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Monday, February 27, 2012

Is It Easier to Buy A Gun Than Vote in Virginia?

During a February 10th interview with Al Sharpton on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, anti-rights State Senator Janet Howell complained about General Assembly Republicans passing legislation to ease gun control laws and strengthening voter identification requirements.
"What’s really ironic with what’s happening is it’s going to be harder to vote in Virginia than it is to buy a gun with what they’re doing on gun control issues," she said.

The Richmond Times Dispatch PolitiFact checker decided to see if she was right. After analyzing all of the state laws related to buying a firearm, and the laws related to voting, the RTD found:
We rate Howell’s statement Half True.
That is a little generous.  This finding was based on the fact there are more restrictions on buying a gun from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) than voting. Additionally, to purchase a firearm from an FFL, more identification is required than to vote. The gun buyer also has to go through a background check when purchasing from an FFL.  A voter does not. Finally, one can be more easily disqualified from buying a firearm than you can be from voting.

The RTD noted that there are fewer barriers to buying a gun privately than there are to voting. The private gun sale requires no wait, no identification, and no easily enforceable disqualifications, however it is still against the law to knowingly sell a firearm to someone who is disqualified.

When Senator Howell was alerted that she may have been caught in a little hyperbole with a friendly interviewer, she told the RTD her comments were a "rhetorical slur."

I'd call it a slur alright.

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