Gun Shop Owner Questions Bi-partisan Measure On Gun Sales

Longtime Gun Shop Owner Questions Bi-partisan Measure On Gun Sales

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Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) unveiled the details of a bi-partisan measure would expand mandated background checks on gun sales. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) unveiled the details of a bi-partisan measure would expand mandated background checks on gun sales.

The gun control legislation proposed by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Wednesday is being hailed as an important step by gun control advocates, but some in the industry wonder whether it will turn out to be ‘much ado about nothing.'

The bi-partisan measure would expand mandated background checks-- designed to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those judged mentally unstable.

But Fred Delia, a longtime gun shop owner on the 6100 block of Torresdale Ave., doubts it will mean much.

"I've been through a lot of laws in 43 years, and they all come back to the same thing; nothing happens."

Under current federal law, those buying firearms from licensed dealers in the dealer's shop or at a gun show, must pass the background check.

But under the so-called "gun show loophole," those buying from unlicensed sellers at a gun show can avoid that check.

The Toomey-Manchin legislation would expand background checks to those sales as well.

"I don't consider criminal background checks to be gun control," said Toomey at a Capitol Hill news conference with Manchin to announce the measure. "I think it's just common sense. If you pass a criminal background check, you get to buy a gun. No problem. It's the people who fail a criminal or mental health background check, that we don't want having guns."

The National Rifle Association has already fired back at Toomey and Manchin. In a written statement, the NRA says "Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools."

Toomey admits NRA opposition will make passage of his measure more of a "heavy lift," but he insists he is only trying to keep guns away from criminals and the mentally unstable.

The Senator admits he cannot quantify the problem of un-checked sales at gun shows, but notes that the current- looser- background checks stopped 1.8 million purchases by unfit buyers, from 1999-2009.

Says Toomey: "Background checks are not a cure all by any means, but they can be helpful."

Fred Delia is disappointed.

He believes the number of un-checked sales to unfit buyers at gun shows is minimal.

As for the Toomey-Manchin proposal?

"All this talk they've been doing all these months, and they come up with something like this."

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