NEW: Background Check Surge Continues

November 2, 2020

October Background Checks Surge Over Both 2019 and Before the 2016 Election

WASHINGTON -- Guns Down America, a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America released the following statement after the FBI reported that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System conducted 3.3 million screenings in October, including over 1.7 million firearm sales-related background checks.

This represents an increase of 65 percent in firearm sales-related background checks over October of 2019. It also represents a 32 percent increase over October 2016. As of today, the FBI has conducted almost 74 percent more firearm-sales related background checks this year as compared to the same time last year.

“For months, Americans have bought firearms at high rates, and October was no exception, said Igor Volsky, Executive Director of Guns Down America. “With suicide rates on the rise and homicides increasing in some major cities, the next Congress has an obligation to invest in community programs that have successfully reduced gun violence and pass legislation that makes firearms significantly harder to get.”

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%).