Vendors at Rock County gun show take sales precautions - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Vendors at Rock County gun show take sales precautions

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WKOW (JANESVILLE) -- This weekend a big gun show will be underway in Janesville and some vendors are taking extra steps when selling guns. 

With the school shooting in Florida and the national debate on firearms, guns are a hot topic in the U.S. 

But that's not getting in the way of the Spring Gun Show in Janesville this weekend. 

"There's many different vendors in the show besides just gun vendors," said Lee Scarborough, who is the president of the Rock County Rifle and Pistol Club. 

Currently, under Wisconsin state law, vendors don't have to be licensed to sell firearms at gun shows. If they are licensed, background checks are required. But if they're private citizen vendors, they don't have to conduct an actual background check. 

However, Scarborough said this year, there are new precautions those private vendors are taking and it includes questioning the buyer. 

"We ask four questions: Are you a felon? Are you the subject of a restraining order? Have you been to a mental health institute and under a restriction? And then, are you legally permitted to purchase and possess a firearm," Scarborough said. 

It's an honesty policy, but not everyone agrees with it.

"I think we can go a long way in preventing illicit guns from getting on the street if we mandate that every purchase of a firearm, requires a background check," said Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney. 

But that's not the current law. Still, a majority of vendors in Dane County are deciding just who they're selling to.

"They have stated that they feel uncomfortable selling to an 18 year old and they rather sell to a 21 year old or older," Scarborough said. 

Organizers of the gun show are also asking private citizen vendors to keep a record of gun transactions. They've asked them to take down the buyer's name, address, phone number and ID information. 

The gun show is Saturday, March 3rd from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, March 4th from 9 a.m.-3p.m. It will be held at the Craig Center at the Rock County Fairgrounds at 1301 Criag Avenue in Janesville. 

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