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Raven semi-automatic pistol (courtesy

The antis want “universal background checks.” They want the government to run a federal background check on all firearms transactions including gun show sales, private sales and transfers to friends or family members.

Why? To create federal control oversight of all firearms transactions, ostensibly to reduce the number of felons purchasing guns (illegal sales notwithstanding). Is there any evidence to suggest that this would reduce firearms-related crime? Only as much evidence as there is to suggest that limiting ammunition magazine capacity to 10 rounds would reduce firearms-related crime (i.e. none).

To support their UBC campaign, the antis repeat this stat: 40 percent of all firearms transactions do not involve a background check. The Reno Gazette-Journal gives the 40 percent stat a thorough debunking . . .

• 40 percent: The press release’s source for the claim about 40 percent of gun sales not going through a licensed dealer is a factsheet put out by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The five-page document has 23 footnotes for citations supporting various claims — but not for this statement: “Requiring a background check for every gun sale will simply expand the existing system to cover the estimated 40% of gun transfers that occur between ‘private’ parties.”

Fortunately, the source for the 40-percent claim is widely known. It comes from a 1997 National Justice Institute report.

It was based on a phone survey in 1994 where 251 people who’d bought a gun in the previous two years were asked if they got it from a licensed dealer, who would’ve been required to run a background check.

The survey found that 64.3 percent thought they got their gun from a licensed dealer, and the study’s authors assumed the remaining 35.7 percent did not. Somehow this was rounded up to 40 percent.

In 2012, asked one of the study’s authors — Philip Cook of Duke University — if he thought the stats were still good. He replied:

“The answer is I have no idea. This survey was done almost 20 years ago. … It’s clear there are a lot of transactions that are not through dealers. How many, we’re not really clear on it. … We would say it’s a very old number.”

The other author of the study — Jens Ludwig at the University of Chicago — was asked by the Washington Post last year to re-examine the survey’s data.

He found, the Post reported, that “gun purchases without background checks amounted to 14 to 22 percent” of total sales.

Thank you Reno Gazetta-Journal. I would also like to point out that there’s no reliable data on the number of felons who purchase guns within this “guns purchased outside licensed gun dealers” subset.

In other words, the telephone interviewers didn’t ask any of the 251 respondents if they were felons – not that it would have done any good. The only evidence we have of where criminals get their guns comes from a 1997 Department of Justice survey of 18k convicts. Here’s the summary via

A 1997 Justice Department survey of more than 18,000 state and federal convicts revealed the truth:

• 39.6% of criminals obtained a gun from a friend or family member
• 39.2% of criminals obtained a gun on the street or from an illegal source
• 0.7% of criminals purchased a gun at a gun show
• 1% of criminals purchased a gun at a flea market
• 3.8% of criminals purchased a gun from a pawn shop
• 8.3% of criminals actually bought their guns from retail outlets

Note that less than 9 percent of all guns obtained by criminals in this survey came from retail outlets, hardly “a lot” compared to the almost 40 percent of convicts who obtained guns from friends or family or the almost 40 percent who obtained them illegally on the street. The gun-show loophole? Less than 1 percent of criminal guns came from gun shows. Nothing there, either.

The survey data were analyzed and released in 2001 then revised in 2002, but while the eye-opening details are more than 10 years old it’s hard to believe criminal responses have changed much over the last decade.

One interesting “problem”: if friends and family provided criminals with guns, where did they get them? How many of those guns were purchased at gun stores, as so-called “straw purchases” (i.e. buying a gun for a prohibited person)? Even if it’s half, what does that tell you?

That the gun store background check system doesn’t work. I would say it can’t work. In any case, if the existing background check system doesn’t work, why expand it? Why not kill it altogether? It’s hugely expensive, practically ineffective and thoroughly unconstitutional. Besides, more guns, less crime – with plenty of stats to back that up.

Anyway, the 40 percent stat is a lie. Wherever you see it, it’s liars lying. Period.

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  1. Clearly, we need to expand our background check system and add friends and family members of convicts to the list of prohibited people. Only then will the blood stop running in our streets!


    • You’re joking, but if someone in your home becomes a felon, either your guns have to leave, or they do, because they can’t be in the same home anymore. At least in some jurisdictions.

    • If you wish to be serious about violent crime prevention, focus on the small violent felon population that gets light jail sentences over and over. Harrassing the responsible gun owners won’t “save a single child’s life.”

  2. Times are changing.
    This is why I always say cite your facts. Anyone can make up some BS statistic and if people like what it says enough, they will use it. Remember the MDA blood cries that there were 74 school shootings? And that they included any time they found a news article that stated a gunshot was audible from the school?

    My HS is near a shooting range. According to them, my school gets shot up every day of the week.

  3. Since 01 July 2013, Colorado has required a background check on all firearm transfers, with a few exceptions (e.g. for transfers between immediate family members). When the new legislation was debated, the 40% number was thrown around.

    In the first year of the new requirements, less than 4.4% of all background checks were for transfers between private parties. And, that 4.4% number includes interstate transfers – which already required a background check.

    In total, there were about 311,000 background checks done during the first year of the expansion in Colorado, meaning the 13,600 checks between private sellers made up about 4 percent of the state total.

    Further, the private review figure includes the number of checks done at gun shows, which have been required for years in Colorado. The law also requires checks for online sales, which is new for transactions within Colorado. But such vetting was already required on interstate sales. Still, interstate activity is tallied in the private background check total.

    • This 4.4% would seem to be the best counter to the 40% claim. It’s fresh data and it’s easy to understand that Colorado added that new requirement and it amounted to a lousy 4%. Of coarse the gun-grabber response will be “OK, well 4% is better than 0%” and then you are left with talking about liberty which the Left does not give a flip about. I guess the other point to make is that the state is paying a crap load of money to sweep up that 4% which will most likely be meaningless because people going through the process ain’t the problem.

      • That and 104 rejections, 93.8% of which are FLASE POSITIVES means only 6.448 bad guys were affected, and the fact that only 26.8% of all violent crimes involve a firearm as there is no guarantee the bad guy was intending ti use the gun in a crime, or the 85% of times a gun is used no shots are fire, or the 15% of times a shot is fired it hits the target, it will probably be over 13 years at $2 million extra per year in Colorado alone before 1 whole personal injury is prevented if one goes by the numbers and math!

