On Monday, Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, Everytown for Gun Safety, published a report stating the success of background checks.
The group contradicted itself by praising the system while also saying that the number of denied requests fell by half between 2002 and 2013 and made the assumption that those who are denied a firearms purchase at a licensed dealer went on to pursue a purchase from “unlicensed sellers.”
Former NYC mayor Bloomberg pledged $50 million to Everytown for Gun Safety, which means the group is able to hire researchers and statisticians to produce credible reports.
The group cited an earlier report of an investigation of the users of Armslist.com. Everytown for Gun Safety claimed that one in 30 people on the site had a criminal record or domestic violence history.
The group claims it searched the site’s “want to buy” section and matched contact information to criminal records.
However, a quick search of Armslist.com shows very few requests to purchase an actual firearm on the site. Posts include requests for parts, gun smithing, hunting leases, etc.
The claims by Bloomberg’s group are suspect given and clearly statistically unreliable as 30 requests to purchase a firearm could not be found within a 60 day period.
Ten “want to buy” requests were posted from November 1 2014, to January 12, 2015. Of those, four were from dealers and all of the others were looking for specific, collectable firearms with the exception of one barter – a dentist in Washington State looking to trade services for a firearms and outdoor/hunting gear.
Private firearms transactions between parties are legal in most states.
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island require background checks for all transactions while Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania require checks on handgun purchases.
Even while private transactions are legal in most states, many gun owners and collectors prefer to conduct official transfers during a transaction for liability reasons.
A review of listings from GunBroker.com (a leading private firearms auction site), shows that all listings state up front that transfers will be conducted through FFL’s (Federal Firearms License Holders).