It’s not surprising to see gun control groups make false claims about the success of their anti-gun agenda, nor is it particularly shocking to see politicians bloviate in support of gun control laws, but their absurd claims still need to be met with facts if we want an educated populace making informed choices when it comes to supporting or opposing gun control laws.
The most recent absurdity on the part of an anti-gun politician comes from my home state of Virginia, where Del. Mike Mullin is claiming that the increase in background checks in Virginia in the month of August can be attributed to the state’s new universal background check law, not the record-high number of gun sales that we’ve seen across the country in recent months.
Numbers from the state show 20,000 more background checks last month compared to the year before – 38,256 checks in August 2019 versus 58,902 in August 2020.
In a phone interview, Delegate Mike Mullin, D-Newport News, said the increase in background checks show the law is working.
“We’ve had a huge loophole here in Virginia for way too long and we’re finally able to make sure people who shouldn’t be buying guns aren’t,” he said.
The idea that 20,000 Virginians decided to visit their local gun store to go through a background check on a private firearms sale is less plausible than Ralph Northam appearing in blackface to campaign with Joe Biden.
It’s true that NICS checks in Virginia were far higher in July and August of this year (after the universal background check law took effect) than they were in July and August of 2019. As it turns out, however, NICS checks in Virginia were also higher in January, February, March, April, May, and June of this year than the same months in 2019.
In fact, in June of 2019 the FBI reported that there were 33,543 NICS checks performed in the state. In June of 2020 (the month before the new background check law went into effect) there were 84,124 checks. That’s an increase of nearly 200%, and it clearly had nothing to do with any requirement for background checks on private sales.
Mullin’s claim is mind-bogglingly stupid, but Democrats in Virginia are desperate to demonstrate that their new gun control laws are working, even if there’s no evidence that’s the case. In fact, Mullin’s statement that “we’re finally able to make sure people who shouldn’t be buying guns aren’t” is also laughably untrue, and it’s a real shame that Courthouse News reporter Brad Kutner didn’t ask a simple follow-up of the delegate: How exactly does the background check law prevent people from illegally getting ahold of a gun?
There’s virtually no way to proactively enforce the background check law when it comes to private transactions. At best the background check law offers prosecutors the chance to charge someone with a misdemeanor if they find out after the fact that a gun changed hands without going through a background check, but the law does absolutely nothing to actually prevent those transactions from taking place.
Mullin’s a former prosecutor, so I’m sure he’s aware of the unenforceable nature of the background check law that he voted for. Rather than be honest with his constituents and the press, however, the lawmaker’s trying to pretend that the state’s new background check law is working well and denying that the increase in background checks has anything to do with the fact that more Virginians than ever before are rejecting the Democrats’ anti-gun agenda and exercising their right to keep and bear arms.