FactCheck.org calls BS on President Obama’s recent lies about America’s gun laws and allegedly lax regulation told to an audience in Brazil:
We asked Eric Schultz, a spokesman for the former president, what Obama meant when he said “anybody … can buy machine guns.”
Schultz said the Obama used the term “machine gun,” which are fully automatic weapons, when he meant semi-automatic weapons that are currently legal to purchase in the United States, such as AR-15 rifles.
“He was using ‘machine gun’ as a phrase that everybody understands, especially in a foreign country. He’s obviously not talking about Al Capone tommy guns – he was referring to semi-automatic weapons so people would understand what he’s talking about,” Schultz told us in an email.
As for Obama’s remark that “anybody can buy any weapon, any time … without much, if any, regulation,” Schultz referred us to several news articles — including a 2016 PolitiFact article that gave Obama a “mostly true” rating when he said a “violent felon can buy [a gun] over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.”
It is illegal for a “violent felon” to purchase any firearm under existing law. The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits certain people from buying guns, including someone imprisoned for more than one year. Under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, federally licensed firearm dealers are required to conduct background checks and cannot sell to “prohibited persons,” such as violent felons.
In his 2016 remarks, Obama was referring to those who buy guns online from private sellers, not licensed dealers, and therefore are not required to undergo background checks. While it would be illegal for a violent felon to buy a gun, it still might be possible for them to do so through a private online sale in some states.
In this case, Obama prefaced his remarks about machine guns by saying “our gun laws in the United States don’t make much sense.” But, in fact, there is a law that bans machine guns — except those that are grandfathered in, as we noted earlier.
Obama may not draw a distinction between a semi-automatic and a fully automatic weapon, but the law does. And he misrepresented that law in his remarks before a foreign audience.
– Eugene Kiely in Obama Misrepresents U.S. Gun Laws