WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statement applauding Rep. Maria Salazar (R-FL) for voting for H.R. 8 –– legislation to require background checks on all gun sales that passed the House last week with bipartisan support.
“Nothing can bring back our beloved son Jerry, but we can and must honor his memory with action,” said Maria José and Fred Wright, lifelong Republicans and survivors of gun violence from Florida whose son, Jerry Wright, was killed along with 48 others in the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando in 2016. “It’s been over 25 years since Congress has passed a significant gun safety law, and that is way too long –– especially when more than 100 Americans are killed by gun violence every day and twice that many are wounded. We are so grateful to our representative, Congresswoman Salazar, for voting for HR 8 and showing valour and conviction in protecting our safety. We demand that our Senators follow her lead.”
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.