What percentage of gun sales in America are made by unlicensed gun dealers?

In other words, what portion of guns bought every year don’t actually involve background checks?

ANSWER PERSON RESPONDS: According to a May 1997 National Institute of Justice fact sheet entitled “Guns in America: National Survey on Private Ownership and Use of Firearms” (http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/165476.pdf), “about 60 percent of gun acquisitions involved federally licensed dealers.” Meaning that about 40% aren’t, and only a few states (e.g., California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania) require background checks for gun show purchases (and many private sales are person-to-person outside of gun shows).

This estimate of 40% is cited over and over again as the percentage of gun sales where the purchaser doesn’t get a background check.