The U.S. background check system prevented over 300,000 gun sales in 2020, a record high, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Background checks blocked almost double the number of sales in 2020 compared to the year before, with 42% of rejections due to felony convictions, according to FBI data obtained by the AP. The data also shows that the rate of barred would-be gun owners increased from 0.6% to 0.8% over the past two years.
The rate increase could be because a number of people buying guns for the first time did not realize they were unable to purchase a gun, Adam Winkler, a UCLA Law professor specializing in gun policy, told the AP. “Some may have a felony conviction on their record and not think about it,” he said.
Legislation that would prohibit most people from possessing guns near a polling place passed the Virginia Senate on Thursday and is heading to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk for his signature.
If signed into law, House Bill 2081, sponsored by Del. Mark Levine, D-Alexandria, would prohibit knowingly possessing firearms within 40 feet of the locations beginning one hour before polls are open and an hour after they close. Violation would be a Class 1 misdemeanor if convicted, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a fine up to $2,500 or both.
The Norfolk 2nd Amendment Preservation Coalition achieved all necessary signatures required to have the city council review its petition. This followed last Friday’s court decision to award the coalition as much time necessary to gather signatures.
“We think a decision like this is too important to let seven partisan city council members decide,” Republican Party of Norfolk Chairman and Norfolk 2nd Amendment Preservation Coalition Founder Robert “Bob” Brown said.