White House

Psaki Backtracks on Biden’s False Gun Show Background Check Claim

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki holds a briefing in Washington, D.C., April 7, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

White House press secretary Jen Psaki walked back President Biden’s claim that Americans can purchase firearms at gun shows without completing a background check just hours after the claim was made.

“Most people don’t know it: you walk into a store to buy a gun, you have a background check, but if you go to a gun show you can buy whatever you want, no background check,” Biden said at a press conference earlier on Thursday.

When asked about the claim during a subsequent press briefing, Psaki denied that this was Biden’s position.

“Is it the president’s belief that you do not have to undergo a background check when you are at a gun show?” a reporter asked.

“No, it’s not his belief,” Psaki said. “He believes that background checks should be universal.”

The reporter interjected, “He says ‘no background check.'”

Psaki answered, “Well, we know what his position is, right, so let me reiterate that background checks should be universal.”

Commercial firearm sales require background checks regardless of whether they are conducted at gun stores or gun shows, while private transfers only require background checks in certain states.

Biden announced a series of gun control initiatives at his Thursday press conference, and called on U.S. Congress to pass legislation to close background check loopholes. One initiative will see the Justice Department propose rules to regulate the sale of “ghost guns,” or firearms that are assembled at home or printed with a 3D printer and as such lack serial numbers.

“Nothing I’m about to recommend in any way impinges on the Second Amendment,” Biden said. “They’re phony arguments suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights in what we’re talking about.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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