MYTH: Gun crime would be lower in Chicago if neighboring states had stricter gun laws. Gang bangers can just go across state lines and buy their firearms.
FACT: You can purchase a firearm so long as it goes through a FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee). You must be legally able to carry in your state. For rifles, the sale must comply with the law of the buyer's state. An FFL has to be involved.
Read the law:
(a) It shall be unlawful -
(1) for any person -
(A) except a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or
licensed dealer, to engage in the business of importing,
manufacturing, or dealing in firearms, or in the course of such
business to ship, transport, or receive any firearm in
interstate or foreign commerce; or
(B) except a licensed importer or licensed manufacturer, to
engage in the business of importing or manufacturing
ammunition, or in the course of such business, to ship,
transport, or receive any ammunition in interstate or foreign
(2) for any importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector
licensed under the provisions of this chapter to ship or
transport in interstate or foreign commerce any firearm to any
person other than a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer,
licensed dealer, or licensed collector, except that -
(A) this paragraph and subsection (b)(3) shall not be held to
preclude a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed
dealer, or licensed collector from returning a firearm or
replacement firearm of the same kind and type to a person from
whom it was received; and this paragraph shall not be held to
preclude an individual from mailing a firearm owned in
compliance with Federal, State, and local law to a licensed
importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed
MYTH: The AR-15 is a "military-style" "assault rifle."
FACT: The AR-15 began as the civilian version of the M16. It's a light-weight rifle, easy to fire, and a rifle of choice for many women who want an accurate firearm for home defense when an intruder breaks into their home and their nerves are rattled. It is semi-automatic. I explain here:
MYTH: AR-15s are like machine guns capable of firing hundreds of rounds a minute.
FACT:AR-15s fire 45 rpm with lower accuracy, around 15 max for sustained fire.
If your objective is suppressive fire, not kill, an inaccurately high rpm is the choice for troops in combat. A shotgun in close quarters is more effective. Additionally:
The AR-15′s rate of fire is not nearly as high as some exaggerated numbers I’ve seen. Sustained rate of fire is roughly 12-15 rounds per minute, and that link is for the true military M-16 version. They tend to overheat and/or jam if you shoot too fast. It has been widely reported that the AR-15 jammed in the Aurora incident.
The .223 is smaller than the hunting ammo. The AR-15 also typically uses “ball ammo”, which tends to make a narrow hole straight through the target. Hunting ammo is often designed to expand as it goes through the target, causing more damage. So Mr. Alexander is very wrong on this. The AR-15 has a less lethal payload.
MYTH: If you need defense, call 9-1-1.
FACT: The Supreme Court has ruled 7-2 that the police have no legal obligation to protect your life. I wrote about this here:
The Supreme Court ruled against Gonzales 7-2. If an intruder has broken into your home are you going to pray that they leave your family alone and simply call 9-1-1 with the hopes that law enforcement will save you? How long will you have before police arrive at your home, office, wherever? In Atlanta, it’s 11 minutes. Nine minutes in Nashville. Quite a lot can happen in that span of time. And we know from the Supreme Court ruling that there isn’t a legal obligation for anyone else to protect your life. Are you OK with those odds? You may be, but I’m not, and I will resist the urge of anyone whose goal is to erode my right to protect myself and my family.
Every police officer to whom I've spoken has said the same thing: you are your defense. I spoke with Johnson County (MO) Sheriff Chuck Heiss about this issue:
MYTH: Guns are tools of murder.
FACT:Guns are tools of defense.
Americans use firearms for self-defense more than 2.1 million times annually.
By contrast, there are about 579,000 violent crimes committed annually with firearms of all types. Seventy percent of violent crimes are committed by 7% of criminals, including repeat offenders, many of whom the courts place on probation after conviction, and felons that are paroled before serving their full time behind bars.
Q: Are there certain persons who cannot legally receive or possess firearms and/or ammunition?
