On Thursday, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY-18) voted to pass two landmark bipartisan gun violence prevention bills that he says will close dangerous loopholes in our nation’s background check system.
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“These are smart, commonsense bills that will keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and help make communities here in the Hudson Valley – and across America – safer places to live,” Maloney stated. “With over 90 percent of the American public supporting universal background checks, these bills are a no-brainer. They are long overdue fixes to a broken system and will help save innocent lives.”
Maloney helped pass the two laws that he says will make the Hudson Valley safer. Below is more information on both bills, according to Maloney:
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act
- Will close the “gun show loophole” by requiring universal background checks to ensure that individuals already prohibited from gun possession under federal law, such as felons and domestic abusers, are not able to obtain firearms. Right now, federal gun laws exempt unlicensed gun sellers – people who sell guns online, at gun shows, or person-to-person without a federal dealer’s license – from having to perform a background before selling a firearm.
- The bill would require a background check for every gun sale or transfer, with some reasonable and explicit exceptions that, for example, allow a person: to give a gun as a gift to a family member; loan a gun for hunting or target shooting; or temporarily transfer a gun for self-defense. Everyday background checks stop more than 160 felons and 50 domestic abusers from getting a gun from a federally licensed dealer. Since 1994, background checks have stopped more than 3.5 million illegal gun sales to violent criminals and other people prohibited from having guns.
The Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021
- Extends the initial background check review period from three to 10 days. The “Charleston Loophole” is the flaw in the background check system that enabled a gunman to obtain the weapon used to murder nine people and wound three others as they participated in a Bible study at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015. Had the FBI background check been completed, the perpetrator of the Emanuel massacre would have been barred from purchasing a firearm.
- In 2019, almost 3,000 guns were sold to people with criminal records, mental illnesses and other circumstances which disqualify them from purchasing a firearm due to the inability to complete background checks within three days. Since 1998, the “Charleston Loophole” has put over 75,000 guns into the hands of prohibited gun owners.
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