FACT CHECK: Biden Cites Mass Shootings, Claims Expanding Background Checks Would Give More Safety

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AP

CLAIM: During his Thursday night primetime speech President Biden claimed that we  “should expand background checks” and talked of how such checks would keep guns out of the wrong hands.

VERDICT: Mostly False.

The United States has had FBI background checks on retail gun sales since 1998. Have those checks kept some guns out of the wrong hands? Certainly.

However, Biden’s speech was framed around mass shootings–he used examples of mass shootings in the prelude to the speech.

What are “expanded background checks”?

When Biden and other Democrats push to “expand background checks” they are pushing to require background checks for retail to be expanded so as to include private sales as well. And to make this push while simultaneously claiming that such an expansion would keep guns out of the wrong hands could give listeners the impression that mass shooters are getting their guns from private sales now, to avoid background checks. But the facts are quite the opposite.

Breitbart News has long kept a running tally  of the high-profile mass shootings of the last 15 years, and every attacker but three got his guns via a background check. Two of the three who avoided background checks–the Clackamus Town Center attacker (December 11, 2012) and the Sandy Hook attacker (December 14, 2012)–stole their guns, so no amount of point-of-sale gun checks would have stopped them. Only one individual, the Midland, Texas, attacker (August 31, 2019), acquired his gun via a private sale.

The list of mass public attackers who acquired their guns via background checks includes the Uvalde attacker and the Buffalo attacker.

Part of the rest of the list of attackers who complied with background checks looks like this:

  • Indianapolis FedEx attacker (April 15, 2021)
  • Atlanta-area attacker (March 16, 2021)
  • Parkland high school attacker (February 14, 2018)
  • Texas church attacker (November 5, 2017)
  • Las Vegas attacker (October 1, 2017)
  • Alexandria attacker (June 14, 2017)
  • Orlando attacker (June 12, 2016)
  • UCLA gunman (June 1, 2016)
  • San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015)
  • Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015)
  • Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015)
  • Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015)
  • Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015)
  • Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015)
  • Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015)
  • Muhammad Cartoon Contest attackers (May 3, 2014)
  • Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015)
  • Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014)
  • Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014)
  • Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013)
  • D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013)
  • Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012)
  • Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011)
  • Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
  • Northern Illinois University attacker (February 14, 2008)
  • Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007)

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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