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
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Lessons from Missouri: the Cost of Eliminating Background Checks

For several decades, Missouri required every handgun buyer to pass a criminal background check and obtain a purchase permit. In 2007, the state dismantled its permit system and eliminated the background check requirement.

Gun Violence and Background Checks in Vermont

This fact-sheet brings together the findings of Everytown’s original investigations and analyses of relevant law enforcement and public health data to illuminate trends in gun violence and crime in Vermont.

Also featured in:  Gun Violence Trends  

Beyond Gridlock

This report answers President Obama’s call to action in the wake of the horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and offers five life-saving measures that the Administration could advance to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

How Many Gun Dealers are There in Your State?

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

The United States has 58,344 Federally Licensed Gun Dealers. That's nearly twice the number of post offices—and 98.4% of Americans live within 10 miles of a gun dealer. See how many gun dealers are in your state.