When Joe Biden announced his new administrative orders on gun control Thursday, the president let loose with a lie about gun shows, bizarrely claiming that background checks aren’t conducted there; that “you can buy whatever you want, no background check.”
That’s simply a false statement. There are no special rules for gun sales at gun shows. Just like with brick-and-mortar sales at gun shops, all commercial sales must go through a background check. Depending on the state and the rules of the gun show promoter, private sales from individuals may or may not be required to have a background check conducted, but Biden made it sound like no background checks were necessary at any gun show.
During her White House briefing on Thursday afternoon, press secretary Jen Psaki was hard-pressed to explain Biden’s comments, and ultimately ended up switching topics after giving a non-answer.
The President is lying about background checks. His handlers are trying to cover for him.
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) April 9, 2021
Some in the media are also doing their utmost to avoid admitting that Biden lied about background checks at gun shows, with Politifact claiming instead that the president merely “exaggerated” instead.
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) April 8, 2021
It wasn’t a “mostly false” statement by Biden. It’s simply untrue. The actual fact check provided by Politifact is a little better in terms of explaining the actual law, but they (of course) give Biden the benefit of the doubt when it comes to his claims.
When it comes to background checks for gun purchases, what matters is who sells the guns, not where the guns are sold — and when a federally licensed seller is a vendor at a gun show, they have to run a background check just as they would if they were back at a bricks-and-mortar gun store.
The White House told PolitiFact that Biden wasn’t suggesting that every gun transaction at a gun show would take place without a background check. Instead, he meant that sales without background checks could occur in some cases.
However, that’s not what he said.
No, it isn’t what he said, and he left the impression that anyone can walk into any gun show and buy any gun without a background check being conducted.
This is the same guy who’s repeatedly lied about Georgia’s new voting law, falsely claiming on multiple occasions that the law limits early voting hours when it actually extends them. Some of this might be blamed on a slowdown of Biden’s mental faculties, but I believe that these lies are an essential part of Biden’s political strategy. He lies about Georgia’s voting law to try to increase support for H.R. 1 in Congress, just as he lies about the current background check laws in this country to drum up support for H.R. 8 in the Senate.
Of course, if you have to lie to make your case, it demonstrates you don’t have a very good argument to begin with. Unfortunately, however, far too many media outlets are less interested in documenting and correcting Biden’s lies than they are in explaining away his untruths. It would be nice if the media treated Biden with even half of the skepticism and outright hostility that they gave to Donald Trump’s administration, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.