Gun shows are widely attended by Americans interested in firearms for defensive purposes, hunting, sports, recreation and historical significance.
In the 1990s, gun control supporters began claiming that criminals were commonly acquiring guns at shows. However, studies by the federal government have repeatedly shown that less than one percent of state prison inmates incarcerated for gun crimes acquired their guns at shows, while most acquired guns through theft, on the black market, or from family members or friends.
In the same period, gun control supporters began pushing federal legislation to require background checks on the relatively small number of people at shows who buy guns from people who are not dealers. Now, they demand a background check for any sale, trade, gift or other transfer of any firearm, anywhere, to anyone—in some cases, including family members or friends.
NRA opposes expansion of the background check system, because criminals easily get guns by other means and because expanding the background check requirement would be a step toward transforming the background check system into a national gun registry.
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.