January 08, 2019

Duckworth, Durbin Introduce Background Check Expansion Act to Reduce Gun Violence

 

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin(D-IL) today joined 38 other Senators 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 percent 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.

 “It’s just common sense that if you can’t pass a background check, you shouldn’t be able to purchase a firearm—and the vast majority of Americans know it,” said Duckworth. “How many lives must be taken before Congress finally says, ‘enough is enough?’ In the wake of so many tragedies, it’s past time Congress acted on this common-sense solution to help keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists, criminals and those who are dangerous to others and to themselves.”

“Support for universal background checks is nearly unanimous among Americans these days, with 97 percent of Americans supporting required background checks on all gun sales—including 97 percent of gun owners.  This number is absolutely overwhelming.  It’s time for Republicans to join with Democrats and nearly all Americans in support of universal background checks,” said Durbin.  

The Background Checks 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.

In addition to Duckworth and Durbin, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Mark Warner (D-VA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Timothy Kaine (D-VA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) cosponsored the bill.

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