A recent poll shows National Rifle Association members overwhelmingly favor closing the gun show loophole, and that has the NRA fuming. Never mind that the poll was conducted by Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster who is on Fox News so often that he may as well be considered a network personality. Or that the same poll shows NRA members do support many pro-Second Amendment positions (against a national gun registry, for example).

Once again, the NRA's leadership is out of step - not only with average Americans but even with people who identify themselves as NRA members. That kind of extremism may help the organization raise money from its base, but it's only making the country more vulnerable to criminals who can now purchase firearms at a gun show in most states without a Brady criminal background check.

Leaving that loophole untouched is a preposterous position. And the poll commissioned by a coalition of mayors, including New York's Michael Bloomberg, shows most Americans understand that: 85 percent favor closing the loophole, including 69 percent of self-identified NRA members.

What's the NRA's response? To attack the pollster, Mayor Bloomberg and just about anybody associated with the finding. On the subject of loopholes, the chief criticism appears to be that some people may be denied the opportunity to buy a gun and that gun shows would face more paperwork.

Might those polled have responded differently if NRA hot-button language had been used in the questions? Absolutely. But while the poll was paid for by an organization that would like to see the loophole closed, the questions are fairly worded. Respondents were simply asked if they supported a law requiring "all gun sellers at gun shows" to conduct criminal background checks on the people purchasing guns.

No spin, no lengthy preamble talking about criminals and guns, just the basic premise of whether the Brady law should apply to all.

-Peter Jensen

Readers respond

Nothing can happen at a gun show that cannot legally happen anywhere else in that state. No dealer can sell a gun anywhere in the country without the buyer passing a federal background check. There is simply no federal requirement for that check to be conducted on sales between INDIVIDUALS, regardless of where the sale takes place.


This is a stupid commentary and an attack on the Second Amendment. The so-called "gun show loophole" is not about loopholes but about freedom. Americans may purchase a firearm from another person freely, gun show or not. If this upsets Mr. Jensen, I think he should try to stop the free trade in drugs, stolen property, etc. and see how successful he is. Jensen is against freedom.


Good article. To the first two commenters: Are you kidding?

Skippydog, you literally spelled out the loophole in your own words. There is no federal requirement for a background check on gun sales between individuals. Anyone see a problem here? One legal gun owner turns a profit by selling guns illegally to countless customers on the street because of the utter lack of effective gun control laws?

Gee, I wonder where all these illegal guns are coming from and how they get into the hands of Baltimore's criminals and ratchet up the statistics for violent crime?

Nrb: you have no idea what you're talking about. "Attack" on the 2nd Amendment? Nice catchphrase; too bad it's meaningless and completely false. Have you ever read the rest of the Constitution?

No one is trying to repeal or obstruct the 2nd Amendment. You are arguing against a point no one is making, out of your own ignorance.

The goal is take guns out of the hands of criminals and lunatics who have no business having a deadly weapon in their hands. I simply cannot imagine any sane person who would oppose these goals, especially when the only consequences which law-abiding citizens face is a small, minor inconvenience before purchasing a gun.

Big deal. That's not a violation of your rights or freedoms, buddy. All it would do is make our streets safer by helping take illegal guns off the market. Heaven forbid! What an attack on the Constitution that would be!


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