The claim was that 40% of gun purchases occur without background checks. The Washington Post fact checked this after the claim was challenged by many including John Lott. The original author was contacted and data analyzed.
In other words, rather than being 30 to 40 percent (the original estimate of the range) or “up to 40 percent” (Obama’s words), gun purchases without background checks amounted to 14 to 22 percent. And since the survey sample is so small, that means the results have a survey caveat: plus or minus six percentage points.
Moreover, as we noted before, the survey was taken in late 1994, eight months after the Brady law went into effect, and the questions were asked about gun purchases in the previous two years. So some of the answers concerned gun purchases that took place in a pre-Brady environment.
They conclude the President was incorrect to use those figures and thus gets two Pinoke's.