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Private gun sales: The gun show 'loophole' that's actually a law

The gun show 'loophole' that's actually a law
Posted at 6:07 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 13:48:27-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Recent mass shootings have some Tucsonans raising the alarm around the Tucson Expo Gun Show this weekend. Gun shows in Tucson attract hundreds of enthusiasts and protesters. The protests are against something known as the “gun show loophole". But it’s not really a loophole, it’s the law.

“Arizona says two private citizens are allowed to sell and purchase firearms from one another so long as they are Arizona residents,” said Arthur Panzer, an NRA Certified Instructor.

In most states, people can buy a gun from a private seller at a gun show without a background check. Arizonans can do this anywhere as long as they prove Arizona residency.

“One of the first questions out of the seller's mouth is are you an Arizona resident," Panzer said. "If the answer is no, the sale should stop then and there.”

It’s up to the seller to check the buyer's ID. As for other background like felonies and mental illness, sellers have to go off intuition.

“If you ever have that gut feeling that something’s not right, then you don’t sell,” Panzer said.

Over the last seven years, a group called Citizens for a Safer Pima County has pushed for universal background checks.

“Everyone knows if you want to buy a gun and you’re prohibited, a felon, etc. all you have to do is go to the gun show," said Molly McKasson with Citizens for a Safer Pima County. "There is no problem.”

Members say they only want to prevent guns from ending up in the wrong hands.

“It isn’t the only thing that’s going to make our country safer but it is one of the things that is critically important,” McKasson said.

But gun owners say, nothing will stop bad people from breaking the law.

“We could enact more laws and everything but that won’t deter the bad guys from doing what they do,” Panzer said.

Perla Shaheen is a reporter for KGUN 9. Perla graduated in May 2020 from the University of California, Berkeley, where she majored in Political Science. Share your story ideas and important issues with Perla by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.