US 42% of Rejected Gun Background Checks in 2020 Had Felony Convictions
Rising crime rejuvenates gun control debate on campaign trail
The battle over gun control is emerging as a campaign issue heading into the midterms as gun violence rises in the U.S.The country has seen a wave of gun-related deaths as it reopens amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive for NBC News, firearm deaths increased by 15 percent last month compared to the same period in 2019.Republicans have attributed the rise in violence to progressive efforts to reform and in some cases direct funds away from police departments. But Democrats say gun policies are at the heart of the issue.
Forty-two percent of people blocked from buying guns after U.S. background checks had felony convictions on their records, according todata provided to the Associated Press.
Additionally, the number of blocked gun sales nearly doubled between 2019 and 2020, the data shows. The number of would-be gun owners prevented from buying firearms hit a record high of more than 300,000 in 2020.
End the ban on felon participation in the securities markets
The blanket ban on felons in the federal securities laws was adopted in 1934, long before the nation’s failed over-prosecution strategy in the war on drugs. In 1934, there were fewer than 150,000 Americans serving in state and federal prison. In 2018 that number was 1.8 million. And hundreds of new felonies have been added to federal statutes since 1934. The blanket ban on felony participation in the securities markets no longer makes sense and needs to be reconsidered.
The increase in rejected gun-buying bids coincides with an overall uptick in firearm sales that started during the pandemic and has persisted into 2021, the AP reported. Despite a Democratic majority inand pressure from President , lawmakers have yet to pass new gun control restrictions.
The House successfully passed legislation in March that would require background checks on all gun sales and transfers, in addition to a 10-day assessment period. But the bill is stalled in theand lacks Republican support.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:
According to the data, the rate of barred would-be gun buyers also increased somewhat over the previous two years, from about 0.6 percent to 0.8 percent. That could be in part because many of the people who tried to get guns in 2020 were buying them for the first time and may not have been aware that they were legally barred from owning them, said Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor specializing in gun policy.
Democrats set to pare down gun control bills in aim for unity
Their point man on guns is preparing to vote on a scaled-down bill aimed at uniting the party and picking up a limited number of Republican votes.Instead, Democrats are preparing to vote on a scaled-down guns bill — most likely a curtailed plan to boost background checks for firearm buyers. The goal is to unite the party and pick up a limited number of Republican votes, even as their effort appears headed towards the same doomed fate as previous proposals to curb gun violence. Despite the all-but-certain GOP filibuster facing Democrats on guns, they’re well aware that a unified 50-vote Senate majority is the only way to put unmitigated political pressure on their opponents.
"Some may have a felony conviction on their record and not think about it," he said.
Making a false statement in connection with a background check is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a hefty fine, but few people are prosecuted for what would amount to lying on the form filled out before a gun purchase, he said.
In 2017, just 12 of the 112,000 people denied a gun purchase, about 0.01 percent, were federally prosecuted, largely due to limited resources for the time-intensive investigations, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report.
Research from the group Everytown for Gun Safety found that 16 percent of would-be gun buyers in 2020 were prohibited by state law, like the extreme-risk protection orders or red-flag laws passed in several states. Another 12 percent were related to domestic violence, either people subject to a protective order or convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime.
Background checks blocked a record high 300,000 gun sales
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The number of people stopped from buying guns through the U.S. background check system hit an all-time high of more than 300,000 last year amid a surge of firearm sales, according to new records obtained by the group Everytown for Gun Safety. The FBI numbers provided to The Associated Press show the background checks blocked nearly twice as many gun sales in 2020 as in the year before. About 42% of those denials were because the would-be buyers had felony convictions on their records.
The data shows how necessary the legislation is, said Sarah Burd-Sharps, director of research at Everytown.
"There's no question that background checks work, but the system is working overtime to prevent a record number of people with dangerous prohibitors from being able to buy firearms," she said in a statement. "The loopholes in the law allow people to avoid the system, even if they just meet online or at a gun show for the first time."
Gun rights groups have pushed back against the proposal, and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the group the Second Amendment Foundation, said the increase in denials might be partly because more states have been updating their records of restricted people. There are sometimes false positives as well, he said.
"A day doesn't go by that our office doesn't get complaint calls from people who've been denied wrongly," he said.
The data also comes as a growing number of conservative-leaning states drop requirements for people to get background checks and training to carry guns in public.
Texas last week became the latest state of about 20 to drop permitting requirements amid a push that began gathering steam several years ago. Gun rights groups say those requirements are an unfair burden for law-abiding gun owners, but firearm safety groups worry it's a dangerous trend that will allow more firearms in the wrong hands.
Chicago Man Robbing Gas Station Put Employees Inside Cooler, Shot Deputy Sheriff
A Chicago man robbed a gas station in Iowa, prosecutors say he shot a deputy sheriff and put the employees inside a cooler.Stanley Donahue allegedly robbed two Casey's employees at gunpoint after 10 p.m. on Sunday. He stole cash from the register and safe, cigarettes and the employees' personal belongings before putting them in a cooler.
Denial data is released by the FBI, but the information collected by Everytown breaks it down by year and includes data from states such as California and Florida, which conduct their own background checks.
Gun deaths rising in Iowa as new law removes handgun permits .
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Gun deaths are surging in Iowa as a law is set to go into effect Thursday that will allow people to more easily buy handguns and carry them in public without training or a permit. A record 353 people died from gunshot wounds in Iowa in 2020, including 263 suicides and 85 homicides, an Iowa Department of Public Health spokeswoman said Tuesday. The shooting deaths represent a 20% increase from Iowa's previous high in 2019,A record 353 people died from gunshot wounds in Iowa in 2020, including 263 suicides and 85 homicides, an Iowa Department of Public Health spokeswoman said Tuesday.