Delaware state Attorney General Beau Biden chided Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday over Cruz’s statements on gun safety legislation.
“Senator Cruz is new to the job here,” said Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden. “Over the course of this debate he’ll get the facts. The facts are that 40 percent of weapons transfers in America are done outside of federal licensees. Forty percent. So nearly half of weapons that are sold or transferred are done, not through Dick’s Sporting Goods or your local gun shop, where I have my shotgun from.”
Cruz, a freshman senator, said on “Meet The Press” Sunday that there is no gun show loophole for weapons sales.
“Any licensed firearms dealer, who sells at a gun show, has to have a background check,” Cruz said. “What it doesn’t apply to is personal sales, one on one, and that’s true, whether it’s at a gun show or not.” In that same interview, Cruz also accused President Barack Obama of exploiting last month’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut “within minutes” for the sake of pandering to his political base.
The statistic Biden cited, which has been criticized by conservatives, is drawn from a 1997 report from the Institute of Justice (PDF) A 1996 study later determined that “secondary market” gun sales accounted for 30 to 40 percent of transactions.
Last week, Biden, along with Gov. Jack Markell (D) and Lt. Gov Mark Denn (R), announced a series of proposals modeled on the 1994 assault-weapons ban authored by his father. They include mandatory background checks for all private gun sales. Previous legislation only covered checks for sales at gun shows.
“Sportsmen support it,” Biden said of the background check rule. “Hunters in my state support it. But there’s people like Senator Cruz who continue to create this notion that the vast majority of people go through a background check, which is not the case.”
Watch Biden’s interview with “Daily Rundown” guest host Chris Cillizza, aired Jan. 22, 2013, below.