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If there's one thing Congress knows -- It's Loopholes.

Loopholes for Lobbyists.  Loopholes from following their own Laws.  Loopholes freeing themselves from anything resembling personal responsibility.

After mass shootings, the status quo reigns supreme in Congress

by Jaime Fuller, -- May 27, 2014

Nine months after the shooting at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in April 2007, Congress passed a law improving the national background check system, adding more rigorous records for felons and mentally ill individuals to the federal database.

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence at the time, said, "It's the first gun-control legislation of any sort that Congress has passed in over 12 years." Reporting from the Center on Public Integrity in 2011 shows that the legislation wasn't that major -- it left many other flaws in the background check system unfixed.

In the year after the shooting at Columbine, 800 gun bills were introduced around the country, according to Popular Science Magazine. Less than 10 percent passed. One of the failed efforts included a federal bill to close the gun show loophole, which allows unlicensed dealers to sell guns without background checks.

Attempt to close gun show loophole has failed before

by Melanie Mason, Washington Bureau, -- Feb 26, 2013

Since the Brady bill passed in 1993, customers buying firearms from a federally licensed dealer have had to submit to a background check to ensure they are not prohibited from owning a weapon. Felons and people involuntarily committed to mental institutions are among those banned.

Checks are not required for transactions by private sellers, who do not have federal licenses and are a regular presence at gun shows. In fall 1998, President Clinton urged Congress to require background checks for these sales, to fix what had become known as the gun show loophole.

Less than six months later, Columbine reignited the debate. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were too young to buy the weapons they would use to kill 12 classmates and a teacher in April 1999. So they asked for help from an 18-year-old friend, who later said she chose a private seller at a gun show to avoid a background check.

The failure of the post-Columbine effort underscores the challenges gun check proponents face today, following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. Then, as now, backers believed that widespread outrage at gun violence would force Congress to act. [...]

BUT, Congress DID NOT act.

Instead they embraced this Loophole, that STILL allows Felons and the Mentally Ill, to acquire their Firearms, that they would possibly be barred from buying at their local legal Gun Shop.

Nice Loophole there, Congress.  No one shady, would ever make use of that, now would they?

I grew up with the TV show Dragnet, as a kid. One of my favorite recurring themes of that show, was when Detective Joe Friday would say:

"Just the facts, ma'am."

He would usually do this when the witness was fumbling and bumbling in telling their story, of what they saw, what they did, and why they did it.

What we need now is a 'Joe Friday', to go straighten out Congress's mumbling excuses ...

"Just the facts, Republican NRA-enablers."

National Gun Victims Action Council

The “Gun Show Loophole” is a gap in federal law that allows private citizens, who are not licensed firearms dealers, to sell guns without conducting background checks or keeping records. These “private sellers” often sell guns at the thousands of gun shows that take place every weekend across the country. But, private sales of guns also take place daily between individuals as people sell guns to family members, friends and strangers without any requirement that the purchaser undergo a background check.

The gun show loophole facilitates sales to criminals:

  * 30% of trafficking: One ATF study found that over 10,000 crime guns traced in a year were connected to gun shows -- about 30% of all crime guns traced that year.

  * “Gun shows and flea markets are a major venue for illegal trafficking.” according to the ATF.

Widespread support for closing the gun show loophole:

  * A majority of NRA members support closing the loophole: In a poll conducted by Republican pollster Frank Luntz, 69% of NRA members and 85% of non-NRA gun owners supported background checks for all gun sales at gun shows.

  * 87% of Americans favor a requirement that everyone who sells guns at gun shows conduct criminal background checks on all purchases, according to a bipartisan 2008 poll.

"Them's the facts, folks."

Yet our Congress-critters without the courage of our convictions, still cling to their NRA compact and compromises. Cash keeps them chasing their next set of callous excuses ...

But maybe, not for much longer ... CASH is a 'weapon' both sides of this loophole issue can wield:

Opponents of ‘gun show loophole’ armed with cash for fall campaign

by Joel Connelly, -- June 2, 2014   

The National Rifle Association spent millions of dollars with no comeback when it last took aim at a Washington ballot initiative, but this year its the gun safety campaign that’s armed with campaign cash.

The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility began a Monday luncheon by announcing a $1 million pledge [...]

The “cause” in Washington’s Initiative 594, which would close the “gun show loophole” by requiring criminal background checks for those purchasing firearms at gun shows or online in Washington.

The state’s voters will also vote on Initiative 591, backed by gun rights groups, which would block Washington from enacting any gun safety requirement that has not been passed at the federal level.

When "69% of NRA members and 85% of non-NRA gun owners" support closing the Gun Show Loophole, maybe the days of NRA-kowtowing should be over?

Who are the Congressional-cowards catering to, anyways -- the Felon and Mentally unstable demographic?  Don't want to get those groups mad at you -- Whoa Doggies!

They can rise up a bite you in the political arse, if you make them mad at you -- and close their extra-legal Loophole.

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Mon Jun 09, 2014 at 07:27 PM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Firearms Law and Policy.

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