Press Releases

SAN DIEGO – In the wake of four shootings on college campuses in the last month, U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52), former Mayor and Police Chief of San Diego Jerry Sanders, and a large group of local mothers and others from the San Diego County chapter of the Brady Campaign called on Congress to take action and pass universal background checks.

The group urged lawmakers to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, domestic abusers, and criminals in part by making the background check system more robust, ending the gun show loophole, and having checks cover internet sales.

“Children should not have to fear that a crazy person with a gun is going to walk into their school and shoot them. Parents shouldn’t fear that when they send their kids off to college, they’ll never come home again. It’s time for Congress to act,” Rep. Peters said. “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.”

The Brady Campaign is a national group dedicated to a safer America through reduced gun violence.

“The United States averages 32,000 gun deaths every year. The American people have had enough. The Brady Background Check law which went into effect in 1993 requires all federally licensed gun dealers to perform a background check. This has prohibited 2.4 million illegal gun sales.  Background checks work,” said Carol Landale, co-president of the San Diego County Chapter of the Brady Campaign. “But there are loopholes that must be closed. Eighteen states have expanded background checks beyond federally licensed dealers, but what we need now is a bill from Congress that will expand Brady background checks to all gun sales in all states.”

Rep. Peters is a co-sponsor of the bipartisan King-Thompson background check legislation and a member of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in the U.S. House of Representatives. During the rally, Rep. Peters, Sanders, and members of the San Diego chapter of the Brady Campaign signed a letter to Congressional leaders calling on them to take action to end the epidemic of gun violence across the country.

“Because the current background check system only applies to about 60 percent of gun sales, 40 percent of those purchasing firearms are doing so in ‘no questions asked’ scenarios,” said Jerry Sanders, former San Diego Mayor and Police Chief. “The purchase of a gun, regardless of where that transaction is taking place, should have the same eligibility requirement for that purchase. This is a necessary and important step we can take to protect our communities.”

“The safety of our communities extends beyond law enforcement; public safety is a shared responsibility,” San Diego Chief of Police Shelley Zimmerman said in support of the event. “It takes a collaborative effort between our community and the police working together. This legislation protects the second amendment while at the same time protects public safety. 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.”