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Federal Background Checks Fail to Stop 7 Percent of Gun Sales to Individuals with Domestic Abuse History

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled 6-2 that convicted domestic abusers can be barred from buying guns. The federal background check system, however, failed to block seven percent of sales that should have been denied due to domestic abuse convictions or court protective order. While 89,000 sales were blocked, 6,800 were cleared despite a history of domestic abuse.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the complexity of some domestic abuse cases means some individuals do not meet certain elements that would put them on the no-buy list. One of these elements, for example, is the use of force. Background checkers would have to dig into the details of each particular case to determine whether or not a gun sale should be stopped.
Gun control has recently emerged as a major political issue. Determining who should or should not have access to a firearm has been much of the focus.


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