WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statement applauding Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) for cosponsoring and voting for H.R. 8 –– legislation to require background checks on all gun sales that passed the House last week with bipartisan support.
“My dad died by suicide with a gun nearly seven years ago, on April 9, 2014, one day after my 31st birthday,” said Celeste Kanpurwala, a survivor of gun violence from Michigan. “Since then, every day, more than 100 Americans have been killed by gun violence and hundreds more have been wounded, but Congress has failed to act to address this deadly epidemic. That inaction must end now with background checks on all gun sales, and I want to thank Rep. Upton for leading the way towards passing this life-saving legislation into law.”
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.