The report, titled "No Questions Asked: Background Checks, Gun Shows and Crime," finds that criminals in the 18 states that require gun show background checks are getting thousands of guns each year from states without such checks.
In addition, the report finds that "requiring background checks at gun shows will not affect the millions of enthusiasts who attend gun shows each year, but is clearly an essential part of a comprehensive strategy to make it harder for criminals to get guns."
"This report shows conclusively that gun shows without background checks have become firearms convenience stores for criminals -- it's cash and carry, with no questions asked," said AGS Foundation President Jonathan Cowan. "This report also shows that background checks won't stop any of the 4,500 gun shows held each year, or restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens to buy guns." The study combines information from a broad range of organizations to get the best picture yet available of the effects of the gun show loophole. The information comes from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; reports issued by the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Justice and the General Accounting Office; news reports; gun show publications; and data from Internet sites of the National Rifle Association and the National Association of Arms Shows.
The gun show loophole refers to the ability of participants at gun shows to sell firearms without conducting the background checks that licensed gun dealers are required to make under the Brady Law. An unlicensed seller is anyone who does not have a federal firearms license or does not sell for business. There is no limit on the number of guns an unlicensed seller may sell.
Criminal background checks for gun purchasers are virtually instant: 72% are completed within several minutes, 95% within two hours, and only one in 30 lasts more than a day. The length of background checks is legally limited to three business days. The checks that take more than twenty-four hours are 20 times more likely to uncover a prohibited buyer than those completed within two hours, because when a check turns up a felony arrest it takes time to determine if the person was actually convicted of the crime. A felony conviction is the most common reason that a potential buyer is denied a handgun.