Trying to Clarify Our Confusing Gun Laws

Jun. 24, 2009
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All right – let me try to clarify some misunderstandings about the gun article I wrote this week.

First of all, due to last-minute editorial changes, I unfortunately made it seem as if DA John Chisholm was referring to straw purchases or lie-and-buy purchases as the “classic gun show loophole.” He wasn’t. Gun show loopholes refer to the ability for unlicensed gun sellers to sell guns without conducting background checks. I apologize for the confusion. I got it wrong, not Chisholm.

And about the laws prohibiting those under 21 to possess handguns. Federal law prohibits licensed dealers from selling handguns to those under 21. But there is no law prohibiting those 18 and up from possessing a handgun. And since private sellers are not required to conduct background checks or ask for ID verification when selling a personal gun, that means that there’s no law prohibiting them from selling a gun to someone 18 or older.

Clear as mud, hey?

Again – I’m sorry for the confusion.


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