An Iowa group claims auction houses across the state are illegally selling guns, and they want federal officials to crack down on the sales. John Johnson is the executive director of “Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence.”Johnson says a study by his group showed four-out-of-five consignment auction houses were selling firearms in violation of federal law. Johnson says the consignment houses are violating the law because they don’t run the background checks on customers required by federally-licensed dealers. Johnson has sent a letter to U.S. Attorney Steve Colloton in Des Moines asking him to stop auction houses from selling guns without a federal license. Johnson says they’re also asking newspapers to stop advertising guns for sale.He says newspapers are aiding and abetting the unlawful sale of firearms by advertising guns. The state’s largest newspaper, “The Des Moines Register” has declined to stop advertising guns for sale. He says the paper has told him they advertise a legal products, and firearms are legal products. Johnson says they aren’t disputing that guns are a legal product, but they are concerned with the way they’re sold. He says they ask them to only advertise guns sold by legally licensed dealers. Johnson says stopping the sale of guns by unlicensed consignment houses is just part of their overall goal. He says they support a bill in the Senate that requires the sale of all firearms by unlicensed individuals be conducted through a federally firearms licensee. This would prevent a gun owner from selling a gun at a garage sale or to another person without going through a federally licensed dealer who could run a background check.
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