1. Press Release
  2. Gun Violence

Quaker Lobby Urges Swift Senate Action on Gun Bill

By Timothy McHugh, February 27, 2019

Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) praised the passage of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8) late today. It urges the Senate to act swiftly in passing a similar bill.

Contact: Tim McHugh, Friends Committee on National Legislation, media@fcnl.org; 202-903-2515

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8) requires checking the background of people who sell or transfer any firearm. Currently, only licensed gun dealers are required to conduct background checks. Unlicensed dealers – like those selling weapons over the internet, at gun shows, or through private sales – would have to use the same background check system. The bill passed 240-190.

“After years of inaction, Congress is finally advancing genuine policies to reduce gun violence in our communities. This bill closes a loophole; those who are barred from buying and owning guns will no longer have an easy end run around the national background check system,” said Diane Randall, executive secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). “Background checks are widely popular among Americans and have proven to keep our communities safer.”

Research has concluded that background checks prevent gun violence. Since 1994, more than 3 million people legally prohibited from owning a gun were denied the chance to purchase one because of existing background check laws. Right now, 22 percent of gun purchases, including those made online and at gun shows, don’t require a background check. H.R. 8 would close these loopholes by instituting universal background checks on all gun purchases.

“In 2017 alone, background checks prevented roughly 181,000 attempted illegal gun purchases. Put simply, expanding background checks – exactly what H.R. 8 does – will prevent people from acquiring firearms who shouldn’t have them in the first place,” said Andre Gobbo, who heads FCNL’s work on gun violence. “The bill will save countless American lives.”

Aside from directly lobbying Congress on this issue, FCNL will also recruit young organizers for its 2019-20 Advocacy Corps to help reduce gun violence in America.

“We will have young organizers working in more than 20 states to move this issue forward. They will be our key to making sure the Senate acts on this legislation. Inaction is no longer viable,” said Gobbo.

To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.


Timothy McHugh

  • Director of Media Relations

Tim leads organizational efforts to communicate about issues, victories, priorities, and updates through all available news channels – specifically the major media outlets. He is responsible for providing FCNL staff with opportunities to convey our message – in print and through the airways – to the public and throughout the country. He keeps FCNL issues and staff on the collective radars of reporters and journalists nationwide. Lastly, he runs FCNL several media-focused social media channels.