Tulsa Gun Show Promoter Raises Questions About Effectiveness Of Gun Control Plan

Wednesday, January 16th 2013, 6:17 pm

A local gun show promoter is expressing doubt about the effectiveness of the President Barack Obama's gun control plans.

Tulsa is home to what is at least one of the world's largest gun shows - The Wanenmacher Gun Show - each spring and fall.

Promoter Joe Wanenmacher believes the real loophole in gun safety is that criminals don't get their guns through legal channels.

"If you want to buy a gun you should at least have to show you are not a felon—this is common sense," said President Obama, Wednesday.

1/16/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma Lawmakers React To Obama's $500 Million Gun Violence Package

Wanenmacher believes the changes on background checks wouldn't do much to improve safety, but will cost everyone buying or exchanging guns, even parents handing them down to their children.

"They'll have to go through a dealer and, if you have to do that, that adds a cost to the sale," he said.

Wanenmacher says, at gun shows, the same law applies as everywhere else. Dealers have to check backgrounds of their customers and private sellers do not.

According to the White House, private sales account for about 40 percent of all sales.

"When they say they're closing the gun show loophole, it's not really a loophole, because you can do the same thing at the show as you do anywhere else in the City of Tulsa," Wanenmacher said.

The President's plan would require background checks anytime a gun is transferred between owners.

That already stops criminals, who try to buy guns through legal channels, but still would not stop illegal sales that Tulsa police say accounts for many of the guns they see.

"They're not the ones buying in there, so a background check is not going to help us with criminals, whether they get guns or not. Bad guys get them through burglaries and there's a huge black market for guns," said Jill Robertson, with TPD.

The President made some of the changes with executive orders, but the change on background checks requires the approval of Congress.


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