After sharing my analysis of the NIJ study that has been misused so frequently during the recent constitutional rights debate, some ideas crossed my mind and the minds of some readers that I feel deserve some attention.
First, the sample size is very small at 251 responses.
Second, and very importantly, the survey does not adequately consider the character of many gun owners. Because of general distrust and accepted best practices, many gun owners will not discuss gun ownership with strangers. It is very likely that a large number of gun owners simply refused to participate in this rather invasive poll.
Third, the study incorrectly applies an estimate of 60% to gun acquisitions that undergo a background check. As we mentioned before, this is low for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, guns sold through the mail almost always require an NICS check.
Fourth, it goes further to assume that all gun show and flea market purchases are done without a check. While a number of these sales do not legally require a background check, many do and it is incorrect to group all such sales uniformly.
Lastly, the survey did not account for people who may have previously purchased from a licensed dealer and undergone a background check, but also purchased face-to-face without one on a different occasion. We also have no feedback on how many acquisitions took place involving an individual with a license to carry and which would not have been subject to a background check in many states.
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