Study: Fewer mass shootings in states with background checks

Study: Fewer mass shootings in states with background checks
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Gun control advocates are renewing their calls to expand background checks.

Everytown for Gun Safety released a new report Thursday that found mass shootings are 52 percent less likely in states that require people to go through a background check before purchasing a handgun.

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The gun safety survey found 133 mass shootings that occurred between January 2009 and July 2015. 

During that time, there were 96 shootings in states that have loopholes in their background checks laws, while there were only 37 shootings in states with stricter gun laws.

The study defined a mass shooting as a situation in which at least four people are killed by guns.

The federal government requires background checks before most gun sales, but people can get around this requirement by purchasing firearms online or at gun shows, critics say.

These background check loopholes have been closed in 18 states. 

“This is just the latest piece of evidence that Americans are safer from gun violence in states where a handgun buyer must pass a criminal background check before buying the firearm,” Everytown Research Director Ted Alcorn said in a statement. “We already know that closing the loophole that allows guns to be sold without background checks online and at gun shows is an essential component to reducing gun violence.