And PolitiFact’s defense of his claims indicates again how little the media understand guns.
Yesterday President Obama dramatically announced a handful of executive branch actions related to the sale of guns. The media event was comprehensively staged and included a social media push. Using the hash tag #StopGunViolence, the White House tweeted several dozen quotes and claims about guns. One in particular stood out:
Can’t wait for “fact” “checkers” to go to town on this one! https://twitter.com/WhiteHouse/status/684417935478243328 …
In fact, it is illegal for violent felons to purchase guns. And no one can just order guns off the Internet without going through a background check. Far from it. Internet gun purchases are relatively rare, but when they happen, the purchased items aren’t sent directly to the buyer but first must be sent to a dealer holding a federal firearms license. Such gun transactions processed by a federal firearms license holder must include a background check, regardless of whether the sale is across state lines or not. Gun transactions across state lines must be processed in the home state of the recipient. So if you purchase a gun off the Internet from a different state, it will be sent to a federal firearms license holder in your state, and you would not be allowed to take possession of it until a background check is done on you.
The only exemption to the federal requirement for background checks applies to non-federal purchases: transactions between two private individuals who reside in the same state. It is against the law for anyone, regardless of whether they hold a federal firearms license, to sell or give a firearm to anyone who is reasonably believed to be a “prohibited person” (a full statutory list of prohibited persons can be found in 18 USC 922(d)). If an individual ran a gun commerce site, they would not be considered private but, rather, in the business of selling guns. As such, they’d need to have a federal firearms license. And even if there were an online shopping site that processed sales between private individuals, they would still need to be shipped. In order to ship guns to private individuals, you need to be licensed to do that. And this process is highly restricted as well.