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Remarks made by a former president and two 2020 Democratic presidential candidates about gun regulations are the focus of this week’s fact-checking video by CNN’s Jake Tapper.
First, Tapper examines Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s misleading claim that President Donald Trump failed to keep his promise to ban bump stocks, which are devices that enhance the firing capability of semi-automatic rifles.
“Remember after the shooting in Las Vegas, he [Trump] said, yeah, yeah we’re gonna ban the bump stocks,” she said at a June 2 Fox News town hall. “Did he ban the bump stocks? No, because the NRA came crashing down and said, ‘Don’t you dare do any restrictions on our guns around this country.’”
Next, Tapper scrutinizes former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s unsupported claim on May 7 that “universal background checks … in those states that have adopted them, have been shown to reduce gun violence by 50 percent.”
A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine in March found that universal background checks are associated with about a 15 percent reduction in firearm homicide. But the study stopped short of concluding that the decline was caused by those laws.
And finally, Tapper breaks down a misleading statement made by former President Barack Obama at a May 30 technology conference in Brazil.
In the United States, “[a]nybody can buy any weapon, any time … without much, if any, regulation,” Obama said. “They can buy it over the internet. They can buy machine guns.”
In fact, machine guns have been tightly regulated since 1934 and banned for civilian use since 1986, except for the sale or transfer of such a weapon that “was lawfully registered and possessed before May 19, 1986,” according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. And even then it can only be transferred from one registered owner to another registered owner.
Furthermore, federal law makes it illegal for certain people to buy guns. Under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, federally licensed firearm dealers are required to conduct background checks and cannot sell to “prohibited persons,” such as those who have been convicted of a crime that carries a prison sentence of more than one year.
Watch our past video collaborations with CNN’s “State of the Union” here.