The Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety is actively pushing an expansion of background checks for every firearm sale in Oregon, be that sale retail or private. They present the checks as the same kind of background checks required at Oregon gun shows “since 2000,” even though they admit the background checks at gun shows didn’t really stamp out private sales.
In other words, Everytown is arguing that every gun sale in the state should be subject to the same background check that isn’t working all that great at gun shows.
To accomplish passage of background checks, Everytown is using the same tactic they used in New Hampshire, where they conducted a study of online gun sales, then reported the number of guns that “may” have been sold or “could” have been sold, not the number that actually were. Then, they compared the number of guns advertised for sale with the number of guns actually sold at gun shows, which allows them to give Oregonians the sense that online gun sales are out of control.
In the process, they intimate that background checks at gun shows have not eliminated the private sales they were intended to erase.
An estimated 25,000 unlicensed guns are posted for sale each year on just a handful of Oregon websites. This dwarfs the number of unlicensed sales conducted at gun shows, which have been subject to background checks in Oregon since 2000. Unlicensed sellers in the state post more gun ads online each week than they sell at gun shows in a full year.
Here’s the question: If background checks are such an integral and proven part of gun control, why are there still any private gun sales at Oregon gun shows? How is that possible?
Moreover, why should the checks be forced on the rest of the state if they’ve already failed in their stated purpose of ending private sales at gun shows?
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.