Everytown’s latest ad comes as part of a campaign to urge President Obama to take executive action against private gun owners who sell their personal guns.
The silent ad, slated to run in Washington D.C. taxicabs beginning next week, purports to show hidden camera footage from a 2011 gun show in Arizona of an unlicensed private seller conducting a gun sale. The interested buyer asks about a background check and, when he is told there would be none, says, “Good, because I probably couldn’t pass one.”
The ad then fades out with a message that, “President Obama has the power to keep guns away from dangerous people.” and urging him to take executive action.
What this action is, as outlined last month by the group, is for more regulation on legal gun owners selling firearms from their personal collection by clarifying that a gun can only be considered part of a collection if it has been in the owner’s possession for a year. Further, it would require those who advertise guns for sale or sell more than 25 guns in a year to become federally licensed and regulated dealers.
Everytown contends a small pool of unlicensed dealers sell large quantities of firearms without oversight from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to individuals who do not pass FBI background checks, citing one seller on Armslist has posted over 150 guns in a 12 month period as anecdotal evidence.
“After the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon, the President recommitted his Administration to taking executive action to enforce the laws already in place – and this report reinforces the critical need for the White House to clarify the vague federal law that allows high-volume gun sellers to endanger public safety,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety in a statement emailed to Guns.com.
“If the President does not clarify what it means to be ‘engaged in the business’ of selling guns, unlicensed sellers will continue to sell thousands of guns without background checks that flow into the underground market and fuel the gun violence that plagues our country,” said Feinblatt.
Further, the group released a companion study this week, termed Business as Usual, that delved into the 253 cases prosecuted nationwide in 2011 and 2012 of unlicensed gun dealers and contends the prosecution rate for these crimes are notably low when compared to prosecution rates for drug trafficking and for other firearm crimes and see a high rate of dismissals.
The campaign comes in conjunction with a new study funded by Everytown showing 52 percent fewer mass shootings between January 2009 and July 2015 in states that require background checks on all handgun purchases.