Known as the "gun show loophole," most states do not require background checks for firearms purchased at gun shows from private individuals -- federal law only requires licensed dealers to conduct checks.
Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, federal law clearly defined private sellers as anyone who sold no more than four firearms per year. But the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act lifted that restriction and loosely defined private sellers as people who do not rely on gun sales as the principal way of obtaining their livelihood.
Some states have opted to go further than federal law by requiring background checks at gun shows for any gun transaction, federal license or not. The majority of these such states require background checks at the point of transfer for all firearms. Alternatively, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey and North Carolina regulate purchases by prohibiting private dealers from selling to individuals who do not have licenses/permits, which they obtain following background checks. Some states' requirements are limited only to handgun purchases.
Even in states that do not require background checks of private vendors, the venue hosting the event may require it as a matter of policy. In other cases, private vendors may opt to have a third-party licensed dealer run a background check even though it may not be required by law.
Last Updated: January 2016
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Utah has one of the highest rates of suicide in the U.S. And from 2006 to 2015, 85% of firearm deaths in the state were suicides.
The task force will analyze current and emerging state threats and form stronger prevention strategies. Abbott took similar action — which led to sweeping legislation — after last year's school shooting in Santa Fe.
Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday said he would sign an executive order intended to increase state government's focus on curbing gun violence.
The insurance, required of all gun owners except law enforcement officers, would cover the costs of harm caused by accidental gunshots, or by intentional shootings by nonowners who borrow or steal the gun.
Many Republican state lawmakers don’t seem to have an appetite for taking up new gun control legislation despite last weekend’s mass shootings.
Opponents said the legislation violates a state law prohibiting municipalities from regulating firearms and have threatened to sue the city and file private criminal complaints against council members and the mayor.
In a forcefully worded ruling, a federal judge in San Diego on Friday struck down a state law banning gun magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, handing gun rights advocates a sweeping victory.
The new state law allowing guns inside college buildings went into effect Monday. Here’s a rundown of what that means for people on campus.
Florida's gun control laws are relatively lax, but most states also lack the laws that may have stopped Omar Mateen from getting his hands on deadly weapons.
Following the Virginia shooting the former Maryland governor said he would push "sensible gun safety legislation."
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D- NY) and his cousin, actress-comedian Amy Schumer, teamed up Monday to revive a gun control movement that faltered in Congress after the Dec. 2012 Newtown massacre.
Can requiring a permit in order to purchase a handgun reduce firearm homicide rates?
After being inundated for weeks with negative feedback, the state's Alcoholic Beverage Commission withdrew from consideration the proposed plan.
Ballot measures in Missouri and Washington state ask voters to weigh in on government's role in regulating firearms.
Will it change anything?
Lawmakers approve "warning shots" bill.
Under the new law, anyone with the state's concealed weapons permit could bring firearms onto Idaho campuses, where they're now banned.
Under a proposed medical marijuana rule patients who want to qualify for medical marijuana would forfeit their right to own guns.
The White House seeks to tighten gun background checks on people with psychological problems.
A Year After Sandy Hook Shootings, Many States Have Made Changes
A report on the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., digs into the shooter's history of mental illness. Nothing suggests the state's new guards against arming the mentally ill would have stopped the incident.
After 30 municipalities passed laws requiring residents to tell police when their guns disappear, the legislature is reconsidering a statewide proposal that failed in 2008 to do just that.
Without strong federal policies, states have become more active and divergent.
See charts showing numbers of gun background checks requested in each state.
While some states have tightened gun restrictions since last year's mass shootings, many in the South and Midwest have passed new laws being celebrated by the National Rifle Association.
With a deeply divided Democratic caucus and no sign of compromise in sight, Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen announced there would be no floor vote on gun control legislation this year.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation providing $24 million to clear the backlog of weapons known to be in the hands of people who purchased them legally but were then disqualified from owning one. The funds will be used to hire 36 additional special agents.
The names of hundreds of thousands of current and former New Jersey residents who have been involuntarily committed to psychiatric facilities have been added to an FBI database used to bar firearms purchases by people with criminal records or a history of mental illness.
In the wake of failed firearms legislation in the U.S. Senate, Gov. Scott Walker and a top Republican lawmaker made clear Thursday that GOP officials will also block similar legislation in Wisconsin to expand background checks on gun sales.
House democrats reached a compromise on gun legislation, dropping universal background checks and a few other provisions while keeping language that would close the gun-show loophole in the state.
The programs were found to be ineffective in reducing violent crime, but cities are revisiting -- and in some cases, revamping -- them in the wake of last year's mass shootings.
From one perspective, those figures suggest more guns mean less violence. Others who study crime in California and America say the trends are more nuanced.
Only a handful of states require background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows, but some legislators are trying to change that this year.
FBI Background checks for firearms jumped last month as calls for gun control intensified. View totals for each state.