Sheriff David Clarke is blasting Mayor Barrrett for using data that he says is "flawed and patentely false" and is demanding a public retraction. We assume he is not holding his breath. Here is Clarke's entire statement:


Milwaukee, WI –In a nationally televised appearance by Sheriff Clarke on CNN last night (Piers Morgan Tonight) the issue of the so-called “Gun Show Loophole” was inserted into the discussion by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and commented on by the host, in the following exchange:

Mayor Barrett: “I need our sheriff to support the initiative that says that individuals who sell guns insure that those guns are not being sold to criminals, they're not being sold to people of domestic violence orders, and they're not being sold to people of involuntary mental judgment commitments. And I need that because 40 percent of the sales are occurring outside of gun dealers.” 

In a live interview before hundreds of thousands of viewers, Barrett said that 40% of gun sales happen privately, and thus without a background check, and that was evidence why universal background checks should be required for all gun exchanges.

That data is flawed and patently false Clarke contends. In fact it is a “myth.” 

“Barrett showed himself to be a typical politician who will resort to fabricating data and offer it as evidence to prove his anti-gun, anti-second amendment stance. That is an act of desperation. It was not a mistake. It was intentional. No one, including Piers Morgan, asked him for his source because Morgan is anti-gun as well. Playing fast and loose with data is something we have heard a lot about regarding his Chief of Police. He must be a graduate of that school. Barrett knows that he should have checked his numbers, but he didn’t want to because it suited his agenda. The true number, according to my research, has been estimated to be that between 10% and 26% of gun sales and exchanges occur without background checks being required. The data suggests that this is not the primary problem and why I will not support universal background checks. It simply will have no or little impact on gun violence. I arrived at this by looking at research.

During the appearance, I was asked by Morgan regarding a particular statistic on self-defense, and I had the wherewithal to be honest and say that I did not know. My approach is to just tell people the truth if I don’t know the answer.

If Barrett has any integrity and character, I am demanding that he contact Piers Morgan and advise him that he provided false data to his viewers and ask Morgan to make a correction for his viewers on his next show.

Unlike Barrett, I am including the source information that shows Barrett’s claim to be false. My hope is that the media confronts him about where he got the 40% claim from and ask him why he didn’t research it first and if he regrets going with the false claim.”

Excerpted From The Washington Post column Fact Checker: The Truth Behind the Rhetoric: "The stale claim that 40 percent of gun sales lack background checks" by Glenn Kessler, 01/21/2013, The Washington Post:

The…(40%) figure comes from a 1997 Institute of Justice report, written by Philip Cook of Duke University and Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago. This study is based on data collected from a survey in 1994, just (as) the Brady law requirements for background checks (were) coming into effect. (In fact, the questions concerned purchases in 1993 and 1994, while Brady law went into effect in early 1994.) In other words, this is a really old figure.

Digging deeper, we find that the survey sample was just 251 people. (The survey was done by telephone, using a random-digit-dial method, with a response rate of 50 percent.) With this sample size, the 95 percent confidence interval will be plus or minus 6 percentage points.

Moreover, when asked if he or she bought from a licensed firearms dealer, the possible answers included“probably was/think so” and “probably not,” leaving open the possibility the purchaser was mistaken. (The “probably not” answers were counted as “no.”) When all of the “yes” and “probably was” answers were added together, that left 35.7 percent of respondents indicating they did not receive the gun from a licensed firearms dealer. Rounding up gets you to 40 percent, though as we noted the survey sample is so small it could also be rounded down to 30 percent. Moreover, when gifts, inheritances and prizes are added in, then the number shrinks to 26.4 percent. 

Excerpted from "The‘40 Percent’ Myth: The figure gun-control advocates are throwing around is false" By John Lott," The National Review" edition of January 24, 2013, 

Gun-control advocates have recently been throwing around an impressive new number. President Obama used it last Wednesday, claiming: “as many as 40 percent of guns are purchased without a background check.” Vice President Biden and everyone from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal to USA Today repeatedly use it. That “fact” provided the principal support for his first announced gun-control proposal, “universal background checks.” But unless you include family inheritances and gifts as “purchases,” it is simply false.

Actually, the number reported was a bit lower, 36 percent, and as we will see the true number of guns“sold” without check is closer to 10 percent….

…But the high figure comes primarily from including such transactions as inheritances or gifts from family members. Putting aside these various biases, if you look at guns that were bought, traded, borrowed, rented, issued as a requirement of the job, or won through raffles, 85 percent went through FFLs; just 15 percent were transferred without a background check. 

If you include…transfers either through FFLs or from family members, the remaining transfers falls to 11.5 percent.