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Sheriff : Stricter background checks may not stop criminals from buying guns

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

A Lowcountry sheriff says President Obama's proposal to strengthen background checks for gun buyers won't necessarily keep criminals from getting guns.

The president wants to require people who sell guns at gun shows to have federal firearms licenses and do background checks before making the sale.

Right now, there is no law forcing dealers at gun shows to conduct background checks.

Appearing on CNN Wednesday morning, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said criminals are a lot smarter than many may think.

"We look at this through our eyes instead of looking at it through the eyes of the criminals," Cannon said. "We underestimate the creativity and the initiative and the commitment that they have to find a weapon."

Employees at ATP gun shop in Ladson say the loophole may allow some convicted criminals to buy firearms at gun shows.

"That is a possibility, but I don't see that as an every day occurrence. Most individuals who are trying to purchase a firearm are doing it, want to do it on a local basis," ATP's Eric Brown said.

Gun stores are already required to have federal firearms licenses and do the background checks.

Brown says ATP participates at some gun shows and does background checks there too.

The president's proposal also would apply to anyone who sells or buys guns on the Internet.

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