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Opinion: Factcheck.org alters ‘not true’ charge about U.S. guns

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Last Friday FactCheck.org, the nonprofit independent organization that monitors political claims and charges, issued a report challenging President Obama’s claim in remarks during his Mexico visit that 90% of crime-recovered guns there came from American sources.

Based on that report, The Ticket published this item.

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Tuesday FactCheck.org issued an explanatory correction, in effect saying that while the president’s 90% claim is not supported by statistics, the organization cannot prove the number is wrong. Here is the FactCheck statement:

We are correcting our April 17 article ‘Counting Mexico’s Guns’ and sending this revised Summary to our list.

We originally concluded that Obama’s 90 percent figure was “not true” and based on a “badly biased” sample of recovered guns. We are retracting both those characterizations. The 90 percent figure is not supported by government statistics, but we cannot prove it is wrong.

Our error was to think we had confirmed that Mexican officials submit for tracing only those guns they believe likely to have come from the U.S. Law enforcement officials say they don’t know if that’s the case.

We have corrected the article throughout. We apologize for this mistake.


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