Can I Buy Guns at a Gun Show?
The 146th annual meeting and exhibit of the NRA, or National Rifle Association, was just held in Atlanta. Dubbed as a celebration of freedom, the convention left many people with questions regarding gun safety and the ability to purchase a firearm. For supporters of the NRA, the convention is a place to gather, see the latest in weaponry, listen to speakers and perhaps attend a concert. For those who stand against the NRA, the convention is seemingly wrought with danger. Which is true?
The truth of the matter is that the NRA convention is perhaps one of the safest there is. The event is tightly controlled and regulated, following the laws of the state it is held in, and often setting forth its own additional restrictions. Let’s take a look at the state of Georgia, where this year’s national convention was held.
Georgia Background Checks
Georgia follows federal law because it must. If a person wishes to purchase a firearm from a federally licensed dealer, they must submit to a background check. Georgia is permitted to use state and federal records or only federal. Georgia has made the choice to only conduct background checks at the federal level. This simply cuts down on a step as all of the state’s criminal history information is provided to the national system.
If a person already holds a state permit, such as a concealed weapons permit, they are exempt from the requirement of a federal background check. It is important to know that those who become unable to purchase or possess firearms due to some crime or circumstance, may often still purchase weapons for a period of time after they have become restricted to do so. This is because it often takes some time for the state system to be updated with these new restrictions.
A private firearms dealer is one who does not make their living off of the sale of weapons. In the past, a private dealer was considered one who sold no more than four weapons per year, but this definition was eliminated. Private sellers are not required to conduct background checks on the individuals purchasing their guns. Because many people at gun shows are considered to be private sellers, it is easier to purchase a weapon from a gun show than a dealer.
James is looking for a certain firearm and attends a gun show in Atlanta. He finds the weapon for sale by a private vendor and is interested in making the purchase. James, should he choose to do so, can buy the weapon and walk away with it without a background check being conducted.
On the other hand, if James locates that firearm at a federally licensed dealer, he will need to submit to a federal background check unless he already holds a concealed weapons permit in the state of Georgia.
Some gun shows still require background checks, even if it is not mandated by state or federal law. The NRA Convention eliminated the need for background checks by not allowing guns to be sold on site.
If you are charged with a gun crime in Atlanta, you are facing serious consequences if convicted. Reach out to our team of criminal defense attorneys for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your case and advise you of your legal options. Call today.