H.R.167 - To prohibit the transfer of a firearm at a gun show by a person who is not a licensed dealer

Congress man and Representative Al Green

To prohibit the transfer of a firearm at a gun show by a person who is not a licensed dealer.

You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe that it should be unlawful for a person to transfer a firearm at a gun show unless the person is a licensed dealer. Gun control laws save lives and reduce crime, and access to the possession of, or use of firearms, should be restricted to ensure safer communities.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that minimal restrictions should be placed on guns to ensure that individuals have adequate means for self-defense since they will only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms. A wider distribution of firearms will result in safer communities.
Introduced House Senate President Law

H.R.167 would make it unlawful for a person who is not a licensed gun dealer to transfer a firearm at a gun show.

A gun show is an event or function held for the purpose of facilitating the commercial sale, transfer or exchange of firearms. Whereas licensed gun sellers are required by federal law to complete background checks on any potential buyer of a firearm, a process that can last from a few minutes to a few days, unlicensed vendors are not necessarily bound to the same regulations.

In states like California and New York, background checks are required for all gun purchases including those involving unlicensed dealers. The same process of adjudication is not required in many states.

This means that gun shows in these states can take on the informal feeling of a general market, in which unlicensed dealers are allowed to walk the grounds peddling their wares.

Gun shows are typically held in large public facilities such as arenas, fairgrounds, civic centers, and armoires. Show promoters charge vendors fees for display tables and booths and charge admission fees from the public.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) maintains no historical records as to the number of guns shows that occur annually and can only offer rough estimates as to the number today.

ATF estimates that there are now 2,000 gun shows held in the United States each year. Yet, in contrast, the National Association of Arms Shows estimates there are more than 100 gun shows every weekend and an annual total of 5,200 shows. The National Association of Arms Shows also estimates that more than five million people attend such shows each year and they generate billions of dollars in sales.

Problems started almost immediately when Federal Firearms License holders were allowed to sell at gun shows in direct competition with unlicensed “hobbyist” and “collectors”.

Licensed dealers were required to follow sales criteria under federal law. An example includes federal sales forms, age restrictions, and more recently background checks and waiting periods.

Unlicensed sellers, who as private citizens did not have to meet these requirements and made a more appealing sales outlet to both the law-abiding (who like most Americans, prefer not to wait) and the criminal purchaser seeking to avoid a paper trail.

When people talk about the “gun-show loophole” they’re referring to the fact that in many states, private sellers, or individuals who do not sell firearms as a main source of income, are not required to perform background checks on purchasers or acquire a federal firearms license (FLL).

This bill prohibits would close the gun-show loophole, including the "entire premises,"which includes the parking areas, used to facilitate the sale, transfer or exchange of firearms at the event or function.

Whoever knowingly violates the proposed act could be fined an amount equal to $10,000 multiplied by the number of firearms involved in the violation and/or imprisoned up to 2 years.


Sponsored by: Rep. Green, Al [D-TX-9].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 18 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.

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