Joe Biden keeps getting his gun facts wrong

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By Darragh Roche

President Joe Biden keeps getting his facts about guns wrong and has sometimes repeated incorrect information about firearms even after his claims have been fact-checked.

In the wake of the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the president has discussed the issue of guns and gun control but he’s been strongly criticized for two comments he made on Monday regarding the Second Amendment and 9mm bullets.

Biden spoke to reporters about potential legislation on guns and described a 9mm bullet, saying it “blows the lung out of the body.” The president cited the bullets as part of comments about high-calibre weapons but 9mm bullets are generally used in handguns.

Conservatives and gun owners ridiculed Biden for the apparent error and suggested he was arguing for a ban on handguns similar to one proposed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The White House later clarified that Biden was not in favor of a handgun ban.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at an executive order signing event for police reform in the East Room of the White House on May 25, 2022 in Washington, DC. Biden has made some mistakes when discussing guns.

“You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed,” the president said. “You couldn’t go out and purchase a lot of weaponry.”

This is a claim Biden has made on more than one occasion but it does not have a basis in fact.

For example, the president made the claim in remarks on June 23, 2021. Experts told The Washington Post on June 28, 2021 that Biden was wrong to suggest that the Second Amendment banned cannon ownership and that there were also no laws regulating what type of guns Americans could own when the amendment was passed in 1791.

Biden made the same claim during a meeting of the gun violence prevention task force in New York on February 3, 2022 and was subject to a fact-check at the time from FactCheck.org.

The president appears to have made a version of this claim about cannons on at least four occasions, beginning on the campaign trail in May, 2020.

Biden has also wrongly suggested that the gun industry is the only industry that cannot be subject to lawsuits. He made that claim during a speech on April 8, 2021, also in New York on February 3, 2022 and during his State of the Union speech in March.

In April last year, the president described gun manufacturers as “the only industry in America, a billion-dollar industry, that can’t be sued.”

While a 2005 law prevents lawsuits against gun manufacturers “for the harm solely caused by the criminal or unlawful misuse of firearm products or ammunition products by others when the product functioned as designed and intended,” they can still be subject to other lawsuits as the legislation provided six exceptions.

These include selling or marketing firearms in violation of state or federal law, acting negligently, and selling or transferring firearms in the knowledge they will be used to commit a crime.

Other industries also enjoy certain protections from civil lawsuits. For example, Tech companies are protected from liability for their users’ content under Section 230.

In his April, 2021 speech, Biden also exaggerated when he said: “If you walk into a store and you buy a gun, you have a background check. But you go to a gun show, you can buy whatever you want and no background check.”

Licensed firearms dealers at gun shows are required to perform background checks on potential buyers, though private sellers are not, while 16 states and D.C. had universal background check laws at the time Biden made the remarks.

Newsweek has asked the White House for comment.

  • Culled from Newsweek

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