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Thursday, March 4th, 2021

Senators introduce bill to expand checks for sale or transfer of firearms

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A group of 28 Senators led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) to require private sellers to conduct background checks for the sale or transfer of firearms, with certain exceptions.

The requirements of the Background Check Expansion Act would apply to all unlicensed sellers, whether they sell firearms online, at gun shows or out of their home. These sellers would need to visit a licensed firearms dealer to run the background check before finalizing any gun sale.

Under current law, unlicensed or private sellers do not have to conduct a background check before transferring a firearm.

“This is old-fashioned common sense. People who can’t pass a background check shouldn’t be able to buy a gun and endanger your loved ones,” Murphy said. “[Ninety] percent of Americans support stronger background checks, and it’s time for Congress to listen.”

Exceptions to the new rule would include transfers between law enforcement officers, temporarily loaning firearms for hunting or sporting events, giving firearms as gifts to immediate family members, transferring a firearm as part of an inheritance, or temporarily transferring a firearm for immediate self-defense.

“Thousands of guns trade hands every year without the basic safeguard of a background check. Closing the loophole by which these guns are acquired is just common sense – and it will save lives,” Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT) said. “We cannot afford to wait until another Sandy Hook, or Charleston, or Las Vegas to take action to stop the uniquely American epidemic of gun violence. Expanding background checks to include privately sold firearms is a vital first step.”