Universal Background Checks: Shouldn’t We Review the Statistics?

From all the discussion of requiring universal firearms background checks, you might assume that this is an entirely untried idea in the United States. Not at all: there are at least thirteen states that have had, for some years, some sort of mandatory background check for firearms transfers.

Six states require them for all private party transfers of firearms: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Six more states have, for many years, required them for all handgun transfers: Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. At least one state, Missouri, used to have such a requirement for private party handgun transfers, but repealed it in 1997.

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