New Bill to Expand Brady Background Checks ‘Greatest Opportunity to Save Lives’ | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

New Bill to Expand Brady Background Checks ‘Greatest Opportunity to Save Lives’

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 4, 2015

Contact: Mike Naple, mnaple [at] bradymail [dot] org

Phone: +1 857-919-5130

 

Washington, D.C. – Congress, once again, has the opportunity to save lives by passing newly introduced legislation to expand Brady background checks to cover all sales online and at gun shows. Reps. Peter King (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) are again co-authoring bipartisan legislation, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015, that was introduced in the previous session of Congress and garnered 188 co-sponsors.

Sarah Brady, Co-founder of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, stated:

“Brady background checks have blocked 2.4 million purchases, keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people, and saving countless lives. Now Congress has the opportunity to make this great law even stronger by expanding Brady background checks to cover sales online and at gun shows where thousands of guns are sold every day to lord knows who. We fought a long, hard battle to pass the Brady Bill with bipartisan support in 1993 and now we simply need to finish the job!”

Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, stated:

“This should be a no-brainer for Congress. Ninety-two percent of the American public supports this measure to keep guns out of the hands of people like domestic abusers, rapists, and fugitives. More importantly, it will save lives. We need to let our representatives know that we will not tolerate them putting the interests of the corporate gun lobby ahead of the lives and safety of the citizens they have been elected to represent.”

The Brady Law has blocked more than 2.4 million purchases to criminals, domestic abusers, fugitives, and other dangerous and prohibited people, saving countless lives. That is an estimated 358 purchases every day. Felons account for more than one million of those attempted purchases.The King-Thompson legislation will expand Brady background checks to ensure that all sales online and at gun shows go through the same background check process, no matter where the gun is sold.

Currently, nearly 40 percent of gun purchases are not subject to a Brady background check.

In 2013, Congress failed to pass legislation that would have required Brady background checks on all sales online and at gun shows. The Senate narrowly voted down the “Manchin-Toomey” legislation, and the King-Thompson bill failed to get a hearing despite having 188 cosponsors in the House. Republican leadership blocked the bill from being considered in the House Judiciary Committee.

Noting numerous state victories for background checks in the last two years, Gross added:

“Fortunately, since the tragic defeat of ‘Manchin-Toomey,’ several states have taken matters into their own hands, protecting their citizens where Congress has failed, by expanding Brady background checks. Lives will be saved as a result. Congress could do well to learn from the example of these states, and finish the job and expand Brady Background checks nationally to make all of us safer.”

Five states – Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, and New York – have expanded Brady background checks to all gun sales since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in December 2012. This means that 1 in 3 Americans now live in states that protect them with expanded background checks. This week, the state legislature in Oregon will consider legislation to become the sixth state since 2013 and the eighth state overall to expand background checks on all gun sales.

New research shows that states that have expanded Brady background checks have seen, on average 46 percent fewer women killed with guns by intimate partners, 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers killed with handguns, and 48 percent fewer gun-related suicides.

“There is no doubt, expanded background checks save lives. It is time for Congress to finish the job and expand Brady background checks to the thousands of gun sales that happen every day online and at gun shows,” concluded Gross.

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The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America for all of us that will lead to a dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz.