A frequent letter-writer recently wrote 40 percent of guns sold at gun shows are unregistered. Those I know who regularly attend gun shows find the 40 percent number so far off it’s laughable. However, the more the lie is repeated and unanswered, the more it becomes believable.
Perhaps the writer is repeating what President Obama has been incorrectly quoting from a 1997 Justice Department survey. In this survey, 40 percent of gun purchases were without a background check. But included in the 40 percent, 29 percent said they got their guns from family members, friends, or acquaintances. Of the remaining 11 percent, 3 percent said from the mail (and by law they have to be shipped to a gun dealer and go through a background check), 4 percent said “other,” and only 4 percent made their purchase at a gun show.