        Combined with the existing background checks, if UBC done nationwide, the tax payers are paying over $430 mil a year to prevent maybe 3 injuries per year, WOW!

  4. Come on people, are you all so paranoid that you believe that Big Brother is going to come to your home and take your guns away? Frankly it should be like selling your car, sign the pink slip over and your done. Leave it up to the next guy to regester it.

      • Uh so what is it that you are doing when you go to the DMV? Next lie from you? Don’t even tell me that you drive around with an unregestered car.

        • You are not legally required to register a car, have insurance or even a license in order to purchase a vehicle. You do need those things to operate one on public roads however.

        • Yep your are one of them. Sound like my boss he says the same BS all the time then like every good citizen goes down and regesters his vehicles and makes sure the insurance is paid up.

        • Was at my nephews ranch two weeks ago. Doing a bit of sight seeing and hunting.
          We drove his unregistered, unlicensed, and uninsured truck.
          No laws were broken and no one died.

        • Actually worked on the Black Ranch. So I know about how a truck can spend its entire life without ever seeing a tag. But tell me, how did you get to your nephews ranch? Did you hitch hike or bum a ride from your nephew? Maybe you took public transportation. Sticking your head in the sand and saying, “This is the real world.” isn’t going to protect our gun rights. Now that everyone has effectively nay said me. What answers to you have? What suggestions do you proffer that will save our future generation from having their gun rights taken away? And the way it looks right now I expect that by 2050 it is very likely that the US will have followed the rest in disarming their citizens. Most old time gun owners accept this as fact, and say “Yep it but I won’t live to see it.”

        • Try taking it off the farm. Do you live on a farm? Also, Farmer Brown has to register his vehicle to get into town or to legally drive it off property. Farmer brown needs to have a title to sell his vehicles or to junk them out to a junk yard. Anyone that buys from Farmer Brown has to register that vehicle unless he happened to own a farm of his own. Then he will have to have a registered vehicle that can transport those vehicles for him. Yes Farmer Brown doesn’t need to register his vehicles if he doesn’t leave the property with it. I suppose you could use the same logic for a firearm. Just don’t ever take it off property.

        • I do. Unfortunately it won’t pass emissions. Gotta’ sell it. And thousands of illegal aliens drive illegally, have no insurance and LIVE here illegally.

      • He didn’t say register; he said regester. which may be derived from Latin, meaning to carry or to bear. So you see: it makes perfect sense: to regester can mean to carry again or to bear again.

        • Well. That makes all the difference then. There is no way I could carry that truck. It is pretty bare, not having doors and all.

    • Big Brother already has. NY City in 1991. NY City banned “assault” weapons and some shotguns. Dinkins used the gun registration and background check lists to send letters to people that they had 30 days to comply or get a visit from police. Some didn’t comply and were raided by the cities storm troopers. You were saying……?

    • Do you mean like what happened in New Orleans? Colonial America during the lead up to the revolution? Australia? Or a myriad of other countries that took the plunge toward disarming its citizenry? Is it paranoia to think that the US is not somehow different? Is it paranoia to believe it possible to lose the rights people died to attain and keep these last two centuries if we do not do something?

      • Is it paranoid to believe that gun owners are their own worst enemy? Is it paranoid to believe that legal gun owners are selling guns to people who will commit crimes or even murder. Like the guy in Riverside, who sold his gun in a yard sale. Two days later the guy that bought the gun robbed him with it. This is the kind of crap that is going to cost us our gun rights. Frankly I am getting a bit sick of gun owners laying awake at night thinking up stupid crap that will ultimately get my gun rights taken away. All they while they will be screaming at the top of their lungs. “THEY ARE MY RIGHTS.” We provide no gun awareness to the public, we offer no safety programs, we do not speak out about how to properly handling of a firearm. We sell to anyone at anytime without thinking about where that firearm will go. Then say “It isn’t my responsibility.” Well guess what, if you want to keep your gun rights you are going to have to make it your responsibility. This isn’t Australia, Germany, or England. But we can make it that way if we don’t stop acting so frickin stupid.

        • What do you mean we don’t offer any safety programs? There are plenty out there and they advertise. The one thing they don’t do is go door to door spreading safety, you have to go to them like any other normal business or program. Now for media campaigns in old media, they will not air anything gun related even if it has to do with safety, because guns. That’s not our fault that they won’t accept responsible ownership media campaigns.

        • Plenty of programs really? I just stuck my head out the window and listened for all the concerned gun owners pulling together to reach out to the community and all I heard was the sound of crickets. The only crap I get is from the NRA. I don’t see bill boards, or advertisements for gun safety programs, there are no public campaigns. And don’t give me that crap they won’t let you. Under the fair act law they can’t deny you air time. No one is reaching out to the community except for a bunch of hip strapers waking into a Starbucks to get coffee and I am sure that really calms and fills the public with confidence. Most gun owners are rational citizens but right now only one side of this story is being told. And what the public is seeing is a bunch of morons standing around looking like a casting crew for a remake of Tommy Boy. We have kids handling guns that don’t know one end of a firearm from the other who could use solid instruction in firearm handling. We need people that can dispel the myths an give the facts. Not a bunch of gun owners thrashing around on the internet telling each other what we already know. You people need to look around! Right now the media and many political machines have us painted like a bunch of wild eyed radicals who are one step away from armed insurrection. And you answer? Well, I suppose you don’t really have one; do you? They are our guns, so unless we come up with the answers, someone else will and you are not going to like their answer. So wake the hell up. That light at the end of the tunnel is not the exit it is a political and social steam train and it is headed right for us. I like my guns, and frankly I would like to keep them. So as the one man said, “With friends like me, who needs enemies?” If all you people are going to do is act as if you can’t have your second amendment rights taken away then you are sadly mistaken.

