FBI NICS Background Checks by State

I used Python to clean and aggregate data and then created some basic data visualizations in Tableau to look at which state characteristics appear to have an effect on the number of background checks for firearms purchases.

There are definitely some interesting patterns. The HTML files with all the details are in the links below, however here are some highlights:

More and more NICS checks are being done every year:


Cyclical nature of NICS checks, but overall increasing since 1998:


Number of checks with key events:


State by State:


Are you wondering what’s with Kentucky? It’s not as scary as it looks – new legislation was passed that makes certain permit holders required to do an annual background check, so in this case, checks aren’t a great proxy for purhcase rates.

Here’s another state-by-state, this time the graph colored by voting tendency:


Please check out the full analysis! Links below:

More Info: Evernote Airtable  Google Drive  GitHub

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