California Senator Dianne Feinstein simply can’t help herself, and continues to lie about background checks in an op-ed she wrote for the Mercury News.
Background checks on gun purchases work. The law has stopped more than 2 million convicted felons, domestic abusers and individuals with serious mental illnesses from purchasing firearms.
But the Brady Act has a big loophole: It does not require background checks on the estimated 40 percent of gun transfers made between private parties.
Feinstein doubled the number of stoppages claimed by the NICS system inself, which is 1,065,090. She also “forgets” to mention that 94% of those initially denied by false positives in the background check system are then cleared to purchase firearms. Most of her “stopped” criminals are nothing more than wrong or similar names, including Siskiyou County, CA Sheriff John Lopey, who was recently one of those false positives.
The claim that “40 percent” of sales occur with out background checks cited by Feinstein comes from a 1997 report (PDF), that itself was draw from a 1993-94 survey of just 251 people that took place before the NICS background system went into effect.
Feinstein then dishonestly represents this as a current figure, not decades old data that took place before the FBI NICS background check went into effect.
We can’t say that every word Feinstein utters about guns is a lie, but it would be fair to assume that most are.
Real criminals aren’t affected by background checks that are done by licensed gun dealers wherever they sell guns, whether that is a storefront location, a gun show, or through transactions that initially take place over the Internet.
Background checks don’t affect violent criminals, who get their guns—shockingly enough—through criminal activity (primarily theft, followed by “strawman” purchases of accomplices that do pass background checks), not through legal channels.