Assemblywoman urges federal action on universal background checks 

Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, has introduced Assembly Joint Resolution 4, along with other Democratic coauthors. 

The bill puts California’s Legislature on record demanding U.S. Congressional passage of – and a Presidential signature – on House Resolution 8, the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which was introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, who also serves as the Gun Violence Task Force chairman, on the anniversary of Gabby Giffords shooting. 

H.R. 8 requires uniform and universal background checks on all gun purchases and expands existing background checks to cover anyone attempting to buy firearms online, commercially, or at gun shows. 

The law would obligate unlicensed gun sellers to perform background checks on gun purchasers and transferees by requiring them to utilize licensed dealers to sell and transfer firearms, including guns purchased in the context of gifts to family members, hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.

“I will do everything I can to help support Congressman Thompson’s efforts,” said Aguiar-Curry in a statement. “As a state legislator, a joint resolution is the formal way for California’s Legislature to demand federal action, and that is why I introduced AJR 4. Horrific violence by sick people has become a daily event in our society, and I simply cannot understand why Congress has not acted to pass such a measure, which closes the avenue by which criminals and the mentally ill can bypass checks on their ability to obtain weapons, especially ones meant for no other purpose than to kill people.”

Congressman Mike Thompson commented on the introduction of AJR 4. 

“Background checks help save lives right away and the vast majority of Americans support expanding them to keep our communities safe,” Thompson said in a statement. “That’s why I introduced H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, to take action right away to help prevent gun violence. I am honored to have the support of our local legislators, led by Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry, and look forward to working with them as we continue our fight to help prevent gun violence.”

The bipartisan group of federal coauthors to this federal legislation shows that confronting gun violence and protecting communities is important to both sides of the political aisle. 

Legislators from across the United States have said that enacting a comprehensive background check requirement is a critical component of reasonable and effective gun safety laws. 

“Universal background checks are an absolute must in this era of unacceptable gun violence,” said AJR 4 coauthor Sen. Bill Dodd said. “There is no reason to allow someone who may be intent on doing harm to bypass this critical screening. As a longtime hunter, I wholeheartedly support Congressman Thompson’s much-needed measure.”

AJR 4 has been introduced and is pending referral to its first Assembly policy committee for a hearing. ■

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