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December 10, 2008

Regulating Sales by Nonlicensed Firearm Vendors—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2008;300(22):2608. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.763

In Reply: I agree with Dr Gemery that the phrase “gun show loophole” is misleading. Nonlicensed firearm vendors are not required to conduct background checks on purchasers at gun shows, flower shows, or anywhere else. If nonlicensed vendors were required to conduct background checks only at gun shows, then private party sales might well be displaced to other venues.

Perhaps for this reason, 6 states (California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island) regulate all sales by unlicensed individuals, not just sales at gun shows.1 Nine more states (Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania) regulate all handgun sales but exempt long guns. Two states (Colorado and Oregon) regulate all gun show sales and 2 others (Connecticut and New York) regulate long gun but not handgun sales at gun shows.