The Potential and Limitations of Universal Background Checking for Gun Purchasers

Wake Forest Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 7, No. 2, (2017 Forthcoming)

NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-13

43 Pages Posted: 9 May 2017

See all articles by James Jacobs

James Jacobs

New York University School of Law

Zoe Fuhr

New York University School of Law

Date Written: April 28, 2017

Abstract

Current federal law defies logic in requiring that only purchasers who buy from federally licensed sellers be subject to background checking. Thus, universal background checking is frequently proposed as the best and most important form of “sensible gun control”. Upon closer inspection, however, universal background checking would be harder to implement and enforce than proponents recognize. Moreover, the likely payoff in reduction of gun homicides, crimes and suicides would be less than what is often assumed. This Article closely examines universal background checking in theory and practice, including the Manchin-Toomey Amendment which Congress rejected in 2013 but which continues to be reintroduced.

Suggested Citation

Jacobs, James B. and Fuhr, Zoe, The Potential and Limitations of Universal Background Checking for Gun Purchasers (April 28, 2017). Wake Forest Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 7, No. 2, (2017 Forthcoming), NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-13, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2965717

James B. Jacobs (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Zoe Fuhr

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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