Obama Accused of ‘Outright Lying’ About Violent Felons Making Online Gun Purchases

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama unveiled controversial executive actions he plans to take that he says will reduce gun violence.

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, unveiled controversial executive actions on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, unveiled controversial executive actions on gun control Jan. 5 in the East Room of the White House. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

During his remarks, the president said:

Today, background checks are required at gun stores. If a father wants to teach his daughter how to hunt, he can walk into a gun store, get a background check, purchase his weapon safely and responsibly. This is not seen as an infringement on the Second Amendment. Contrary to the claims of what some gun rights proponents have suggested, this hasn’t been the first step in some slippery slope to mass confiscation. Contrary to claims of some presidential candidates, apparently, before this meeting, this is not a plot to take away everybody’s guns. You pass a background check; you purchase a firearm.

The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules. A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked. A recent study found that about one in 30 people looking to buy guns on one website had criminal records — one out of 30 had a criminal record. We’re talking about individuals convicted of serious crimes — aggravated assault, domestic violence, robbery, illegal gun possession. People with lengthy criminal histories buying deadly weapons all too easily. And this was just one website within the span of a few months.

The White House reiterated one of the president’s comments on Twitter:

Obama was promptly accused of lying about how online gun purchases work.

In order to legally purchase a firearm via the Internet from a dealer, one must have the gun shipped to a Federal Firearms License holder. The licensee conducts a background check and only if the individual is cleared is the transaction completed.

According to the Washington Post, it is already a felony for a private seller to sell a firearm to someone who “likely couldn’t pass a background check” due to a criminal record or a history of mental illness.