Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Study on Expanded Background Checks in Washington, Oregon, Yield Different Results

Last week the Crime Report had this article about a study of Oregon and Washington's "expanded" background checks since passage in 2014 and 15.
State laws in Washington (2014) and Oregon (2015) extended existing background check requirements to private purchases of handguns. Washington, for example required all private sales of firearms to be conducted through a federally licensed firearms dealer, who in turn conducts the check.
But the study by the University of California Davis Violence Prevention Research program found that pre-firearm checks for private sales increased by only 4 percent between January 1999 and December, 2018.

In contrast, a similar statute in Oregon resulted in an 18 percent increase in such checks over the same period. 
The study authors did not offer conclusive reasons for the difference, suggesting that Washington State’s figures represented a “gradual” accommodation with the new regulations. 
“The new laws may have had effects that we were unable to measure or detect,” said the study.
I have always said part of the reason that these laws have lower than expected increases in background checks is because the gun ban lobby believes that a large number of private sales occur when they are actually only a small percentage of the firearm market.

Update: Cam Edwards has more on the story and what they missed here.

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