PolitiFact Wisconsin: Guns purchased without background checks in the U.S

Posted at 7:18 PM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-16 20:18:06-04

Polls suggest gun owners support universal background checks on all gun sales. Right now, not all private gun sales are included.

PolitiFact Wisconsin looks at a claim on just how many guns are sold without background checks.

Montana's Gov. Steve Bullock is a gun owner and universal background check supporter. TODAY'S TMJ4's Charles Benson recently talked with the potential 2020 presidential candidate while he was in Milwaukee last week.

"It makes no sense that a quarter of our guns are sold outside of the background checks," said Gov. Bullock.

"Bullock cited the latest national poll on this subject," said Tom Kertscher with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "A survey of gun owners but he got the numbers a little bit wrong."

PolitiFact Wisconsin says Bullock was referring to a study authored by Northeastern and Harvard universities published in 2017. In an online survey, gun owners were asked how they obtained their most recent gun within the two previous years.

"Overall 22 percent said they had not gone through a background check but that includes not only the gun sales but also getting a gun from a gift or an inheritance," said Kertscher.

So when you break down the numbers, PolitiFact Wisconsin says the number of guns purchased that don't go through background checks, is smaller.

"The poll that Governor Bullock relied on found that among people who purchased a gun in the previous two years 13 percent said they did not go through a background check," said Kertscher.

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated Bullock's claim: Mostly False.