May 29, 2014 Contact: Jennifer Fuson 202-370-8128 jfuson [at] bradymail [dot] org
First U.S. House Floor Vote on Gun Issue Since Newtown;
Washington, DC— Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted to increase funding for the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Checks System) for firearm purchases. The additional $19.5 million in funding would enable tens of thousands of additional records of prohibited firearm purchasers to be included in the system that keeps felons, fugitives, the seriously mentally ill, and domestic abusers from buying guns.
“Increasing NICS funding is a strong step in the right direction. It will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and make us all safer, but we need to do more,” says Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “Congress needs to listen to the American public and expand federal background checks to include guns sold online and at gun shows so that any improvement to the background check system applies to all commercial gun sales. Until then, even with a vastly improved NICS system, it is still far too easy for dangerous people to get guns.”
“Ninety people are killed by guns each day in this country and adequate funding the Brady background system is a no-brainer,” added Gross. “Now it’s time to stop the 40 percent of gun purchases that go unchecked through online and gun show sales.”
“Over 90 percent of Americans support expanding background checks to online and gun show sales, including over 80 percent of gun owners and 74% of NRA members. Yet the U.S. House of Representatives refuses to even hold a vote on it because of a fear of the corporate gun lobby,” added Gross. “That is shameful and it is time for the American public to hold our elected leaders accountable to represent the interests of the American public ahead of the gun industry and hold a vote on The Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013 (H.R.1565) that would expand the background check system to online and gun show sales.”
“Today’s vote shows when the U.S. House Leadership allows a vote on measures that will improve the Brady background check system, we win. We need House Leadership to bring H.R. 1565 to a floor vote now,” added Gross. “Richard Martinez (father of Santa Barbara shooting victim Chris Martinez said it best, ‘Not one more!’ Today, we are calling for not one more day to go by without a House vote on sensible gun safety measures.”
The Brady Campaign will work to ensure the increased NICS funding will be passed in the U.S. Senate so it stays in the final FY15 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill (HR 4660).
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