        • I’ll put in my two bucks if you will. I already donate my time to the gun range, and have pushed to get more gun owners involved in the community. And not just providing gun safety but big brother and school outreach programs. Everything I do is not worth much if it is just me and the few gun owners I can get involved in the community. This is a fire that always seems like it is on the verge of going out especially when other gun owners have the attitude you have. Sounds to me like you are more interested in winning an argument than actually doing something constructive. So if you are willing to put up your bucks I’ll match you dollar for dollar. Or are you just talk? If you want your Second Amendment rights then it is going to take more than tough talk and a spit on the pavement to keep them. It means you are going to have to work for them, because as you have probably heard ‘Freedom isn’t free.” If you are expecting someone else to do it for you then kiss your rights good bye

        • Sounds to me like you are more interested in winning an argument than actually doing something constructive. So if you are willing to put up your bucks I’ll match you dollar for dollar. Or are you just talk?

          Currently and for the foreseeable future, my efforts are occupied teaching my daughters the respect and responsibility to exercise their rights, including safe gun handling. I’ll keep my own counsel regarding what I do or don’t need to do to further gun rights in general. I’m not the one admonishing others for not spending money on a PR campaign.

          I’m an NRA member. I’m a USCCA member. I’ll likely soon be a contributing member of SAF. But I reject your assertion that any of that – or more – is necessary in order for anyone to claim that they’re “doing their part” to ensure the preservation of our rights as protected by the second amendment.

          I “do something constructive” every day that I carry concealed as a matter of habit, and join the ranks of 11 million other law-abiding citizens who lawfully exercise their rights by carrying in public.

        • Okay fine, but when it comes to an end, don’t ever say I didn’t say, “I told you so.” I am going to end this conversation becasue it is obvious that you aren’t getting it.

        • Who are these “we” you keep talking about? You’re obviously not one of us, and don’t speak for us.

          We provide no gun awareness to the public…

          Not sure what you’re wanting here. Concealed carriers… carry concealed. Open carriers sometimes try to have walks and demonstrations to promote awareness, and get attacked from all sides.

          …we offer no safety programs…

          I guess you’ve never heard of the NRA? IDPA? USPSA?

          …we do not speak out about how to properly handling of a firearm…

          (See above.)

          …We sell to anyone at anytime without thinking about where that firearm will go. Then say “It isn’t my responsibility.”

          Welcome to a free society. Selling a firearm to another person is a legal activity. What someone else does with something purchased is the responsibility of the buyer. Car dealers and bars aren’t responsible for drunk drivers. Neither are gun sellers responsible for those who commit gun crimes.

          Well guess what, if you want to keep your gun rights you are going to have to make it your responsibility.

          No, we keep our gun rights, because they are rights. We keep government from infringing them by keeping vigilant against both the Bloomberg types and the concern-troll types like you.

        • I’ll call you on that, ask a non gun owner if they have heard of the NRA? IDPA? or the USPSA? They may have heard of the NRA but then ask them if they have ever heard of any of these organizations offering a gun safety program. Point out the bill boards or the campaign adds or commercasl on television that offers gun safety. But to the general public there isn’t squat. If you think otherwise then you are poorly informed and even more mistaken. You aren’t keeping anything safe, your vigilance is one of ignorance of the general public one that verges on stupidity. Public opinion is rising up against gun owners, and when it reaches the boiling point, (okay since you don’t want me to say “we” I’ll use the term “Your” ) Second Amendment rights can be repealed. Your so called vigilance is going to cause my gun rights to go away like snow on a hot day. Ignorance of the general population is a sure recipe for failure. You can not ignore the public or public opinion and expect to keep your gun rights. And believe me, the other side of this particular coin is doing everything and then some to take those rights away. You better be doing something other than standing on the Second Amendment. Yes sir I am a troll, one that will challenge you and your myopic views. I will fight to keep my firearms, and if that means you have to lose yours for me to keep mine well guess what?

        • I will fight to keep my firearms, and if that means you have to lose yours for me to keep mine well guess what?

          This statement tells me everything I need to know about you. You don’t care about rights, or else you have no clue what rights mean. You consider yourself part of the Enlightened class, and as such you are entitled to your rights, at the expense of anyone else’s rights.

          You think you need to take away my guns in order to keep yours?

          Molon Labe.

        • I don’t consider myself anything. All I know for sure is that the attitude of eat dung and die from the gun community as a whole sucks. So don’t think of painting me into that corner because I’ll be quite happy to walk across your paint job and tell you just where to put it. Now if it comes to who cares about gun rights then I’ll be more than happy to say that I am trying and more than willing to explore other avenues and possibilities. The dialog must go in both directions so that we can reach a workable agreement. Or we will lose our rights. Rather than be someone that does not or will not recognize how close we are to losing our rights and will not or can not provide something other than “Don’t like it tough.” Frankly I don’t see how we can keep from losing our rights, especially with the stone wall of defiance and inflexibility by gun owners. Annalist have stated that at the rate it is going right now we will lose our second amendment rights by the year 2050. Frankly I expect it will happen a lot sooner. It is just a matter of time until enough tragic events happen and then public opinion will finally give the politicians what they want. Second Amendment or not, it can be repealed. You can repeat the old saying. “They can have my guns when they take them from my cold dead hands.” well, when they outlaw guns they will ask for them first, but if that doesn’t work they’ll take them from your cold dead hands. All that tough talk won’t mean squat. Because at that point guns will be illegal and you will be considered a criminal and you will be treated as such.

        • The problem with your line of thinking, that of appeasement and “go along to get along,” is that those who seek to control your guns (and ultimately you) will always be back for more. Historically that has proven to be true time and again. You say that taking a hardline stance will be the death of our rights, but I say that death will come from the creeping incrementalism that is fostered by attitudes such as yours.

          As the famous (in these parts) cartoon says, if you give someone a bite of your cake everything they ask — after all you’ve got a whole cake, so what’s one bite? — very soon you will find they have a full belly, and you have no cake left.

        • “We provide no gun awareness to the public, we offer no safety programs, we do not speak out about how to properly handling of a firearm.”

