In the weeks after Representative Charlie Dent signed on to legislation that would have banned bump stocks following the massacre in Las Vegas, the moderate Pennsylvania Republican was "besieged" by responses from his constituents.
"This has become our new normal and it has become very dispiriting how these kinds of tragedies can be eclipsed by the next tragedy," said Kris Brown, the co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which has been pushing for expanded background check legislation that is currently polling at more than 90% approval.
Devin P. Kelley had a history of domestic violence on his military record that should have barred him from owning guns, but he was armed with a 5.56-millimeter Ruger semiautomatic rifle that he was allowed to buy because of a bureaucratic error by the Air Force.
Authorities are trying to determine how 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, despite being convicted of domestic assault in a military court, was able to obtain multiple guns before he opened fire on a rural Texas church.
Kelley’s domestic violence conviction by military court should have prevented him from passing a federal background check. He should not have been able to purchase a gun from a licensed firearms dealer.
The bill would expand the federal background check requirement to include the sale or transfer of all firearms by private sellers, with exceptions for loans of firearms for hunting or gifts to relatives.