This legislative ask is designed to be shared with your members of Congress and their staff.
The gun violence epidemic facing our country is a public health crisis that can be avoided –but only if Congress takes action.
Today, federally licensed firearms dealers are required to check the buyer’s background in a database that tracks criminal and mental health histories as well as civil orders.
Co-sponsor S. 42 and support universal background checks for all gun sales.
Since this process was enacted, over 3 million people have been denied firearms. However, it’s estimated that 22 percent of U.S. gun owners acquired their most recent gun without a background check.
Current law does not require individuals buying guns from private sellers or on the internet to pass a background check. Universal background checks are a systematic way to prevent people who shouldn’t have guns from obtaining them. We urge Congress to pass legislation that would require federal background checks for all firearm purchases.
- In states that required background checks for all handgun sales, 47% fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners, there were 47% fewer firearm suicides, and 53% fewer law enforcement officers are shot and killed in the line of duty.
- An estimated 22% of gun transfers take place without a background check, usually online or at gun shows.
- S. 42 would require unlicensed dealers, like those over the internet or at gun shows, to use the same background check system as licensed dealers.
- The vast majority of Americans support universal background checks. Polls consistently show more than 90% of gun owners and non-gun owners support the policy. Background checks also have strong support among NRA members, with at least 69% supporting comprehensive background checks.