August 9, 2000
By Linda Gorman
When you hear gun show do you think of a father who wants to give his son a gift by letting him choose a gun from his collection? How about a widow who pulls her husbands guns out of the closet and lets her children take their pick? According to SAFE Colorado, these activities are gun shows if twenty-five or more firearms are displayed. Firearms are any handgun, automatic revolver, pistol, rifle, shotgun, or other instrument or device capable or intended to be capable of discharging bullets, cartridges, or other explosive charges.
No wonder SAFE acts like gun shows are as ubiquitous as drug dealers. Its definitions, combined with the common definition of bullets as metal projectiles, turn ordinary households into permanent gun shows. All it takes is a couple of nail guns for construction projects, a staple gun for crafts, some paintball guns for family fun, a bee-bee gun or two for target shooting, and a kid with a passion for model rockets. (Model rocket engines that misfire certainly act like explosive charges.)
If the SAFE initiative passes, the dad will have to post a sign informing his son that he will have to get a background check. The widow will have to post the same sign notifying her children that they will have to have background checks as well. As they are both gun show promoters and gun show vendors under the language of the initiative, they will also have to arrange for a licensed gun dealer to be on the premises to run a background check. To be absolutely safe, the neighbor who has unwittingly been running the permanent gun show will presumably also have to have a licensed gun dealer on his driveway to run background checks before he can unload the kids Estes rockets at the neighborhood garage sale.
If this is reasonable regulation, what isnt?
Linda Gorman is a Senior Fellow with the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank in Golden, Colorado, https://i2i.org.
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