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
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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Reports Background Checks November 25, 2011

Fatal Gaps

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

At the time Mayors Against Illegal Guns published its 2011 Fatal Gaps report, millions of mental health records were missing from the background checks system, allowing prohibited purchasers to pass background checks and buy guns. In the years since, some states have taken strides to fill this gap, but hundreds of thousands of records are still missing.
Reports Background Checks January 4, 2010

A Blueprint for Federal Action on Illegal Guns

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

In 2009, Mayors Against Illegal Guns recommended more than 40 steps that the Obama Administration could take to reduce gun violence without the help of Congress. The President adopted several of these recommendations in his January 2013 executive orders and presidential memoranda on gun violence.
Videos Background Checks October 6, 2009

Gun Show Undercover Investigation Videos

by Mayors Against Illegal Guns

In 2009, the City of New York conducted a multi-state investigation of gun shows to expose the threat posed by the “gun show loophole,” a term often used to describe the fact that federal law allows private sellers to sell firearms without background checks or record keeping. This loophole is closely associated with gun shows because they’re the largest and most central marketplaces for private sellers to connect with purchasers who are trying to avoid detection.