By Patrick J. Brosnan

Myth 1- Stricter Gun Control Laws Will Reduce Crime.
Facts:  Criminals, by definition, do not obey laws. Stricter background checks and longer waiting periods have zero impact on a criminal’s decision to carry a gun: they purchase guns in hallways, apartments, schoolyards, etc. and as “straw” buyers. 

Myth 2- Stricter Gun Control Laws Will Diminish Public Mass Shootings.
Facts: This fable has been spun for decades and is the most dishonest of all the false narratives. If, effective today, there was not another gun sold in America we would still have 400 million in circulation - in cars, pocketbooks, safes, holsters and, in the waistbands of bad guys. Unless someone invents a magical machine that can make them all vanish, we are stuck with them. 

Myth 3- Firearm purchases at gun shows do not require a background check due to the “gun show loophole.  
Facts:  If an individual wants to purchase a firearm from a licensed firearms retailer, which typically makes up the majority of vendors at gun shows, the individual must fill out the requisite federal firearms paperwork and undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) background check. 

Myth 4- Individuals who purchase firearms on the Internet are not subject to background checks.
Facts: An individual cannot purchase a firearm directly from a firearms retailer over the Internet must have that firearm shipped to a federal firearms licensee, such as a gun store, where the Internet purchaser must pick up the gun and fill out the requisite forms, including ATF Form 4473, which initiates the NICS background check process. Thus, an Internet purchase of a firearm from a firearms retailer requires a background check. 

Myth 5- Obama’s executive action on gun control will thwart criminals’ ability to obtain firearms.
Facts: The president’s executive action regarding firearms is focused primarily on individuals who attempt to purchase firearms through the background check process; criminals, however, obtain firearms in myriad illegal ways, including home invasion robbery; trading narcotics for firearms; burglary of homes, vehicles, and businesses; and straw purchasing. Again, criminals, by definition, do not obey laws. 

Myth 6- Gun retailers need to step up and refuse to sell semi-automatic weapons. - Obama, Jan. 5
Facts: There is nothing unlawful about a semi-automatic firearm. A semi-automatic firearm simply means that a round is discharged with each pull of the trigger. These include most shotguns used for waterfowl hunting and rifles commonly used for target shooting. 

Myth 7- Mental health has nothing to do with gun control.
Facts: Many of the recent mass killings were committed by mentally ill individuals. One of the keys to preventing further mass shootings and violence committed with firearms is addressing the issue of mental health. 

  • Background checks to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining guns can work only if states provide mental health records to the NICS system. Too many states have failed to do so. Many of the worst offenders are states with the most stringent gun control laws. For multiple years now, many members of Congress have repeatedly called for and introduced legislation that would provide incentives for states to submit their mental health records for inclusion in the NICS database.

Myth 8 - Gun shows lack any law enforcement presence and are a free-for- all for felons and other prohibited individuals to obtain firearms.

  • Local, state, and federal law enforcement are often present both in uniform and/or covertly in plain clothes to monitor and intervene in suspected unlawful firearms sales such as straw purchasing; purchases made by prohibited individuals, including non-residents; and the attempted sale of any illegal firearms.

Myth 9- The Obama administration has made firearms enforcement a priority.

  • The Obama administration has used its limited criminal enforcement resources to focus on clemency for convicted and imprisoned felons and the investigation of police departments.
  • Proof of this lack of enforcement is revealed in the decline of weapons-related prosecutions during the Obama administration. As data obtained from the Executive Office of United States Attorneys, through a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal, firearms prosecutions are down approximately 25 percent under the Obama administration versus the last year of the Bush administration.

Myth 10- There is a general consensus in America that greater gun control is needed to prevent mass shootings in the United States.

  • Polls have shown that the majority of Americans do not believe that stricter gun control would reduce the number of mass shootings in the United States.
  • The American public does not believe that making it harder for law-abiding Americans to obtain guns makes America safer. In fact, polls have shown that a majority of Americans thinks the United States would be safer if there were more individuals licensed and trained to carry concealed weapons. A majority opposes re-imposition of the “assault weapons” ban.

Myth 11- An increase in armed civilians will only result in more bloodshed.
Facts: numerous studies have established that civilians who are properly trained in gun laws and safety
are actually more proficient on the range than members of law enforcement.  They practice more frequently and are, as a rule, more diligent with the care, storage and maintenance of their firearms.

Get Started with Brosnan®

People, Equipment and Services for Your Organization’s Security Needs