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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Reports Background Checks May 16, 2014

Closing the Gaps

In the November 2011 report Fatal Gaps, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) documented that 23 states and the District of Columbia had each submitted fewer than 100 records to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system. Fatal Gaps called for stronger state reporting laws and for federal funding to states to build needed reporting infrastructure. This update finds that many states and the federal government have adopted these recommendations, and the background check system has dramatically improved.
Legal Documents Background Checks April 7, 2014

Mayors Against Illegal Guns Comments on Mental Health Gun Rules

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Mayors Against Illegal Guns submitted this comment to ATF to urge the agency to modernize its rules implementing the federal firearms prohibitions on individuals who pose a danger to themselves or others because of mental illness. The proposed rule changes would facilitate the sharing of information on the dangerously mentally ill with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a critical tool in preventing dangerous persons from obtaining access to firearms.

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Polls Background Checks March 25, 2013

2013 State by State Support for Background Checks

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

In early 2013, Douglas Schoen LLC conducted polls on behalf of Mayors Against Illegal Guns in 21 states and in 41 Congressional districts–all of which showed that likely voters overwhelmingly support background checks for all gun sales.
Maps Background Checks March 20, 2013

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.
Polls Background Checks January 10, 2013

2013 National Poll of Voters' Attitudes Toward Common-Sense Gun Laws

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Following the mass shooting in Newtown, CT, Douglas Schoen LLC conducted a national survey on behalf of Mayors Against Illegal Guns to test voters’ attitudes toward a variety of gun violence prevention policies proposed by state and federal officials.