Yes, a person who —
Has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year;
Is a fugitive from justice;
Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;
Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution;
Is an alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States or an alien admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa;
Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions;
Having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his or her citizenship;
Is subject to a court order that restrains the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner; or
Has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
Cannot lawfully receive, possess, ship, or transport a firearm.
A person who is under indictment or information for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year cannot lawfully receive a firearm.
Such person may continue to lawfully possess firearms obtained prior to the indictment or information.
[18 U.S.C. 922(g) and (n), 27 CFR 478.32]
MYTH: We don't have laws in place to address mental illness.
FACT: We have laws in place that authorities and other officials don't follow that address mental illness.
Jared Lee Loughner should have been reported to health officials and the Pima County Sheriff's office but the very authorities responsible punted the responsibility. Additional laws have been passed to incentivize faster reporting of mentally unfit individuals to NICS and even then states are still slow to act. We have the laws and we passed more laws to make authorities follow the existing laws. How much more ridiculous does it need to get? It's not about the law, it's about responsibility.
MYTH: More armed citizens means more death.
FACT: Crime has plummeted in every state which has implemented conceal carry.
Between 2008 and 2009, the FBI’s preliminary numbers indicate that murders fell nationally by 10 percent and by about 8 percent in cities that have between 500,000 and 999,999 people. Washington’s population is about 590,000. During that same period of time, murders in the District fell by an astounding 25 percent, dropping from 186 to 140. The city only started allowing its citizens to own handguns for defense again in late 2008.
Examining all the multiple-victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1999 shows that on average, states that adopt right-to-carry laws experience a 60% drop in the rates at which the attacks occur, and a 78% drop in the rates at which people are killed or injured from such attacks.
The NSC estimates that in 1995, firearm accidents accounted for 1.5% of fatal accidents. Larger percentages of fatal accidents were accounted for by motor vehicle accidents (47%), falls (13.5%), poisonings (11.4%), drowning (4.8%), fires (4.4%), and choking on an ingested object (3.0%).
“Violent crime rates are highest overall in states with laws severely limiting or prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms for self-defense”. (FBI Uniform Crime Reports, 1992)
The total Violent Crime Rate is 26% higher in the restrictive states (798.3 per 100,000 pop.) than in the less restrictive states (631.6 per 100,000).
The Homicide Rate is 49% higher in the restrictive states (10.1 per 100,000) than in the states with less restrictive CCW laws (6.8 per 100,000).
The Robbery Rate is 58% higher in the restrictive states (289.7 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (183.1 per 100,000).
The Aggravated Assault Rate is 15% higher in the restrictive states (455.9 per 100,000) than in the less restrictive states (398.3 per 100,000).
Using FBI data (1992), homicide trends in the 17 states with less restrictive CCW laws compare favorably against national trends, and almost all CCW permittees are law-abiding.
Since adopting CCW (1987), Florida’s homicide rate has fallen 21% while the U.S. rate has risen 12%. From start-up 10/1/87 – 2/28/94 (over 6 years) Florida issued 204,108 permits; only 17 (0.008%) were revoked because permittees later committed crimes (not necessarily violent) in which guns were present (not necessarily used).
Of 14,000 CCW licensees in Oregon, only 4 (0.03%) were convicted of the criminal (not necessarily violent) use or possession of a firearm.
Over 1,400 children were killed by cars, almost 260 of those deaths were young pedestrians. Bicycle and space heater accidents take many times more children’s lives than guns. Over 90 drowned in bathtubs. The most recent yearly data available indicates that over 30 children under age 5 drowned in five-gallon plastic water buckets.
MYTH: There exists a gun show loophole and people aren't required to get background checks.
FACT: There does not exist a gun show loophole and individuals are required to get background checks.
Many gun shows require that sellers be FFL and the majority are storefront. They must track inventory or they lose their license The rare exceptions which accounts for a fraction of overall gun sales are limited to collectors selling off pieces here and there or inheritances. There exists no proof absolutely whatsoever between illegal use of a handgun purchased in this manner.
I spoke with John Lott about this recently on my radio program:
MYTH: 40% of gun sales are done without a background check.
