Universal Background Checks

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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 is now considering the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, also known as H.R. 8, which would close existing loopholes in federal law by requiring a background check on every gun sale. Read more about this lifesaving legislation and urge your representative to support it.

Background Checks Save Lives

Background checks have stopped more than 3 million illegal gun sales since 1994, but our laws our riddled with loopholes.

18.12 SOC UBC Calls to Action_Do you Need a Background Check

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 background checks on every gun sale

Take Action

Congress should swiftly pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. Few other policies have such widespread support. Call your member of Congress and tell them to support background checks for every gun sale now:

Looking for more ways to get involved? Sign up for our Action Network to get connected with opportunities in your community, or simply sign our petition.