers to this statement, which are detailed, but basically include stuff like people liquidating a personal collection as part of a court order, various specific cases of manufacturers transferring firearms, and people who have valid dealer licenses issued by another state.

12071. (a)(1) As used in this chapter, the term “licensee,” “person licensed pursuant to Section 12071,” or “dealer” means a person who has all of the following:
(A) A valid federal firearms license.
(B) Any regulatory or business license, or licenses, required by local government.
(C) A valid seller’s permit issued by the State Board of Equalization.
(D) A certificate of eligibility issued by the Department of Justice pursuant to paragraph (4).
(E) A license issued in the format prescribed by paragraph (6).
(F) Is among those recorded in the centralized list specified in subdivision (e).

There are people who say, “There are always unlicensed dealers at gun shows.” Well sure. Not all the vendors at a gun show sell guns. Some sell clothing like T-shirts and hats, others sell accessories like holsters, cleaning supplies, safes, etc. These things do not require a firearms license. Duh.

As with gun shops, gun shows are also regulated by laws concerning waiting periods for purchases:

(3) No firearm shall be delivered:
(A) Within 10 days of the application to purchase, or, after notice by the department pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 12076, within 10 days of the submission to the department of any correction to the application, or within 10 days of the submission to the department of any fee required pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 12076, whichever is later.
(B) Unless unloaded and securely wrapped or unloaded and in a locked container.
(C) Unless the purchaser, transferee, or person being loaned the firearm presents clear evidence of his or her identity and age to the dealer.
(D) Whenever the dealer is notified by the Department of Justice that the person is in a prohibited class described in Section 12021 or 12021.1 of this code or Section 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. The dealer shall make available to the person in the prohibited class a prohibited notice and transfer form, provided by the department, stating that the person is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm, and that the person may obtain from the department the reason for the prohibition.

Interested readers may refer to the complete text of these laws for all details. But basically, buying a gun at a gun show is just as hard (in some ways harder) than buying one at a gun shop. It’s not like gang members are going to be able to waltz in off the street and walk out with an arsenal.

I really do not see what activists think they will accomplish by outlawing gun shows. It will not have any measurable effect on crime, and it will piss off large numbers of people. I presume it is merely another step in the movement to demonize firearms and firearms owners.

The Cato Institute has an article about this as well, which I recommend. They deal with the phenomenon at a national level.

5 Responses to “Gun Shows Are Not Flea Markets”
  1. Sigivald says:

    California doesn’t allow private sales at shows?

    What a pile of bastards.

  2. Anne Haight says:

    To the best of my understanding, there isn’t really any such thing as a “private sale” of a firearm in California. You’re supposed to use a licensed firearms dealer as an intermediary in the transaction.

    Granted, there are probably lots and lots of people in the state who never obey this technicality, such as in transfers between family members and friends, but I believe that is the law.

  3. FRANK says:

    Lemme get this straight. Your gonna buy a Glock, Model 32 for just under $600 and then you’ll be able to pick it up after the required, 10-day minimum waiting period for a mandatory background check and FBI firearm transaction procedure. So you come back to the Cow Palace, embrace your new gun, take it outside in the parking lot and sell it to some street thug, who in turn is going to use it in a crime with the possibility of getting caught, only to have that gun (in your name) traced back to you, for, how much….?
    Another reason why this NRA lifetime member, would rather rip off his right arm (the one connected to his shooting hand) before voting for a liberal politician with a left-wing agenda

  4. Abbadon says:

    To the best of my understanding, there isn’t really any such thing as a “private sale” of a firearm in California. You’re supposed to use a licensed firearms dealer as an intermediary in the transaction.

    That is correct. Fuck this state.

  5. automotive floor jacks says:

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