In the states that require background checks for all handgun sales, there are lower rates of gun violence across a variety of groups: 46 percent fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners, 48 percent fewer on-duty law enforcement officers are killed with handguns that are not their own, and 48 percent less gun trafficking in their cities. The system works: since 1998, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has blocked more than 2.5 million attempted purchases by dangerous people who are prohibited from buying guns. But in order to make all Americans safer, federal law should require background checks for all gun sales.

States must also submit all missing mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Everytown has documented states’ failures to submit hundreds of thousands of missing mental health records to the background check system, and identified steps they can take to close these gaps.

Background Checks

background checks
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Infographics Background Checks November 1, 2016

Background Checks Prevent Gun Violence and Save Lives

Background checks are the single most effective way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and save lives. Learn more about the system and how it works to stop dangerous people from getting guns.

Infographics Domestic Violence October 7, 2016

Background Checks and Violence Against Women

Women in the United States are far more likely to be murdered with guns than they are in any other developed nation. This violence is directly related to our weak and requiring a background check for every gun sale will reduce violence against women and save lives.

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Reports Background Checks September 7, 2016

Thousands of Guns, No Background Check Required

The state of Maine has a strong tradition of gun ownership. And Maine’s gun owners know that responsible ownership includes keeping guns out of the wrong hands. That’s why 93% of Americans—and the majority of Mainers, regardless of political party—agree: all gun buyers should pass a criminal background check.
Fact Sheets Background Checks August 25, 2016

Gun Violence and Background Checks in New Mexico

Loopholes in the law make it easy for dangerous people in New Mexico to get guns sold by unlicensed sellers, contributing to preventable violence — from mass shootings to deadly domestic abuse to suicides to shootings of law enforcement officers.
Fact Sheets The Gun Lobby June 18, 2016

Amendments to S.2837 Filed By Senators Feinstein and Murphy

Senator Feinstein’s proposal would close the terror gap by enabling the Department of Justice to block gun sales to suspected terrorists.

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