Gun show organizers react to news of stricter laws

New provisions for who has to register as a federal firearms dealer.


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An emotional President Obama made a plea Tuesday morning as he announced executive orders aimed at stricter gun laws.

The president said the United States needs to be stronger against guns and if Congress won’t do it, he will.

Among the new regulations are new provisions for who has to register as a federal firearms dealer.

One place that will see a big impact from the executive actions from the president is a place like the Jacksonville Fairgrounds, where there is a scheduled gun show next weekend.

The organizer told News4Jax he expects a huge turnout, and all vendors will be ready to do background checks as they are required.

At gun shows, there are usually a lot of different vendors, licensed and unlicensed, selling a wide variety of guns.

Now, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), even if it’s at a gun show or flea market, a federal license is needed by any person who sells guns “as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.” But these rules won’t impact people selling to liquidate a collection.

George Richardson’s friend Marquisha Phillips was shot and killed last May in her home. He said the new restrictions from the president are a good start.

“We need to have tougher gun laws than what we have now,” said Richardson. “It’s so easy for someone to go into a flea market and by a gun and just go out there and use it.”

The president plans to have additional funding for ATF and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to handle extra background checks after a record number in Florida last year, something the gun rights group Florida Carry says they are OK with.

Eric Friday, General Counsel for Florida Carry said a lot of what’s in the order doesn’t bring much change.

“We have never had a problem with the laws as they exist and complying with the laws as they exist,” Friday said. "There is not one provision in this executive order that if implemented would have stopped any of the mass shootings that we have seen in this country during this president’s administration. Not one. None of these provisions would have made a difference.”

As for Richardson, he is hopeful that more regulations will eventually come from either Congress or the president and thinks there should be a waiting period on all gun purchases.

“I think that all guns should be, whether it’s a shotgun, rifle, whatever, it should be at least 90 days,” said Richardson. “There needs to be a cooling off point.”