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Biden's false remarks on gun show background checks gets a pass from some fact-checkers

David Rutz - Fox News | Published on 4/13/2021

President Biden's false remarks Thursday that one could buy whatever they wanted at a gun show with no background check received a pass from some fact-checkers.

During a speech in the Rose Garden, Biden made an oft-repeated claim by gun control proponents about the so-called "gun show loophole."

"Most people don’t know, you walk into a store and you buy a gun, you have a background check," Biden said. "But you go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want and no background check."

Yet that does not apply to federally licensed dealers at gun shows, who require background checks on sales regardless of their location. Private sales do not necessarily require a background check. While fact-checks from the conservative Dispatch and Washington Free Beacon noted Biden's comments were untrue, some mainstream media ones were more forgiving.

"Whether this statement is misleading depends on how you hear Biden’s words," the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler wrote.

Kessler said Biden's claim was "half-true" and quoted "gun-control experts" who didn't fault Biden's phrasing. He acknowledged studies showing most sales at gun shows are done by licensed vendors but fretted there are enough private sales to "raise concerns."

Sixteen states and Washington, D.C., already have universal background check laws, according to the New York Times. Biden is pushing the Senate to pass H.R. 8, which would ban private gun sales unless done through a licensed dealer, according to the Free Beacon. 

"Federal law does not regulate gun sales based on where they occur. Instead, it regulates them based on who is involved in the sale," the Free Beacon's Stephen Gutowski wrote. "If a licensed gun dealer is selling a gun to a private citizen, the sale must go through a background check. Licensed dealers can and do sell guns at gun shows."

CNN's Daniel Dale, known for his fact-checks in real time of former President Donald Trump, didn't live-tweet Biden's remarks, and he has yet to note Biden's falsehood about gun shows.

He did note Biden was "wrong" to say gunmakers were the only industry that "can't be sued."

The New York Times did say Biden's claim was "exaggerated," and PolitiFact rated it "Mostly False." 

Biden announced several planned executive actions on gun control during his remarks Thursday. These included requiring serial numbers on kits for homemade "ghost guns" so they can be traced, a required fee and submission of identifying information for purchasers of stabilizing braces for pistols -- as is currently required for silencers -- and a national red flag law that would allow police or family members to petition a court to temporarily confiscate a person's guns if they pose a danger to themselves or others.