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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The 40% background check stat a sham

Words are important.

You may see a number of people (including the White House) stating that 40% of gun sales are done without a background check. That is not quite true. The number seems to come from a 20 year old study which was a phone survey to determine what and how people acquired their weapons. What it actually said was

About 60 percent of gun acquisitions involved federally licensed dealers [my emphasis]

“Acquisitions” not “Sales.” Why is this important? Because 29% of the acquisitions were gifts, inheritance, etc. Not sales.

Only 7% of total acquisitions were done mail order or at a gun show. Of those 7%, many were dealers (who do background checks) and some were not.

There is no giant sales loophole.

And all of this is inferred from the type of acquisition. They didn’t ask “when you got your gun, did you pass a background check?”

(for completeness there is some 4% “other store” category that for some reason doesn’t fit into the 60% they assume does background checks. I’m not sure how any store can legally sell a gun without being a licensed dealer who does background checks)

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