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December 10, 2008

Regulating Sales by Nonlicensed Firearm Vendors

JAMA. 2008;300(22):2608. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.762

To the Editor: In a recent Medical News & Perspectives article, Dr Cole1 described efforts to close a loophole in firearms law that permits the transfer of firearms between private individuals at gun shows without the background check required for dealer sales. The federal NICS check (the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation) is intended to prevent the purchase of firearms by prohibited individuals, such as felons. When purchasing a firearm from a dealer, the purchaser must pass the background check before the dealer may deliver the firearm. Cole's article presents efforts to mandate background checks for all transfers at gun shows to close the loophole.