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
42 Items

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.

Fatal Gaps

Background checks will only be effective if states submit the hundreds of thousands of mental health records still missing from the system. See how many mental health records your state has submitted.

Also featured in:  The Gun Lobby  

Memo on the Impact of Background Checks in Colorado

In July 2013, Colorado passed a new law requiring criminal background checks for all person-to-person gun sales, with reasonable exceptions for family, hunting, and self-defense. This memo provides the clearest picture to-date of how the expansion of the state’s background check system has improved public safety.

Also featured in:  Gun Violence Trends  

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.

Gun Violence and Background Checks in Minnesota

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 Minnesota.