Gun Expert: Background Checks Are Largely Useless

In a recent editorial, commentator and gun rights activist John Lott attacked the legitimacy of background checks in deterring firearms violence. He tackled the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, a sacred cow among the anti-gun left.

His analysis came just days after the 20th anniversary of the law’s passage.

According to the data included in the Investor’s Business Daily article, Lott explained why background checks have done little, if anything, to reduce crime and keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals.

In 2010, for instance, he noted that more than 76,000 of these checks resulted in initial denials at the federal level. Of that large number, he wrote, “only 44 individuals were prosecuted and only 13 were convicted of illegally trying to purchase a gun when they were prohibited from doing so.”

Even of the baker’s dozen about whom the Brady bill was ostensibly drafted to address, Lott noted the majority were convicted of such minor offenses, they quite literally were unaware they were prohibited from owning a firearm.

Still, he pointed out that the mainstream media is quick to report the overall number of these initial denials as though each represents a hardened criminal determined to purchase a gun for nefarious purposes.

After determining that such cases are incredibly rare, he pinpointed a group of legitimate victims affected by background check laws. Many law-abiding citizens are prohibited from purchasing a gun for their own self-protection – or for any legal reason – based on the fact that their name is the same or similar to someone with a criminal history.

Lott explained the same phenomenon is evident in the nation’s compilation of a ‘no fly’ list of suspected terrorists.

“There were five times that the late Sen. Ted Kennedy was ‘initially denied’ flights because his name was on the anti-terror ‘no fly’ list,” Lott wrote. While the Democrat lawmaker was not legitimately prohibited from flying, the article states that using “Obama’s method of counting, that means the ‘no fly’ list stopped five flights by terrorists.”

In conclusion, he noted that the National Academy of Sciences found in 2004 that no category of crime was reduced by background checks.

“Later national studies,” he added, “have not found a beneficial effect either.”

–B. Christopher Agee

Have an idea for a story? Email us at

Photo Credit: glasgows (Creative Commons)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

1 comment to Gun Expert: Background Checks Are Largely Useless

  • Elaine

    Do these people think before they say things like this?
    CRIMINALS DO NOT “BUY” THEIR GUNS….they steal them or buy them from someone else who stole them and sell them.