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NAT’L – RETAILERS – Gun sales find an easy path online

As the gun debate grinds on, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the loophole exempting private sales from background checks in many states — including Minnesota — merits more serious attention. The so-called “gun show loophole” has actually become a bit of an anachronism. Sales at gun shows still occur and as long as they are private sales — not by a federally licensed firearms dealer — no background check is required. But that’s not really where the action is. As with most everything these days, online sales have taken off. Some sites function essentially as online gun stores. For a price, they’ll ship the firearm of your choice … to a federally licensed firearms dealer who will obtain a background check before releasing the gun to the buyer. So far, so good. Then there are sites such as Armslist.com, which amounts to an open-air marketplace where private sellers and buyers can meet. That drew the attention of a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota, who examined a decade’s worth of posts on the site — more than 4 million between 2008 and 2018 — to determine where sellers voluntarily indicated the need for a background check. Some sellers stated they required proof of a permit to purchase or permit to carry. Most did not.  [full article]

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