Voluntary Background Checks at Virginia Gun Shows — Very Few Despite New Law

virginia-state-police-logoLast July, a new law went into effect in Virginia that provided upon request, that the Virginia State Police would be on-site to provide a background check in private transactions at firearms shows in Virginia for the sale or transfer of handguns or long guns at the event. U.S. Law Shield has previously reported on the new law.

Since the new law went into effect on July 1, there have been 21 private sellers who opted for the voluntary background check at just 12 of the 23 gun shows held in Virginia through October 23, 2016.

According to data from the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center, operated by Virginia State Police, none of these voluntary background checks resulted in a transaction being denied because the buyer was a prohibited person, such as a felon, a person convicted of domestic violence, or someone who had been committed involuntarily to a mental health facility.

Virginia Public Safety Secretary Brian J. Moran said in a statement that he was “encouraged by the results and will continue to remain steadfast in educating Virginians on the importance of this law.”

What cannot be overlooked, however, is that these voluntary background checks require the written consent of the buyer, and it is extremely unlikely that a prohibited person would consent to the background check.

During these same 23 gun shows, however,12,606 mandatory background checks were performed by federally licensed firearms dealers, and 110 of those people were denied the purchase of a weapon.

So, is the voluntary background check really working, or is it simply a feel-good piece of legislation for the gun-control advocates that will accomplish nothing in the way of keeping guns out of the hands of prohibited persons?

Wouldn’t the funds used to administer this program be better spent in stricter enforcement of the current laws or in prosecuting violent criminals?

Tell us what you think.