A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

NRA Misfires on Federal Gun Registry

The head of the National Rifle Association misfires when he claims the president’s proposal to require background checks for all gun sales will result in a “massive federal registry” of firearms. Current law bars federal agencies from retaining records on those who pass background checks, and nothing in the president’s plan would change that.
Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer of the NRA, criticized President Obama’s proposal for universal background checks in a Jan. 22 speech in Reno,

Do Assault Weapons Sales Pay NRA Salaries?

A Connecticut Democrat didn’t get his facts straight when he claimed NRA executives “pay their salaries” by taking “a cut” of assault weapons sales.
In arguing that the NRA “represents gun manufacturers” and not “gun owners anymore,” Sen. Christopher Murphy discounted NRA membership dues as “less than half” of NRA funding and instead elaborated on how the NRA makes “tens of millions of dollars off of the purchases of guns.” He said, “They pay their salaries off of these gun purchases.”

International Gun Ban Treaty?

Q: Has Obama found a "legal way around the Second Amendment"?
A: The administration’s agreement to talk about writing a United Nations treaty to regulate arms exports and imports is a far cry from banning possession of firearms, which Obama says he doesn’t want to do and the Supreme Court has said can’t be done anyway.

500 Percent Ammo Tax?

Q: Is Obama planning to increase the federal tax on gun ammunition by 500 percent?
A: No such proposal has been made by the Obama administration. And nobody in Congress has introduced any bill to increase the 11 percent federal excise tax on ammo.

Guns A-Blazin’

We’ve updated our Ask FactCheck item on Sonia Sotomayor and gun rights yet again. This time it’s to reflect the fact that the National Rifle Association has filed a cert petition asking the Supreme Court to hear its case challenging Chicago’s gun laws (which it lost this week in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals). The NRA asks the court specifically to decide the question of whether or not the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments.

Georgia Arms

 Q: Did the Obama administration shut down a Georgia ammunition supplier? Is it trying to create an ammo shortage?
A: Georgia Arms still is doing a booming business in reloaded military cartridges. The Pentagon quickly reversed a move to stop selling spent casings.

Mind-meld: Sotomayor and Conservative Luminaries

We’ve just updated our recent Ask FactCheck item on Sonia Sotomayor and the Second Amendment to reflect the latest news: A ruling by three judges on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreeing with her judgment that the amendment doesn’t apply to state and local governments.
The decision in National Rifle Association v. Chicago takes some of the air out of the argument, put forward by the NRA and others, that Sotomayor is anti-gun rights.

Sotomayor and Handguns

Q: Has Sotomayor written that states have the power to ban handguns?
A: A three-judge panel that included Sotomayor issued an unsigned decision saying that the Second Amendment does not apply to states, therefore states can regulate and ban weapons.

Ammunition Accountability Act

Q:Are states going to require serial numbers on bullets and require disposal of existing ammunition?
A:Such a proposal is being pushed by a company that holds a patent on bullet-coding technology. But none of the 31 bills introduced last year ever made it out of committee.

Same Old Claims in Another Language

Summary
The presidential campaigns and third-party groups have been bilingual throughout the election, targeting Spanish-speaking voters with some misleading and false ads. Among the recent TV spots:

A McCain-Palin ad tries to paint Obama as a "riesgo" (risk), falsely claiming that his health care plan would require small businesses to cover their employees. But Obama’s plan explicitly exempts small businesses from this requirement, and an adviser has said the threshold "would almost certainly be higher than ten"