U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined 40 of her Senate colleagues today to reintroduce the Background Check Expansion Act, legislation to expand federal background checks to all gun sales. Under current law, not all gun sellers are required to conduct a background check prior to transferring a firearm and as many as a quarter of all gun sales in the United States may occur without a background check.
This legislation would require unlicensed and private sellers to conduct background checks.
“Gun violence is destroying families and tearing apart communities all over our country on a daily basis, yet Congress continues to sit on its hands and do nothing to stop this crisis,” Gillibrand said. “We must solve this problem now. One of the most effective ways to help stop gun violence is to ensure that dangerous and violent people don’t get their hands on these weapons in the first place, and that’s why 97 percent of Americans support universal background checks. This is an easy and commonsense solution to a problem that affects all of us. I am proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing this urgently needed bill to the Senate, and I urge my colleagues to move quickly to pass it into law.”
This legislation would require background checks for the sale or transfer of all firearms, including unlicensed sellers who sell online, at gun shows or from their home. The exceptions to the Background Check Expansion Act include transfers between law enforcement officers, temporarily loaning firearms for hunting or 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 Gillibrand, the Background Check Expansion Act is cosponsored by Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), 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), 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), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), 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).