Obama Talks to Foreign Country About US Gun Laws... Can You Spot All the Lies?
Former President Barack Obama is attacking gun rights once again, though that shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone.
What may come as a bit of a shock, though, is the fact that Obama ripped the Second Amendment while speaking in a foreign country and to a foreign audience.
During an onstage interview Thursday at VTEX Day — a conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil — the 44th president made multiple false statements regarding the purchasing process for firearms in the United States.
“The most difficult day that I’ve had was the day that there was a shooting in a school where 20 small children were shot,” he said, referring to the December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.
“Some of you may be aware, our gun laws in the United States don’t make much sense,” Obama added. “Anybody can buy any weapon, any time without … much, if any, regulation. They can buy it over the internet. They can buy machine guns.”
Obama tells Brazil crowd: “Some of you may be aware our gun laws in the United States don’t make much sense. Anybody can buy any weapon any time — without much if any regulation, they can buy it over the Internet, they can buy machine guns.” pic.twitter.com/MFFTgaFwLS
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 31, 2019
Now, there’a lot to unpack there, to put it lightly.
Obama was absolutely right to recognize how sad the Sandy Hook school shooting was. But his takeaways from that tragedy, at least in regard to gun control, could not have been more wrong.
With that in mind, let’s go through his words and debunk the misleading claims and falsehoods he made in this short soundbite.
Statement 1: “Anybody can buy any weapon, any time without … much, if any, regulation.”
Many individuals, particularly felons, are prohibited from buying any firearms, at least from sellers with licenses. In addition to federal restrictions, many states have their own laws on what guns and gun accessories can and cannot be purchased.
More regulation equals decreased access. Therefore, claiming that “anybody” can buy any weapon they want is patently false.
Statement 2: “They buy it over the internet.”
First off, who is “they?” If Obama is referring the same “anybody” he previously mentioned, then he’s dead wrong. If you are prohibited from buying a firearm for any reason, online sellers will not fulfill your order.
In fact, a Government Accountability Office study was performed to determine if people with a prohibited status could successfully purchase guns from online weapon dealers.
The big takeaway? Bad guys, it seems, have a very hard time buying guns online.
“Tests performed on the Surface Web [i.e. not the Dark Web] demonstrated that private sellers GAO contacted on gun forums and other classified ads were unwilling to sell a firearm to an individual who appeared to be prohibited from possessing a firearm,” the study reported in November 2017.
“Of the 72 attempts agents made to purchase firearms on the Surface Web, 56 sellers refused to complete a transaction: 29 sellers stated they would not ship a firearm and 27 refused after the disclosure of the undercover identities’ stated prohibited status. Furthermore, in 5 of these 72 attempts, the accounts GAO set up were frozen by the websites, which prevented the agents from using the forums and attempting to make a purchase.”
Good people can buy firearms online. Bad people, for the most part, cannot.
The same scrutiny that applies when purchasing a weapon in-person also applies online.
Statement 3: “They can buy machine guns.”
No, “they” cannot.
Only a select few private citizens can purchase a fully-automatic weapon.
They must be able to actually find one for sale — one manufactured prior to May 19, 1986, no less — before passing an extensive background check. And it’s highly unlikely you’ll be paying less than $10,000 for one, according to The Federalist.
There are very few people who can do this — not quite enough to be considered “anybody.”
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