Today, a bill co-sponsored by U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) to close the loopholes in federal gun purchase background check laws passed the House of Representatives. The bill requires a background check for every gun sale in the nation. Currently, prohibited buyers can purchase guns from unregulated sellers online and at gun shows without a background check. This legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed into law, would be the biggest expansion of background checks since the system was created more than two decades ago.
“Today the House finally honored victims of gun violence with action. An overwhelming majority of Americans support commonsense universal background checks and this bill is an important step to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.
“I came to Congress in 2013, just weeks after the Sandy Hook massacre, and I was astounded that my Republican colleagues refused to act after small, innocent children were murdered at school. Since then, we have seen far too many other tragedies—Aurora, San Bernardino, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland, and more.
“Three years ago, I live-streamed the sit-in on the House floor after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando to demand a vote on background checks. Since then, millions of Americans have raised their voices and demanded change. To all those who have been hurt by gun violence, lost a loved one, or fought tirelessly with us: Today’s historic vote is for you,” said Rep. Peters.
Rep. Peters has championed gun safety reforms. Most recently, he attended a Town Hall for Our Lives in San Diego following the Parkland shooting, opposed arming teachers, cosponsored legislation that bans assault weapons, and voted against extending concealed carry reciprocity, which would allow concealed carry licenses to be valid in states other than the issuing state. His 2016 livestream of the sit-in gained national media attention and was broadcast on CSPAN after Republicans shut off the cameras that feed official video of the House floor. He also read names of gun violence victims on the House floor more than twenty times to call on then-Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule a vote on background checks.
Tomorrow, the House will consider H.R. 1112, legislation which would extend the initial time the FBI has to complete a background check on a gun purchase from three to ten business days, and add an additional ten days if the initial FBI review is not complete.