President Joe Biden made numerous false and misleading statements while unveiling a package of gun-control actions on Thursday.
Biden falsely described how federal firearm laws work as he called for Congress to amend those laws. He pushed the Senate to pass H.R. 8, which would ban private gun sales unless done through a licensed dealer, by claiming there is a special exemption for sales made at gun shows.
“Most people don’t know, you walk into a store and you buy a gun you have a background check,” Biden said in his speech at the White House. “But you go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want and no background check.”
Most people do not know what the president said because it is not true. Federal law does not regulate gun sales based on where they occur. Instead, it regulates them based on who is involved in the sale. 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.
When a private citizen sells his own used firearms to another private citizen inside their own state, federal law does not require a background check to be performed. Private citizens do often sell guns at gun shows, but such sales can be conducted anywhere else as well. Some states go beyond federal law and require all gun sales or even transfers between private citizens to go through a licensed dealer, as H.R. 8 would require.
Biden also falsely claimed the gun industry is uniquely protected from all liability while advocating for the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.
“People don’t realize the only industry in America, a billion-dollar industry, that can’t be sued, that are exempt from being sued, are gun manufacturers,” Biden said. “This is the only outfit that is exempt from being sued.”
That claim is also false. Gun manufacturers can be sued and sometimes are sued over claims of negligence. Remington settled a lawsuit over an alleged design flaw with the trigger