Brookfield, WI | October 2012
A man was barred from possessing firearms following a restraining order taken out by his estranged wife. The day before killing her and two others and injuring four in October 2012 at the Azana Salon in Wisconsin, the man purchased a gun from Armslist.com for $500 without a background check.
Morgantown, WV | December 2014
Four people were shot and killed in December 2014 in Morgantown, West Virginia. The shooter, who was prohibited from having a gun due to multiple felony convictions, was able to purchase a handgun from an unlicensed online seller without a background check before shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend, her new boyfriend, his cousin, and a business rival.
New Paris, OH | December 2014
On December 22, 2014, in Ohio, a woman was shot and injured by her ex-boyfriend, who also shot and killed her 10-year-old daughter. A week before the shooting, her killer was arrested for assault, and a restraining order was also filed. The shooter was prohibited from possessing firearms due to a previous felony firearm conviction, but he managed to buy a gun without a background check through a private-sale listing he found online.
Phoenix, AZ | July 2015
A woman was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend in the Phoenix home the estranged couple shared. Prior to her murder, the woman tried to get her ex-boyfriend to move out and obtained an order of protection against him. Shortly before the shooting, her killer purchased his gun from an unlicensed seller through a listing he found online even though he could not legally own a gun. Arizona has since passed legislation to require a background check on all gun sales.
Houston, TX | August 2015
A woman, her husband, and six children—ages 6 to 13—were all killed by her former partner in August 2015 near Houston, Texas. Despite an extensive prohibiting criminal history, the killer was able to buy a gun from a stranger he met online.
Las Vegas, NV | May 2016
A woman was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend in May 2016 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. The killer, who also seriously injured her two children in the shooting, was prohibited due to a protective order against him, but was able to purchase a firearm from an unlicensed seller. Nevada has since passed legislation to require a background check on all gun sales.
Appleton, WI | January 2018
A woman was shot and killed in Appleton, Wisconsin, by her husband. The man, who was prohibited from having a gun under a bond condition in a domestic violence case, was able to purchase a firearm posted on Armslist.com after meeting up with the seller in a Walmart parking lot.
Chicago, IL | February 2018
A Chicago police officer was shot and killed by a four-time felon, who was able to purchase the gun on Armslist. The firearm that was used to kill the officer was first sold in Wisconsin—a state that has not closed the private-sale loophole—and the firearm changed hands multiple times before ending up in Chicago. The Wisconsin man who sold the gun had listed more than 200 guns for sale on Armslist, several of which were recovered in crimes. He was subsequently arrested for unlicensed dealing.
Midland and Odessa, TX | August 2019
A man shot and killed seven people and wounded dozens more after a multiple-location shooting in Midland and Odessa, Texas. The shooter had previously tried to purchase a gun from a sporting goods store but since he was legally prohibited from owning guns, the purchase was denied after a background check was conducted. He was ultimately able to purchase an AR-15 assault-style rifle from an unlicensed seller without a background check.
Everytown Research & Policy is a program of Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to understanding and reducing gun violence. Everytown Research & Policy works to do so by conducting methodologically rigorous research, supporting evidence-based policies, and communicating this knowledge to the American public.