Democrats Reintroduce Bill Requiring Universal Background Checks On Private Gun Sales
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) reintroduced The Background Check Expansion Act Tuesday, legislation that would expand federal background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions.
Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) also reintroduced companion legislation in the House on Tuesday.
S. 42 states that the Act “prohibits a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, one of 43 Democrats who have co-sponsored the bill, said now is the time to act on expanding background checks.
“For years, this bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell,” Schumer said.
“Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities.”
BIG NEWS: Today we reintroduce the Background Check Expansion Act.
It’s not complicated – universal background checks are supported by 95% of Americans and will save thousands of lives.
Please RT this explainer video if you support expanded background checks. pic.twitter.com/q1cAEiHNNd
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) March 2, 2021
Biden Supports Background Checks On ALL Gun Sales
In a statement on the anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Biden called on Congress to enact “commonsense gun law reforms” that would include “requiring background checks on all gun sales.”
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, reports that existing law already requires anyone who is “engaged in the business of dealing firearms” to obtain a federal firearms license and conduct background checks regardless of how the gun sale transpires.
Amy Swearer, a legal fellow in the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies with Heritage writes, “Even if 100% successful, this is a low-reward endeavor.”
“Private commercial sales simply are not a major way in which would-be criminals acquire firearms,” she said in a column for the Daily Signal.
The report adds that “most calls for ‘universal background checks’ inevitably involve the imposition of significant burdens on low-risk and temporary transfers of firearms between law-abiding citizens.”
Instead of seeking support for laws addressing the real underlying factors of gun violence, Biden is pushing politically divisive measures that would turn the right to keep and bear arms on its head without meaningfully making the nation any safer. https://t.co/M2EuFwRKZ8
— The Daily Signal (@DailySignal) March 1, 2021
Standing Up For The Second Amendment
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary for Joe Biden, indicated the President won’t rule out using executive orders to enact stringent gun control measures including background checks on all gun sales.
“The president is somebody throughout his career who has advocated for smart gun safety measures,” Psaki told reporters. “He has not been afraid of standing up to the NRA.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 16, 2021
A county in Missouri responded to threats of onerous gun control measures by passing a bill that authorizes the arrest of any federal agents who try to infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of its citizens.
“Any and all federal agents trying to enforce the regulations listed in Section 1 shall be subject to arrest by the Newton County Missouri Sheriff’s Department,” the bill reads.
The Hill notes that S. 42 does have some exceptions including “transfers between law enforcement officers, loaning firearms for hunting, gifting to immediate family members, inheritance transfers and temporary transfers for immediate self-defense.”
The legislation would need all 50 Democrats and an additional 10 Republicans to support it in order to overcome the filibuster.