          Really? The NRA is still, I think, the biggest gun safety training org in the world. NSSF does has handed out thousands of free cable locks with safety literature. Gun groups are doing far more for safety than any of the “gun sense” orgs. They NEVER talk about how to safely handle or store firearms.
          The rate of unintentional shootings has significantly decreased, with zero help from the “gun
          sense” people. So have have the murder and violent crime rates.

    • If you’re not driving the car on public roads then no license, registration or insurance is required. Nothing, Zilch, Zero, Nadda.

      Do you think race cars driven only on private tracks are registered with the government?

      Why do guns – that are never carried in public either – have to be registered with the government?

      • What? Do you live on a ranch? Do you only have a gun at your home that never leaves the property? Do you never take it into the public? I don’t even see how that is possible unless you live on a 100 section ranch where you can do things like that, and even old Farmer Brown has to register the vehicle he take into town once a month to load up on groceries. What kind of Juvenile false logic is this anyway? Farmer brown doesn’t have to register his truck. However, the rest of the population in the US has too. And when farmer brown does sell his vehicles he has to have the title to show transfer of property, even to junk it out he has to have the title for it or provide a bill of sale.

        • I am not going away, I am not shutting up or bowing out. I am a gun owner, I like my guns and I want to keep them. If that means I have to wear a troll badge and piss off people for speaking my mind then so be it. Some people need to be aware that if I have to choose between me losing my guns and you losing yours well guess what. So I’ll stay around and try to talk sense. But in the end if it comes down to a vote I am going to vote for what I think is best for the community as a whole not what is best for unbending unreasonable gun nuts. One thing I will agree with. This is not Australia or England you are not going to get the same results as in those countries, and anyone that believes otherwise does not know or understand the history of this nation or the civil unrest that will ensue once firearms are banned. People just think they know what gun violence is. And frankly, I would really like for that not to happen if I could help it.

        • So I’ll stay around and try to talk sense. But in the end if it comes down to a vote I am going to vote for what I think is best for the community as a whole not what is best for unbending unreasonable gun nuts.

          You just can’t help but show your true colors, can you?

          If you try hard enough, you think you just might be able to convince us to agree to some common sense gun laws?

        • You can’t have common sense gun laws if common sense is not being applied. At this point I don’t see a lot of people from either side of the debate providing anything like common sense. And yes there are gun nuts and yes they do gun owners more harm than good. There are also anti gun nuts, who are just as goofy and unreasonable as the gun nuts are, but for some reason no one seems to notice or care about them.

        • @Thomas Reed — The only “common sense” gun laws are no gun laws, quite frankly. There is no “common sense” in attacking an inanimate object, and then demonizing all those who have them and are intent on having them — and that is the absolutely only thing that concern trolls like you (MDA/ETFGS/CSGV/etc.) do. Not any single solitary one of the “solutions” proffered by gun control zealots even passes any “common sense” test, hence there isn’t any valid empirical research out there that supports their dystopian fever dream. “Common sense” dictates that gun control doesn’t work in the first place, and thus “common sense” cannot be applied to it.

        • Do you only have a gun at your home that never leaves the property? Do you never take it into the public? I don’t even see how that is possible unless you live on a 100 section ranch where you can do things like that

          One does not need to live on a 100 section (100 square miles) ranch to have and use a gun that never leaves their property. Several of my guns have never left my little 5 acre place (zoned residential) – I’ve used them solely for target shooting in my back yard, safely and legally.

    • They said the same thing to the Jews in the 1930s, as I recall. Ask them how it turned out. They said the same things to the Japanese Americans in the 1940s. ask them how it turned out. They said the same thing to the African Americans in the Jim Crow south of the 50s and 60s. ask them how it turned out. Any time the government wants to know about what I own, it’s because they want to control it. Any time they want to control it it is because they want to take it away. And anyone who wants to render you an unarmed helpless victim and a subject instead of a law abiding citizen does NOT have your interests at heart.

      • We are not Germany, nor is it Australia or England. For that reason we will not let go of our guns easily. We are a nation of law abiding citizens but we are also very independent, which is different than England or Australia that follow blindly behind their government. We question our governments motives and constantly balk them. Other countries may complain about their governments they will follow their governments proclamations without question. Where the Jews would put up with goons we will not. Where the Australians meekly handed over their guns we will not. Where England has had sway over the actions and thoughts of their peoples for hundreds of years ours has not. We are not Germany, or Australia, or England we are unique unto ourselves. Frankly gun owners need to grow a back bone instead of hiding their heads in the sand or pointing out how other nations have failed their peoples.

        • What you vehemently refuse to see is that confiscation can and already has happened here. As a matter of fact, it’s happening now in states like Kommieornia, Zoo York, and Maryland as we speak. Legislators in Screw-You Jersey were caught advocating for confiscation over an open mic. There are also talks about confiscation in Disconnectedcut, and a police officer there was recently fired for telling his long-time “friend” than, and I quote, “I would give my left nut to kick down your door and take your guns”.

          History, therefore, conclusively proves the old rule: registration leads to confiscation. Period.

          If anybody needs to grow a backbone here, it’d be you, and to do it in order to resist the incessant breathless rants of your fellow concern trolls and tell them to shove it.

    • That’s foolish. Check the law in your own state, but I’ve no reason to expect Texas is much different in this regard from just about anywhere else. In Texas, you have thirty days from the date of sale to file a Vehicle Transfer Notification with the state DMV.

      Very few people in private party sales actually do this. Quite a few people who don’t, however, learn the hard way why they should have. Beyond that thirty day period, if the new owner hasn’t yet registered their vehicle in their own name, then YOU are responsible for parking tickets, toll road fees and fines, and other fees, in addition to being the first person the cops will talk to if the vehicle is used in a crime.

      I always download the form from the DMV’s website and complete it at the point of sale, including having the new owner sign where indicated, and advise them that I’m mailing it in that day. Never had a problem.

    • Go away little angry troll. You’re not getting any money for us to cross the bridge… you’ll have to go and suckle on Nanny Bloomberg’s teets if its only “Your Kind” of “Gun-Sense” that will appease you.

      Maybe Nanny Bloomberg will let you serve him in his ivory tower where the pair of you can trample everyone else’s rights while crafting exemptions for yourselves.

