Do Gun Background Checks Work? What the Research Shows

Harvey Kornnfield
Harvey Kornnfield, owner of Airport Pawn, left, works on a sale with Bamula Schlesinger, right, at a gun show hosted by Florida Gun Shows, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Miami. Schlesinger purchased an Uzi and a Smith & Wesson 38. (AP)

Politicians and advocates debated whether to expand gun background checks. The battle over whether to tighten background check laws raises a key question: have background checks proven effective?

Garen Wintemute, who directs the University of California Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, recently summarized the research and found that some studies showed new state laws did reduce the risk of subsequent violence among people whose purchases are denied.

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