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Giffords Applauds Introduction of the Background Check Expansion Act

Washington DC — Today, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, founder of the gun violence prevention organization Giffords, applauded the introduction of the Background Check Expansion Act in the United States Senate. Sponsored by Senator Murphy, the Background Check Expansion Act would require a background check for all gun sales and transfers, with reasonable exceptions for self-defense, law enforcement, hunting/target shooting, and exchanges between family members. 

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:

“Universal background checks are essential to addressing the gun violence epidemic our country is facing. Senator Murphy has been a staunch leader for gun safety measures in the Senate and we are grateful to him for introducing the Background Check Expansion Act. The overwhelming majority of Americans support this critical legislation. There have been more mass shootings in 2023 than days in the year. Congress must pass universal background checks to help prevent future tragedies.”

Senator Murphy first introduced this bill in October 2017, shortly after the Las Vegas tragedy. Since then, Giffords experts have testified in Congress about the importance of universal background checks and Giffords has run ad campaigns in support of the legislation. 

Americans—including Democrats, Republicans, and gun owners—overwhelmingly support requiring a background check on every sale of a gun. Ensuring that people prohibited from possessing or purchasing firearms cannot do so through an unregulated sale from an unlicensed or online seller or at a gun show would have a significant public safety impact. Many mass shootings, including the recent shooting at a St. Louis high school, could have been stopped if a background check were required for all gun sales. 

Background checks are highly effective at preventing people who are not eligible to purchase or possess guns from getting them: over three million illegal gun sales have been stopped by background checks since 1994, and in 2021 alone, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) stopped 153,565 prohibited people attempting to buy guns from licensed dealers. In the 10 years since Giffords’s founding, 29 states have passed 71 significant background checks laws


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