Social Butterfly


In Canada Applicants for gun licenses "must pass background checks which consider criminal, mental, addiction and domestic violence records." In addition to criminal checks, this involves establishing that they were not treated for a mental illness "associated with violence or threatened or attempted violence," or had a "history of behavior that includes violence or threatened or attempted violence on the part of the person against any person," within the past five years. Additionally, "third party character references for each gun license applicant are required."

In United States: Federally licensed gun dealers have to conduct background checks, but that requirement has many holes in it. Reporting on criminal, mental health, drug, and domestic violence records is incomplete, and sales by unlicensed sellers don't require background checks.


Source and Use of Firearms Involved in
Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016


Based on the 2016 Survey of Prison Inmates
(SPI), about 1 in 5 (21%) of all state and federal
prisoners reported that they had possessed or
carried a firearm when they committed the offense
for which they were serving time in prison (figure 1).
More than 1 in 8 (13%) of all prisoners had used
a firearm by showing, pointing, or discharging it
during the offense for which they were imprisoned.
Fewer than 1 in 50 (less than 2%) of all prisoners had
obtained a firearm from a retail source and possessed,
carried, or used it during the offense for which they
were imprisoned.
An estimated 287,400 prisoners had possessed a
firearm during their offense. Among these, more than
half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the
scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it off the street
or from the underground market (43%). Most of
the remainder (25%) had obtained it from a family
member or friend, or as a gift. Seven percent had
purchased it under their own name from a licensed
firearm dealer.


As this report shows background checks do not and will not prevent firearms from being obtained illegally by criminals. Canada has not been able to produce statistics due to the way they record the firearms siezed by their law enforcement community. Mexico is another country with very strict gun laws and the homicide rate by firearm is increasing yearly-nearly all illegally obtained.   


And the statistics for a firearm ban?


A ten-year Australian study has concluded that firearm confiscation had no effect on crime rates.  A separate report also concluded that Australia’s 1996 gun control laws “found [no] evidence for an impact of the laws on the pre-existing decline in firearm homicides”  and yet another report from Australia for a similar time period indicates the same lack of decline in firearm homicides

From the inception of firearm confiscation to March 27, 2000, the numbers are:

  • Firearm-related murders were up 19%
  • Armed robberies were up 69%
  • Home invasions were up 21%

The sad part is that in the 15 years before the national gun confiscation:

  • Firearm-related homicides dropped nearly 66%
  • Firearm-related deaths fell 50%

Between 1997 and 1999, there were 429 murders in London, the highest two-year figure for more than 10 years – nearly two-thirds of those involved firearms – in a country that has virtually banned private firearm ownership


The U.K. has strict gun control and a rising homicide rate of 1.4 per 100,000. Switzerland has the highest per capita firearm ownership rate on the planet (all males age 20 to 42 are required to keep rifles or pistols at home) and has a homicide rate of 1.2 per 100,000. To date, there has never been a schoolyard massacre in Switzerland

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Honored Social Butterfly

Interesting that Australia should be part of the discussion. Here is a good article on how Australia cut down on gun violence and deaths by having strict gun laws. 

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