Vice President Joe Biden during a Google+ Hangout on Wednesday made a rather interesting claim:
80,000 plus people a year who go through the background system are convicted felons or adjudicated incompetent to be able to own a weapon. That 40 percent means there's gotta be, statistically, somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 who get a gun who are not qualified. Probably higher.
"How does that make any sense?" he asked:
Perhaps the vice president finds these statistics so confusing because they're not exactly accurate. Well, not according to the FBI at least.
"The FBI states that between November 30, 1998 and March 31st 2013 they denied clearance on a gun sale after a background check revealed the person in question was 'convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year or a misdemeanor punishable by more than two years' exactly 590,070 times," writes Stephen Gutowski for CNSNews.com.
"In the same period of time they denied clearance on a gun sale after a background check revealed the person in question was 'adjudicated [for] mental health' exactly 10,945 times. That works out to 41,931 denials due to felonies or mental health issues per year," he adds.
In short, the vice president's claim is off by at least 38,069 people per year. He nearly doubled the actual number.
"By combining, apparently in his head and on the fly, the demonstrably inaccurate '80,000 plus people a year' with the debunked claim that 40% of gun sales in America don't require a background check, Mr. Biden reaches the completely unverifiable claim that 'between 30,000 and 50,000 who get a gun who are not qualified. Probably higher,'" Gutowski notes.
"That claim, the child of two other blatantly inaccurate claims used to forward gun control agendas, is, of course, itself used to forward a gun control agenda," he adds.
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