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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin joined 40 of her Senate colleagues, led by Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), in reintroducing the Background Check Expansion Act to expand federal background checks to all gun sales. Under current federal law, unlicensed or private sellers are not required to conduct a background check prior to transferring a firearm. 97% of Americans support comprehensive background checks. Research indicates that as many as a quarter of all gun sales in the United States may occur without a background check.
“If all Washington does is agree to disagree, then we have failed to provide the leadership people are demanding to reduce gun violence,” said Senator Baldwin. “This legislation is a commonsense solution to prevent the easy access of weapons for those that shouldn’t have them. We have a moral responsibility in Congress to step up, work together and address gun violence like the public health crisis that it is so we can start saving lives.”
“97% of Americans agree—if you can’t pass a background check, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun. I’m proud to introduce the Background Check Expansion Act as my first bill. Voters stood up this fall and made it clear they want Congress to do more to keep our kids safe from gun violence. We need to listen to them and pass our bill to save lives,” said Senator Murphy.
The Background Check Expansion Act will require background checks for the sale or transfer of all firearms. This requirement extends to all unlicensed sellers, whether they do business online, at gun shows or out of their home. Exceptions to the Background Check Expansion Act include transfers between law enforcement officers, temporarily loaning firearms for hunting and sporting events, providing firearms as gifts to immediate family members, transferring a firearm as part of an inheritance, or temporarily transferring a firearm for immediate self-defense.
In addition to Baldwin and Murphy, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Mark Warner (D-VA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) cosponsored the bill.
Full text of the bill is here.