Requiring Background Checks on All Gun Sales and Strong Red Flag Laws Have Received Bipartisan Support from Lawmakers Across the Country
Recent Polling Shows Both Policies are Supported by a Majority of American Voters
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement calling on the Texas Safety Commission to consider legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales and a strong Red Flag law.
“Now more than ever, we need our lawmakers to get serious about gun safety,” Hilary Whitfield, volunteer leader with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We are urging the members of the Texas Safety Commission to consider policies that are proven to save lives. This month, we’ve seen a groundswell of activism from Texans who are asking our elected officials to keep our state safe by changing our gun laws; otherwise, we’ll change our elected officials.”
Recent polling from Fox News showed that requiring a background check on all gun sales is supported by 89 percent of Republicans, 92 percent of Democrats and 93 percent of gun-owning households.
Under current federal law, background checks are required only for gun sales by licensed firearm dealers. No background check is required for sales by unlicensed individuals, who can sell guns to strangers 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. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have closed this loophole by enacting laws requiring background checks on all gun sales.
A recent report showed that in 2018 alone, there were as many as 60,362 ads on Armslist.com offering guns for sale in Texas with no background check required. More information on background checks is available here.
Perpetrators of mass shootings and school shootings often display warning signs before committing violent acts. Red Flag laws, also known as Extreme Risk laws, allow immediate family members and law enforcement officers to act on those warning signs by petitioning a court to temporarily remove guns from dangerous situations.
Twelve states have enacted Red Flag laws since last year’s mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., and five of these new laws have been signed by Republican governors. In addition to the District of Columbia, 17 states have now enacted Red Flag laws, including Colorado, Nevada, Indiana and Florida.
Interventions in states with Red Flag laws have already prevented these potential tragedies. Red Flag laws can also be used to prevent suicides. More information on Red Flag laws is available here.