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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: January 3, 2023 11:38 AM
From: Representative Darisha K. Parker
To: All House members
Subject: Closing the Gun Show Loophole
Each year, thousands of people attend more than 4,000 gun shows held all across the United States. Firearm purchases from gun shows account for four to nine percent of annual firearm sales, and three percent of gun owners report acquiring their most recent firearm from a gun show. Unfortunately, many of the gun transfers that take place at gun shows do not involve a background check, which can enable straw purchases and illegal gun sales. These types of gun transfers are often referred to as taking advantage of the “gun show loophole,” which refers to the fact that, under current law, the background check requirement at gun shows only applies to short-barreled firearms.  
Throughout recent years, investigations conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) at gun shows have resulted in arrests for many serious offenses, including straw purchases, sales of firearms to people convicted of felonies, and possession of prohibited firearms like machine guns and sawed-off shotguns.
To address this dangerous loophole, I will be introducing legislation that would require that all firearm sales, including long guns, be conducted in front of a licensed dealer or a sheriff. Familial transfers would still be excluded from the background check requirement, as in current law. Additionally, this legislation would add a provision to allow for a single background check that would remain valid for 48 hours for use at gun shows across the Commonwealth. 
Please join me in protecting the residents of our state by eliminating this loophole and removing opportunities for illegal firearm transfers and straw purchases.

Introduced as HB766