If you are like many gun owners who hear various politicians make claims about how easy it is for people to buy guns without a background check–including “automatic rifles”— and react by saying “No, that’s not how it works!”, then this undercover expose from Steven Crowder will make a ton of sense to you. Crowder is a comedian, but what he did and what he found out is perfectly serious.
First, he takes on the assertion many politicians and various mouthpieces so often make: That fully automatic firearms are not only readily available in the U.S., but that anyone can buy one, and easily, thanks to a phrase you’re probably sick of hearing: the gun show loophole.
Politicians and others who use the phrase claim that someone can walk into a gun show in Indiana, buy armfuls of fully automatic firearms without even a license check, let alone a NICS check, and then run them into Illinois to sell them on the street.
As the video shows, that’s not how it works. The only type of sale that doesn’t require a federal background check is a private sale, such as a grandfather giving his progeny his hunting rifle, or you selling to your friend that extra .410 you have no use for. But whoever is doing the buying has to live in the same state as the seller.
First, Crowder visits gun shops and a couple of booths at an Indiana gun show, asking about buying full-auto firearms, and keeps getting told its impossible without a Class 3 license from the BATFE for the dealer as well as the buyer.
He gets denied over and over, though the people he filmed were more than willing to explain the laws to him, even though they couldn’t sell him a gun.
Then Crowder attempts to find the “gun show loophole” by purchasing a semi-auto rifle without a background check, which, as we are so often told, is an incredibly easy thing to do, even for convicted criminals.
Yet again, everyone he talks to tells him that for them to sell him a gun at a gun show, he still has to pass a background check.
“What you’re asking is for someone to commit a felony,” he’s told by one vendor.
Crowder found out what pretty much every gun owner in America already knows: To buy a gun at a gun show, you have to be a resident of the state in which the show is being held, complete a NICS background check, and the gun must be transferred through a registered FFL. And you cannot buy a firearm in a gun shop—in any state—without a background check.