The deal senators have struck to expand firearm background checks to all Internet and gun show sales will drive up prices for consumers, weapons retailers say.
Manufacturers say the deal, which is the crux of the gun bill that senators will begin debating this week, also includes language that gives background checks for sales at gun shows priority over in-store purchases — something their top trade group says is unfair.
Under current law, background checks are required for sales only by licensed retailers. The director of the top trade group for gun retailers said expanding checks to include Internet and gun show purchases will drive up prices and push business to federally licensed firearms retailers, who in many cases will perform the checks for private sellers.
If background checks are required for all sales, he said, federal licensees could effectively corner the market, set their own transaction fees and pass the costs on to consumers.
“If they have to do [the background checks], that means they have to pay,” he said. “In the real world, a lot of people are going to raise their prices.”