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Everytown, Moms Demand Action Statement on House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Gun Safety

February 6, 2019

Today, Dozens of Gun Violence Survivors and Moms Demand Action Volunteers Attended the Hearing

Yesterday, an Investigation Released by Everytown Uncovered One in Nine People Seeking to Buy a Gun on Armslist Was Legally Prohibited from Buying or Owning a Firearm; New Website Lets Americans Compare Nearly 1.2 Million Gun Advertisements Where No Background Check Was Required, Across States

WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, today released the following statements after the House Judiciary Committee held a historic full committee hearing on gun safety.

“Anyone who still doubts the need for stronger gun laws after today’s hearing should look at Everytown’s latest report, which found that there is a vast unregulated marketplace where guns are advertised for sale online without a background check,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We call on Congress to stand with the American people and close the loopholes in our gun laws.”

“The vast majority of Americans support common-sense gun safety laws like requiring background checks on all gun sales,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “Countless Moms Demand Action volunteers put their lives on hold to elect lawmakers willing to prioritize public safety over gun lobby profits and it’s gratifying to see our hard work pay off. Congress should continue listening to its constituents, and take immediate steps to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 American lives depend on it.”

“Today’s hearing gave us hope that survivors are finally being heard,” said Judi and Wayne Richardson, members of the Everytown Survivor Network whose 25-year-old daughter, Darien, was shot several times during a home invasion while asleep in her bedroom on January 8, 2010. She spent 21 days in the hospital and died from complications caused by her injuries. The police could not trace the gun that killed Darien because it was later sold at a gun show without a background check. “No matter your politics, we should all agree that requiring a background check on all gun sales is a critical step in the right direction. We look forward to Congress’ swift passage of this important legislation.”

Yesterday, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund released a new report, “Unchecked,” which details a yearlong investigation into the online sales loophole. The investigation focused on, the self-described “largest free gun classifieds on the web,” which allows prospective gun buyers to find guns being sold by unlicensed sellers who are not legally required to conduct a background check on the sale. The investigation uncovered nearly 1.2 million ads on Armslist for firearm sales that have no legal requirement for a background check. The investigation also found that, across several states, one in nine people seeking to buy a gun from an unlicensed seller were legally prohibited from buying or possessing a gun — and would have failed a background check at a licensed gun dealer.

Everytown also released hidden camera footage in which an investigator licensed in Ohio responded to firearm ads on Armlist and was able to complete multiple firearm purchases without a background check. The private investigator was able to purchase a handgun and an assault-style rifle.

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