Virtually everything you are hearing about firearms background checks from gun control groups and the media is false. Yes, they are lying to you, attempting to pass an oppressive gun bill that would criminalize common legal activities. Let's look at each of these falsehoods:
The House bill simply expands background checks to private sales
This is completely false. This deceitful bill redefines "transfer" from change of ownership to the act of handing a gun to someone - even if the gun never leaves your sight and they hand it right back. If you and I are shooting in the woods, and I let you shoot my gun, we have now both committed felonies. If my adult daughter is being stalked and wants to borrow a gun - even just until the gun dealers open and she can buy one - I cannot lend her one. If you have kids and you want to store some of your guns in my gun safe, a wise precaution, a background check would be required every time you drop them off and every time you pick them up. The list of absurdities goes on and on.
Advocates - if their lie about the bill only affecting sales is exposed - argue that they have these problems covered, because there are exemptions in the law. There are three huge problems with their "exemptions". First, they are extremely narrow and complicated - making it very hard to know if your actions are covered by them. Second, the definitions are sometimes left to the courts to decide. For instance, there is a "target range" exception - but what is a target range? A gun club or commercial range? Certainly. My range on my private property? Maybe. A commonly used site in the national forest? Who knows? Third, and worst of all, these exceptions are "affirmative defenses". This means that you can be arrested and jailed and you then have to prove that your actions fell within one of the exemptions. You are literally guilty until you prove that you are innocent.
Now, assume that you are a non-gun owner. I invite you to go shooting - but this law is in force. Would you accept my invitation? Probably not - and that is exactly what the intent of this bill is: Make learning and participating in the shooting sports, or learning to shoot a gun for self defense, legally dangerous and frightening.
Ironically, there is actually a bill that would simply expand background checks to private SALES. It's the Manchin/Toomey bill, and the Democratic leadership is trying to kill it.
Their is a "gun show loophole" that allows people to by firearms without a background check
This is completely false. The exact same laws apply at gun shows as anywhere else. Specifically, anyone "in the business of selling firearms" must have a Federal Firearms License (FFL), period. There simply is no such thing as a legal an "unlicensed dealer". The vast majority of sellers at gun shows are dealers and must conduct federal background checks. Furthermore, US DOJ studies confirm that criminals almost never buy guns at gun shows. This makes sense given that the number of law enforcement officers, state, local and federal - both on and off duty - at gun shows is huge.
So - what in the world is this thing that gun control advocates call the "gun show loophole"? Quite simply, it is an exemption in federal law for "occasional" sales of your own firearms. It simply means that if I want to sell a gun to my neighbor, whom I know well, no federal background check is required. It has nothing to do with gun shows - but calling it that makes it sound worse.
40% of firearms are sold without a background check
This is the lie that will not die. It comes from a study done over 25 years ago. It covered a timeframe of two years, one of which was before the federal background check law took effect! Furthermore, this phone survey simply asked buyers if a background check had been done. Many of these people probably remembered filling out the Federal 4473 form, but didn't know that the dealer ran a background check. Politifact and Snopes have both highlighted these facts. In short, it is garbage research.
However, among other things, this lie was used to ram through the Colorado background check law in 2013. Colorado prepared for a massive number of checks - only to find out that the actual number of private sales was not the 40% they prepared for - it was only 4%!
You can buy a gun over the internet without a background check
Yes, you can - but by doing so you and the seller have both committed a federal felony! Unless you hold a Federal Firearms License (FFL), it is illegal to buy a gun and have it shipped to your home. Let me say it again: Internet gun sales like this are already illegal.
However, there is a way to legally buy or sell firearms over the internet. Connect to the seller, pay for the gun, and have it shipped to a nearby dealer (FFL). That dealer then conducts exactly the same background check as he or she would conduct if they sold the same gun from their inventory. He or she also is responsible for ensuring that the transaction is conducted in accordance with all state and local laws. Obviously, these transactions would be completely unaffected by any new background check law.
Gun control advocates counter that people living in the same area often connect through sites like Armslist and then meet face to face to complete the transaction. However, this is not an internet sale, anymore than a gun advertised in a newspaper is a "newspaper sale". In both cases, they are private, face to face sales.
Expanded background checks would have prevented some mass shootings
Actually, no they would not have done so. In fact, the vast majority of mass shooters actually passed a background check, in some cases because their record was clean at the time, in others because the database did not flag them as prohibited. Many mass shooters used stolen weapons, and still others obtained weapons via straw purchases. However, no public mass shooter I am aware of obtained their firearm(s) via an exempt private party purchase. Obviously gun control advocates do not know of any either, or they would be citing the specific case. They aren't because no such case exists. Their solution to mass shootings would not have stopped even one of them....
Many criminals obtain their firearms through private sales
We know this simply isn't true because of a US DOJ study released in January 2019. This study involved interviews with 240,000+ prison inmates who had firearms at the time of their arrest. The facts revealed in this study are devastating to most gun control measures and expanded background checks in particular.
As the chart at left shows, the most common source of criminal's guns is the thriving black market, followed by other illegal sources (theft, borrowed from or even rented from another criminal), and straw purchases. Together, these account for 84% of the criminals firearms.
Looking at the less common sources, we see that a criminal is four times more likely to obtain a firearm by slipping through the background check system than to obtain a gun via a private party purchase.
It is facts like these that cause gun rights advocates to wonder why gun control groups are so focused upon a source that is responsible for such a small percentage of crime guns. Why not crack down on illegal black market dealers, or start really punishing straw purchasers?
The most obvious answer is that they want to control LEGALLY OWNED GUNS, not illegally owned guns.. This is what scares gun owners the most.....