Gun Control Freaks “40% Myth” Debunked.

Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 9.12.54 AMJohn Lott- Gun-control advocates have recently been throwing around an impressive new number. President Obama used it last Wednesday, claiming: “as many as 40 percent of guns are purchased without a background check.” Vice President Biden and everyone from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to USA Today repeatedly use it. That “fact” provided the principal support for his first announced gun-control proposal, “universal background checks.” But unless you include family inheritances and gifts as “purchases,” it is simply false.

The Brady Act background checks currently prevent someone who buys from a federally licensed dealer from buying a gun if he has a felony, or in many cases a misdemeanor conviction, or has been involuntarily committed for mental illness. Prior to Brady, federal law merely required that people sign a statement stating that they did not have a criminal record or a history of mental problems under threat of perjury. Obama’s 40 percent claim makes it look like a lot of gun buyers are avoiding these checks.

Actually, the number reported was a bit lower, 36 percent, and as we will see the true number of guns “sold” without check is closer to 10 percent. More important, the number comes from a 251-person survey on gun sales two decades ago, early in the Clinton administration. More than three-quarters of the survey covered sales before the Brady Act instituted mandatory federal background checks on February 28, 1994. In addition, guns are not sold in the same way today that they were sold two decades ago.

The number of federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) today is only a fraction of what it was. Today there are only 118,000; while back in 1993 there were over 283,000. Smaller dealers, many operating out of their homes, were forced out by various means, including much higher costs for licenses.

The survey asked buyers if they thought they were buying from a licensed firearms dealer. While all FFLs do background checks, those perceived as being FFLs were the only ones counted. Yet, there is much evidence that survey respondents who went to the very smallest FFLs, especially the “kitchen table” types, had no inkling that the dealer was actually “licensed.” Many buyers seemed to think that only “brick and mortar” stores were licensed dealers, and thus reported not buying from an FFL when in fact they did.

But the high figure comes primarily from including such transactions as inheritances or gifts from family members. Putting aside these various biases, if you look at guns that were bought, traded, borrowed, rented, issued as a requirement of the job, or won through raffles, 85 percent went through FFLs; just 15 percent were transferred without a background check.

If you include these transfers either through FFLs or from family members, the remaining transfers falls to 11.5 percent.
We don’t know the precise number today, but it is hard to believe that it is above single digits.


  • Todd

    John Lott has no idea what he’s talking about. I would say it is higher than 40%. Guns kill children. What do you not get? Ban them now!

    • charlie

      here is idiot obummer troll todd spreading false info again

    • DoingMoreWithLes

      No, PEOPLE kill children, some kill them with guns, our president kills them with drones. Our government barbecued them at Waco. This isn’t about gun control or do you believe Feinstein just wants to protect us from ourselves. They and their minions will still be armed to the teeth, but you will not be. Why is it that the federal government doesn’t trust you to have a gun?

    • Bexcee

      More kids die in swimming pools. You are more likely to be hit by lightning than shot in a mass shooting. Harvard study on gun violence proves gun free = more violence and death. Look it up. The solutions they are offering, are not solutions at all. Allow people to carry a weapon, end gun free zones, and stop disarmament. (total disarmament is the goal, and UN is pushing it. Hillary and Obama have given the nod to a un treaty that would allow UN to regulate all guns. Guess they haven’t read the Dick Act of 1902.

    • KentuckyColonel2

      If you spread a lie about anything, often enough, you begin to believe it is true. This is the practice of the entire Obama administration. Just yesterday this totally inept usurper was blaming something on Bush…Bush has been gone now for over four years and this moron has failed to accomplish one constructive thing aside from putting this nation in greater debt, aiding our enemies, overthrowing other governments, raising everyone’s taxes and totally destroying this nations health care system.When will someone step up and stop this spawn of Satan?

    • TexasJester

      A gun is a TOOL. Nothing more, nothing less. More people were killed last year with HAMMERS than AR-15s and other so-called “assault rifles”. More people are killed by MOTOR VEHICLES than with guns. Are we going to ban either of these TOOLS?

      I have NEVER seen a gun walk up to a person and shoot that person on its own – it MUST be held by another person. Just as a drill cannot drill a hole without a person operating the drill, a gun cannot shoot a person without a person holding that gun and pulling the trigger. (This isn’t “Bob the Builder”, where the tools walk, talk, and perform tasks on their own.)

      If you are not engaging in witty sarcasm, you are a FOOL.

    • TexasOlTimer

      But of course they do. They just open the gun cabinet while the family is away and walk down the street on their own looking for a child to kill. Come on! It’s people that kill whether it’s with a gun, knife, hammer, blunt instrument, hands, or poison. There are far more things in this world that kill children – domestic violence, swimming accidents, car crashes, falls – do we ban all these as well?

      If guns were totally banned, the law abiding citizen would be the only ones to turn them in as they did in Australia. Because of the massive rise in crime there, they are re-thinking that decision. Chicago is the murder capital of the U.S. and has the strictest gun control laws. No guns in the hands of the law abiding citizens just leaves them sitting ducks for the criminals to victimize. That’s why the mass shootings happen in “gun free zones.”