    • Given the past history of firearms registrations throughout the world, I am NOT willing to give our government the opportunity to act upon it.

  5. The antii gun side will never stop using out dated nonsense to portray todays numbers.
    If they did they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. Well they don’t anyway as is.
    Using old outdated debunked factoids just helps them with non educated people.
    Which are most Americans and it sounds good to them.
    Feed folks facts and they seem to pay no attention.
    If it weren’t for uninformed voters, again the majority of Americans.
    They wouldn’t have a crowd to play to.
    As is they are just singing to the choir. Over and over.
    As we are here, to each other on a daily basis.

    Me personally.
    I have been involved in the informational education of folks and guns since the 1986 elections.
    I have tried and maybe converted a few here and there.
    But for the most part.
    Folks believe what they hear and see on the News. Unfortunately that just contributes to their current state of idiocy, Back in 92 I had to convince my own father a well educated man that a semi auto wasn’t a machine gun.
    He still wanted to ban guns.
    People are just as vapid today as they were 25 years ago.
    So just keep feeding them 20 year old factoids and keep the masses happy and stupid.

  6. Another important question that needs to be asked is how many of the criminals who purchased their guns were criminals BEFORE they made the purchase? Or, were only criminals who could not legally purchase a gun polled? Just asking ….

    • I had the same thought … how many of those convicted criminals purchased their firearms legally before their first felony conviction?

  7. Reno is a horrible place. The UK has many horrible areas. California has many horrible areas. New York City is a horrible place. Hmm anybody see a trend? When a place gets to be saturated in crime they seam to like to point that finger somewhere else… “No we didn’t do anything wrong and our home is perfect because we hate scary guns mmm kay.”

  8. If background checks really mattered, any private seller would be able to run a background check by making the same call that an FFL makes to NICS. The only reason why private sellers are denied access to NICS is the 4473, America’s backdoor gun registry.

    It’s about the 4473. Now and always. The background check is just a pretext.

    • Exactly. If this was such a good idea, make it a free service available to everyone. I would gladly use it every time I made a private sale.

    • Actually, Ralph, in the run-up to the passing of the Brady law, the FBI expressed concern that the background check system would be misused by people for purposes other than checking gun buyers. Examples given were fathers checking-up on their daughter’s new boyfriend, employers looking into the past of their employees, and single adults looking for criminal backgrounds of dating partners. Accepting calls from a dealer with a current FFL number, and requiring them to enter the info on a completed 4473 (which is kept on file forever) was one of the only systems they could come up that might prevent widespread misuse of the system.

      Heck, the system can’t keep up with the gun buyers alone on some days; hard to say they didn’t have a valid point (at least this one time; blind pigs and truffles, etc.).

      • I do not see a problem with making it public, so that anyone can check on anyone. As part of that, make sure there is a clear, transparent, and relatively cheap way to challenge for people who are in the system without reason.

        In that way, everyone wins. Better yet, simply do away with the whole thing. We had crime rates as low as they are without GCA 1968 and without background checks.

  9. There’s another reason the anti-gun folks want “universal background checks”…. Look at Colorado. It was an opportunity to impose a “fee” (another name for “tax”) on each transfer. They claimed the fee was to compensate Colorado Bureau of Investigation for the expense of the background check – but it was a tax.

    Currently, it seems they’ve stopped charging the fee, but the legislature keeps trying to implement it again.

    Regardless, they force all transfers to go through a dealer – who has to charge a separate fee for his time.

  10. It doesn’t matter if every libtard in the country wants additional INFIRNGEMENTS on the 2nd. All existing laws and any future laws are unconstitutional at inception. You want reduced crime bring back public hanging, 3 strikes should mean you go away forever and if they hurt someone in the commission of these 3 strikes you hang. I am sick and tired of the good citizens paying for the crimes of the few. You keep pushing to infringe on the God given right to protect ones self and you will pay the ultimate price… what happened to King George and his tyrants.

  11. “That the gun store background check system doesn’t work. I would say it can’t work. In any case, if the existing background check system doesn’t work, why expand it? Why not kill it altogether?”

    I think this really misses the point. Regardless of politics, I think most people would agree that we would rather not have convicted felons (lets leave aside drug possession and other tough-on-crime bs for the time being) simply be able to walk into a store and purchase whatever they want. While the background check system is obviously very porous, it does one thing very well: protect gun dealers from lawsuits. Lets imagine a situation where all background checks are done away with. That would mean that in theory, anybody who walks in the door with cash gets a gun. The trouble is that as soon as some killer walks away with some guns and uses them to go on a killing spree, I can guarantee you that some strip-mall lawyer is going to convince the victims’ families to go after the gun store. Even if they don’t prove their case, it won’t matter because the store may not have the means to defend themselves. Right now, it’s a simple case of, “I sold them a gun because they passed the background check.” Without that, the dealer may be put in a position of making the decision to sell or not, because by and large they have no desire to sell guns to murderers or gangs any more than we want them to. That opens the door to discrimination lawsuits, negligence suits, and just generally puts them in a very sticky legal and ethical situation. Expanded checks don’t make sense, and the existing system may not do what it is ostensibly designed to do, but I do not know that gun stores could survive within the current legal system without it.

    • John Lott has made the case that when the data is examined, the number of felons stopped by BGC’s is far, far less than the number of false positives…good guys getting blocked for whatever reason, then having to work to get it cleared up.

      The system is very, very flawed. Don’t buy into the notion that felons are being stopped from getting guns by the BGC’s en masse. Not happening.

      Here are his words in an interview in 2013:

      ” … this claim that you have about two million times where dangerous people have been prevented from buying guns because of background checks which is essentially a claim that the President has been repeating over and over again. And, it’s simply, simply false.

      And, the reason why it’s false is the right terminology is to say two million initial denials. But, there is a huge difference between initial denials and saying that you’ve stopped dangerous people from getting guns. And, I suppose the easiest example just to illustrate this is the late Senator Ted Kennedy from Massachusetts. There were five times he was on the no-fly list – five times that he was was initially denied being able to go and fly on a plane. He later flew. He was just temporarily delayed from doing so. And, he simply had a name that was similar to someone who they really did want to stop. But no one, I assume the President wouldn’t go and say that those were five times we should count a terrorist who we stopped from flying on a plane. It was simply a mistake by the background check system.

