O’Rourke Wrong on Gun Control Stat

After the Colorado school shooting, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke advocated universal background checks for gun purchases, claiming that state laws mandating universal checks “have been shown to reduce gun violence by 50 percent.”

But academic research doesn’t support that.

O’Rourke’s campaign said the statistic came from Everytown for Gun Safety, but the gun-control group told us it has updated its background material on the issue in light of “rigorous” new research that has “improved our understanding of this.”

A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine in March found that universal background checks are associated with about a 15 percent reduction in firearm homicide. But the study stopped short of concluding that the decline was caused by those laws.

Federal law requires background checks on those who buy guns from federally licensed firearm dealers. There have been attempts in Congress to require

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