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After the Sandy Hook school shooting, the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex pushed for “universal background checks” (UBCs). The antis argued that Uncle Sam needed to make all gun sales and transfers subject to the FBI background check process because . . .

forty percent of all gun sales did NOT involve a background check. Millions of gun sales with no questions asked! At gun shows! Over the Internet! Criminals getting guns! Something must be done!

[NB: The Sandy Hook killer obtained his firearms by shooting his mother in the head — a woman whose gun purchases had been subjected to FBI background checks.]

The 40 percent stat — repeated ad nauseam during the federal “debate” over UBCs —  was based on a gun owners’ survey performed in 1994. It was misleading in the extreme. A fact that noted when Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe cited the stat in 2015 to justify UBCs in the Old Dominion.

Despite Politifact’s left-leaning anti-gun animus, they rated McAuliffe’s citation mostly false — given that the study data included firearms given as gifts or inheritances, not just those sold.

A brace of researchers researching the red herring recently repeated the research. The survey says . . .

Researchers Matthew Miller, Lisa Hepburn, and Deborah Azrael published a study in the January 2017 edition of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine that was specifically undertaken to update the 1994 data.

The researchers asked 1,613 adult gun owners where and when they acquired their last firearm, including whether it was purchased, and whether they had either a background check or were asked to show a firearm license or permit.

The answer: 22 percent obtained their gun without a background check. That’s barely half of the 40 percent figure that has gained wide currency for more than two decades.

The study doesn’t reveal how many of those 22 percent of non-NICS firearms transactions were gifts or inheritances, or how many were sold to relatives of friends of the original owner.

Anyway, ding-dong the wicked stat is dead! Even ignoring the low number of gun owners surveyed and the researchers own admission that there are “potential inaccuracies [in the study] due to recall and social desirability bias.” now rates the “40 percent of gun sales do not involve a background check” claim FALSE.

Of course, no mention is made by anyone involved that the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits any government background check for any firearms sale of transfer. True!

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  1. Zombies and ghouls are the walking dead, just like the progressive’s talking points. Irregardless of death, they tend to keep crawling back up out of the swamp to spread the toxin.

  2. Another stat: The number of people that thought the 40% figure was a good reason that UBCs should be performaned and will now change their minds once shown it’s only 22%: Zero.

    Wr’re dealing with the “If it only saves one life…” folks. If the number was 0.00001% they wouldn’t change their minds.


    • Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!! We have a winner!

      Gun grabbers have no regard for facts or data. All they care about is their altruistic vision of a non-violent world where firearms never threaten, injure, or kill anyone. That vision feels soooooooo good that gun grabbers give themselves over to the fantasy that such a world is actually achievable.

      Neither facts nor data will alter their altruistic world vision. Neither facts nor data will convince them to abandon their fantasy. Neither facts nor data will make them feel good about the reality of our world.

    • The reason UBCs are pushed has nothing to do with such ethereal concepts. There are a bunch of people who think they will survive a registry of all firearms in the US, and then will, finally, be really and truly in control of the ignorant peons, as they should be, by right of their superiority. THAT is what UBCs are about.

  3. I read the Politifact article.
    The new “study” relies on voluntary responses, a real red flag. There are many social and political reasons to lie on such surveys.
    Also the study made, evidently, no effort to determine if the transfers were between relatives, given as gifts, bought intrastate where federal law not only requires no NICS check, but provides no method of even doing one that I know of..
    This study offers only a talking point, no hard evidence.

  4. Bacog round checks unconstitutional? Truth status is undetermined. The 5th Amendment allows for the infringement of rights with due process of law. Current law prohibits convicted felons from buying or possessing firearms. How does a seller determine elegability?

    • CCW permit,valid current DL and bill of sale. That’s how I do it. I figure I’ve done my “part” to ensure public safety.

    • ” The 5th Amendment allows for the infringement of rights with due process of law. ”
      Define “due process of law.” Does it mean the law went through the normal “How a bill becomes law” process? If so, then no, that’s obviously wrong.
      IANAL, but I seem to see higher courts applying several tests, differing based on just what the law wants to limit.
      A law limiting driving speed will undergo far less scrutiny that a law limiting the right to vote. The latter had better have some serious reason for itself. Same for a law limiting 2A rights (at least in theory; in practice, not so much).

    • Just to be absolutely certain I just pulled out my copy of the Constitution and checked.

      The 5th Amendment states, “…nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law;”

      Nor does any other portion of that amendment say anything about depriving a person of any rights. It rather specifically talks about being a witness against himself, which it would seem filling out a background check could qualify.

      And I’m pretty sure that “due process of law” does not mean that Congress can pass a law giving the president the authority to infringe on Second Amendment protected rights and that would be covered under the Fifth Amendment.

      That would in fact be a novel legal argument, that one of the Bill of Rights amendments authorizes the government to infringe on another of the Bill of Rights amendments.

      SCOTUS be damned. They’re just men, partisan political men, and women, and they find what they want to find in every case. Keep in mind that four of the nine vehemently disagreed with Heller and wrote a long and scathing rebuttal to the decision that to many seems just as scholarly as the actual opinion, which was in itself flawed.

      The Second Amendment was intentionally written as an absolute and arbitrary prohibition against the government. It cannot stand otherwise. On the foundation of the First and Second Amendments all of our other freedoms rely and to chip away at this bulwark can only lead to the eventual toppling of the entire structure.

