According to a new study, close to 60 more people have been murdered each year in Missouri after the state made it easier to buy handguns without a background check.
The study, published by the John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy, found that between 55 to 63 more people were killed by gun violence each year after Missouri repealed its PIP (permit-to-purchase) law in 2007.
“This study provides compelling confirmation that weaknesses in firearm laws lead to deaths from gun violence,” Study author Daniel Webster said in a press release. “There is strong evidence to support the idea that the repeal of Missouri’s handgun purchaser licensing law contributed to dozens of additional murders in Missouri each year since the law was changed.”
The law’s repeal allowed unlicensed gun sellers to forgo background checks when making a sale.
The findings are significant because murder rates in the surrounding states saw virtually no fluctuation, while the U.S. overall actually saw a decrease in murder rates.
“Coincident exactly with the policy change, there was an immediate upward trajectory to the homicide rates in Missouri,” Webster told the BBC. “That upward trajectory did not happen with homicides that did not involve guns, it did not occur to any neighboring state, the national trend was doing the opposite, it was trending downward and it was not specific to one or two localities – it was, for the most part, state-wide.”
The study clearly indicates that the absence of background checks led to an increase in gun violence and death.
“Because many perpetrators of homicide have backgrounds that would prohibit them from possessing firearms under federal law, they seek out private dealers to acquire their weapons,” Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research Deputy Director Jon Vernick said. “Requiring a background check on all gun sales is a commonsense approach to reducing gun violence that does not infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
Listen to the BBC broadcast in the link below, via The Raw Story: