The Gun Show Loophole, Explained

The Gun Show Loophole, Explained

As a child, Wyatt Elmo Moretti-Dobo accompanied his siblings and father on shopping trips to a large meeting hall a short drive from his home in Athens, Ohio. During the days leading up to the event, the meeting hall would be converted into a large marketplace, complete with numerous folding tables stocked with merchandise. But as Wyatt recalls, this wasn’t just any market, as only a few specific kinds of goods were on sale: knives, war memorabilia, and most prevalently, guns. “At the time, I was most surprised by the variety that could be found, from small ‘fit in your shoe’ concealment guns to full-on machine and Gatling guns,” Wyatt, 23, tells Teen Vogue. What Wyatt experienced was a gun show , or a temporary market constructed to facilitate sales of firearms and ammunition, as well as military-themed memorabilia. According to a 2007 Department of Justice report , an estimated 2,000 to 5,200 gun shows are held annually across the nation, leading to the sales of countless weapons. As Vox reported in 2016 , there are currently more guns in the United States than people. As the national dialogue regarding gun violence grows more contentious with each new tragedy , a singular question has grown increasingly urgent: Where are all of the guns coming from? The answer is complex, but part of the story is gun shows. With that, we at Teen Vogue are here to unpack the nature of gun shows, their history, the so-called gun-show loophole, and […]

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