SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — A new study from UC Davis found a massive increase in gun purchases in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a significant increase in gun violence.
According to a new study from the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program (VPRP) and published in Injury Epidemiology, there was an 85% increase in background checks after the nation locked down to stop the spread of the coronavirus in 2020. Stores reported 4.3 million more background checks than from the year before between the months of March and July.READ MORE: Significant Storms Coming To Drought-Parched Northern California; Fire Season May Be Ending
The study also found that from April through July 2020, there was a 27% increase in firearm injuries, including deaths. The VPRP noted that there were approximately 4,075 more injuries than would be expected for that period.
“Early in the pandemic, there were news reports about an increase in firearm purchasing. Given what we know about the risks of firearm violence associated with firearm access in general, and firearm purchasing surges specifically, we expected to see a relationship between these two during the pandemic,” said a statement from Julia Schleimer, YPRP research data analyst and lead author on the study.READ MORE: COVID: Low Turnout For Booster Shots Has Santa Clara County Officials Concerned
The VPRP has been researching and developing its public policy solutions to gun violence in the U.S. since the 1980s. This new study comes after a previous report found an association between firearm purchases and gun violence through May 2020.
While the report found that gun-related domestic violence incidents increased in states where gun-buying went up, it didn’t see a connection between an increase in purchases and non-domestic violence at the state level. States with the largest increases in purchases from March through July 2020 did not experience the largest increases in non-domestic firearm violence.
“This was unexpected given prior studies. If we look at the country as a whole, we saw that purchasing and violence both went up on average. But when we looked state-by-state at the places in which firearm purchases increased the most, those weren’t the places where the violence increased the most,” Schleimer said.MORE NEWS: Theranos Trial: Former Product Manager Says How Failures Were Hidden During Demos