Guns Down Guns Down

Background Checks Hit Highest Level Yet During 2020

July 16, 2020

WASHINGTON — Guns Down America, a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America released the following statement after reports that according to the FBI, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System conducted 3.9 million screenings in June, representing an increase of 148 percent in sales-related background checks over June of 2019.

The data also shows that four separate weeks in June of 2020 are now in the top 10 highest weeks of background checks conducted by the FBI since the bureau began keeping data in 1998.

“As our nation deals with a public health pandemic that is pushing America into a mental health crisis, a national conversation about racist laws that disproportionately kill Black men, and rising rates of gun violence in some of our cities, panic-purchasing firearms only increases the chance of death and injury,” said Igor Volsky, co-founder and Executive Director of Guns Down America. “In order to save lives, Congress has a responsibility to shore up our national background check system and invest in community-based violence intervention programs as part of the next COVID relief effort.”

Background checks related to firearm sales also increased by over 38 percent compared to last month. The increase in gun sales is coming with a clear increase in gun violence.

While individuals defend themselves with a gun in less than 1 percent of crimes in which there is contact between assailant and victim, access to a gun triples the risk of death by suicide and doubles the risk of homicide. According to Giffords Law Center, Of the estimated 36,383 Americans killed with guns each year, 22,274 are gun suicides (61%), 12,830 are gun homicides (35%), 496 are law enforcement shootings (1.4%), and 487 are unintentional shootings (1.3%).

Guns Down America is a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America, and for making them dramatically harder to get.

July 1, 2020