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Friday, July 25, 2014

More Evidence the "40% of Gun Sales Don't Include a Background Check" Claim Is Untrue

The "40% of gun sales don't undergo background checks" claim gets even weaker thanks to this report out of Colorado.  Previously the Washington Post gave President Obama "Three Pinocchios" for making the claim.  Colorado used the number to justify a budget increase to pay for what they said would be an increase in background checks after they passed so-called "universal background checks" in 2013:
Gun-control advocates have long asserted that 40 percent of gun sales nationwide are made by private sellers and thus not subject to background checks. President Barack Obama cited the number last year, unsuccessfully urging Congress to pass a law mandating "universal background checks." 
But that figure, which Colorado legislative analysts and CBI officials say was the best available for the basis of their estimation calculus, comes from a 1997 National Institute of Justice report that gun-right's activists criticize as inaccurate. 
Catherine Mortensen, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said that using the 40 percent figure as a basis for Colorado's projection "calls into question lawmakers' access to accurate information on not only this, but all firearms-related legislation."
That 1997 NIJ report was based on data collected from a survey in 1994, the same year that the Brady Act requirements for background checks came into effect. The questions concerned purchases dating as far back as 1991 which was before the Brady Act became law.  This means that some, if not many, of the firearm sales included in that study were bought in a pre-Brady environment.  But of course, the gun banners retreat to their time worn "if we only stop one person..."
"The bottom line," he said, "is even if one, or five, or 10, or 10,000 or 20,000 people are being blocked, that's less dangerous people walking around with guns."
Never mind that most criminals are going to buy their firearms legally to start with.

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