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Statement On Surge Of Background Checks During Coronavirus Pandemic

April 1, 2020

Panic-buying a gun can infect your home with something even more dangerous than coronavirus

WASHINGTON — Guns Down America, a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America released the following statement after reports that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System conducted 3.7 million screenings in March, the highest number recorded since its launch in 1998.

“The NRA has spent weeks urging the public to panic-buy guns in response to the coronavirus pandemic as it works to rehabilitate its image and pump even more guns into our neighborhoods,” said Igor Volsky, co-founder and Executive Director of Guns Down America. “The truth is, panic-buying a gun can infect your home with something even more dangerous than coronavirus. 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.

“We’re already seeing coronavirus-related gun incidents in our neighborgoods and we’ll continue to experience higher rates of domestic violence, suicide, homicide and accidental shootings. Long after the coronavirus pandemic is over, these guns will end up in our schools, on our streets, and in our places of worship. The NRA and gun makers will profit. Everyday Americans will be less safe.

“States that have been most successful at tackling our health crisis have been the ones that put science first. Similarly, we will not reduce gun deaths in America until we stop taking advice from the NRA and the gun lobby and instead listen to the nearly unanimous opinion from medical professionals and gun violence researchers who say that guns in the home significantly increases the risk of gun deaths.”

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%).

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

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