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Buying Guns Without A Background Check

Private gun sales don't require background checks or any other documentation.

Gun owner Brad Getz says he owns roughly seven firearms that were all purchased at gun shops.  He went through a background check each time he made a purchase, but he's also wandered through local gun shows and noticed it doesn't always work that way.

“You see individuals walking around saying ‘hey, do you want to buy my gun?’” Getz explains.

It is all perfectly legal.

Eric Delbert, owner of LEPD Firearms, says in a hand-to-hand transaction, a gun owner can sell to another individual.  “A person who is in the firearms business has a federal firearms license.  That mandates that any transaction does go through a federal background check.”

Delbert says a lot of transactions at gun shows are through dealers, but some are not.  However, private gun sales don't require background checks or any other documentation. 

One of the Board of Directors for the Buckeye Firearms Association says there are still laws to follow.  “I should - and the law does require - that I make sure that person is not in any way barred from owning that gun,” said Gerard Valentino.  He agrees that sort of check doesn't always happen in private sales, but he also doesn't think gun shows are how criminals get ahold of weapons.

“We want to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, but how do you maintain a free society and ensure peoples' safety at the same time?” wonders Getz.

Delbert agrees something needs to be done to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people, but thinks there should be less talk about sales and more about the judicial system.

As for internet sales, Delbert says the laws are clear that a gun can never be shipped directly to a home and must go through a local dealer.  The individual buying the firearm also must go through a background check when they pick it up.