Federal background checks are needed to close the gun show and online sale loophole.

Federal background checks are needed to close the gun show and online sale loophole.

PROBLEM:  A loophole in federal law enables dangerous individuals to avoid background checks by purchasing firearms from private sellers at gun shows and on internet gun sites that are not required to perform background checks on buyers. In addition, due to lax enforcement in some states, millions of records of mentally ill and violent offenders are currently missing from the national gun background check system. (In 2013, after the Sandy Hook massacre, the Senate voted against expanding background checks.)

SOLUTION:  Enact federal background checks on commercial gun sales and stronger enforcement requirements to prevent dangerous individuals from gaining easy access to firearms. H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, would require a background check on every gun sale or transfer, with carefully defined exceptions for gifts to family members, hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. While licensed gun dealers are currently required to conduct background checks, H.R. 8 would require unlicensed gun sellers to utilize this same system by requiring them to sell or transfer firearms only through licensed dealers. This bill would close a huge loophole in federal law that allows unlicensed sellers to sell guns at gun shows, online, and person-to-person without conducting any background check on the purchaser. Since up to 80% of firearms used for criminal purposes are obtained without background checks, this bill is vital to reducing gun violence throughout the country.

TAKE ACTION: Call your U.S. representative at (202) 224-3121 (U.S. Capitol switchboard) and urge support for H.R. 8 to expand background checks.