Misinformation abounds about firearms. Here, we debunk several of the most popular firearm myths and misconceptions with facts.
Firearm Myth: “Assault” Weapons are Legal for Anyone to Purchase
This is likely the most prevalent misconception perpetuated by the mainstream media and the unlearned. It stems from false information concerning what constitutes an actual assault weapon.
FACT: Many modern semi-automatic rifles and shotguns are styled to closely resemble military-style firearms with detachable magazines, folding stocks, pistol grips, and equipment rails. These are aesthetic aspects that have no bearing on how it operates. Semi-automatic firearms like these are legal in Arizona. Conversely, automatic weapons fire more than a single round when the trigger is pulled and have multiple settings that allow firing a single round, a small burst of rounds, or fully automatic fire until the magazine is empty. Automatic weapons are illegal in Arizona.
Firearm Myth: Revolvers are More Reliable Than Automatics
This myth builds on the notion that revolvers are simpler in design and function than automatic handguns and fail less often.
FACT: Revolvers are still complex pieces of machinery and can still fail. How well a particular revolver is made determines its overall reliability. While they cannot jam like an automatic, they can still misfire or suffer loose cranes, stuck cylinders, or broken parts. Revolvers can also often be more expensive to repair.
Firearm Myth: A “Gun Show Loophole” Allows Anyone to Buy Firearms
Anti-gun proponents spread this misinformation to push a political agenda. They claim anyone can buy any firearm at a local gun show without question and that most criminals obtain weapons at gun shows.
FACT: Gun shows are regulated. Sellers at a gun show are licensed FFL dealers who abide by the law. They must observe laws regarding background checks, state and federal laws, and applicable waiting periods. Space at gun shows is expensive, so it isn’t worth the trouble for anyone but authorized dealers to conduct business there. Closing the alleged gun show loophole would actually require a ban on selling or gifting private property. Moreover, the Department of Justice reports that less than 1% of guns used in crimes are acquired at gun shows.
Firearm Myth: Shotguns Never Miss
This myth is based on how shotguns function. It alleges that because shotguns throw a load of shot pellets that spread as they travel, you can aim in the general direction of your target and hit it.
FACT: While the spread of various shot sizes is a significant advantage of shotguns, they do not guarantee a hit. The spread range is very small, and even a hit with a few pellets will not effectively bring your target down. Just ask a turkey hunter who shot a prime specimen at less than 30 feet and only scared the bird off! Shotguns should be aimed well to get an effective hit, just like any other firearm.
Guns, Shooting, and Information in Tempe and Scottsdale, AZ
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