by WorldTribune Staff, August 25, 2019
Most mass shootings in the United States are followed by a surge in FBI background checks for gun purchases, according to a new study.
A spike in gun sales has occurred after eight of 10 recent mass shootings, the study by the home security firm Cove found, according to a report by Washington Examiner columnist Paul Bedard.
The week following the Dec. 14, 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was the “top week” for National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) requests following a mass shooting, the study said. Three days after that shooting there were 490,471 NICS requests.
“Highly publicized mass shootings are typically followed by a spike in NICS checks. Triggered perhaps by a combination of fear and panic for public safety, or a concern by some that gun sales may soon be restricted after these events,” the study said.
Calls for more comprehensive background checks were widespread following the shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
Gun-control proponent Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat, said the White House has reassured him that President Donald Trump wants to move forward on tougher background checks. Murphy said the White House also confirmed its interest in “red flag laws” that temporarily keep guns away from potentially violent people.
“Several days ago some of the president’s comments seemed to suggest that he was once again backing away from his commitment to work on background checks legislation,” Murphy said at an Aug. 23 briefing in Connecticut. “I have been in contact with the White House this week since the president’s comments – as late as last night – and I believe that the White House is still committed to trying to work on a comprehensive anti-gun violence proposal that would include strengthening background checks.”
Any gun-control measures would die in the GOP-controlled Senate without Trump’s support, Murphy said.
“He’s talking to the gun lobby much more frequently than he’s talking to me,” Murphy added.
Trump has rejected accusations from Democrats that he is backing down on background checks. On Aug. 22, the president said he spoke with the NRA about closing loopholes in background checks but he did not want to take away the constitutional right to bear arms.
Requests for concealed carry permits have also spiked following mass shootings, according to concealed carry advocates.
“Remember that nothing stops a lunatic bent on carnage better than a law abiding citizen with a gun,” said Justin Anderson, the marketing director at Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina. “I continue to urge people to get a gun, get trained with that gun, and carry, always.”
Of the 15 worst shootings starting with the slayings at Columbine High School in Colorado on April 20, 1999, background checks have increased up to 36 percent, according to the Cove study.
The report also showed that mass shootings compete with Black Friday for surges in FBI criminal background checks for gun purchases. Out of the top 10 days for NICS records, six were Black Fridays.