      And that’s – when you look at those two million initial denials, they were virtually all mistakes. Conservatively, you’re talking about at least 95% of those initial denials are mistakes. It’s probably over 99%. It’s just that you can’t figure out the exact number because of some of the vagueness in the annual reports that the government puts out on the NICS system.

      And, here’s the problem. And that is while it’s true for the vast majority of those almost two million people who should have gotten a gun but were stopped from doing so for months, it’s probably just an inconvenience. But, when you’re talking about such a large number, you’re going to be dealing with a small but significant number of people who really need to get a gun quickly for self defense and are being stopped from doing so. And, there’s a real safety issue there.

      And, it’s not just the two million who are delayed for months, there’s another twelve million that are delayed for several days. You know, their checks aren’t instant. The vast majority of those take a full three days to complete. But, even a short, three day waiting period in a small number of cases can make the difference between whether or not somebody is going to be able to quickly defend themselves. If a woman’s being stalked or threatened, she may not have a few days. She may not have months to go and get a gun for protection.

      And, the problem with this debate is that people list out the possible benefits of background checks, so they really never seem to go out and check to see how it actually works. Because I think if they actually looked at the academic literature, they’d see that no one finds that there’re benefits from reduced crime – in terms of criminologist or economist have looked at it. And, if you actually look at the cases that they prosecute, they’re almost zero. In 2010, there was 76,000 initial denials. The government brought prosecution against 44 and won convictions in 13 of the 76,000 cases. That’s not 13,000; that’s not 1300. That’s 13 out of 76,000 initial denials.

      And, I think when you look at the numbers, because the ultimate bottom line is how many criminals are we stopping versus how many law abiding citizens who should have been able to get a gun quickly for self defense and may have needed to get a gun quickly for self defense are we stopping. And, unfortunately, I think the numbers are fairly lopsided. By far, we’re massively preventing law abiding citizens who need to get a gun quickly for self defense, not criminals.”

      –John Lott
      (emphasis added)

      Full interview here:

    • Yes. But no. If there is no background check, meaning no paper-trail…. what firearm? I don’t know who that individual is and I have never seen them before in my life. Next case your Honor….

  12. The last 6-7 gun shows I have been to only private sales were ATFE agents trying to get straw sales or knives. I knew the agents personally can guarantee they work for the 2nd most screwed up government agency.

  13. No gun show loophole in Illinois. No private sales without a check. And it’s not working out too well in Chicagoland. I’ve sold a gun to my own brother. Now I would have to use a background check. NOTHING has changed. Except the a###oles passing idiotic laws…

  14. “including sales online”

    Why do we not challenge this line of B.S.??? A non-licensed individual CANNOT legally order a firearm off the internet and have it dropped on their doorstep by UPS. I such a case, the firearm goes to a FFL and the individual receives the transfer through the normal, end process of a background check & Form 4473.

    • Technically, Federal law and most state laws do not require a private-party gun sale/transfer go through a FFL/dealer, as long as both the buyer and seller are residents of the same state. Think of it as buying from a classified ad, but the ad was online instead of in the local newspaper. Anti-gun groups love to confuse this issue with the much more widespread issue of online purchases from a person or dealer in another state, which DOES require a licensed dealer to record the transfer, at least on the receiving end.

      • True about the “same state” example, but a non-FFL still cannot ship a firearm to a non-FFL. My point is that the antis make it sound like you can just go to any dealer’s website across the country and order any firearm to be shipped directly to your front doorstep without any background check or paperwork (i.e. Form 4473 & FFL transfer).

        • My point is that the antis make it sound like you can just go to any dealer’s website across the country….

          Yes they are purposely misleading. That’s what the Left does. Truth is not a value of the Left.

          Now you know your enemy better.

    • Truly, online gun sales. A little 22 rimfire rifle gets shipped to a licensed gun dealer and he processes paperwork. How even the libs can accept this line of bull goes to their credibility.

  15. CA requires ubc’s. All deals are required to go thru a dealer. All firearms are required to be registered.

    It’s so safe in CA I have no need to carry a gun on the street. Or so I’ve been told. Might start sleeping with my doors unlocked. 🙂

  16. Make universal background checks law – and criminals will still get guns – only the guns that are confiscated from them will have the serial numbers ground off. The action the anti’s, politicians, and “let’s do something” activists are trying to accomplish will not work by this means. They need to stop chasing the guns and start chasing the criminals. It starts by not being lazy LEO’s who simply just want to look up a number on a gun they found. The same for politicians. They are so disconnected from reality they couldn’t pinpoint the problem if they wanted to, and not only that – most don’t want to pinpoint the problem – they want to take your rights away. That is why bloomberg gets to walk around in NYC with 25 armed guards – but the impoverished shopkeeper can’t even defend his life from intruders.

  17. The problem here is all or nothing thinking, which is a logical fallacy. Some pro-gun people want universal background checks, too. I’m one of them. I want universal background checks for every firearm. But I also want to do away with the NFA and let people own more types of guns. I also want to do away with the $200 tax stamp.

    So before you paint everyone with the large, illogical all-or-nothing brush, maybe think before you speak.

    Next you’ll be telling me all Democrats hate guns. I know of two that own several guns and are all for gun ownership.

    By the way, I don’t care about follow-up comments. I don’t put a check in that box because of the rude and childish comments that often come as a result of people, illogically, thinking I’m anti-gun.

    • “I want universal background checks for every firearm.”

      Why? What do you think that will accomplish?

      Oh, I see:

      “By the way, I don’t care about follow-up comments. I don’t put a check in that box because of the rude and childish comments that often come as a result of people, illogically, thinking I’m anti-gun.”

      It’s not illogical at all, really. You offer a comment stating that you support a very anti-gun practice, then propose to shut down discussion of your comment in a manner that is exactly that used by anti-gun people on their sites.

      Sorry, man. This comment is neither rude nor childish and I don’t buy you are not anti-gun for one single minute.

