According to the Gun Violence Archive, 2,365 gun deaths, 4,558 gun injuries, 317 unintentional shootings and 54 mass shootings have occurred in the United States as of press time. The United States is no stranger to gun incidents, with gun regulations and gun rights being hot topics of discussion for the longest time.
Purchasing a gun is easy since guns are accessible to the general public. Hundreds of retailers throughout the country sell them, including major retailers such as Walmart and localized family-run shops such as Ken’s Sporting Goods & Liquor Store in Oregon. Prospective gun owners can attend weekly gun shows that take place throughout the nation and buy one.
People can also purchase guns from family members or neighbors. In most states, guns can legally be sold between private parties, like friends or acquaintances. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, "large numbers of firearms are sold anonymously" at more than 4,000 gun shows each year.
Guns can also be advertised for sale online, but federal law states that the actual sale of the firearms must happen at a licensed store. There, potential gun buyers would be required to go through extensive background checks.
Background checks are required only for in-store purchases, but not for purchasing firearms at gun shows. Gun buyers are mandated to fill out a form from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms prior to purchase. In the form, Social Security Number is listed as optional, but recommended, which demonstrates the bare requirements necessary for identification.
After answering questions pertaining to criminal and mental background, the store then calls the FBI, where the organization runs a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. According to CNN, this background check can take just minutes to administer.
The problem is that it is very rare that people are denied because of a negative background check, which occurrs less than 1 percent of the time. The FBI’s website states, “More than 100 million such checks have been made in the last decade, leading to more than 700,000 denials.” The number of people who get denied is not in proportion to the number of people who get approved. Background checks need to be tighter and proper identification must be mandatory.
Many people wonder how the new administration is going to have an impact on gun sales. Many gun supporters feared that if Hillary Clinton won the presidency, there would now be tighter gun restrictions. Under President Donald Trump, however, CNN Money states that background checks have dropped by 20 percent this year.