People often rightly complain that these fact check sites are partisan hack jobs, and much of the time I think that accusation carries some weight. But much of the time it reeks of laziness, combined with not really wanting to take the time to understand the issue at hand in any detail.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe stated that Virginia law bars private sellers from getting background checks.
“Under Virginia law, if you are a non-federally licensed dealer, you cannot get a background check even if you want one.Â We changed that law.”
That is completely accurate, and a correct understanding of how the system works now. But that doesn’t stop Politifact from rating it “mostly false,” since you can pay an FFL to process the transfer. Way to miss the point, boneheads.
McAuliffe’s statement was completely accurate. Under the new law the State Police can run a person for free without having to have an FFL process the firearm into his inventory, and then process it out again, with all the accompanying forms and NICS checks. If a person at a gun show wants to check out a prospective buyer in a private transfer, he can go over to the Virginia State Police and ask for the check on the buyer.
Politifact is also not considering that the $25 to $35 dollar price dealers in Virginia will process private transfers for will go up if it’s mandated. That’s a bargain basement price around these parts, where transfers are mandated to go through FFLs for handguns. The cheapest FFL I could find around here that would do a transfer charged $35 bucks for it. Some shops charge as much as $50 bucks.
We’ve often argued that it would be preferable if there were a system where a person could run a check on themselves and then present it to a potential seller, who could then verify the certificate is genuine. There are ways to do this. Tom Coburn essentially offered that kind of system after Sandy Hook and Schumer rejected it. McAuliffe appears to have listened. Too bad Politifact didn’t.