Though many polls indicate that the vast majority of Americans – Republicans and Democrats alike – support universal background checks, the president’s new order does not extend that far. Instead, the order gives Attorney General Merrick Garland greater authority to ensure that gun dealers are complying with current background check laws, whatever they may be. The White House said the order would move the U.S. “as close to universal background checks as possible without additional legislation.”
Nearly 3 million firearm background checks were conducted in the United States in March, according to data compiled by the FBI. While this figure represents a substantial increase of more than 450,000 checks, compared to February, when 2.5 million checks were conducted, it is more or less in line with the number of checks conducted in March of 2022.
However, in some states, the number of background checks was down substantially from where it was a year ago.
In Louisiana, 24,752 firearm background checks were conducted in March 2023 – excluding checks not likely tied to gun sales, such as pawn shop transactions, returns, rentals, and rechecks – down from 34,202 the same month last year. The 27.6% decline in estimated gun sales was the largest among states.
All data in this story is from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Background checks are a proxy measure for gun sales and are adjusted to remove checks that were not likely tied to a firearm sale.
|Rank||State||1 yr. change in firearm background checks (%)||Firearm background checks, March 2023||Firearm background checks, March 2022|