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Gun Shows Agree to Ensure Background Checks

10:52 PM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
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By Jessica Bakeman
Albany Bureau

ALBANY, NY--  A majority of gun-show operators in New York have agreed to follow a set of standardized safety procedures, including ensuring background checks on every gun sold, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday.

The 23 operators, representing 80 percent of the gun-show organizers in the state, said they will tag all guns brought into show, so when customers exit, it can be determined whether background checks were performed on private sales, the attorney general said.

Five more gun operators are reviewing the procedures, Schneiderman said, adding that he procedures will be adopted by all dealers by year's end.

"Gun violence is everyone's concern, and I'm proud that we've worked with gun-show operators to create simple procedures to ensure that deadly weapons don't make it into the hands of felons, terrorists, the dangerously mentally ill or anyone else who could not pass a background check," Schneiderman said in a statement.

Schneiderman said the procedures are unique to New York and the first time law enforcement and gun show operators worked together to stop illegal gun sales.

The agreement comes nearly two months after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature adopted the toughest gun-control measures in the country. The law requires background checks on all gun purchases, toughens a ban on assault weapons and limits the number of bullets in a magazine from 10 to seven.

"Since most people who operate and attend gun shows are law-abiding citizens, my office has had nothing but positive responses to these new safety standards," he said.

The attorney general's office developed the safety standards after a 2011 investigation of gun shows found that private sales frequently occurred without background checks.

The operators include those that put on shows in Rochester, Elmira, White Plains and many other New York towns.

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