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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Politifact Rates Tim Kaine's Statement on Gun Sales Mostly False

It's a familiar talking point. "It’s estimated that 40 percent of all the guns that are sold in the United States occur with no background records check." The gun ban lobby uses it all the time to push for so-called "universal" background checks.  The fact that President Obama had already received Three Pinocchios from the Washington Post didn't deter Tim Kaine from repeating the false statement when commemorating the anniversary of the Virginia Tech Shooting.  So PolitiFact decided to do a fact check on Tim Kaine's use of the talking point.
Kaine says "it’s estimated that 40 percent of all the guns that are sold in the United States occur with no background records check."

His source is a small-sample survey that’s almost 21 years old. It counted some firearms that were purchased before a law went into effect requiring federal background checks for many gun sales.

The 1994 survey measured gun transactions, which included firearms that were sold and those that were given as gifts or inheritances. When the results were adjusted to guns sold -- the term Kaine uses -- only 14 to 22 percent of the firearms were sold without background checks.

The researchers say they "don’t know" if their findings are relevant today. There’s no updated national study.

Kaine did not acknowledge these points. So we rate his statement Mostly False.
Politifact did not go into as much detail as the Washington Post's Fact Checker did in April of 2013.  If they had, they probably would have given Kaine a "False" rating.  At any rate, it is just one more smackdown for the gun ban lobby's favorite talking point.  Probably won't stop them from using it however.

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