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 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 Background Checks May 26, 2016

Gun Violence and Background Checks in Minnesota

This fact sheet brings together the findings of Everytown for Gun Safety’s original investigations and analyses of relevant law enforcement and public health data to illuminate gun violence and crime trends of the illegal gun market in Minnesota.
Maps Background Checks March 23, 2016

Fatal Gaps

Background checks will only be effective if states submit the hundreds of thousands of mental health records still missing from the system. See how many mental health records your state has submitted.

Also featured in:  The Gun Lobby  

Fact Sheets Gun Violence Trends January 14, 2016

Research on Gun Violence in Nevada

Everytown's independent research on gun violence in the state illuminates the gaps in the system that make it too easy for dangerous people to get guns, and highlights the solutions that will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.