Background Checks For Firearm Purchases: Problem Areas And Recommendations To Improve Effectiveness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Mandatory background checks on firearm purchasers receive widespread support from the general public and firearm owners. Background checks appear to reduce the risk of violence substantially among prohibited persons whose purchases are denied. However, population-level studies, including studies of comprehensive background check policies, have often shown no clear evidence of benefit. There is one notable exception: Permit-to-purchase policies have consistently been associated with beneficial population-level effects. The findings of no benefit may in part be an artifact of history, as the completeness of the data on which background checks are run has improved substantially since the periods examined by those studies. Nonetheless, significant problems with implementation and design still limit the population-level effectiveness of background check policies. In this article I review nine of these problem areas and suggest actions that could substantially improve the effectiveness of background check policies in preventing firearm-related violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1702-1710
Number of pages9
JournalHealth affairs (Project Hope)
Volume38
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Fingerprint

Firearms
Violence
Population
Licensure
Artifacts
History

Keywords

  • Access to care
  • Background checks
  • Firearms
  • Guns
  • Health policy
  • Law enforcement
  • Legal and regulatory issues
  • Mental disorders
  • Mental health
  • Public health
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

Cite this

Background Checks For Firearm Purchases : Problem Areas And Recommendations To Improve Effectiveness. / Wintemute, Garen J.

In: Health affairs (Project Hope), Vol. 38, No. 10, 01.10.2019, p. 1702-1710.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{76279271d84740e1adfb2a7ee00afe09,
title = "Background Checks For Firearm Purchases: Problem Areas And Recommendations To Improve Effectiveness",
abstract = "Mandatory background checks on firearm purchasers receive widespread support from the general public and firearm owners. Background checks appear to reduce the risk of violence substantially among prohibited persons whose purchases are denied. However, population-level studies, including studies of comprehensive background check policies, have often shown no clear evidence of benefit. There is one notable exception: Permit-to-purchase policies have consistently been associated with beneficial population-level effects. The findings of no benefit may in part be an artifact of history, as the completeness of the data on which background checks are run has improved substantially since the periods examined by those studies. Nonetheless, significant problems with implementation and design still limit the population-level effectiveness of background check policies. In this article I review nine of these problem areas and suggest actions that could substantially improve the effectiveness of background check policies in preventing firearm-related violence.",
keywords = "Access to care, Background checks, Firearms, Guns, Health policy, Law enforcement, Legal and regulatory issues, Mental disorders, Mental health, Public health, Violence",
author = "Wintemute, {Garen J.}",
year = "2019",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00671",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "38",
pages = "1702--1710",
journal = "Health Affairs",
issn = "0278-2715",
publisher = "Project Hope",
number = "10",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Background Checks For Firearm Purchases

T2 - Problem Areas And Recommendations To Improve Effectiveness

AU - Wintemute, Garen J.

PY - 2019/10/1

Y1 - 2019/10/1

N2 - Mandatory background checks on firearm purchasers receive widespread support from the general public and firearm owners. Background checks appear to reduce the risk of violence substantially among prohibited persons whose purchases are denied. However, population-level studies, including studies of comprehensive background check policies, have often shown no clear evidence of benefit. There is one notable exception: Permit-to-purchase policies have consistently been associated with beneficial population-level effects. The findings of no benefit may in part be an artifact of history, as the completeness of the data on which background checks are run has improved substantially since the periods examined by those studies. Nonetheless, significant problems with implementation and design still limit the population-level effectiveness of background check policies. In this article I review nine of these problem areas and suggest actions that could substantially improve the effectiveness of background check policies in preventing firearm-related violence.

AB - Mandatory background checks on firearm purchasers receive widespread support from the general public and firearm owners. Background checks appear to reduce the risk of violence substantially among prohibited persons whose purchases are denied. However, population-level studies, including studies of comprehensive background check policies, have often shown no clear evidence of benefit. There is one notable exception: Permit-to-purchase policies have consistently been associated with beneficial population-level effects. The findings of no benefit may in part be an artifact of history, as the completeness of the data on which background checks are run has improved substantially since the periods examined by those studies. Nonetheless, significant problems with implementation and design still limit the population-level effectiveness of background check policies. In this article I review nine of these problem areas and suggest actions that could substantially improve the effectiveness of background check policies in preventing firearm-related violence.

KW - Access to care

KW - Background checks

KW - Firearms

KW - Guns

KW - Health policy

KW - Law enforcement

KW - Legal and regulatory issues

KW - Mental disorders

KW - Mental health

KW - Public health

KW - Violence

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85072975953&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85072975953&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00671

DO - 10.1377/hlthaff.2019.00671

M3 - Article

C2 - 31589523

AN - SCOPUS:85072975953

VL - 38

SP - 1702

EP - 1710

JO - Health Affairs

JF - Health Affairs

SN - 0278-2715

IS - 10

ER -