U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) led 45 senators, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), on Tuesday in reintroducing the Background Check Expansion Act to expand federal background checks to all gun sales.
Under current federal law, unlicensed or private sellers are not required to conduct a background check prior to transferring a firearm. 97% of Americans support comprehensive background checks.
Research indicates that as many as a quarter of all gun sales in the United States may occur without a background check. U.S. Representative Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Background checks are simple, easy, and they save lives. That’s why more than 90 percent of Americans support our legislation to make sure no guns are sold in this country without a background check,” said Murphy.
“Joe Biden and hundreds of congressional candidates from both parties ran on the issue of background checks. This is the year to get this bill passed into law. And this legislation has the chance to bring this country together – even 85 percent of gun owners believe in expanding background checks, and a growing anti-gun violence movement, made up of both Democrats and Republicans, is demanding change. I look forward to working across the aisle to get background checks legislation across the finish line.”
“Ending the epidemic gun violence starts with meaningful and commonsense reforms,” said Majority Leader Schumer. “This legislation will take the long-overdue step of closing dangerous loopholes in the existing background check system to help keep all of our communities safe.”
“For years, this bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities.”
The Background Check Expansion Act will require background checks for the sale or transfer of all firearms. This requirement extends to all unlicensed sellers, whether they do business online, at gun shows, or out of their home.
Exceptions to the Background Check Expansion Act include transfers between law enforcement officers, temporarily loaning firearms for hunting and sporting events, providing firearms as gifts to immediate family members, transferring a firearm as part of an inheritance, or temporarily transferring a firearm for immediate self-defense.