The city paper talks about the "loophole" of private transferred guns.
Indeed, background checks do not appear to have a Minority Report-style ability to predict future crimes, committed by individuals with no criminal past. They do, however, keep firearms away from already prohibited persons.
In 2012, excluding the month of December (for which records are not yet available), 15,255 people in Tennessee were denied purchase of a firearm due to a failed background check, according to the TBI. That number represents just over 4 percent of all attempted purchases from gun stores or other licensed dealers in the state. Additionally, 407 wanted persons were identified as a result of the TBI’s Instant Check System.
The system, which applies to pawnshops or other businesses where an individual might try to sell a gun, allows the retailer to run a check on the weapon. It resulted in the identification of 412 stolen firearms. However, such businesses are not required to run a check on weapons brought into their store, nor are individual gun owners required to report a gun missing or stolen.
The City Paper was not witness to any transactions at the gun show in Williamson County, or while strolling the aisles of the Internet, that were verifiably illegal. But given the statistics on the number of attempted purchases denied in stores — as well as estimates that up to 40 percent of all gun sales occur in the under-regulated secondary markets — it seems possible that a number of them might have been transactions involving prohibited individuals. It’s a question that gun regulation advocates have been asking: After a shop owner’s actions prevented an illegal sale, how many buyers went to the gun show next?