WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statement applauding Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) for voting for H.R. 8 –– legislation to require background checks on all gun sales that passed the House last week with bipartisan support.
“In the ten years since my son was shot and killed, hundreds of thousands of Americans have been killed by gun violence –– but, in all that time, Congress hasn’t passed a single significant federal gun safety law to put an end to this carnage,” said Monica Cassaberry, a survivor of gun violence from New York whose 22-year-old son, Jamal Singleton, was shot and killed on September 19, 2011. “That deadly legislative drought must end now with H.R. 8. We applaud Rep. Garbarino for voting for this life-saving bill, and we now look to the Senate to follow the House’s lead and act.”
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.com (“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.
Requiring background checks on all gun sales is especially critical during COVID-19: Gun sales have skyrocketed over the past year, and Everytown’s research suggests hundreds of thousands of guns are likely being sold through unlicensed sellers with no background check and no questions asked.
If passed into law, H.R. 8 would become the first meaningful federal gun safety legislation enacted in 25 years.