President Barack Obama is continuing to make his case that more needs to be done to curb gun violence. This week he outlined a series of executive steps that includes broader background checks. Gun-friendly states like Indiana have long resisted those measures. But some gun owners there agree more could be done. Illinois Public Radio's Michael Puente reports.
One of the executive actions President Obama is pushing would tighten the so-called “gun show loophole.” That’s where private sellers are not required to conduct a background check.
OBAMA: Anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks or be subject to criminal prosecutions. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing it over the internet or at a gun show.
Gun shows are big business in the Hoosier state. You can find one happening nearly every month in Northwest Indiana. Crown Point hosted one in December at the Lake County Fairgrounds. That’s where I run into Nick, a Schererville resident who declined to give his last name.
MIKE: Do these gun shows get a bad rap? Some say it's easier to get guns here.
NICK: Here’s why it’s easier. You have actually people from gun shops who have tables in there. They have your form that you fill out for the ATF and they call in your background check to the NCIS immediately. The only way to get it without is if it’s a private seller. That’s your loophole.
Nick isn’t sure closing that loophole will make much of a difference.
NICK: Look at the gangbangers in Chicago. Do you think they all have carry cards? No. We need more laws? No you don’t. You need to enforce the laws you have.
But those in favor of universal background checks say that law doesn’t exist.
BUNCICH: There are individuals at these gun shows that are skirting the law. They are called private dealers.
That’s John Buncich, the sheriff of Lake County. His office is just down the road from the gun show.
BUNCICH: And also, what we found is that in the parking lots of a lot of these gun shows, individuals will conduct illegal sales.
Law enforcement officials say many of those guns end up on the streets of Chicago and contribute to violence.