Online Gun Purchasing Loophole Debunked
A recent GAO study is unable to find any evidence of illegal gun purchases made via legitimate websites.
A favorite straw man regularly held up by anti-gun activists in their endless attempt to limit Americans’ Second Amendment rights is the supposedly significant problem of gun law “loopholes.” This grossly overstated argument is often trotted out as justification for the calls for more gun-control laws. One example of this loophole fallacy is the claim of no background check requirements for firearm purchases at gun shows. While that may be true in some states for private sales, this false claim has been repeatedly debunked and yet anti-gun activists and much of the mainstream media still repeat it as if it were gospel truth. Federal law requires all Federal Firearms Licensed sellers to conduct background checks.
Recently, another one of these gun law loophole fallacies was debunked, and royally so. In 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) was commissioned for some research by three Democrat members of Congress, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who are well known for their anti-gun rights crusading. Motivated by a 2011 Michael Bloomberg-funded anti-gun campaign called “Point, Click, Fire” — which claimed that in supposedly largely unregulated online transactions, 62% of private sellers would sell a firearm to an individual who couldn’t pass a background check — the three Democrats sought to have the GAO officially validate this loophole problem.
However, The Washington Free Beacon reports, “Between July 2015 and November 2017 investigators from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), following up on a congressional request, tried to make the illegal private gun purchases through a number of online forums and market places. They made 72 attempts over that time but couldn’t complete a single sale using legitimate sites.” [emphasis added]
Not only does the GAO report largely debunk Bloomberg and company’s online gun-purchasing loophole fabrication, it reinforces the fact that the cause of criminal violence stems not from the legal availability of guns but from the hearts and minds of lawless individuals. Lawful gun owners are simply not the problem, and this study only further cements this reality. As our friends at 2ndVote so effectively point out, a gun has yet to act alone to kill anyone.
(Corrected from an earlier version.)