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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Obama’s gun claims short on facts

Mike Weinstein, director of training and security at the National Armory gun store and gun range, shows how to safely fire a Glock 9mm hand gun during a Concealed Weapons Permit class on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Pompano Beach, Fla. President Barack Obama unveiled his plan Tuesday to tighten control and enforcement of firearms in the U.S. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Mike Weinstein, director of training and security at the National Armory gun store and gun range, shows how to safely fire a Glock 9mm hand gun during a Concealed Weapons Permit class on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in Pompano Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

President Barack Obama’s proposals to tighten gun control rules may not accomplish his goal of keeping guns out of the hands of would-be criminals and those who aren’t legally allowed to buy a weapon. In short, that’s because the conditions he is changing by executive action are murkier than he made them out to be.

Some of Obama’s comments and how they compare with the facts:

OBAMA: “A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.”

THE FACTS: It’s not that straightforward. In fact, federally licensed gun dealers are required by law to conduct background checks for gun purchases no matter where the sale takes place — in a store, at a gun show or online. While private gun sales can be conducted over the Internet, if the sale involves people in different states, a licensed gun dealer in the state where the gun is going still has to be involved in the transfer.

Regardless of the seller, it is illegal for a convicted felon to buy or possess a gun unless they have had their rights restored. But prohibited buyers have evaded the law to buy guns.


OBAMA: “We’re going to require firearms dealers to report more lost or stolen guns on a timely basis.”

THE FACTS: The effect of this is unclear because the government already requires gun dealers to report all lost or stolen guns within 48 hours of discovering that they are missing. This is true for guns in their shops or those being sent to them. Obama did not say how much faster he wants the reporting to be or how he would achieve that.


OBAMA: “Anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks, or be subject to criminal prosecutions. It doesn’t matter whether you’re doing it over the Internet or at a gun show. It’s not where you do it, but what you do.”

THE FACTS: “In the business” is the key condition for coming under this requirement, and the definition may have a lot of wiggle room. Federal law defines people who “repetitively buy and sell firearms with the principal motive of making a profit” as being “engaged in the business” of selling guns and requires them to be licensed. The license process includes a $200 application fee and a criminal background check. People who only occasionally sell guns from their personal collections don’t have to apply for a license.

The law does not specify how many guns a person has to sell to be considered “engaged in the business” of selling guns and neither did Obama. His new guidance defines a dealer as one whose “principal motive” is profit.


OBAMA: “Even after San Bernardino, they’ve (Congress) refused to make it harder for terror suspects who can’t get on a plane to buy semi-automatic weapons.”

THE FACTS: That’s at least in part because gun ownership is a constitutional right and getting on an airplane isn’t. Being placed on the government’s no-fly list is a process that generally is not subjected to an independent legal review or a judicial process such as a courtroom trial. A person can be barred from boarding a U.S. airline based merely on suspicion that he or she might pose a threat. Having one’s name removed from the no-fly list is arduous and can take years. The bar is higher, such as a criminal conviction, for the government to take away a person’s constitutional right to own a firearm.


Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Ted Bridis contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2016 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

36 thoughts on “Obama’s gun claims short on facts”

  1. Laws only effect one group of people, the law abiding, 240 years ago a group 3000 miles away piled law upon law on our forefathers until you could not even walk down the street without fear of being arrested, history always repeats itself, we now have so many laws every adult in America commits 3 felonies per day without even knowing it, fellow Americans we are being lawed to death, throw all the bastards out!

  2. People please give us all a break here. The man is trying to do something, anything to stop, or at least slow down the rate at which people are getting killed in this country by legislating some common sense ideas. Your all splitting hairs on the wording, or intent of the proposed legislation. How about getting on board and helping out, rather than arguing about intent, wording, or just plain Politics.
    How about being part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

  3. Even with a trust, the person picking up the firearm still has to fill out a 4473 and pass the NICS background check.

    Maybe make it a requirement that the trust owner be responsible for ensuring anyone else on the trust (that can possess any of the inventory) pass a BG check. A simple 4473 and $20 to a local FFL would negate the need for fingerprint cards and photos being sent to the FBI for a BG check which will cost a lot more money to the tax payers.

  4. I bought a firearm off the internet and, you know what? I had to have it shipped to a local federally licensed firearms dealer, go into the shop, fill out the ATF form 4473, and pay a small fee for the paperwork. I only bought it online because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted locally. I have also bought guns at gun shows and, for every one of them, I had to fill out the ATF form 4473 and, either wait 5-10 minutes for the NICS background check or, present a valid Concealed Handgun License. The only time you don’t have to fill out that form and wait for the NICS is if you buy from an ordinary citizen who isn’t “in the business” of selling guns. You always see a few people walking around at the shows with a (one) gun they’re looking to sell so they can buy another one. I would never buy anything like that. You never know the history of that gun. It could have been stolen or, used in a crime. I always buy from a dealer because, they run a check on the serial number to make sure it’s “clean”.

    • I bought a Mossberg from a friend of mine. He needed the money more than he needed the 12-gauge. No, I didn’t pass a background check for it. J.

