Licensed dealers have to do background checks on would-be buyers. But federal law exempts person-to-person sales. And that has been interpreted to include those at gun shows.
The proposal advanced by House Minority Leader Chad Campbell and others would subject gun-show sales in Arizona to background checks. But because these can be done only by a licensed dealer, that would mean having one at each gun show. And that dealer could charge up to $50, plus the $18 cost of the federal check. Campbell defended the cost.
"You pay a fee on a driver's license. You pay sales tax on things. We pay fees on all kinds of things if we want to have them," Campbell said. "Owning a gun is a responsibility and it's a right. I'm a gun owner. But if I want to buy a weapon that costs me $1,000 or more, I'm willing to pay a 50-buck fee to get that weapon. That's how I look at it."
Campbell's plan also would require the same kind of background check for the sale of assault-style weapons, even if not at a gun snow. He also is pushing for more state funds for school resource officers, more money for mental health and going back to the days when only those with a state-issued permit could carry a concealed weapon. It remains to be seen how much of what he wants -- if any -- will be approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature.