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Letter to the Editor: Background checks facts

Thursday, September 22, 2016

There are several problems with the Sept. 14 BDN editorial on expanding background checks for firearm purchases. This editorial was written to support the Question 3 ballot initiative and contains a significant error.

The primary error is the claim that “an estimated 40 percent of gun sales take place online or through other venues that do not require background checks.” Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and countless other gun control politicians have used this statistic as a justification for a universal background check system. In all cases, fact checkers at the Washington Post have determinedthe use of this statistic inappropriate as it has significant factual errors and is mostly false.

The 40 percent claim comes from data collected in a 1994 survey that found 35.7 percent did not receive the gun from a licensed firearm dealers. It is significant that the study comes from 1994 because this is the year the Brady Act passed to establish a national background check system. But the purchases covered in the survey went as far back as 1991, meaning at least some of the guns were bought in a pre-Brady Act environment.

It’s fine if you want to argue against my point of view, but at least use evidence that hasn’t already been proven false.

Charles Rumsey III


Read the complete article: Bangor Daily News

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.