FBI: Only 0.35% of Gun Purchasers Using Licensed Dealers Were Criminals

Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr.
By Gregory Gwyn-Williams, Jr. | April 17, 2013 | 9:34 AM EDT

The number of individuals who have attempted to purchases a firearm, who have also been convicted of a crime, represents just 0.35% of all background checks completed by the FBI.

According to data on the FBI's website, since November of 1998, just 590,078 individuals who have been "convicted of a crime punishable by more than one year or a misdemeanor punishable by more than two years" have attempted to purchase firearms using the background check system.

There have been 167,488,942 background checks completed over the same time period.

The Senate will vote on the Toomey-Manchin gun bill today, formally called "The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act."

One section of the bill proposes strengthening the instant background check system, but will that stop criminals from getting their hands on weapons?

Data from the FBI suggest that criminals overwhelming do not buy firearms through licensed dealers that are required to perform background checks for gun purchases.

The 590,078 criminals who have been flagged by the NICS system since 1998 and denied the purchase of a firearm, represent just 0.35% of all background checks completed.

Many gun rights advocates have voiced concerns over the Toomey-Manchin bill fearing that it will lead to a national gun registry.

Others have criticized the bill for not targeting the cause of gun violence: criminals.

On ABC's "This Week," Senator Marco Rubio said, "Criminals don't care about the laws that we pass with regards to guns.  They never follow the law -- that's why they are criminals."

Couldn't have said it better, Senator.

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