A gun control group financed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is under fire over allegations that it made bogus and inflammatory claims against gun dealers.
Now, at least one dealer is threatening a lawsuit.
Everytown for Gun Safety published a report this week that incorrectly said 48 Vermont gun dealers that placed Internet ads were unlicensed. The report alleged that the dealers may have sold firearms to criminals by not performing legally required background checks, according to The Washington Times.
Everytown admitted the error and has issued an apology.
“A previous version of this report incorrectly stated that we identified 1,106 ads posted by unlicensed Vermont sellers offering firearms for sale,” the group said in a statement, according to The Times. “We inadvertently included 48 ads posted by licensed dealers in Vermont in this total. This version of the report reflects data based on the updated total of 1,058 gun ads posted by unlicensed sellers.”
The mea culpa was too little, too late for at least one dealer, CrossFire Arms of Mount Holly, Vermont. Its owner, Bobby Richards, is threatening a lawsuit against Everytown. In a statement Friday, Richards said:
For the record, Richards and Crossfire Arms observe and comply with all federal and state laws pertaining to firearms. As a licensed dealer Crossfire Arms completes all transactions in person and performs a background check for every transaction involving a firearm.
In conclusion, Richards and Crossfire Arms intend to take swift and immediate legal action aimed at holding Everytown and all those associated with the defamatory report accountable for this latest irresponsible attempt by a Bloomberg-backed organization to distribute factually incorrect reports to susceptible media outlets and elected state officials.
This isn’t a first for Everytown. PolitiFact and FactCheck.org have both called the group to the carpet for reporting inflated school shooting numbers.
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