President Obama’s proposals to tighten gun control rules may not accomplish his goal of keeping guns out of the hands of would-be criminals and those who aren’t legally allowed to buy a weapon because the conditions he is changing by executive action are murkier than he made them out to be, reports the Associated Press. AP does a fact check on four Obama quotes. The President said, “A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.” It’s not that straightforward, AP says. Federally licensed gun dealers are required by law to conduct background checks for gun purchases no matter where the sale takes place — in a store, at a gun show or online. Obama said, “We’re going to require firearms dealers to report more lost or stolen guns on a timely basis,” but AP says the effect is unclear because the government already requires gun dealers to report all lost or stolen guns within 48 hours of discovering that they are missing.
Obama said, “Anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks, or be subject to criminal prosecutions.” AP says “In the business” is the key condition for coming under this requirement, and the definition may have a lot of wiggle room. Federal law defines people who “repetitively buy and sell firearms with the principal motive of making a profit” as being “engaged in the business” of selling guns and requires them to be licensed. People who occasionally sell guns from their personal collections don’t have to apply for a license. The law does not specify how many guns a person has to sell to be considered “engaged in the business” of selling guns and neither did Obama. The President said, “Even after San Bernardino, they’ve (Congress) refused to make it harder for terror suspects who can’t get on a plane to buy semi-automatic weapons.” Says AP: “That’s at least in part because gun ownership is a constitutional right and getting on an airplane isn’t.”