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
41 Items
Fact Sheets Background Checks August 27, 2015

Gun Violence and Background Checks in Nevada

Loopholes in the law make it easy for dangerous people in Nevada to get guns, resulting in needless violence—from deadly domestic abuse to suicide and school shootings. 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 Nevada.
Reports Guns in Public Places August 20, 2015

Analysis of Mass Shootings

Using FBI data and media reports, Everytown for Gun Safety developed an analysis of mass shootings that took place between January 2009 and July 2015. The analysis found that there have been at least 133 mass shootings in the nearly seven-year period.

Maps Background Checks July 31, 2015

Background Checks in Oregon

On August 9, 2015, a new law goes into effect in Oregon that requires criminal background checks for all gun sales, with reasonable exceptions for family members, hunting, and self-defense. This law closes a dangerous loophole that felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people were exploiting to avoid background checks and buy guns.
Fact Sheets Background Checks July 21, 2015

Closing the Terror Gap in Gun Background Checks

The federal government currently has no authority to block firearm sales to international or domestic terror suspects. This gap in our laws is a glaring public safety concern, as DOJ remains powerless to stop individuals on the terror watch lists from getting armed—even though many are considered too dangerous to board a plane.

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.