Re: “Assemblywoman urges federal action on universal background checks” (Jan. 30)
It’s a relief that Congress may finally close the federal background check loophole that exempts unlicensed gun sellers from having to perform background checks before selling firearms. Proposed legislation would close this loophole, which currently allows guns to easily make their way into the hands of convicted felons, domestic abusers, the severely mentally ill and others prohibited from owning firearms.
Requiring background checks on all public and private gun sales is overwhelmingly supported by Americans, including 99 percent of Democrats, 97 percent of Republicans, and 97 percent of gun owners (Quinnipiac University Poll, 2/20/2018). Eleven states including California already require background checks for all gun sales. The proposed federal bill, H.R. 8, the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act,” would close the private sale loophole nationwide.
I think there’s an editing error in your article. It states that the bill would obligate unlicensed gun sellers to perform background checks on all gun sales “including guns purchased in the context of gifts to family members, hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.” But H.R. 8 states the opposite: it clearly exempts gifts between family members and temporary transfers for the purpose of hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. H.R. 8 has bipartisan support. I hope it is signed into law soon.