Support of Regulating Sales of Firearms at Gun Shows

WHEREAS, firearms related-violent crime is steadily increasing in the United States both in the yearly death toll and number of shooting incidents (see full 2007 PDF); and WHEREAS, for the year 2006, 50 of the 55 law enforcement officers feloniously killed in the line of duty were with firearms; and WHEREAS, the reduction of gun violence and efforts to reduce the criminal sale and misuse of firearms has been and continues to be a major initiative of the IACP; and WHEREAS, gun shows are a known source of firearms recovered in illegal gun trafficking investigations; and WHEREAS, the intended purpose of the United States Congress in passing the Gun Control Act is clearly delineated in the preamble of this Act, which states as follows, to provide support to Federal, State, and local law enforcement officials in their fight against crime and violence; and WHEREAS, Congress enacted a requirement under federal law requiring criminal and other background checks on all persons purchasing firearms from federal licensed dealers in order to minimize access to firearms by prohibited persons; and WHEREAS, the congressional intent in formulating federal legislation to address firearms-related violent crime was twofold: (1) provide law enforcement a tool for arresting criminals and other prohibited persons who possess and utilize firearms and, (2) decrease the availability and accessibility of firearms from legal and illegal sources to prevent criminals and other prohibited persons from obtaining firearms; and WHEREAS, there are more than 4,000 gun shows annually in the United States, and WHEREAS, a government study found that anywhere between 25% to 50% of the vendors selling firearms at most gun shows do not have licenses and are not required by law to conduct background checks, and WHEREAS, 91 percent of background checks take less than five minutes and 95 percent are completed within two hours, now, therefore, be it RESOLVED that a requirement of a criminal background check be conducted for all firearm sales or transfers at all gun shows, whether the sellers are licensed or unlicensed to ensure that prohibited purchasers cannot obtain firearms; and, be it FURTHER RESOLVED that the IACP recommends that federal legislation be expanded, as part of the current federal firearms licensing and background provisions, to require any person selling a firearm(s) at a Gun Show to have a National Criminal Instant Check System (NICS) background check and that federal forms and records be completed either through the auspices of a licensed firearm dealer or for the seller to apply for and receive a temporary gun show permit to sell a firearm(s) at such an event (as defined above); which will require the completion of all federal forms, records, as well as a background check of the sale; and, be it FURTHER RESOLVED, that a temporary transfer permit shall clearly state: This is not a license to engage in the business of selling firearms and is limited to a specific dated event, and, be it FURTHER RESOLVED, that for anyone receiving a temporary permit to sell firearms at a Gun Show that within 48 hours of the completion of the event that the permittee shall forward all forms, records, and background approvals for firearm(s) sales to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Tracing Center for inclusion in the Out-of-Business Records in order that they will be available for law enforcement investigative purposes. 3 IACP, The Police Chief, May 2006, Line-of-Duty Deaths Increase in 2006. Alexandria, VA. 4 BATF, Following the Gun: Enforcing Federal Laws Against Firearms Traffickers 5 Department of Treasury/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Gun Shows: Brady Checks and Crime Gun Traces, January 1999. 6 Id. at 19. 7 Department of Justice, National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS): 2001/2002 Operational Report,May 2003. 8 United States General Accounting Office, Gun Control:Implementation of the National Instant Background check System