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Everytown Applauds Rep. Fitzpatrick for Voting for Legislation to Require Background Checks on All Gun Sales and Address the Charleston Loophole

March 16, 2021

WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statement applauding Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for voting for H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 –– both of which passed the House with bipartisan support last week. If passed into law, H.R. 8 would require background checks on all gun sales, and H.R. 1446 would address the gap in federal law that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check has not been completed within three business days. Rep. Fitzpatrick was one of the cosponsors of H.R. 8. 

“These gun safety bills would save lives,” said Edie Khoury, a survivor of gun violence from Pennsylania who has lost multiple loved ones to gun suicide and homicide.She is the widow of a vietnam veteran who died by suicide with a gun as well as the mother of a son who was shot and killed. “Nothing can bring back my loved ones, but we can honor them with action –– and this legislation would do exactly that. I am forever grateful to Rep. Fitzpatrick for helping lead them across the finish line in the House, and for his steadfast leadership in the fight to end gun violence.”  

Background checks on all gun sales is Everytown’s top legislative priority for this Congress, and recent polling shows that 93% of Americans support it –– including 89% of Republicans. There’s a good reason why background checks on all gun sales garner such overwhelming bipartisan support: they save lives. But because of loopholes in our current laws, nearly a quarter of Americans who obtain firearms do so without getting a background check. Each year, 1.2 million online ads offering firearms for sale are listed on (“Armslist”) that would not legally require a background check to be completed. And nearly 1 in 9 prospective buyers who respond to these ads would fail a background check, a rate seven times higher than the denial rate at gun stores.

The Charleston loophole has likely become even deadlier during the pandemic due to skyrocketing gun sales. According to records obtained by Everytown, between Jan. 1 and Nov. 12 of 2020, the FBI reported 5,807 sales to prohibited purchasers through this loophole –– more than in any other entire calendar year. Thousands more guns likely slipped through this loophole in 2020, as the data does not account for delayed checks that are unresolved at 90 days and are therefore completely wiped from the system. Addressing this loophole is another of Everytown’s top priorities for this Congress. 

If passed into law, either of these bills would become the first meaningful federal gun safety legislation enacted in 25 years. 

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