Gun Shows/Firearm Exhibitions

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Gun Shows/Firearm Exhibitions

A firearm exhibition is a short-term display or meeting in U.S. where weapons, weapon accessories, ammo, books, knives, jerky, and assorted collectibles are exhibited, purchased, traded, and sold (Donohue, 2004, pp. 623). In addition, these exhibitions often include shows associated with hunting and training and support. The manufacturers of the weapons also demonstrate their new weapon models in such shows or by weapons enthusiasts to show normal or unusual weapons. Furthermore, such exhibitions serve as usual and chronic meeting venues for shooters to talk about weapon culture issues, for instance, the right to keep and buy the weapons.

Such exhibitions are generally arranged in hotels, shopping malls, weapon stores, etc., and anyone can attend these exhibitions against a valid entry fee. This gun shows usually last for two days and is usually arranged on the weekends by individuals who rent the venue and permits the different weapon traders to acquire the tables in order to show their weapons and other accessories (John Donohue and Ian Ayres, 2009, pp. 222).

The Law

According to the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), it was declared an illegal act to trade the weapon in such exhibitions for the weapon traders with a Federal Firearms License (FFL) (the weapon traders were allowed to trade their weapons at the address mentioned on their permit or license). That amended with the endorsement of FOPA Act of 1986, which permits FFLs to reassign weapons at firearm exhibitions but they have to follow the requirements of the GCA and further relevant federal policies. According to the report of ATF, FFL is possessed by 50 to 75 percent of the merchants at firearm exhibitions (Wilson, 2000, pp.70).

It was projected by Michael Bouchard, Assistant Director/Field Operations of ATF, in 2005 that 5,000 firearm exhibitions are arranged every year in U.S. The majority of firearm exhibitions contain 2,500 to 15,000 people for the duration of two days. According to Michael Bouchard, there is a variation in the number of stalls which might be around 50 tables to 2000 tables each show. At the leading firearm exhibitions, more than 1,000 weapons are traded.

Loopholes in the current Law

In the year 2000, the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) published the "Following the Gun" information. It was reported that over 1,530 trading spexialists more than two yearduration, and it was reported as well that firearm exhibitions are the second major the basis of illegitimately traded weapons (after fraudulent federally certified traders). These surveys included a sum of 84,128 weapons that had been traded from lawful to unlawful exchange. It was identified in the investigation that over 26,000 weapons that had been unlawfully transferred during firearm exhibitions in 212 different inquiries. The description affirmed that: "A previous assessment of ATF firearm exhibitions inquiries reveals that banned individuals, like criminals and immature people, do individually purchase weapons at firearm exhibitions and these exhibitions are the basis of weapons that are transferred to such banned individuals (Gutmacher and Jon, 2006, pp. 26). The firearm exhibitions evaluation reported that weapons were transferred at and during firearm exhibitions by straw buyers, unregulated individuals, and certified ...