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To Wes Morosky, president of Duke’s Sports Shop in New Castle, Penn., the universal background check proposal now under debate in Congress would be a boon for business. “It’d keep everyone on the same playing field,” he said of proposals to require background checks for all gun sales that would put licensed dealers like his store at the center of gun culture. “And we’d charge for it.”

But not everyone agrees. The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry trade group traditionally opposed to regulation, claims most firearms dealers are opposed to universal background checks because they will increase workload and legal risk.

“The retailer is required for all the same entries and record-keeping as if they were selling the gun,” said Lawrence Keane, the senior vice president and general counsel for NSSF. “They can be dragged into product liability lawsuits, so they’re exposed on a firearm that they didn’t…

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