Schneiderman Highlights Success of Model Gun Show Procedures, Cooperation with Gun Show Operators to Ensure Firearms Stay out of The Wrong Hands
Hauppauge - March 9, 2014 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today was joined by Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone for a tour of the Hauppauge Gun Show to highlight the success of the Model Gun Show procedures developed by the Attorney General’s Office. Because of these agreements, which have been signed by every known gun show operator in the State, a background check is now conducted on virtually every firearm sold at a gun show in New York State.
During the tour, Attorney General Schneiderman and County Executive Bellone were briefed by the show’s operators on the implementation of the Model Gun Show Procedures, including a rule that ensures all guns brought into the gun show by private sellers are tagged so that, upon exiting, the operator can determine if guns were sold and that a proper background check was performed.
“By choosing to take a different path and work in cooperation with every gun show owner in New York, we are not only keeping dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands, but also ensuring that responsible citizens can exercise their right to lawfully buy firearms,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “I’m impressed by what I’ve seen here today at the Hauppauge Gun Show, and I commend these operators – as well as all the gun shows operators complying with our Model Procedures – for committing to take smart, reasonable steps to preserve public safety.”
“I want to commend Attorney General Schneiderman for leading the charge to institute common sense agreements, including background checks, at gun shows here in Suffolk County and throughout New York State,” said County Executive Bellone. “The new procedures, agreed upon by every gun show operator in New York State, are a responsible attempt to reduce gun violence and keep guns out of criminals’ hands."
The development of the Model Procedures grew out of an undercover investigation conducted by Attorney General Schneiderman's office in 2011 that uncovered the frequent occurrence of private sales without background checks. Following that discovery, the Attorney General's Office and several gun show operators worked together to develop the Model Procedures, which balance the rights of sportsmen and gun collectors with the need to protect the public from the sale of guns to people who cannot pass a background check, also known as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.
As of today, three dozen gun show owners operating more than 80 gun shows in New York have now signed the protocols, which covers every know gun show operator statewide.
The Model Procedures go beyond the requirements of the state's Gun Show Law, including a process that ensures that all guns brought into the gun shows are tagged so that, upon exiting, the operator can determine whether guns were sold and that a proper background check was performed. Under the terms of the Model Procedures, operators are required to do the following:
Post conspicuous signs throughout the shows and give written notice to all dealers that New York State law requires that a National Instant Criminal Background Check be completed before the transfer of a gun at a gun show, including on the grounds of the show.
Require that all guns brought into the gun show are tagged so that, upon exiting, the operator can determine whether the guns were sold and a NICS was performed.
Provide access to a dealer who is authorized to conduct a NICS at cost.
The dealer performing the NICS shall complete and file ATF Form 4473 and maintain the forms for inspection by law enforcement agencies for ten years, per the Gun Show Law.
Limit the number of access doors at the show so that sellers and buyers have to enter and exit through an area where the NICS procedures can be monitored.
All guns are inspected upon exiting the show to make sure all transactions, even those with dealers, include a NICS check.
Use reasonable means to prevent illegal gun sales outside the building, including the parking lot.
Alert local law enforcement authorities that a show will be held in their area, request periodic patrols in the parking lots to deter illegal sales, and call them if illegal sales are observed or suspected.
These model procedures are part of a broader effort by Attorney General Schneiderman to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerously mentally ill. Just last week, the Attorney General brokered an agreement with Facebook and Instagramto curb illegal sales of firearms on those social networking platforms. Under the agreement, Facebook and Instagram will now remove reported posts by users seeking to evade gun laws, prevent minors from viewing posts that sell firearms, and provide education to better inform law-abiding gun sellers.
This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorney General In Charge of the Rochester Regional Office Debra Martin. All regional affairs are headed by Martin J. Mack, the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs.