FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2021
Universal Background Checks on All Gun Sales Critical to Address Gun Epidemic
With reintroduction of overwhelmingly popular gun violence prevention proposal, Congress should move swiftly to enact life-saving background check legislation
WASHINGTON — Today, gun violence prevention leaders in Congress introduced the bipartisan Universal Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R. 8) in the House and the Background Check Expansion Act in the Senate, overwhelmingly popular gun violence prevention legislation that passed the House last year with a historic bipartisan vote. Today’s introduction marks an important step forward to deliver on the promise of action to prevent gun violence.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is urging Congress to take swift action to advance the lifesaving measure.
“For nearly three decades, and continuing to this day, individuals who choose to do harm have been able to take advantage of a glaring loophole in our federal gun laws. The current law does not require a background check to be conducted on private sales of firearms, and the results are clear and devastating: The American death rate from gun violence has skyrocketed to nearly 40,000 gun deaths each year,” said Josh Horwitz, CSGV executive director. “Universal background checks provide the foundation for many other gun violence prevention policies — including domestic violence protective orders and licensing laws — by ensuring that prohibited purchasers are stopped from obtaining guns at the point of sale. If enacted with robust funding for implementation and enforcement, federal background checks would have a strong impact on preventing the flow of guns into the illegal market and reducing gun violence.”
Dakota Jablon, CSGV director of federal affairs, added, “Americans have waited far too long for their elected officials to close this deadly loophole. After being forced to witness mass shooting after mass shooting and an unprecedented rise in community gun violence and firearm suicide, the American people have received nothing but thoughts and prayers from Congress. It’s long overdue for our elected leaders in both chambers of Congress to pass a simple and effective proposal that over 90% of the American people support, and begin the process of reducing our deadly gun violence epidemic. Families have waited too long already.
“We thank Speaker Pelosi, Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Rep. Mike Thompson, Rep. Lucy McBath, and all the incredible gun violence prevention champions in the House of Representatives for their courageous action on this issue. In the Senate, we are grateful for Sen. Chris Murphy and Majority Leader Schumer’s strong, consistent and principled advocacy on this issue. We urge both chambers to swiftly pass this legislation to establish universal background checks. We are confident that President Biden, a longtime gun violence prevention champion, stands ready to sign this lifesaving bill into law.”
About the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
Founded in 1974, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization. We believe gun violence should be rare and abnormal. CSGV develops and advocates for evidence-based solutions to reduce gun injury and death in all its forms.