Several readers sought to clarify the so-called “gun show loophole” broached, not very artfully, in my column. Albert Caruana wrote:
You state that "gun show vendors aren't required to run backround checks meant to bar felons and lunatics." Every sale by an FFL licensee must comply with the legal requirements for both backround checks and waiting period (no waiting period needed for concealed weapon licensees).
Perhaps you were referring to private sales. If so fairness requires you to have clarified that. Many gun show promoters now prohibit private sales.
Your article leaves readers with the wrong impression. Please do not permit your political views on this issue to mislead a public which has come to rely on your decency and honesty.
Tom Garcia, who supports closing the gun show loophole, was a bit more generous.
As a relatively liberal gun-owner, I agree with most of your article. I recently attended a few gun shows and find the hype driving gun sales a bit sad and amusing. Here is my "beef" with your piece: It gave the impression that background checks are NOT performed at gun shows. As someone who has purchased a few firearms at shows I can assure you that all these companies DO run background checks. (Do a story about how they charge $25 for a fax and phone call.) Individuals may directly sell arms, just as they may do outside of a gun show.
Please do not portray the [stupid, in my opinion] gun shows as an oasis, where criminals buy guns. It is easier and cheaper for a criminal to buy one on the street than at a gun show. I really DO think these gun and knife shows are silly and are preying upon people's fears. I think most people there are not representative of responsible gun owners.
BTW: I voted for and gave Obama more than $1000 and I am on the Miami-Dade D.E.C. as a committeeman from precinct 339 ( the FIGHTING Three-Three-Nine! ). I support gun laws. It is too easy to buy a gun and way to easy to get a driver's license to drive a deadly weapon!
I think it is only fair to mention to readers that purchasers of handguns are subject to a waiting period before picking up the firearm.....usually at a local gun shop 5 business days later, depending upon county.
And Fernando Martinez adds:
Besides being obtuse your column is simply wrong. Gun dealers selling at gun shows DO have to run background checks and are subject exactly to the same laws as gun stores. The only basis in fact for your statement is that individuals who choose to take their personal guns to a gun show and sell them can do so to another individual without a background check -- just like you can outside of gun shows. You are a pathetic simpleton. Your editors should realize this is yet another example of why there is such disdain for printed media. I amhappy that subscriptions continue to drop and hope that when you lose this job you won't end up somewhere else where you misinform and promote your slanted social views.
Emiliano Antunez has yet another take on my gun show column:
I respect your 1st amendment rights and strongly disagree with your view of the Second Amendment, which by the way probably has a lot to do with the respect most folks in power have for the First.
"Armas para que" Fidel Castro 1959. I wasn't born yet but my dad lived through it and I'm probably living in Miami and writing you in English because most Cubans went along with that statement and handed over their pistolas.
Your article implies that most of the folks at those gun shows are either lunatics, criminals or aspiring terrorist, I think (on occasion) that those tendencies are pretty much equal within the crowd at the gun show and those who don't attend gunshows.
Have you Hugged your AK47 today?