From 1989 — when Virginia's gun purchasing background check system began — through 2012, 54,260 people have been prevented from buying guns in the Commonwealth.
Virginia State Police statistics show the number includes felons, drug abusers, the mentally ill and domestic assault offenders.
“I think this strengthens the argument that all gun transactions should involve a background check of the purchaser," Thomas R. Baker, a criminologist and assistant professor of criminal justice studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, told The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“The fact that they [Virginia State Police] actively pursue individuals who try to purchase a gun illegally means the background check system helps to not only keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, but also helps identify and punish individuals trying to illegally obtain guns," Baker said.
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