Today President Obama addressed the issue of mass public shootings and background checks. From the Fox News article today discussing our new study:
The findings come as President Obama on Tuesday formally announced plans to expand background checks and make other changes to America’s gun rules through executive action. The White House has aggressively pushed for background checks following mass public shootings.
After the December murders by a husband and wife terror team in San Bernardino, Calif., Obama told the nation there were steps the U.S. could take to “improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently: commonsense gun safety laws, stronger background checks.”
The study, however, states that the initial data on universal background checks does not confirm the claims of supporters and the White House.
“Despite the frequent calls for expanded background checks after mass public shootings, there is no evidence that background checks on private transfers of guns would have prevented any of the attacks that have taken place since at least 2000,” the study states, adding that there is no statistical evidence that proves the mass public shootings are “rarer in states with background checks on private transfers.” . . .
The common sense reform that the president emphasized was applying background checks to all private transfers of guns. The CPRC is has new research on this precise issue:
“Do Background Checks on Private Gun Transfers help Stop Mass Public Shootings?”
Persistent claims have been made that expanding background checks to include any private transfers of guns would reduce mass public shootings. Yet, this is the first study to systematically look to see if that is true. In fact there is no evidence that these laws reduce the risk of these attacks. Examining all the mass public shootings in the US from 2000 through 2015, we find that states adopting additional background checks on private transfers they see a statistically significant increase in rates of killings (80% higher) and injuries (101%) from mass public shootings. There is not one mass public shooting that occurred over that period where these checks would have prevented it from occurring.
A copy of the study can be downloaded here.