A Gross Deception

posted on November 13, 2015

Brady Campaign President Dan Gross is making the rounds, telling anybody who will listen that “90 percent of crime guns can be traced to 5 percent of dealers.” Gross is insinuating that a few “bad apple” dealers are causing rampant violent crime in places like Chicago and Baltimore. 

Gross took the figure from a 15-year-old ATF report titled “Commerce in Firearms in the United States, February 2000.” Incredibly, a caution within that report (obviously ignored by Gross) actually stated, “ATF emphasizes that the appearance of a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) or a first unlicensed purchaser of record in association with a crime gun [i.e. traced gun] or in association with multiple crime guns [i.e. traced guns] in no way suggests that either the FFL or the first purchaser has committed criminal acts.” 

It’s easy to understand why: The most successful retailers have the highest volume of sales to eligible buyers, hence more guns sold legally by those dealers could be stolen and later used in crime. Moving forward, we’ll just call this 90 percent/5 percent lie a “Gross Deception.”

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