FACT: Likely less than 5% of sales are done without background checks.
As I've written:
My friend John Lott made the observation in a conversation following the President’s gun-control address involving Obama’s background check claim. From the President’s address:
But it’s hard to enforce that law when as many as 40 percent of all gun purchases are conducted without a background check.
This is incredibly inaccurate. The President is using a survey of around 250 people taken during the Clinton years before the Brady Act kicked into effect. It’s a very misleading figure. Furthermore, the study shows about 3/4 of those surveyed received firearms either as inheritances or as gifts. In reality, that “40%” number is really in the low single digits.
A few states do require all gun sales at gun shows to go through licensed dealers, but most states do not. Private sales of guns (outside of gun shows) are legal in every state, just as it is perfectly legal to sell one’s car or house to another person without going through a dealer or agent. Gun shows are subject to all gun laws without exception. There is no loophole that allows any gun laws to be circumvented at gun shows.
Gun shows are typically held in public buildings, including hotels, malls, armories or stadiums and are open to the public with modest fees charged for admittance. A large proportion of exhibitors, typically, do not sell guns or ammo at all but, instead, sell accessories such as scopes, holsters and pocketknives.
It doesn’t end there. Vendors at gun stores also sell books, magazines, war memorabilia and even beef jerky. Yes, guns are sold and traded at gun shows but mostly by federally licensed dealers that must do Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives background checks on every customer. Only a very small number of tables are rented by individual gun collectors who are not required to be federally licensed.
Opponents are ridiculing CBD’s “Get the Lead Out” campaign. “The notion that you can get lead out of the environment showed these people should not have passed their high-school chemistry test,” said Mr. Keane. “Lead is in the periodical table. There is no more lead in the environment than there was 100 years ago.”
Don Saba, a research scientist and National Rifle Association board member, said that these groups are deliberately attempting to confuse the public into thinking the lead in bullets is the same as lead paint that is harmful to children.
“The lead that is used in ammunition is metallic lead and is a very inert material that does not dissolve in water and it is not absorbed by plants or animals,” Dr. Saba explained. “There is a tremendous toxicity difference between the highly inert metallic lead used in ammunition and the highly toxic lead compounds used in legacy leaded paints.”
MYTH: High capacity magazine clips are dangerous and should be regulated.
FACT: Magazines are universal, can be made at home, and are impossible to regulate and are not dangerous.
There is no such thing as a "magazine clip," either, as I heard my friend Piers Morgan say recently on television the other night. The capacity of a magazine is irrelevant: the VA tech murderer used handguns to carry out the single deadliest school shooting in our nation's history. You can change a magazine in seconds. Criminals will just buy multiple magazines. Regulation bypassed.
MYTH: The United States has more guns and thus more gun crime than Britain and Australia.
FACT: Handgun crime has doubled in Britain since their ban and violent crime in both countries has increased.
Within a decade of the handgun ban and the confiscation of handguns from registered owners, crime with handguns had doubled according to British government crime reports. Gun crime, not a serious problem in the past, now is. Armed street gangs have some British police carrying guns for the first time.
While there has been much controversy over the result of the law and buyback, Peter Reuter and Jenny Mouzos, in a 2003 study published by the Brookings Institution, found homicides "continued a modest decline" since 1997. They concluded that the impact of the National Firearms Agreement was "relatively small," with the daily rate of firearms homicides declining 3.2%.
In 2008, the Australian Institute of Criminology reported a decrease of 9% in homicides and a one-third decrease in armed robbery since the 1990s, but an increase of over 40% in assaults and 20% in sexual assaults.
Take Melbourne, Australia’s second most populous city. Between January 16, 1998 and April 19, 2010, 36 criminal figures or partners were murdered during the Melbourne Gangland Killings.
Alas, family environments, from businesses to parks, were drawn into the mess.
The passage of gun control laws fueled our illegal arms market, and gun-hungry gangs multiplied. The significance: many gangland deaths/wars involved bullets. The tribal fights exploded after the Port Arthur massacre-inspired gun laws, against mainstream media predictions.