Yesterday, the National Rifle Association published a Q&A between the NRA’s Chief Lobbyist Chris Cox and the NRA leadership’s pick for president, Donald Trump. As you can imagine, the interview was full of the usual, untrue rhetoric that Hillary Clinton is coming for your guns, that criminals will get a gun no matter what and that common-sense gun safety laws do nothing to protect public safety.
The interview contains a litany of myths that have been debunked time and time again, but we thought that some of the fear-mongering theories called for additional fact-checking.
The idea that “criminals obviously ignore gun laws,” and that gun laws are therefore unnecessary, is simply not the case. Here’s the truth: background checks are the only systematic way to stop felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people from buying guns – they’ve blocked more than 2 million prohibited purchasers in the last twenty years.
It also appears that Donald Trump doesn’t have a grasp on our nation’s laws. He claims that under current law, “purchasing a firearm from a dealer requires a background check, whether in a store, at a gun show or anywhere else.” Trump seems to have forgotten – or not care – that dangerous people can easily walk into a gun show or hop online to buy a gun from an unlicensed seller with no background check, and no questions asked.
It’s like having two lines at the airport – one with security, and one without. And criminals get to choose. That’s why criminals are flocking to unregulated online gun sales – like Armslist.com – a vast, virtual gun show where you can search for guns for sale from unlicensed dealers and where millions of guns exchange hands each year in the U.S. – no background checks required. Closing this loophole is something that 18 states have already done and is on the ballot this November in Nevada and Maine.
Closing the background check loophole is meaningful and it matters: In states that require background checks for all handgun sales, 46 percent fewer women are shot and killed by intimate partners, there are 48 percent fewer gun suicides, and 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers are killed with handguns.
We could go on and on about the false statements that weave this latest question-and-answer session together, but you get the drift. And if you’re interested in learning more and connecting with national gun safety advocates, gun violence policy experts, legal experts and/or survivors of gun violence, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
There is only one candidate in this presidential election who has consistently stood up for common-sense gun laws and vowed to buck the gun lobby, and that candidate is Hillary Clinton. Clinton is fighting to make 2016 the year of gun safety, and we are proud she has our endorsement.