The “gun show loophole” refers to the legal exemption that allows private sellers, such as gun show attendees, to sell firearms without conducting background checks. A better term to use to describe it is “private sale exception.” While federally licensed gun sellers (better known as FFLs) must run background checks, private sellers in some states are not required to do so prior to selling a handgun. Currently, 18 states require background checks to be performed prior to the transfer of handguns by private individuals, requiring these transactions to be completed by FFLs, purchase permits or other means.
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