As part of the rollout of his newly minted presidential campaign (for some reason), Mike Bloomberg unveiled his gun control policy this week. As you can imagine, given his history of starting up “grassroots” gun-grabbing groups, it does not include a policy offering free ammunition with every fill-up at the service station. It’s not really all that different from the gun control proposals coming out of the rest of the Democratic field, except perhaps by being a bit grabbier.
He announced it on Thursday during a campaign speech given in in Aurora, Colorado. But as the Free Beacon reports, Bloomberg managed to flub many of the most basic facts about gun laws and firearms ownership in the United States today. In fact, the number of things he got wrong seems to actually undermine the anti-Second Amendment policies that he’s pushing for.
Bloomberg appeared to misunderstand what the FBI’s firearms background check system does, seemed to make up a new “loophole” in federal gun laws, and made questionable claims about gun use among young people during a campaign speech in Aurora, Colo.
Despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars boosting the gun-control movement, Bloomberg’s comments suggest he lacks a basic familiarity with the details of firearms laws, sales, and operation. Thursday’s strange claims are just the latest example of Bloomberg demonstrating an apparent confusion about an issue he has described as his “life’s work.”
Thursday’s speech featured Bloomberg endorsing universal background checks, an expanded definition of domestic abuser under federal gun laws, a 48-hour waiting period on all gun purchases, and a “red flag” law.
As I mentioned above, that laundry list of gun control measures is fairly standard fare among the Democratic primary candidates. Background checks, waiting periods and red flag laws are found on virtually every candidate’s campaign website. But the flaws in his explanation were remarkable.
While calling for federal government-issued permits for firearms, Bloomberg claimed that such a plan would “allow authorities to screen applicants for dangerous behavior.” He went on from there to say that the current system doesn’t offer any way for authorities to prevent gun purchases by minors or those with criminal records or psychiatric problems.
That sounds like a pretty scary situation. Unfortunately for the candidate, none of it is correct. The NICBC system of background checks requires prospective buyers to demonstrate proof of legal age and it screens out those with felony convictions. Further, while it doesn’t happen in all cases, family members or medical professionals can go to court and have someone legally adjudicated as being mentally ill and a potential danger to themselves or others. That lands them on the banned list also.
The Free Beacon report goes on to note that Bloomberg next compared a federal gun permit system to the need to register to vote. Huh? That comparison is nonsensical. But what he failed to point out – no doubt intentionally – was that a federal gun permit system would instantly create a de facto federal gun owner registry. Good luck getting people to go along with that.
The loophole mentioned in the excerpt above was explained by saying there is something that “prevents law enforcement from identifying felons and others who own guns illegally.” Um… no there isn’t. If that were the case there would no point in having background checks. We only fail to find such cases when the felons buy guns on the black market or through illegal straw purchases. And no new policy is going to stop that because virtually all felons share the disappointing habit of ignoring our laws.
This is one of the people who would like to be president and is pushing for “universal background checks” and other restrictions. And yet he somehow doesn’t appear to even understand how the system he seeks to regulate currently operates. Do you really want to put this guy in charge?