    • Arrgh2112

      Mine must be broken then. None of them have ever grown legs and ran off to harm anyone, much less a child.

    • Peter Hauer

      Todd, you said, “I would say it is higher than 40%.” Do you have any evidence to support your opinion? Of course not, because you’re a lefty, and lefty’s never have any support for their absurd beliefs.

    • WASP

      Does your insanity hurt your little brain? Better adjust your lithium dose. Liberalism is prima facie evidence of mental illness.

    • jamohio

      Abortion clinics have murdered more than 60,000,000 children. Why dont they have the same right to they’re bodies as their “mothers”?? So shouldn’t clinics also be banned?? Now I’ll prepare for a mindless answer!!

    • tedthebear

      Toad, I bet you’re a registered democrat and an excellent demonstration of why their PARTY logo is an ASS!

  • Gb

    Thank you for clearing this up. Domestic violence kills children. Alcohol kills children. Malnutrition kills children. Ignorance kills children. How about working those issues first and save life.

    • Bexcee

      EPA regulations kill children. DDT bann has killed multiple millions. Any apology from the left? Any reverse in failed policy? No. (except Africa is rethinking the DDT thing)

  • sreynolds

    Planned parenthood kills more children than all guns in the world… idiots

    • freedomringsforall


      When are our Republican representatives going to start answering obama and his minions that if there is just one thing that can be done to save even just one single innocent child that that one thing should be to outlaw the hundreds of thousands of abortive killings of children that occur in the United States each year.

  • Victor

    MARXISM(ANTI-CHRIST) in belief and also even denying the very existance of a “Spiritual world” is written to be the ONLY SIN NEVER to be FORGIVEN! THAT MEANS NEVER, FOLKS, either in this world or the next! Looks like Adam again is going to have a hard time finding women in the age to come, right? No! NOT TRUE AT ALL! Because it also is written that ONLY 72,000 men & 72,000 women, 6,000 each from each of the 12 tribes of Israel with Joseph replacing Dan(Irish) as being PROTECTED during the 3 1/2 years testimony given be the two-witnesses of Revelation, chapter 11. Then, only 3 1/2 days later, ALL GENTILES will be JUDGED in ONLY ONE(1) HOUR, also as written!

  • LLinLa

    People, please! We shouldn’t let facts get in the way of perfectly good propaganda! The sleeping giant’s Ambien is wearing off, Mr. President . . .

    • TexasJester

      And for those who never studied history, the reference is to this famous quote:

      “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.”
      – Japanese Emperor Hirohito, 8 December 1941, after the “day that will live in infamy” speech by American President Franklin D Roosevelt, referencing the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. It was designed to knock out the American fleet, and force the Americans out of the Pacific, so Japan could continue her expansion unchecked.

    • WASP

      Realistically, with 100 million gun owners keeping 300 million guns, how do the fascist-democraps think they COULD confiscate that many guns, assuming that the sleeping giant doesn’t kick their leftist butts off the continent first.

  • OneHoleBull

    In many of the “private sales” individuals are requiring identity confirmation including a drivers license or a concealed carry permit.

  • Gman

    Just a bunch of liars. The vast number of American people who believe and follow this lying POS brain dead piss poor excuse of a president and media is beyond me. I just have a hard time believing that these people are just so stupid and lazy and have no sense of accountbility or responsibility. It is so pathetic.

  • 2War Abn Vet

    good lib/socialist will never permit facts to interfere with the message.

  • jeepdude911

    The definition of the word “liar” should read, “current administration’.

    • MidnightDStroyer

      You wouldn’t even have to chance that definition when the White House changes its employee roster…For as long as I’ve lived, EVERY President has openly lied to the public.

      • MidnightDStroyer

        sorry…”change the definition,” not “chance.”

  • marineh2ominer

    100% 0f me says I will ALWAYS have guns to protect my family and my-self from any and every threat foreign or domestic . The communists in the government can do what ever they want , I will not be effected , I will not change anything in that regard , unconstitutional laws are NOT laws , they are merely legislative lies .

  • 9Spoon9

    Just more propaganda…but I ‘spect if the thugs keep pushing, there’s some ffls that may well just decide to follow the aspersions cast and then conveniently report a B&E where records (4473s/log books) were taken during the criminal incidence. That or just arm their families and friends and do likewise…then close shop. Just me wondering outloud, but seems plausible given the thuggish attitudes of the powers that are wanting more and more control. I’m sure every ffl in the USA will see continually increasing visits by ATFE agents as the calendar rolls by this year.

  • -133

    I can you that no law enforcement agency here Texas supports such draconian gun laws. I know this because I am a cop. “Come and take it”

  • MontieR

    In other words they LIED again.

  • Attila

    Be careful what you agree to! Measures supposedly to prevent guns being sold to criminals and mental cases result in ALL gun owners being added to a database for which they will pay with their lives when the tyrants take over. The 2nd says “shall not be infringed.” As for criminals and mentals, they cannot purchase a weapon if they are locked up.

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