Descriptive Analysis of Denial to Purchase a Firearm

Mona A. Wright, University of California, Davis
Garen Wintemute, University of California, Davis
Michael P. Romero, University of California, Davis

Since the passage of the Brady Violence Prevention Act in 1994 that requires a criminal background check on all persons purchasing a firearm, roughly 2.3% of the approximately 30 million gun purchase applications have been rejected. Although these figures and the reason for the rejection are maintained by the US Department of Justice there is no information on the firearm or demographics of the attempted purchaser. In California, these data are recorded. Approximately 1% of yearly gun sales in California are denied representing an estimated 3,300 to 4,700 firearms annually. Firearm ownership is prohibited by individuals with a prior felony conviction, adjudicated mentally ill, convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor (in California this includes other violent misdemeanants as well), and certain others. We will present a descriptive study of firearm applications that have been denied in California from 1996 thru 2000. Demographic characteristics of the attempted purchaser and the reason for the denial will be presented for both long gun (shotguns and rifles) and handguns. For handguns we will present descriptive information on the gun - type, caliber, barrel length, maker. Comparisons will be made between years and between handguns and long guns.

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Updated 05/20/2006