America needs background checks on every gun sale.
Nearly 40,000 people died from gun violence in 2017. A universal background check requirement will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and save lives.
The US House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, also known as H.R. 8, to close dangerous loopholes and require a background check for every gun sale. Now it’s the Senate’s turn to pass background checks and get a bill to the president’s desk.
Background Checks Save Lives
Background checks have stopped more than 3 million illegal gun sales since 1994, but our laws our riddled with loopholes.
Only federally licensed firearms dealers are required to run a criminal background check. People who are legally prohibited from buying guns can still easily buy one from:
- A gun show
- An online seller
- A person-to-person “private” sale
These gaps in our laws make it far too easy for convicted felons, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people to obtain guns.
There’s no reason a criminal who can’t pass a background check should be able to purchase a firearm from the internet, a gun show, or the trunk of a car.
It’s time to close these loopholes and require a background check for every gun sale.
It’s Time to Close the Loopholes
The evidence is clear: if there are loopholes, criminals will exploit them.
For example, a recent report found that people who bought guns from Armslist.com, a major online marketplace, were nearly four times as likely to have a criminal record that would prevent them from passing a background check.
And 80% of all firearms acquired for criminal purposes are bought through unlicensed sellers. Many of these guns are trafficked from states with weak gun laws to states with strong gun laws, undermining state universal background check laws.
The glaring loopholes and patchwork of state laws show why we need a clear national standard. Congress should pass strong requirements at the federal level to ensure a background check on every gun sale.
Who Supports Background Checks?
Almost everyone. Universal background checks are supported by the vast majority of Americans of every political stripe.
- 97% of Americans support requiring a background check for all gun sales.
- 97% of gun owners support requiring a background check for all gun sales.
- 97% of Republicans support requiring a background check for all gun sales.
Law Enforcement Organizations
Newspaper Editorial Boards
Washington Post Editorial Board: Democrats are making universal background checks a priority. They’re right to do so.
Bloomberg Editorial Board: A welcome push for background checks.
LA Times Editorial Board: The new Congress should expand gun-sale background checks and ban assault-style rifles
Baltimore Sun Editorial Board: The house is finally poised to expand gun background checks
San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board: Time to force the issue on background checks
San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board: Universal gun background checks shouldn’t be controversial
The Press Democrat Editorial Board: Thompson poised for victory on gun safety
New-Times Editorial Board: Close the loopholes in background checks
Gainesville Sun Editorial Board: Demand action to stop deadly shootings
Treasure Coast Palm Editorial Board: Rep. Mast supports universal background checks for gun sales – and so do we
Times Union Editorial Board: A Glimmer of Gun Sanity
Hartford Courant Editorial Board: The new Congress should expand gun-sale background checks and ban assault-style rifles
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
American College of Physicians
American College of Preventive Medicine
American College of Surgeons
American Medical Association
American Medical Student Association
American Nurses Association
American Psychological Association
American Public Health Association
Catholic Health Association of the United States
Doctors for America
Emergency Nurses Association
National Association of Social Workers
National Physicians Alliance
This Is Our Lane
Education Organizations and Academics
Human Rights Organizations
Gun Violence Prevention Organizations
Social Justice and Civic Engagement Organizations
Now that the Senate has passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, it’s the Senate’s turn. Few other policies have such widespread support. Call your senators and tell them to support background checks for every gun sale now:
- H.R. 8: Learn details about the Bipartisan Background Checks Act.
- H.R. 1112: Learn details about the Charleston Loophole bill, The Enhanced Background Checks Act.
Fact Sheets & Reports
- Background Checks Myths Debunked: Explore the myths and facts of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act.
- Universal Background Checks: Explore the existing loopholes in federal background check laws.
- Universal Background Checks Policy: Find out how criminals circumvent existing policy and what solutions would close the loopholes in the federal background checks system.
- For the Record: NICS & Public Safety: This report from Giffords Law Center examines the challenges NICS system faces, and the best practices lawmakers can adopt to improve the quality and number of records in the NICS databases.
Press Releases, Statements & Blog Posts
- Press Release: Editorial Boards Agree, It’s Time for Congress to Pass Universal Background Checks (February 25, 2019)
- Press Release: Leading National Organizations Voice Widespread Support Ahead of Vote on Background Checks (February 25, 2019)
- Blog Post: Communities Turn Out to Call on Congress to Fight Gun Violence (February 24, 2019)
- Press Release: Veteran Military Leaders Call on Congress to Strengthen Gun Laws, Pass Bipartisan Background Checks Bill (February 21, 2019)
- Blog Post: Background Check Myths, Debunked (February 22, 2019)
- Statement: Giffords Applauds House Judiciary Committee Passage of Universal Background Checks Bill (February 13, 19)
- Press Release: Law Enforcement Enforcement Leaders Call on Congress to Pass Bipartisan Background Checks Bill (February 13, 2019)
- Blog Post: 6 Must See Moments from the Historic House Hearing on Gun Violence (February 7, 2019)
- Press Release — Executive Director of Giffords Law Center Testifies in First House Gun Violence Prevention Hearing in Over a Decade, Urging Swift Action on Background Checks (February 6, 2019)
- Blog Post: The State of Gun Violence in 5 Charts (February 5, 2019)
- Press Release: Giffords, March for Our Lives, Town Hall Project Team Up to Host “Gun Safety Town Halls” (January 24, 2019)
- Blog Post: A New Era for Gun Safety (January 9, 2019)
- Statement: Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords on the Introduction of the Bipartisan Background Checks Bill (January 8, 2019)