No License, No Problem At Gun Show

5:36 PM, Nov 19, 2009   |    comments
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Virginia Tech victim videotapes gunseller handing over an assault rifle without any background check.

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Colin Goddard was shot four times and nearly killed at Virginia Tech. But he survived. And, this year, he set out on a very personal mission to show how easy it is to get an assault rifle or a semi-automatic pistol without anyone checking if you're a convicted felon, dangerously mentally ill, or an abuser.

Colin and his friends bought a small arsenal of guns in Virginia and at gun shows around the country without ever showing so much as a driver's license. And they documented it all on hidden camera.

"I went to multiple gun shows in multiple states," he says on a video, just out on YouTube with the help of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

"I wonder if we could see you're Maadi Egyptian?" he asks a seller at a gun show before being handed an assault rifle. Colin Goddard's summer project was to put an end to what opponents call the gun show loophole.

From Richmond, to Minnesota, to San Antonio, the 23-year-old Virginia Tech Victim and his friends were able to by guns at gun shows without any kind of background check.

"When's your birthday?" asks on dealer.

Goddard's friend responds that he's 18.

"Oh, ok," says the dealer, handing over an AK-47. 

"We went by all the licensed dealers that are required to do background checks and went to the back. We went to the guys sitting at the tables with no sign at front. The guy you can go up to and just pay more money, you get your gun and you walk out. No one is going to ask any questions," says Goddard. 

The video was released by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence -- where Goddard's been working. The campaign is pushing a bill in Congress to require background checks for all gun sales at gun shows.

But gun rights advocates say the bill goes way too far.

"Freedom is no loophole. And frankly, there's no loophole at a gunshow. You can only sell privately at a gunshow if you're an occasional seller, just like you can in your backyard," says Mike Stollenwerk of Virginia's

A bill to require background checks has gone nowhere in Virginia.
But US Senator's and Members of Congress have introduced similar legislation. Critics say it's going nowhere too. But supporters are still hopeful.

Written by Bruce Leshan

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