  5. As long as there is no movement toward at least issuing bullet proof vests to school staffs, and implementing a school marshal program, whatever Obama says is irrelevant. At least teachers would have a chance to overcome an active shooter with vests.

  6. You know what would definitely keep a violent felon from buying a gun? Keeping him incarcerated. 40% of gun crimes are committed by violent offenders who were released from prison prior to serving their entire sentence. Fix that issue and you can lower the body count by 4000 a year. Nothing else will come close to those numbers.

  7. “12 shot in Chicago on day Obama calls for action to end gun violence”
    Enough said about Our RULER and his Executive Orders!

  8. 1) Being a corporation would not help. The implication by the President is that the internet is a gun pipeline for anyone. Fact is that dealer sales over the internet require background checks, non-dealer (Private) sales on the internet generally (Except across state lines etc.) do not. So shall we say that to omit facts, makes a statement factless? If not, what fact was stated which was not misleading?

    2) The President wasn’t referencing reporting more stolen guns, he was referring reporting more lost or stolen guns on a timely basis. In other words the numbers weren’t his issue, the timeliness of the reporting was. Again though, no facts, rather the implication that lost or stolen firearms were not being reported by dealers on a timely basis. Fact is they are required by law to be reported within 48 hours. Fact also is that a president cannot change law with an EO, he can only act in furtherance of a law with an EO.

    3)He implied strongly that he was changing something that wasn’t already true. Anyone already in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks, or be subject to criminal prosecutions. This is already true, so his implication lacks, or more likely conceals this fact.

    4) First off freedom of movement is considered a natural right. Natural rights are somewhat harder (Not impossible though) to restrict than a “legal” right is. Air flight is given legal right status by U.S. code. Legal rights are somewhat easier to restrict than natural rights are.

  9. What you say is false.! Obama taught Constitutional Law therefore he knows everything and his interpretation is the only one that counts.!!! Yes, he’s an Ass but a dangerous one!!!

  10. Jon,
    You are incorrect about your comments on #1. Even with a person claiming to be a Trust or Corporation, when purchasing a firearm out of state, the person receiving the firearm can not just put “Trust” on the Form 4473 and walk away with the firearm. They MUST file out the Form 4473 with their name as Trustee or Settlor of the trust to which they are assigned. That information will be used for the NICS Check. If you are assigning a Firearm to your Property of Trust and any other individual on the trust is a felony or barred from being in possession of a firearm….well lets just say, you will be screwed!

  11. #4 Freedom of Movement under the United Sates Law. No one is preventing you to move through out the United States. You are just prevented from doing it by a certain mode of transportation. By air travel with a public carrier.

    • Airlines are common carriers, and thus have all sorts of interesting laws about what they can and cannot transport. It does seem to me that forbidding airline travel would be an unreasonable restriction upon freedom of movement (just try taking a boat from New York to North Dakota) but I am not a lawyer, and it took the Supremes themselves seventy-five years to get around to interstate slave laws and even then they got it wrong (c.f. Dred Scott).

  12. That boarding an airplane is not a constitutional right is immaterial. It constitutes LEGAL/NORMAL activity. Just because having a driver’s license is not a constitutional right, does not mean that checkpoints don’t violate the IV Amendment. They DO! But since it is PC, it is allowed to continue. If a person is ‘suspected’ of being a terrorist, he can simply be subjected to more scrutiny, before being allowed onboard. But THAT would violate the sensitivities of a certain class of politicians!

  13. just like obomacare… everything out obomas mouth in a complete lie… he is a worthless traitor to the American people …period….

  14. Let us start at the beginning, shall we?

    1) Yes, the facts are that they could – If they claimed to be a trust or a corporation. Incidentally, there are enormous loopholes in many laws for corporations – Everyone should have a few. They’re not that expensive to start and keep around.

    2) If many more people are classified as dealers, then no, the outcome is not unclear. Many more lost and stolen weapons will be reported.

    3) I’ll grant you this one. But what did President Obama say that was not a fact? When you say “The Facts” there’s a very strong implication that what was stated was not factual.

    4) Um, actually, getting on an airplane sorta is. Hate to cite Wikipedia, but it has a fairly good summary on the subject of ‘Freedom of Movement under United States Law’ found here:


    Keep in mind that the Supreme Court is about the epitome of the wheels of justice grinding slowly. It may very well be that the no-fly list is wildly unconstitutional, but it could be another decade before it is so declared.

    Furthermore, I reiterate that nothing that President Obama said (that you quoted here, anyhow) was not a fact. Replying with an implied “Actually, what he said wasn’t the facts, but these are” is just a little disingenuous, isn’t it?

    Thank you,


    • Actually the authors are spot on with their comments. Much of what the President had to say was based on incorrect assumptions and failure to understand the law as it currently exists. Enforcement of the existing GCA of 1968 with some vigor, would go a long way toward helping with this problem.

      Also, recent studies by major universities have uncovered the interesting fact that most criminals obtain their weapons on the street, not at gun shows or on the Internet. Look them up for some eye opening information.

