Heads Up, NRA: Data Shows Opposition To Background Checks Has Killed Dozens Of Cops

by Allison Vincent –

dallas police officers hospital

A police officer was shot and killed in Tacoma, Washington on Wednesday, which marks the 200th time that a police officer, or member of law enforcement, has been shot in 2016. According to data compiled by EverytownResearch.org, more than a quarter of those shootings were fatal — a total of 56 officers were killed and 203 were injured in these 200 shootings.

The Huffington Post reported Thursday:

“Sixty-nine of these shootings have taken place in states with background-check laws on all handgun sales. These states employ 337,679 full-time sworn police officers. In states without these laws, which employ 299,355 officers, there have been 131 shootings of law enforcement officers.

Twenty-one of the 25 states with the highest number of shooting incidents per police officer don’t have background checks on all handgun sales, a HuffPost analysis shows.

Seventy-five percent of the firearms used in this year’s police shootings ― 151 total guns ― were handguns.” 

According to statistics compiled by the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund, the total number of officer-related deaths are up from 2014 and have more than doubled from 2015, with Texas being the deadliest state for officers. In Texas alone, 18 officers have been shot and killed, including those who died tragically in the ambush in Dallas on July 7th.

“Day and night, police officers run toward danger to keep the rest of us safe, and this tragic milestone is a sobering reminder of the risks they face,” said John Feinblatt, Everytown’s president. “We have to reduce those risks, and data shows that we can ― by making it harder for criminals to get guns. It’s long past time to close the dangerous loophole in our laws that lets criminals buy guns with no background check and no questions asked.”

Licensed gun dealers are required by Federal law to perform background checks on buyers, however, unlicensed dealers, such as individuals who sell weapons online or at gun shows, are not bound by the same Federal law, thus allowing anyone — regardless of their mental health or criminal history — to purchase firearms, endangering the lives of millions.

Looking at this further, currently, only 18 states require background checks for handgun purchases and out of those, only 8 require universal background checks for all firearms. Out of those few states that require background checks, Everytown data shows that officers in those states are 48 percent less likely to be killed with handguns. That is astounding!

The data strongly suggests that expanding background checks and enforcing them in all states would save countless lives, yet the NRA strongly opposes this insisting that laws don’t stop criminals from getting guns. While there is SOME logic in this, a large percentage of shootings (not just officer related) were committed by licensed gun owners. A study done of four concealed carry states in 2016 showed that 302 shooting deaths were committed by licensed owners — 74 in Florida, 51 in Texas, 33 in Ohio and 19 in Washington.

The NRA refused to comment on these studies, stating that they needed “more information” about how the research was conducted, but Sarah Tofte, Everytown’s research director, said the group is “confident” in its research methods.

“The factors that contribute to these shootings are complicated, and no single policy can explain all of the variation,” she told HuffPost. “That said, we know from other research that background checks do save lives, and states owe it to their first responders to do everything in their power to protect them.”

It’s very clear and simple — if more states require universal background checks, the chance of police officer shootings will reduce by more than 50 percent. Gun reform needs to happen.

 

Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info