State rep. wants to require background check at gun shows

Posted at: 01/31/2014 5:56 PM
By: Devin Neeley, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There are big guns and small guns, guns of all shapes and sizes at the San Juan Wildlife Federation gun and knife show in Farmington.

"This allows us to have a lot of rare firearms that are brought up into the area that collectors can see. It's also important to people who sell firearms to be able to get a better price here," said Mike Freestone, vice president of the San Juan Wildlife Federation.

Hobby collectors can display firearms for sale next to dealers from out of state.

Dana Little is a hobbyist.  "I collect old Winchesters and shotguns," he said. "I'm a trap shooter. If I want to get rid of something I'm tired of using I can get rid of it or trade it off."

As vendors set up for the three-day show, one thing on their minds is House Bill 44 and how it will affect their business.

Little said, "It's a hassle and it's expensive."

House Bill 44, sponsored by Bernalillo County representative Miguel Garcia, introduces legislation to require background checks for firearm purchases at gun shows. Currently the state treats gun transfers at gun shows like person-to-person transfers, so no background check is required.

Jay Faurot is a Federal Firearms Licensed gun dealer. "The gun shows that I have been to that require that back up so bad, it's just a mess."

Faurot doesn't believe that gun shows contribute to gun violence.

"All those guns were acquired by the perpetrators from household members. They were legal guns," he said.

Vendors and organizers at this show say laws like HB44 are unnecessary.

"Existing laws are already there, and criminals that use firearms in criminal activity are less than two percent that buy guns at a gun show," according to Freestone.

The gun show runs through Sunday.