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Fact Check – Obama: 40% of All Gun Sales Private?

AmmoLand Gun News

AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC - -( While presenting a litany of gun control measures for Congress to consider, President Obama suggested that “40% of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check.”

In other words, 40% of gun sales are private.

While he was still speaking, one of my friends texted me and asked: “How does Obama know how many guns are sold privately? The fact that it’s ‘private’ means it’s not public.”

So I started looking through databases for references to this figure, and I soon found myself reading a 2011 study by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg titled, “Point, Click, Fire: An Investigation Into Illegal Online Gun Sales.”

According to the study, “40% of guns are sold through private sellers.” Moreover, the study claims that “these sales—which take place in many venues, including gun shows and, increasingly, on the internet… fuel the black market for illegal guns.”

Many parts of this assertion are factually flawed or, at the least, very misleading.

First off, the figure of 40% doesn’t represent new guns but guns already in circulation, which are being resold on a secondary basis. The intimation that 40% of new guns are being sold illegally is simply myth-making at best, lying at worst.

What’s really happening is that people who think like Bloomberg and Obama are guessing that a certain percentage of firearms in the hands of Americans have no paperwork on them because their original sale predates background checks. Thus, their goal is to seal off avenues for private sales in order to force Americans to enter those guns into the system.

As for selling guns on the Internet to avoid background checks, that’s another stretch. If a citizen buys a gun from a store via the internet, that gun has to be shipped from a dealer with an Federal Firearms License (FFL) to another dealer with a FFL.

In other words, if a resident of Denver bought a gun from a store in Tampa, the FFL in Tampa would send the gun to an FFL in Denver. Once it arrived, the buyer would pay a fee for shipping, taxes on the gun, as well as any mark-up for services. He would also have to submit to a back-ground check just as if he had bought the gun off a shelf in Denver.

The idea that 40% of gun sales are private is meant to confuse Americans and make them think there is a breakdown in the system somewhere. But there’s not.

AWR Hawkins writes for all the BIG sites, for Pajamas Media, for, for and now AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

His southern drawl is frequently heard discussing his take on current events on radio shows like America’s Morning News, the G. Gordon Liddy Show, the Ken Pittman Show, and the NRA’s Cam & Company, among others. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal (summer 2010), and he holds a PhD in military history from Texas Tech University.

If you have questions or comments, email him at You can find him on facebook at

  • 8 User comments to “Fact Check Obama When He Says 40% of All Gun Sales Private”

    1. Mobile Infantry on February 2, 2013 at 10:28 AM said:

      Reminds me when he said 90% of the guns in Mexico came from the US.

    2. Fact check-I really think obama would do alot better back home in kenya,africa….I know “real Americans” would.

    3. HuskerCruffler on February 3, 2013 at 10:32 AM said:

      Please correct your article. The sender does not need to be an FFL. A person in Tampa selling to a person in Denver would have the person in Tampa sending to an FFL in Colorado. The Denver person pays the Tampa person for the gun, no taxes are paid for the purchase of the gun.

    4. I work with some lib-tards and even after I show them proof what the Prez is trying to do, they just simple can’t see it or, they won’t see it!!!! This makes me very angry!!! So, I just tell them there are two types people, I say there are ignorant people and stupid people, and ingnorant people can be educated but stupid people are stupid for life!!!

    5. Keep in mind that when dealing with ” demonrats ” ( even those that pretend to be republicans ) ie : rhinos , there is NO honor , integrity , or morality . You can ONLY expect lies deceit and fraud . Unfortunately , most Americans are ignorant enough to believe them , Thanks for that goes to our indoctrinators in our public indoctrination centers ( schools ) and to our public AND private institutions higher indoctrination and propaganda expertise that prepares and trains the indoctrinators .

    6. Most of us who frequent this and like sites uderstand that this kind of lie is standard practice. The hard corp antis wont accept the truth even if served with the sweetest meal. The question is how do we as pro firearms folk get the truth to the many folks who when armed with it would then avoid being taken by the Obamas and the Bloomies, and the rest? There are so many NON GUN people who just don’t know better. They are the ones who desperately need to be educated.

    7. The 40 percent claim thing is the result of a small survey in the 1990s where only 251 firearms owners were surveyed. Of that the people told the surveyors that they meant giving guns as gifts to family and friends or leaving firearms in their wills.

      The final numbers were that 96 percent of those 251 surveyed meant that but then again the 40% number hangs on due to the lying of the anti-Constitution people.

      After all…got to get those guns out of the hands of citizens before they can really proceed on to “other things.”

    8. So how does this work ?
      You google on something, and if that comes close to what Obama was saying, then you automaticly assume that this was the survey he based his opinion on ?

      In that case, dont you do the same as Obama, tell stories as facts, which are no facts at all, just assumptions which are presented as facts, just beceause you want it to be facts ?

      Please correct me if I’m wrong.

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