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Statistics Show Background Checks Are Effective - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Statistics Show Background Checks Are Effective

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's background check system has prevented more than 16,000 felons from buying guns since it began in 1989.

State police records show a total of 54,260 transactions have been denied during the past 24 years. The total also includes drug abusers, the mentally ill and domestic assault offenders.

Virginia Commonwealth University criminal justice assistant professor Thomas R. Baker says the state's background checks help to keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn't have them. Baker tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the checks also help to identify and punish people who try to illegally obtain guns.

Last month, state police arrested seven people for trying to illegally buy guns at a gun show in Henrico County. Police say all seven liked on firearm transactions forms.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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