      I’m willing to have my mind changed, though. Read the John Lott quote above in this comment,

      then explain to me your reasoning for how UBC’s are NOT anti-gun.

    • Fascinating. You’re just like Shannon (with your no comments allowed comment). So, you want UBCs. Have you read the studies on the effectiveness of UBCs and the ones that also point out the potential link of UBCs to an increase in crime (albeit very small)? I accept that it is possible for a Democrat to not hate guns. However, I don’t understand the illogic that causes a Democrat to vote against themselves and the freedom that they may enjoy with guns. Why vote against yourself? Back on UBCs, doe sit concern you that UBC is a form of registration? Have you read the history of where registrations led over the last 200 years (perhaps even the history of how the United States came to be)?

  18. Shannon’s Sugar Daddy has been spending his dollars to fund anti-gun junk science “research” for decades. As mayor of the Big Worm Ridden Apple he sent NYPD “investigators” into other states to commit felonies in an attempt to create gun-crime data. Brushing off 20 year old junk research from the NJI is par for the course for his paid liars.

  19. I have two huge problems with the data:
    (1) The sample size is too small to tell us anything because 251 participants is not a large enough sample to represent what happens in a population of 300+ million people.
    (2) We have no way of knowing how randomized and thus representative the participants were.

    Both factors mean that 40% number, as well as the actual 35.7% number, are totally meaningless.

    Oh, and I should mention one more ginormous problem with the data: far too many people will not answer survey questions honestly about anything, much less from unknown people asking about firearms. Again, the result is that those numbers are junk.

    • “1) The sample size is too small to tell us anything because 251 participants is not a large enough sample to represent what happens in a population of 300+ million people.”

      Perhaps you missed the very entertaining article a week or so ago where a study made some interesting claims about race in shootings. The study used 48 participants.

      The entertaining part was the guy defending the study’s validity despite that small sample size, in part on the basis that it cost over a million dollars to conduct.

      I’ll say again something I repeat often: Math is a weapon. Those that seek to manipulate us count on us not understanding the math when they present it.

    • Someone will always come along to tell you that you don’t understand how statistics work, or some BS.

      Heard it all the time last year in reference to the infamous Quinnipiac poll, which showed that some 90% of gun owners supported UBCs – based on a sample size barely over 1,500 people.

      • Probably a lot more than 40% I come from a part of the country where horse trading is a way of life, most people around here would rather haggle and trade than buy something. They love to trade they love to buy and sell guns, talk guns and swap guns. Probably for every gun that is bought in a gun store around here there are at least twice as many private gun sales or gun trades.

        • Yeah, see, that is the problem with anecdotal data.

          While that seems like a significant number to you, the transactions you describe in that geographically limited area are a tiny, tiny fraction of those done throughout the country.

          So, any interpretation of that as nationwide representative data is wrong due to the insignificant number compared to the whole. 100% of your observations are, in terms of the data, insignificant compared to the total number of guns changing hands.

          Said another way: 100% of the recent guns I bought were via licensed FFL. That does not really tell us a whole lot in the “grand scheme of things,” and that is precisely why understanding the nature of statistical sampling is important in data collection.

        • It is still impractical to think that they are going to get anything close to a 100% verification on private gun sales. Not even sure how they would provide the service necessary to do such a transactions. All I see it doing is prompting people to buy, trade and sell in guns that are not registered. If the government asked me where my gun was, I would simply tell them that I sold it before the law came into effect, I didn’t ask for the persons for a name just his cash.

  20. I tried to post this on MDAs FakeBook page, per a commenter earlier- no luck.

    They are still moderating comments and banning dissenting Facebook users there.

  21. What we ought to do is run a campaign of contacting Facebook to point out they are a propaganda site.

    But, then that would spoil all the fun of refuting their foolishness.

  22. It was based on a phone survey in 1994 where 251 people who’d bought a gun in the previous two years were asked if they got it from a licensed dealer, who would’ve been required to run a background check. Sounds like Scientific Soviet Socialism to me.

  23. There is always the response: “So what?” Or perhaps, “40 percent sounds like a lot, and yet outside of a few urban, gang-infested settings, there is very little gun crime. Maybe this is not something we need to address.”

    To any reasonable person this statistic, when taken at face value, would indicate that background checks don’t have any appreciable effect. Heck, if there is a river of uncontrolled gun sales, and no commensurate river of blood, why bother with any checks at all.

  24. I’m just wondering if universal background checks would be substantially more palatable if there were no entry of firearm information. If the check were strictly a means to ascertain whether the subject is a prohibited person, then would much of the opposition disappear?

  25. If I recall correctly, two of the primary issues with that outdated poll were:

    1) It pre-dated the current laws regarding background checks, and,
    2) It asked gun purchasers if they thought that the seller conducted a background check, without requiring any evidence that the seller actually did or did not conduct one

    • Actually number two was that the answer two weather or not the person was a gun dealer with possible answers being Probably yes, maybe, and probably no. The problem was before Background checks it was very easy to not know weather or not some one was a licences dealer. (at least I believe that was the case though I was a kid so I can’t be sure, but I don’t think that a person not really familiar with gun laws would realize that for example a pawn shop would have been a dealer even today if it were not for the fact that they now have to do background checks. Hell even I have been surprised occasionally at gun shows where a person had only like two old firearms and some old military surplus type stuff, that if asked I would have put money on them being just a private seller, that turned out to be a dealer.

  26. What they really want to do is to reverse the presumption of innocence with respect to firearms ownership. To make it so that simple possession of a firearm is illegal,unless the proper government paper trail exists.

    This is not something we can allow.

  27. If the government wants to improve the background check system, they should do 2 things:

    1) Allow any small gun dealer to get an FFL without having a storefront. Currently, thanks to the Clinton administration’s effort to reduce the supply of guns, you can’t get an FFL if you want to sell guns only at gun shows (See question 18a on ATF form 5310 FFL application at As a result someone that wants to sell guns but can’t afford the inventory costs, zoning challenges and overhead of a storefront has to sell illegally or discretely at the edge of the law as a “private individual” and hence can’t run a background check. Rather than throwing these “kitchen table” sellers out of the system like Clinton did hoping they would go away, they should allow them to get an FFL and subject them to BATF rules, audits and oversight like they were before the Clinton administration let political anti-gun ideology get in the way.

