Only 4 percent of gun sales were thought to have come through gun shows or flea markets — a corner of the market that is a top concern today for those who want to expand background checks to close the "gun-show loophole," as Obama's proposals would do.
More than 17 percent of guns acquired in 1993 and 1994 came from a family member, according to the poll — a source of weapons that would remain largely unregulated in pending Senate legislation calling for expanded checks.
Discounting family acquisitions, the percentage of gun transactions eluding background checks — whatever that figure is — would be considerably less.
The statement by the coalition of mayors followed a Senate Judiciary Committee vote along partisan lines Tuesday to expand background checks. The bill's prospects are uncertain.
In contending that 40 percent of gun transfers are conducted by private sellers, often "at gun shows and on the Internet," the mayors stretched a thin claim even thinner.
They cited the same old study as everyone else — one that was done well before the spread of online commerce. The study considered purchases by mail order — 3 percent of reported gun acquisitions — but makes no mention of online transactions.
AP Polling Director Jennifer Agiesta and AP writer Alan Fram contributed to this report.
Police Foundation Guns in America survey: http://www.policefoundation.org/content/guns-america
EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look at political claims that take shortcuts with the facts or don't tell the full story
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