A scientific survey of gun dealers and pawnbrokers in 43 U.S. states has found nearly unanimous support for denying gun purchases based on prior convictions and for serious mental illness with a history of violence or alcohol or drug abuse – conditions that might have prevented Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis from legally purchasing a firearm.
The research, conducted by the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, is to be published in the Journal of Urban Health.
The research is the third report from the UC Davis’ Firearm Licensee Survey, which assessed support among federally licensed firearms retailers for a background check requirement on all firearm transfers and selected criteria for denying handgun purchases.
The survey is believed to be the first of its kind to gather the views of federally licensed firearms dealers and pawnbrokers on important social issues and the firearms business itself.
“Retailers are well aware and concerned that prohibited persons, those with criminal intent and persons at high risk of committing crimes can readily acquire firearms under current conditions,” said Garen Wintemute, professor of emergency medicine and director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. “Our survey was conducted in 2011 prior to mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado; Oak Creek, Wisconsin; Newtown, Connecticut; and the Washington Navy Yard. Levels of concern may now be higher among firearm retailers, as they are among the public in general.”
Read more at: Phys.org