Gun Background Checks Show Largest-Ever Yearly Decline In 2017

Gun Background Checks Show Largest-Ever Yearly Decline In 2017

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by: Elizabeth Balboa, Benzinga Staff Writer


October’s mass shooting in Las Vegas and November’s mass shooting in Texas were the first and fifth deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history, and the entirety of 2017 was one of the most violent.

Gun Violence Archive recorded 345 total mass shootings and 15,539 gun-related deaths from 61,246 total incidents, representing year-over-year acceleration in all measures.

With eight weeks left in the year, 2017 had already tallied the most mass-killing victims in more than a decade, according to USA Today, and at one point, there were more mass shootings in the year than there had been days.

Notably, while incidents of gun violence increased, gun sales waned.


US Background Checks Drop

Sturm Ruger & Company Inc RGR 0.09% closed down 7.3 percent and American Outdoor Brands Corp AOBC 0.25% 9.1 percent Wednesday after the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System reported the first full-year drop in firearm background checks in 15 years.

Ten months out of 2017 recorded year-over-year declines, resulting in an 8.4-percent decrease from the previous year’s record rate. The abrupt fall ended an acceleration streak that had boosted background checks from 8.45 million in 2002 to 27.54 million in 2016.


What Policy Had To Do With It

The decline in NICS checks reflects no change in federal policy. Despite the rise in violence, Congress did not institute any gun control laws in 2017, although the House passed a measure in December to expand concealed carry rights.

States became more active in regulation, with 1,684 firearm bills introduced and more than 30 laws enacted to prevent violence.


© 2018 Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.




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