        • tdiinva,

          When government declares that EVERYONE must obtain government approval PRIOR to purchasing or making an item for ourselves, that is an infringement of our liberty to purchase or make stuff.

          The only way (consistent with the U.S. Constitution) that government can interfere with our liberty to purchase or make stuff is if government accuses us of a crime and obtains a guilty verdict from a jury of our peers — in a righteous trial of course. That is due process of law to deprive us of life, liberty, or property.

          Note that my answer above is tailored to the discussion of universal background checks. Due process of law also allows for arrest warrants and search warrants so long as the judge who reviews the case is not rubber stamping the associated warrant. Eminent domain is another process of law that also appears to involve depriving someone of their property — although it requires fair compensation which you could argue is not depriving someone of their property when government provides another equal property. And all of that has nothing to do with background checks.

    • “How does a seller determine eligibility?”

      Count the money. If you need more, reread 2A. You’re done.

  5. But, of course, this assumes that only guns are used to harm other people. No mention of matches, gasoline, screw drivers, hammers…. But the lives lost this way are of no interest to the gun grabbers.

    As someone said above. Stats are only used to confuse people. The goal is total CONTROL, which only starts with “gun control.” The end goal is big empty pits in the earth filled with dead bodies, starting with those who refuse to be controlled.

  6. You’d have to be crazy to sell a gun to an “Unknown”, unless you want to risk being sued or finding yourself in the national news spotlight after some mass shooting.

    Personally, I don’t care about UBCs, every one of the dozen or so guns I’ve bought over the last 30 years required a background check by the seller, even at gun shows.

    • “You’d have to be crazy to sell a gun to an “Unknown”, unless you want to risk being sued or finding yourself in the national news spotlight after some mass shooting”

      How in the WORLD do you imagine that anyone would know that I sold it to him? I mean, get serious, here. You are assuming that we ALREADY have a full-on firearm registry. A completely ridiculous post.

  7. Honestly…. if someone came to my door asking if I owned a gun, I would be on the phone with the cops. I don’t know who you are… why are you asking me that? Maybe they watch the house and wait for me to leave, then rob me… targeting my safe. Or think I don’t have any and try to rob me when I’m home.
    Nope. Police are called… at bare minimum escorted off my property.

    • Use to know of a guy years back, that would call the cops anytime somebody “strange” was spotted near his property. Girl Scouts, motorists broken down along the road and the dish network guy all made him very suspicious. One day when responding to a couple of “Mafiosos” that were “disguised” as Mormon missionaries, the cops discovered just what made this guy so paranoid. Out in his back shed was a hydroponic marijuana garden.

      • That degree of paranoia makes it sound like he was a tweaker, not a run-of-the-mill pothead.

      • Wow, that is more than garden variety paranoid, when you repeatedly call the police to the scene of your own blatant felonies.

  8. The average gun owner probably has a couple grand worth. Telling people they need a licenced broker if they want to liquidate is a nice turd to drop in tens of millions of laps. That’s what this is about.

  9. Looked at the survey. It’s has a number of issues.

    This was an online survey. The return rate is normally very low. Then you have to trust the memory of those responding. How was “don’t remember” counted? The 1997 survey that claimed “40%” was deeply flawed by this:
    ” 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.”
    Yes, a one percent return.

    The 1997 survey’s numbers were cooked:
    “concluded that 35.7 percent of respondents indicated they did not receive the gun from a licensed firearms dealer. Rounding up gets you to 40 percent, although the survey sample is so small it could also be rounded down to 30 percent.
    Moreover, when gifts, inheritances and prizes are added in, then the number shrinks to 26.4 percent. (The survey showed that nearly 23.8 percent of the people surveyed obtained their gun either as a gift or inherited it, and about half of them believed a licensed firearms dealer was the source.)”
    The 1997 survey could just as well claim 20% didn’t have the background check. That’s with rounding.

    Next, the survey focused on the “last gun.” No questions were asked about the origin of the last gun. As the 1997 survey found 23.8% of the guns were gifts or inherited. The new survey could be dropped 25%.
    That makes the 22% really 16.5%.

    Oddly, I seem to recall the “40%” claim was applied to gun shows. That only 40% of the vendors were FFL licensed. However, that ignores the vendors selling, books, jerky, food, parts, ammunition….

    • Icabod: 251/2,568 = 0.0977 That’s almost TEN percent, not one.

      If you’re going to argue numbers, get the math right. Otherwise, everything else you say is suspect. Right or wrong, most will tune you out.

  10. While gun shows are usually about used and collectables, why does a collector(especially one with a C&R license) need to go through that rigamorale? It is all about making them more expensive, not about safety. Of course, they don’t have a master file on everyone that bought a gun(with serial numbers) because they were told it was illegal to do so. Can you imagine the DOJ doing something illegal? (sarc)

    • “gun shows are usually about used and collectables”

      Who in the world told you that? Gun shows I went to, collectables were really hard to find, used came in and went out at close to the same rate, and everything from knives to holsters and gun purses were there by the thousands. New guns of every description were there in large number, and large number of sellers.

  11. Statistically speaking, don’t a certain number of people die during a given number of days(like a waiting period)?

  12. Okay, great. It’s labelled false. After how long in the news cycle as being “true”? This isn’t a victory. This is the standard leftist media modus operandai– Claim falsehood for the sake of first impression headline grabbing and retract quietly later. Meanwhile, you got what you wanted out of the lie– Shock and outrage.

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