On Friday’s New Day show, CNN co-host John Berman allowed Georgia Democratic Congresswoman Lucy McBath to mislead viewers on a proposed new gun law being considered in Congress as she claimed it would require background checks when purchasing from “licensed” gun dealers.
In reality, licensed gun dealers are already required to conduct background checks, and the purpose of the new law is to require private sellers who are unlicensed to also conduct such checks.
Berman also brought up the issue of President Donald Trump declaring a national emergency to justify building more border security barriers than Congress will authorize as the CNN host wondered if the congresswoman would support a move to declare a “national emergency” on the issue of gun violence.
After beginning the segment by allowing Congresswoman McBath to discuss her son, Jordan Davis, who was murdered in 2012 in a dispute over loud music, the CNN host at 8:32 a.m. Eastern brought up the gun bill in Congress as he followed up:
And the (House) Judiciary Committee yesterday, on the one-year anniversary of the Parkland massacre, passed some of the first gun violence prevention legislation we’ve seen in a long, long time. You are a key part of moving that through the committee — how did that feel?
After recalling that it was “bittersweet” for her to think about spending the past six years lobbying for the bill, Berman followed up: “And give us the thumbnail sketch of what this legislation does. It increases background checks substantially, yes?”
McBath began by stating that it would apply background checks to “all gun sales” before contradicting herself by suggesting that only “licensed” purchases would be covered:
Yes, federal background checks for all gun sales. Basically, anytime a purchaser wants to go a licensed gun dealer to purchase a firearm, there will be a required background check that that purchaser will go through to determine whether or not they’re actually allowed to purchase that firearm.
A bit later, after failing to challenge his guest at all on the subject of the new proposed background check law, Berman followed up:
In less than two hours, the President of the United States is going to declare a national emergency in order to get some of the funds that he wants to build a barrier on the Southern border. There have been those who suggest that if there is a Democratic President some day, he or she might declare a national emergency to battle gun violence. Would you like to see a national emergency in this battle that you’ve been working so hard on?