GOP Congressman smacked down on CNN for lying about House background check bill

GOP Congressman smacked down on CNN for lying about House background check bill
Image via Screengrab.

On CNN Wednesday, anchor Poppy Harlow challenged Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) for his opposition to expanded background checks on gun purchases — and corrected the congressman's false claims about what was in the bill he voted against.

"You did vote against H.R. 8 in the House," said Harlow. "And that's a bill that would mandate background checks for private sales between private parties or guns sold on the internet. Why is that a bad idea, in your mind?"

"Well, right now all commercial gun sales do have a background check," said Bacon. "And I find this bill, it really hinders private citizens the most. If I have a gun and I want to sell it to my neighbor or want to sell it to various family members, I have to do a background check. I think it hinders law-abiding citizens more than anyone. And I can guarantee you, criminals are not going in and buying guns legally. They're stealing them, using straw purchases. So I don't think it impacts the criminal but it impacts law-abiding citizens."

"What it doesn't do, it doesn't impact sales between family members or loaning a gun to a family member, for example, or law enforcement or even in a situation that puts someone in imminent danger. It doesn't do any of those things," cut in Harlow. "In fact, it could have prevented, according to, it could have prevented the 2019 massacre in Odessa, Texas, that as you know killed seven people, injured 22 people, including a 17-month-old girl, because the shooter in that case bought the gun from a private seller. Why is it not helpful to background check in private sales? Help me understand that."

"Well, first of all, I would say that some family members are exempt, but not all," said Bacon. "I just — it hinders law-abiding citizens the most. I do believe—"

"Respectfully, Congressman, Seth Ator, who carried out the Odessa shooting, wasn't a law-abiding citizen," said Harlow. "In 2014, he failed a background check to buy a gun from a licensed seller. So wouldn't he have failed a background check again if it was mandated in the private sale?"

The conversation continued, with Bacon struggling to defend his opposition to closing the "Charleston loophole" that allowed white supremacist killer Dylann Roof to obtain a weapon without clearing a background check, and repeatedly refusing to explain why Americans actually need to be able to purchase AR-15-style weapons.

Watch below (full exchange in two parts):

Poppy Harlow fact-checks Don Bacon on gun laws (part 1)

Poppy Harlow fact-checks Don Bacon on gun laws (part 2)


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