President Obama claimed Tuesday that violent felons can purchase weapons over the Internet without a background check under current U.S. law, “no questions asked.”
Obama said that the gun control executive orders he was enacting were not a gun grab, but he said that violent offenders in the U.S. were playing under different rules when it came to gun purchases.
“Contrary to claims of some presidential candidates, apparently, before this meeting, this is not a plot to take away everybody’s guns,” Obama said. “You pass a background check, you purchase a firearm. The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules. A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked.”
Obama cited one study that he said showed one out of every 30 people who visited one website looking to buy guns had serious criminal records.
“People with lengthy criminal histories buying deadly weapons all too easily,” Obama said. “And this was just one website within the span of a few months. So, we’ve created a system in which dangerous people are allowed to play by a different set of rules than a responsible gun owner who buys his or her gun the right way and subjects themselves to a background check.”
Obama grew emotional at times during the lengthy address, at one point crying while discussing the victims of mass shootings in the U.S. He also became fiery while saying that the gun rights lobby would not hold the American people hostage, and he snarked that since he taught Constitutional law in his career, he knew a bit more about the Second Amendment than his critics thought.