Background Checks Continue to Decline Under Trump

Background Checks Continue to Decline Under Trump

For the third straight month, background checks on gun sales are down.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 6, 2017) – For the third month in a row, newly released numbers from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) show a decrease in background checks relative to the previous year. Only 1,203,438  checks on handgun, long gun, multiple, other, and private sales were performed in February 2017 compared to 1,383,373 in February 2016.

Fewer background checks in December, January, and now February suggest a downward trend in gun sales since Donald Trump was elected — an interesting dynamic given Trump’s close ties to the gun lobby.

“Under the current administration, the gun lobby’s fear-based sales pitch doesn’t work as well,” said Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz. “The National Rifle Association (NRA) used to tell people to arm themselves against the government. Now that they are closely tied to the executive branch, they are trying their best to gin up fear of other groups — including Trump dissenters. It is ironic that after all the time, money, and energy the NRA has poured into his campaign and his presidency, President Trump seems to be bad for business.”

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