Back in the day, TTAG fought a vigorous battle to debunk the “gun show loophole.” You may recall that everyone from the President of the United States on down bandied that term about, claiming that 40 percent of all firearms sales “by-passed” Brady Law background checks. We argued – and continue to argue – that 100 percent of firearms sales should not involve local, state or federal government oversight, as per the “shall not be infringed” part of the United States Constitution. Anyway, gun rights advocates defeated the Manchin-Toomey bill which would have mandated so-called “universal background checks.” Colorado, however, went full-you-know-what and passed a state version of the reg. And now they’ve learned the truth about that bogus 40 percent figure . . .
A law expanding background check requirements on Colorado gun sales has been in effect for about a year, and an Associated Press analysis of state data compiled during that span shows the projected impact was vastly overstated in a key budget report . . .
Lawmakers drafting the background check requirement, aimed at keeping firearms away from those with a criminal history, relied on information from a non-partisan [my ass] research arm of the Legislature that predicted about 420,000 new reviews over the first two years. Accordingly, they budgeted about $3 million to the agency that conducts the checks to handle the anticipated surge of work.
But after a year of operating under the new system, Colorado Bureau of Investigations officials have performed only about 13,600 reviews considered a result of the new law — about 7 percent of the estimated first year total.
Thank you, AP, for pointing out that the 13.6k figure includes background checks for interstate sales – which were already covered by CO’s existing law. So the actual number of new checks is even lower. Even so, the 13.6k stat represets four percent of the 311,000 background checks performed during the first year of the expansion. This in a booming firearms market.
Now let’s drill down on that 40 percent number, shall we?
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.”
Ya think? Can the antis point to ONE gun control law that’s based on solid factual evidence? The ban on “high capacity” magazines? The ban on “assault weapons”? By the same token, can they provide any factual evidence that ONE gun control law lowered crime or suicide rates? The Brady Law?
Speaking of which, the Brady bunch don’t care. As always, when confronted with reality, the forces of civilian disarmament cower behind their ultimate “argument”: curtailing Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms is the right thing to do if it saves even one life. Theoretically.
Brian Malte, senior national policy director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said his group applauds Colorado for passing the law.
“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.”
As if the law blocks anyone dangerous from walking around with a gun. Still, result? The pro-gun folks have more facts to bring to bear in the next election – assuming facts help.