In the states that require background checks for all handgun sales, there are lower rates of gun violence across a variety of groups: 47 percent fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners, 53 percent fewer law enforcement officers are shot to death in the line of duty with guns 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
40 Items
Reports Gun Violence Trends April 11, 2017

Mass Shootings in the United States: 2009-2016

Using FBI data and media reports, Everytown for Gun Safety developed an analysis of mass shootings that took place between January 2009 and December 2016.

Fact Sheets Background Checks July 10, 2015

The Charleston Shooting, NICS Background Checks, and Default Proceeds

Federal law requires that licensed gun dealers run criminal background checks on all potential gun buyers. But due to a National Rifle Association-backed amendment to the 1994 Brady Bill, the law allows sales to proceed after three business days have passed after the check begins—even if background check operators have not confirmed the buyer is legally allowed to have guns.
Polls Background Checks July 30, 2014

2014 National Survey of Women Voters' Attitudes Toward Gun Violence Prevention

In July 2014, Purple Insights conducted a nationwide survey of women voters on behalf of Everytown, with an oversample of Republican/Independent voters.
Polls Background Checks October 20, 2012

2012 Frank Luntz National Poll of Gun Owners and NRA Members

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

In the summer of 2012, polling conducted by conservative pollster Frank Luntz on behalf of Mayors Against Illegal Guns shows that NRA members and gun owners overwhelmingly support a variety of laws designed to keep guns away from dangerous people, including requiring background checks for all gun sales.
Videos Online Gun Sales December 14, 2011

Online Gun Sale Investigation Videos

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the City of New York

These videos accompanied the release of the City of New York's investigation of online gun sales. The report uncovered the extent of the online gun market, and this original footage shows how private sellers advertising guns online react when investigators say "I probably couldn't pass a background check."

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