On February 27 and 28, the U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills to strengthen federal background checks that are now headed to the Senate for consideration.

H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, 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. The bill would close a 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.

H.R. 112, the Enhanced Background Check Act, would expand the background check period from three to ten days, with the potential to be extended another ten. The bill seeks to close the “Charleston loophole” that allowed the shooter to buy a gun despite having a drug conviction that was not discovered within the three-day period.

While the passage of both of these bills marks a critical step towards closing dangerous loopholes in our federal background check system, NYAGV objects to an amendment added to H.R. 8 that requires federal immigration officials to be contacted in the event someone in the U.S. illegally tries to buy a gun.

NYAGV and Youth Over Guns Joint Statement

Click here to read the joint statement by NYAGV and Youth Over Guns about the passage of these bills.