Fatal Gaps: How the Virginia Tech Shooting Prompted Changes in State Mental Health Records Reporting

In the wake of the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, lawmakers took action to close the fatal gaps in mental health records reporting that undermine the background check system and threaten the safety of Americans.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Business As Usual

A regulation that clarifies the “engaged in the business” standard would clarify for gun sellers whether they need to get a federal firearms license — and consequently comply with all dealer regulations and conduct background checks. And it would put teeth into the federal statute that law enforcement use to prosecute gun traffickers and high-volume sellers who feed the criminal market.