Study: States with no background check loopholes see fewer mass shootings

Candlelight vigil (Photo: Reuters)

Candlelight vigil (Photo: Reuters)

There were fewer mass shootings in states with more complete background check measures over the past several years, a national gun control group announced on Thursday.

Everytown for Gun Safety released new research showing 52 percent fewer mass shootings between January 2009 and July 2015 in states that require background checks on all handgun purchases.

Using the Federal Bureau of Investigation definition of a mass shooting where four or more people are killed with guns, the group looked at 133 mass shootings during that period and found there were 37 mass shootings in states where mass shootings in states that require background checks on all handgun sales and 96 similar incidents in states where no background checks are required.

The study also found that close to 40 percent of the highlighted shootings were carried out by those prohibited from possessing guns. States with background check requirements on all handgun sales have 63 percent fewer mass shootings carried out by prohibited possessors and 64 percent fewer mass shootings involving domestic violence the group said.

“This is just the latest piece of evidence that Americans are safer from gun violence in states where a handgun buyer must pass a criminal background check before buying the firearm,” said Everytown Research Director Ted Alcorn.  “We already know that closing the loophole that allows guns to be sold without background checks online and at gun shows is an essential component to reducing gun violence.  In addition to seeing fewer mass shootings, the states that have closed this loophole see 46 percent fewer women shot and killed by intimate partners and 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers killed with handguns.”

As the gun control group did last month, Everytown is expected to announce a list of executive orders for President Obama to enact Thursday afternoon.