FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Gun violence survivors and family members joined lawmakers on Capitol Hill as Democrats announced a bill to close loopholes in background checks.
As many as one in four guns in the U.S. are purchased without a background check, according to research, which suggests such sales can happen privately or at gun shows.
Democratic lawmakers are introducing the “Background Check Expansion Act,” which they say will help to cut down on sales that occur without checks. Lawmakers say the act will change a dangerous and deadly loophole.
Just weeks after a shooter killed 58 people and injured hundreds in Las Vegas, Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto is calling for action.
“It is not time, it is past time to reduce gun violence in this country–it is common sense,” Cortez-Masto said.
Under current gun laws, unlicensed or private sellers are not required to conduct a background check prior to transferring a firearm.
The new bill would change that.
The lawmakers who introduced the bill said there are common sense exceptions in it, like for people who are gifting guns to family members.
Lawmakers, citizens and groups like the National Rifle Association that oppose tightening gun laws say criminals will still find a way to get weapons. Sen. Maestro says she hears that argument a lot.
“But I can guarantee you if we have universal background checks we are going to save a life,” Cortez-Masto said.