40 percent figure on background checks in gun sales inaccurate

Feb 27, 2013 Lowell Ray Anderson, Cody


A recent letter to the editor in The Ranger states, "40 percent of current sales don't havebackground checks."

What President Obama said was:

"But it's hard to enforce that law when as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check."

The letter writer said "current." President Obama implied current. Both are wrong.

It was actually 36 percent, which has been rounded up to 40 percent. It comes from a survey of 251 people which was conducted 20 years ago, so most of the sales took place beforemandatory federal background checks were required starting in early 1994. The study also included guns acquired as gifts or inheritances which it appears would not be covered under President Obama's proposals.

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Text of the President Obama's remarks can be found at:

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