    • “1) Yes, the facts are that they could – If they claimed to be a trust or a corporation. Incidentally, there are enormous loopholes in many laws for corporations – Everyone should have a few. They’re not that expensive to start and keep around.”

      First off, trusts cannot just buy any type of firearm they want. Trusts are limited to being used to purchase just NFA34-regulated firearms. Trusts can “own” other types of firearms, but they must be purchased by a trustee and then given to the trust.

      And even with a trust, the wait time for NFA34 items is still ridiculous. I’ve been waiting since 9/17/15 for my eForm 1 to be approved to convert my FN SCAR 17S into a SBR. Why would a criminal even bother going through those hoops just to have a firearm to commit a crime?

      And as for machine guns – what criminal is going to pay the $20,000+ cost of a civilian transferable machine gun and wait 4-6 months for approval of the trust by the BATFE?

    • G-O-N-G! [Sound of “Gong Show” fail] No, no, no. The item about trusts and estates applies to NFA firearms, that is, machine guns.

      Obama threw up a trivial, esoteric detail about tiny numbers of rare and expensive National Firearms Act guns of the hopes that some people would be fooled into thinking that he as asking for something which affected everyday gun crime.

      As we can see from Jon’s comment some people were in fact hornswoggled

    • Here’s where you Freedom of Movement ruling as it applies to the No-Fly list falls apart. The No-Fly list only restricts those identified from flying on Commercial Airlines, both domestically and originating in countries that also use a no-fly list. It does not restrict anyone’s freedom of movement. They can take a car, they can take a bus, they can even take the train or charter a private plane if they so choose. They just can’t hop on an airplane. So any challenge to the No-Fly list Using Freedom of Movement as the basis will lose.

    • Jon, Much like Obama, you are using half truth semantics to make a point seem much more dire than it really is. The Freedom of movement act only designates that you may leave a state for another without fear of taxation from the state you are leaving. (It makes no mention of any guaranteed or even available modes of transport.) Much like the Gunshow Loophole.. The “loophole” is that private citizens of most states (not all) can sell weapons from their private collections without having to pay the extra fees of acquiring a background check for the person purchasing the weapon. But the President won’t put it that way.. Sounds much more dire if the public thinks that there are massive meeting places where all criminals go to stock up on machine guns at bargain prices. or a website where the evil people can snatch up stockpiles of AR-15’s with complete anonymity.. The president’s own administration are the only folks selling mass quantities of Assault Weapons without any paper trail..

      • It should also be mentioned, in the above weapon transaction, both parties must be a resident of the same state… Or FFL’s must be used in the reciever’s home state.. and a background check applies.

      • Maybe it’s just me (got any citations at all, even Wikipedia?) but I think the no-fly list applies to privately chartered aircraft too (not that it’s enforced). J.

    • You hate to cite wikipedia, but you did any how… Maybe BECAUSE THIS ISN’T CONSIDERED A “SCHOLARLY” SOURCE!! But we can go with this. Nowhere in this Freedom of Movement under United States Law does it say that you cannot be limited as to HOW you freely move. It only states that you cannot be taxed/charged if you so choose to travel from one state or province to another. So getting on an airplane (which is owned by a free enterprise corporation) IS NOT A RIGHT gaurunteed under the constitution nor is it covered by said law!! Just because you cannot board a plane doesn’t mean you cannot travel or move by train, bus, car, bicycle or your own two feet!!

      But let us say you are correct in your understanding of the freedom of movement… You are STILL alright with YOU or ANYONE else loseing a CONSTITUTIONAL right with out a thing called DUE PROCESS??!!!

    • #1 Has been covered.
      #2 The Clinton administration reduced the number of gun dealers in the US by roughly 80% through regulations that encouraged the small guys to give up their licenses. Lets make up our mind. Are more gun dealers good or bad?
      #3 Obama just reiterated existing rules. Someone engaging in the business has always had to get a license. Nothing new here…
      #4 Too bad there isn’t a lobbying group for freedom of travel. Then your rights wouldn’t be trampled by unconstitutional law. 😉

      • If it’s harder to get a license, so be it. The idea isn’t whether there’s more gun dealers or fewer, the idea is that everyone who deals in guns is licensed.

    • 4) Um,,,wrong. Being put on a “no-fly list” is not preventing your movement, denying your “freedom of movement” or anything akin to it. There are automobiles, boats, private aircraft, and hitchhiking.

      Just for the record, making a claim that someone is a “terrorist” because they are on the “no-fly list” is both disingenuous and asinine.

      • I agree with you on that. That idea that there are people so colossally dangerous that they can’t be allowed on an airplane but so innocent that they can’t be arrested is indeed asinine. J.

    • Actually Jon, you’d be wrong. traveling on an airplane is not a constitutional right. neither is the use of a car. those rights are extended to you by qualification and disqualification. the fact you have a right to travel does not give you a right to use a plane or any form of transportation you’ve been barred from using… this is settled by the shear fact that we do restrict the right. and it has already been held up in case law.

      having said that, airplanes specifically are private companies who also retain the right to refuse service… so the double whammy says like most liberals. you just don’t get it.

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