Members of the Everytown Survivor Network, Judi and Wayne Richardson of Maine Will Stand with Senators Chris Murphy, Dick Durbin and Richard Blumenthal as They Introduce Legislation to Require Criminal Background Checks on All Gun Purchases Nationwide, Similar to Laws in 19 States
WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, and gun violence survivors today released the following statements, applauding Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Richard Blumenthal’s (D-Conn.) introduction of legislation in Congress that would require background checks on all gun purchases nationwide. The Background Check Expansion Act introduction follows the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history at a Las Vegas music festival.
Speakers at today’s press conference included Judi and Wayne Richardson, members of the Everytown Survivor Network. Judi and Wayne’s 25-year-old daughter, Darien, was shot several times in South Portland, Maine, during a home invasion while asleep in her bedroom on January 8, 2010. She spent 20 days in the hospital and later died from complications caused by her injuries. The police could not trace the gun that killed Darien because it was sold through a private sale without a background check.
Under current federal law, criminal background checks are only required for gun sales by licensed firearm dealers. But no background check is required for sales by unlicensed individuals. This means that any unlicensed person can sell a gun to a stranger they meet online or at gun shows — with no background check, no questions asked and no way to know whether the buyer is a criminal or otherwise prohibited from having guns. The legislation introduced by Senators Murphy, Durbin and Blumenthal would close this loophole. Research on background checks is available here.
STATEMENT FROM JUDI AND WAYNE RICHARDSON, MEMBERS OF THE EVERYTOWN SURVIVOR NETWORK, WHOSE DAUGHTER WAS SHOT SEVERAL TIMES DURING A HOME INVASION AND LATER DIED FROM COMPLICATIONS CAUSED BY HER GUN SHOT WOUNDS:
“Our 25-year old daughter, Darien, was shot and killed with a handgun that was sold without a background check. The unsolved investigation into her murder is a prime example of why we need to close the background check loophole and finally take action to address the gun violence that kills 93 Americans and injures hundreds more every day. There is no bringing back our daughter, but by passing this legislation to ensure background checks on every gun sale, Congress can help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and save lives. ”
STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“Americans across the political spectrum agree: If you can’t pass a background check, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun, period. It is past time for Congress to close the background check loophole, and I applaud Senators Murphy, Blumenthal and Durbin for introducing legislation that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and save lives. I strongly encourage their colleagues in Congress to come together, listen to the American people and pass this legislation.”
STATEMENT FROM SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“After the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas, Senators Murphy, Blumenthal and Durbin are taking an important stand for public safety. It is high time Congress comes together to help keep guns out of the hands of people with dangerous histories. That starts with closing the background check loophole and requiring criminal background checks for every gun sale. Polls show Americans support stronger gun laws; shockingly, it’s our lawmakers who are standing in the way of lifesaving legislation. We must demand our elected leaders make the safety of our families a priority. American lives are on the line.”
The decision to introduce this legislation comes as House Republicans renew their push to pass the NRA-backed SHARE Act that would roll back silencer safety laws, while the gun lobby continues to call on Congress to pass its number one priority to gut state gun laws, “concealed carry reciprocity.”