Obama Fact Check: 6.6 Million Guns were Sold without a Background check in 2012

Testimony from Baltimore Baltimore County, Md., Police Chief James Johnson:

“From November 2011 to November 2012, an estimated 6.6 million firearm transactions occurred
without a background check. Up to 40 percent of firearm transactions occur through private
individuals rather than licensed gun dealers. Allowing 40 percent of those acquiring guns to
bypass background checks is like allowing 40 percent of airline passengers to board a plane
without going through airport security.”

Read more: here

The ‘40 Percent’ Myth

6milliongunsGun-control advocates have recently been throwing around an impressive new number. President Obama used it last Wednesday, claiming: “as many as 40 percent of guns are purchased without a background check.” Vice President Biden and everyone from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to USA Today repeatedly use it. That “fact” provided the principal support for his first announced gun-control proposal, “universal background checks.” But unless you include family inheritances and gifts as “purchases,” it is simply false.

The Brady Act background checks currently prevent someone who buys from a federally licensed dealer from buying a gun if he has a felony, or in many cases a misdemeanor conviction, or has been involuntarily committed for mental illness. Prior to Brady, federal law merely required that people sign a statement stating that they did not have a criminal record or a history of mental problems under threat of perjury. Obama’s 40 percent claim makes it look like a lot of gun buyers are avoiding these checks.

Actually, the number reported was a bit lower, 36 percent, and as we will see the true number of guns “sold” without check is closer to 10 percent. More important, the number comes from a 251-person survey on gun sales two decades ago, early in the Clinton administration. More than three-quarters of the survey covered sales before the Brady Act instituted mandatory federal background checks on February 28, 1994. In addition, guns are not sold in the same way today that they were sold two decades ago.

Read More by  John Lott 

Where the 40% figure came from

The original source of the 40 percent figure is a 1997 National Institute of Justice study by researchers Philip Cook of Duke University and Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago, who examined data from a 1994 telephone survey about gun ownership. The survey, which sampled 2,568 homes, asked owners an array of questions, including how many guns were in the house, what they were used for, how they were stored and how they were obtained.

But it’s important to note that of the 2,568 households surveyed, only 251 people answered the question about the origin of their gun.

But in those answers, Cook and Ludwig found that 35.7 percent of respondents reported obtaining their gun from somewhere other than a licensed dealer. (That has been rounded up to 40 percent.) Some people answered “probably” and “probably not” if they weren’t entirely sure whether the seller was a licensed dealer. In some cases, where the respondent skipped the question about whether the gun came from a licensed dealer, the researchers made a judgment call. Ludwig said in an email that they mined answers to other questions (such as whether the gun was a gift) to guide them.

“Our approach … was to be conservative in estimating what fraction of sales are in the primary market,” Ludwig wrote. “Primary market” refers to guns sold by dealers in retail stores or pawn shops. The “secondary market” includes gun shows and other transactions where a background check is not required.

Some critics find fault with the 40 percent figure because it includes guns that are inherited or won — in other words, transactions that could reasonably be assumed not to involve a background check.

via PolitiFact

The Actual Numbers

Source Proportion of Total Guns Obtained
Gun store 43
Pawnshop 6
Other store 11
Subtotal from retail 60%
Gun show or flea market 4
Through the mail 3
Member of the family 17
Friend or acquaintance 12
Other 4
Total 100%

Notice that only 4% Responded that they Bought a Gun at a GUN Show… The Gun Show Loophole as it is called.  Now do you think the number is 4% when you hear the left talk about it? Further, most venders (up to 90%) at Gun shows are licensed FFL holders and require BACKGROUND CHECKS.

Additionally, buying a gun online or through the mail requires you pick up your weapon at a Gun Shop after you file your background check.


About Albert N. Milliron 6991 Articles
Albert Milliron is the founder of Politisite. Milliron has been credentialed by most major news networks for Presidential debates and major Political Parties for political event coverage. Albert maintains relationships with the White House and State Department to provide direct reporting from the Administration’s Press team. Albert is the former Public Relations Chairman of the Columbia County Republican Party in Georgia. He is a former Delegate. Milliron is a veteran of the US Army Medical Department and worked for Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Psychiatry.

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