The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has reignited a national debate over how to reduce gun violence.
Wednesday afternoon President Barack Obama called for background checks for all gun sales to be universal, and not relegated to just federally licensed firearm dealers. The executive action would also try to close the so-called gun show loophole that exists.
The process for background checks was first instituted with the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968. This act prohibits felons, illegal aliens, those who have renounced their citizenship, dishonorably discharged veterans, those under indictment and people who have protective orders for certain crimes, such as domestic violence from obtaining a firearm.
With the passing of the Brady Act by President Bill Clinton in 1994, the law expanded to require all federally licensed firearm dealers to perform background checks on everyone who purchases a firearm.
Brittain's Pawn Shop in south Shreveport is one of many local federally licensed dealers in area. Salesman Robert Dorking says with the high volume of customers coming in as of late to purchase firearms, that they are performing more background checks.
"Weekly, we do about 20 to 30 because we have to do a background check when someone pawns a handgun too," said Dorking.
While 60 percent of gun sales go through federally licensed dealers, there is still another 40 percent that go through private dealers. Private sales of firearms aren't currently required under law to go through background checks.
Often called the gun show loophole, the way around background checks is why the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found that the second leading source of illegally diverted guns in the nation can be attributed to gun shows.
Resident Agent-In-Charge Wade Rasberry with the ATF Shreveport Field Office says private dealers can dodge doing the necessary paperwork by simply paying for a table or booth at a show.
"You have an individual who also has guns, very similar, maybe the same type guns and they're not doing paperwork, they're not doing NICS checks, but for the price of a table they can go do business as well," said Rasberry.
Last year, in Louisiana alone, more than 326,000 background checks were conducted.
We tried to contact the FBI but due to an "unprecedented amount of transactions at this time," they were unable to comment at this time.