In the News

After two deadly shootings in as many weeks on college campuses, the local chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Rep. Scott Peters, former Mayor Jerry Sanders and Police Chief Shelly Zimmerman met to push lawmakers to pass legislation requiring universal background checks on people purchasing guns.

They all want universal background checks to help make sure that people who are ill, domestic abusers, criminals and among others aren’t able to get firearms. They rallied at Doyle Community Park on Tuesday to urge the federal government to tighten gun control measures so that background checks are also required for firearm sales at gun shows and online.

“We’re trying to make it so that there’s universal background checks across the country, and that counts for loophole areas as well,” said Ron Marcus, spokesman for the Brady Campaign’s San Diego chapter.

The National Rifle Association some time ago supported expansions to background checks, including to gun shows, but later changed its position.

It doesn’t make sense that gun-buyers undergo a background check from some sellers and not from others, Zimmerman said.

“It is contradictory that background checks are required when a person purchases a firearm from a federally licensed seller, but not from an individual seller. By closing this loophole it will help prevent putting firearms in the hands of those who are not authorized by law to have a firearm while protecting the rights of our citizens who can legally bear arms,” she said in a statement.

Peters, a member of the House’s Gun Violence Task Prevention Task Force, is one of 182 sponsors of the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection act of 2015, a measure that enhances the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

If passed, it would provide funding for state and tribal governments to add information to the criminal database, incorporate federal court records into the database, and allow for the addition of mental health records that are currently protected by a medical privacy law.

“Let’s start simple: close loopholes in our background check system to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. There is a bipartisan bill sitting in the House of Representatives right now that would do this. I’m calling on party leaders to let Congress vote on background checks now,” Peters said in a statement.

The measure was introduced by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., in early March, and has sat in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations since March 31.

The Brady Campaign has backed The Fix Gun Checks Act of 2015, a measure that also makes sure that people who are prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in a background check system and requires a background check for every gun sale.

A 2014 Quinnipiac Poll found that 92 percent of Americans support background checks.