Shannon Watts @shannonrwatts Founder of @MomsDemand, grassroots army of @Everytown. NRA’s worst nightmare. Fight Like A Mother author. Big Gen X energy. Sep. 05, 2019 1 min read

Try again, Dan. Since 1994, background checks have blocked over 3.5 million gun sales to felons, domestic abusers, and other people who aren’t allowed to have guns under existing law. How many of those may have been mass shootings?

Between 2009 and 2015, there were 133 mass shootings in the US (defined as as incidents in which at least four people were killed with a gun). Controlling for population, states requiring background checks saw 52% fewer mass shootings than those without. 

A background could have saved a woman, her husband, and six children—aged 6 to 13—who 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.

A convicted felon was able to buy a gun online in 2014 - without a background check - which he used to kill four people in Morgantown, West Virginia. Years before, he had been convicted of a felony for abducting a former girlfriend and holding her hostage at gunpoint.

The Sutherland Springs, Texas, gunman who killed 25 people in 2017 was a prohibited purchaser, but the Air Force didn’t properly relay the record of his conviction for domestic abuse to the federal background check database system.

In 2015, a white supremacist was able to buy a gun and kill nine Black worshippers even though his background check never cleared. He was a prohibited purchaser, but federal law allows a gun sale to go through in three days - even if the background check hasn’t cleared.

You can follow @shannonrwatts.


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