    2) Give anyone free, public, anonymous online access to the NICS database. I don’t understand why a federal database of people prohibited from owning firearms can’t be available in the public domain like federal databases for sex offenders. The NICS system is really a go/no go process and no useful information has to be displayed to facilitate phishing expeditions for identity theft other than what was already known by the user making the query. It’s certainly no more revealing than the FAA’s pilot and mechanic license query system, which provides more detailed information on presumably law-abiding citizens. Once this system is implemented, you then tell private sellers if you sell or give a firearm to someone and don’t retain documented proof that says you did a favorable NICS check on the buyer, you could be held liable if they commit a gun-related crime. This would effectively close the so-called private sale loophole and still preserve the anonymity of the parties involved the same way the current background check system does now. If a private sale firearm shows up at a crime scene, the BATF follows their current procedure of using the serial number of the firearm to contact the manufacturer and ultimately the last FFL that sold the firearm to a private citizen to obtain that citizen’s name and address from the ATF form 4473 the FFL is required to keep on file. That citizen is then contacted and produces the piece of paper from the NICS background check that identifies the second private citizen who is then contacted, and so forth.

    The real benefit of this proposal is how it can help identify the illusive killer with questionable behavior patterns or mental health issues that is causing so many problems. As it stands now there is no easy, fast, non-bureaucratic method for someone to determine if a suspicious person (client, neighbor, employee, student, etc) is a potential threat to society. If someone thinks an individual could be a threat, a query to a public NICS database would at least tell him or her in a few seconds if the individual could obtain a firearm. Then, armed with that information the appropriate authorities could be notified and they could decide if it was erroneous information or whether to investigate further. As it stands now, if you tell authorities you know a suspicious person they will probably ignore you, but if you tell them you know such a person and by the way according to the NICS database he can buy a firearm, they will probably be more inclined to investigate rather than risk embarrassment later if the worst happens. The same would be true if you see a suspicious acquaintance with a firearm when the NICS query says he’s prohibited from having one. It would also help provide piece of mind and a method for victims of violent crimes to ensure their assailants either on parole or still at large have not been excluded from the database because of some bureaucratic foul-up.
    Other specific public safety issues where it would be useful are:

     allow potential victims to vet known stalkers or acquaintances under a restraining order
     allow gun clubs to vet potential members
     allow shooting ranges to vet suspicious customers
     allow mental health workers to vet troubled individuals like the Aurora Colorado theater killer
     allow resource officers and school officials to vet suspicious students like the Arapahoe High School killer in Colorado
     allow police officers to vet anyone they contact – (note the routine background checks performed by police often do not include information about firearms because they don’t directly access the NICS database)

    • If you really think your suggestion #2 digital query wouldn’t result in some kind of record itself, you don’t understand computers or the government very well. The very info used to perform a search in the NICS database, can easily become a record of a (potential) private firearm purchase in another database. Not much anonymity there; a record of a purchase is still a record of a purchase, even if they don’t have a full description of the item purchased. You’re still an evil “gun owner”, and one that has tried using a private purchase to avoid the paperwork, to boot.

      • Re: “If you really think your suggestion #2 digital query wouldn’t result in some kind of record itself, you don’t understand computers”

        I don’t see any more records being generated than is currently being done with the FBI’s NICS online E-Check system that is currently in use. The only difference I see is that instead of only an FFL being able to making a query, any person could do it.

        Re: “The very info used to perform a search in the NICS database, can easily become a record of a (potential) private firearm purchase in another database”

        Absolutely unless the law that implements the process prohibits such actions like the current laws do. Under the current law the only thing that identifies the owner of the firearm is the form 4473 that resides with the FFL making the query.

        • “Under the current law the only thing that identifies the owner of the firearm is the form 4473 that resides with the FFL making the query.”

          But open to no-notice records inspection at any time.

          And it stays at the FFL only until the FFL goes out of business, when they are sent (by law) to the BATFE for safekeeping — forever.

    • I should also mention that your fantasy about cops investigating “suspicious” people is just that; a fantasy. Right now, police in the vast majority of jurisdictions can’t even be bothered to arrest convicted felons that fail background checks at licensed gun dealers using the current background check system. Let me repeat that for emphasis — they KNOW it is a prohibited person, in many cases with a violent record. They KNOW the person is trying to purchase a firearm. In some cases, the licensed dealer has offered to notify the police when the guy comes back to pick up the gun, and delay him at the store for a few minutes so officers can get there, and the cops STILL can’t find time or manpower to make the slam-dunk arrest and conviction.

      When cops start acting like background check violations from prior felons are serious, then I’ll start believing the government is serious about reducing gun-related crime from violent felons. Until then, it’s all political theater.

      • Re: “Right now, police in the vast majority of jurisdictions can’t even be bothered”

        A felon trying to buy a firearm is obviously a federal crime but I don’t know if it’s against laws at the state and local level. If your point is that the Feds do not enforce the law, you’re absolutely correct.

        Re: “I should also mention that your fantasy about cops investigating “suspicious” people is just that; a fantasy’

        Some police departments in Colorado didn’t think it was such a bad idea.

        • That article was dated a year-and-a-half ago (March of 2013).

          Has the “idea” even begun being translated into reality yet?

          Again, when the enforcement folks start treating the results of failed background checks like they are important, I’ll start treating background checks like they are worth something.

  28. ALL of them should be able to go face to face. It is impossible to understand why I should be required to undergo a “check” to exercise a civil right. One may apply this reasoning to licensing etc of guns.

  29. Here’s the bottom line issue. It doesn’t matter if “facts” are accurate or not. It doesn’t matter where they are derived from, or what data is used, or data sources. All that matters is the emotional state of the reader, and their bias. A pro gun control adherent doesn’t need data, facts, or anything else. They have _an opinion_ and _emotions_ that dictate what they will support, attack, and demand. Everything else is empty rhetoric to them. Pro gun ownership groups will never convince them otherwise, again, because the truth, to them, is whatever they decide it will be. End of story.


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