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Buy Guns For Cash - No Questions Asked

Updated on September 27, 2015
Wares and weapons on display at a Houston Gun Show.  (Photo credit and thanks to Michael Glasgow under Creative Commons)
Wares and weapons on display at a Houston Gun Show. (Photo credit and thanks to Michael Glasgow under Creative Commons) | Source

During a conversation about America’s obsession with firearms, a friend raised the question "Do buyers at gun shows have to pass a background check?" Another in our group came back immediately with "Yes." Like most complex social issues, the short answer is not always the most accurate. However, in this case, the short answer is simply not true.

Cash 'N Carry - No Checks

It is rather absurd and naïve but the law assumes that only stable, sane, law-abiding buyers attend these commercial events where guns and cash are traded, no questions asked. In most states, only licensed dealers are required to do a background check before selling a weapon but all of the "private" vendors who regularly sell at gun shows only need to verify the buyer’s address.


Lax Laws Lead to Lethal Lesson

Do you remember January 8, 2011 in Tucson, AZ? Private citizen Jared Lee Loughner shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and eighteen others; killing six, including a nine-year-old girl, and a federal judge. He attacked them with a semi-automatic pistol equipped with a high-capacity magazine that is illegal in six states and the District of Columbia. About two weeks later, under-cover investigators attended the Crossroads of the West gun show held in Phoenix, AZ. By the end of the day, they had video evidence that anybody can buy, without a background check, devices specifically designed for mass killing.

Video of Vendor Violations

One segment of this video shows investigators purchasing a gun without a background check. In another, the undercover buyer closes a deal to buy a gun after telling the vendor that he probably would not pass a background check.

Money Means Muscle

The National Rifle Association, firearm manufacturers, and gun enthusiasts have political influence that is disproportional to their numbers. They spend a lot of money opposing common sense controls on the sale of guns. They thwart every effort to keep guns from getting into the hands of the wrong people. Their reckless, macho, self-serving stance lacks compassion for the many victims of gun violence. While it is a right of every American to own guns if he chooses to, every other American also has a right to know that this is one right that is being exercised by stable, law-abiding, citizens.

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  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    it i s alarming to know that people can buy firearms in USA as if shopping for hardware. Here in our country, whoever has a firearm will be caught and jailed

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    According to Justice Department study, most criminals get their guns from a family member or a friend in a straw purchase, or from a street dealer or a pawn shop. A few buy from a retail dealer before committing a crime and becoming a criminal.

    Only about 7 tenths of 1 percent of criminals buy their guns at a gun show:

  • Quilligrapher profile image

    Quilligrapher 3 years ago from New York

    Once again I thank you, Mr. Starr, for your comments.

    I approved the comment in this section expressing your views about this gun show essay about eighteen months ago. In my response, also found here, I thanked you for your comments and I expressed my appreciation for your remarks.

    Unfortunately, you chose to leave a second comment in which you said the opinions stated in my printed reply rose “to the point of ignorant drivel.” Although you might be right, I did not approve your post and it never appeared on this page.

    A year and a half later, there are two more comments from you. In the aggregate, they attempt to deflect attention away from the narrow topic and the evidence showing how gun shows provide opportunities to buy a huge variety of killing machines without a background check. I assure you, if you have evidence demonstrating that gun shows do not provide opportunities to buy a huge variety of killing machines without a background check, I will be happy to include it in the comments section of this hub.

  • Quilligrapher profile image

    Quilligrapher 3 years ago from New York

    @Tusitala Tom

    Thank you, Tom, for stopping here to leave a comment. I can relate to much of what you said. Change takes a long time and there is a lot of money pushing back against change. I appreciate your views.


  • Tusitala Tom profile image

    Tom Ware 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    It is unfortunate but Laws, no matter how rigously they are policed, will not deter people from wanting to own a firearm. Only a change in attitude will do that - as mass change in attitude across the whole nation. Is it likely to happen? Not whilst people are continously bombarded with information about how dangerous living in the USA is. It is mostly fear that engenders the proliferation of handguns in households. They're bought 'just in case.'

    The culture of violence on TV, at the movies and even in kids' video games sustains the fear. Until that goes, there is little or no chance of change.

  • Gcrhoads64 profile image

    Gable Rhoads 4 years ago from North Dakota

    Well done hub. I love the alliteration.

  • tirelesstraveler profile image

    Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

    Fast and Furious was a government funded program that sent thousands of guns into the hands of outlaws. Ask the family of Agent Brian Terry what they think of the way the government does things.

  • Quilligrapher profile image

    Quilligrapher 5 years ago from New York

    Thank you for visiting my hub, Mr. Starr.

    I am sorry if you think I attacked gun shows because I did not. The hub merely points out that the many unlicensed, private individuals, that are regular, repeat sellers at these shows do not perform background checks. This is an obvious fact that you ignore in your comments.

    Your stats go beyond the sale of firearms at gun show and are only a distraction from the topic of the hub. Your last two sentences, BTW, are utterly false. There is a shameful lack of empathy from gun enthusiasts for the victims of Aurora, CO, Tucson, AZ, Columbine, CO, Blacksburg, VA, Austin, TX, San Diego, CA, and many other cities in the US. Blood is literally running in their streets, Mr. Starr, and the National Rifle Association, firearm manufacturers, and gun enthusiasts do not give damn! Their guns are 21st Century phallic symbols and they would be emasculated without them.

    Thanks again for stopping by, Mr. Starr. Your comments are appreciated.


  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    We have 20,000 gun laws already on the books, and criminals are still well armed.

    BTW, the attack on gun shows is not warranted by reality. Police say that very few criminals get their guns that way.

    Nearly 50% of all gun crime is committed by young black males and their victims are also young black males. Another 19% is committed by other minorities.

    Most firearm deaths are suicides, and there is no indication that they would not have killed themselves another way. Guns are outlawed in Japan, yet their suicide rate is the highest in the world

    Despite all the hype, accidental firearm child deaths in a nation of 300,000,000 are less than 50 per year.

    If you do not live in a ghetto, do not use illegal drugs, are not a criminal, not suicidal, and are not a law enforcement officer, your chances of being shot are almost zero.

    There is no blood running in the streets and no need for more gun control.

  • Quilligrapher profile image

    Quilligrapher 5 years ago from New York

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts. I think you and I are both talking about the same group. I hope in your travels you get to pick up a few tires.


  • tirelesstraveler profile image

    Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

    I agree with your conclusion that we have a right to know that stable law abiding people have guns. It's not them I worry about. Its the nuts and criminals who run around killing people with guns they have stolen or the government has given them I am concerned about. It's the nut who walks onto an army base and kills 13 people. wounds scores more and not a soldier has a gun.

    When there are gun bans, what happens to the people who owned guns legally? They become criminals which is apparently fine with a lot of political leaders. Your example of the incident that injured Gabby Gifford is an example of a nut. There was a man recently in AZ who shot two fellows who were armed,vandalizing and robbing the restaurant he was eat in. The whole thing completely video taped, All the patrons applauded that and it is the hero who is arrested. You are correct something is wrong here.

  • Glenn Stok profile image

    Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

    This is so sad. It's good that you have taken the time to publicize this problem. I also watched the video and it's scary how easy it is to buy such powerful guns illegally.

    Voted your Hub up and useful. Well done.

  • Valentine Logar profile image

    Valentine Logar 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    This is one of my larger pet peeves. While I am not a rabid gun ownership 'hater' or a person that thinks we should rip guns out of private citizens hands, I do think we should shut down these venues. Will we? It is highly unlikely, just another hole in the process.

    Nice job.