When the Misinformed Seek To Inform On Guns

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Even on slow Second Amendment news days, there are some sites I won’t really bother looking at for stories. The reason is that they’re kind of terrible.


It’s not that they’re anti-guns–we link to plenty of sites that are anti-gun, including a few that are rather explicitly so–it’s that they terrible even by modern journalistic standards.

One of those is 24/7 Wall St.

It’s not quite a clickbait site, but it’s a place for junk news with some rather questionable takes.

But when they had a piece titled, “These Are the States Where Anyone Can Get a Gun Today,” it piqued my interest.

When they included some claims that blatantly misrepresent reality, though, I couldn’t just ignore them this time.

Gun sales in the United States surged during the pandemic. Driven in part by sales to first-time gun owners, Americans bought about 20 million in both 2020 and 2021, according to a study from the University of Chicago – well above the historical annual average of 13 million reported between 2010 and 2019.

In much of the country, firearm sales are facilitated by a hands-off approach to gun control. Under federal law, gun ownership is a constitutional right with few exceptions or caveats. While some states have meaningfully expanded on federal regulations to better ensure responsible gun ownership – implementing mandatory waiting periods, owner licensing, and more comprehensive background check procedures – most have not. (Here is a look at the companies selling the most guns online.)


So, of course, you can tell this is going to be neutral and all, right? There’s no biased language at all. </sarcasm>

But the egregious part is in the next paragraph.

In over half of all states, virtually anyone who has not been convicted of a violent hate crime or domestic violence can walk into a gun store and leave with any type of firearm in a matter of minutes.

Well…that’s total BS.

Now, domestic violence is a disqualifying offense. You can’t own a gun if you have such a conviction on your record. That’s federal law.

And that’s actually the only thing they got right in this.

First, “violent hate crime” in and of itself isn’t disqualifying. You still retain your Second Amendment rights so long as it’s not a felony conviction. Even Everytown agrees with this fact. A number of states have ruled otherwise, but not the entirety by any stretch.

And those aren’t the only ones who are prohibited from buying guns.

In fact, any convicted felon is prohibited. Those are the lion’s share of those who cannot lawfully buy guns, in fact, and they’re not just people convicted of domestic violence or hate crimes.

So how did 24/7 Wall St. get it so wrong?

Well, damned if I know. This is commonly available information. It’s not esoteric knowledge or something that the general public isn’t likely to be aware of. It’s not even akin to the difference between .223 and 5.56.


No, this is relatively general knowledge that anyone who doesn’t know can find with a simple Google search.

The only reason you don’t look is because you think you already know, though, which means someone at this site wrote this believing that they knew the facts. No, I don’t think they’re intentionally trying to misinform people, mostly because it’s too easy to debunk, so it has to be a case of the writer just being absolutely clueless and misinformed.

And then they try to inform the public that only two relatively small classes of criminals are prohibited from owning firearms. This is a fact someone will try to repeat at some other point in time as if it’s fact. They’ll at least have an excuse.

Let’s not forget that this had to go through an editor, too, which means two different people thought this was factual.

And yet, we’re supposed to take these people seriously when they opine on guns.

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