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ABC’s Latest Misleading Gun Poll

Written By : Warner Todd Huston
March 18, 2013

ABC has released the results of another gun poll claiming that support for background checks at gun shows has “vast public support.” But neither the poll nor ABC’s report notes that background checks already routinely occur at gun shows.

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The poll focused on the various gun control bills currently coursing through Congress with one question asking whether or not respondents support “requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows.”

Pointing out that Congress is considering a bill (S. 436) that would expand background checks, ABC reports that “a nearly unanimous 91 percent favor mandatory background checks on gun show sales.”

This question pertains to the so-called “gun show loophole” and misleads people into imagining that background checks are not required at gun shows simply because they are gun shows. The fact is, though, that every licensed gun dealer is required to perform background checks on every gun sale whether he sells his wares at a gun show or from his own shop.

In other words, the gun show itself has nothing to do with this issue.

What Congress is considering is making background checks mandatory on all gun sales, even those between individual citizens. Currently, a private gun owner may sell his gun to any other private citizen without performing a background check. This is what Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer’s bill is meant to address.

Few sellers at gun shows sell guns without background checks and when they do it has nothing to do with where they are selling it but instead has to do with who is doing the selling. ABC failed to note this important point.

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