WASHINGTON, DC – Everytown for Gun Safety today applauds the introduction of bipartisan legislation to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill. The bill, King-Thompson (H.R. 1217), was introduced today by U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and Representatives Peter King (R-NY) Bob Dold (R-IL), Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Patrick Meehan (R-PA), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), and Kathleen Rice (D-NY).
“Requiring background checks on all gun sales continues to be the single most effective thing we can do to keep guns out of dangerous hands and reduce the toll of 88 Americans who are killed by gun violence every day,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The steadily growing movement of Americans is making progress – as we’ve seen in states across the country that have passed laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has been a large part of passing these laws. We are grateful to Representatives Thompson, King, Dold, Esty, Fitzpatrick, Meehan, Thompson and Rice for introducing this legislation today and showing that Washington is listening to the 90 percent of Americans who support common-sense measures to prevent gun violence including background checks.”
King-Thompson will help keep guns out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill by requiring background checks for private gun sales at gun shows, online, and via classified ads, which 17 states and Washington D.C. have already enacted on their own. In states that require background checks for unlicensed handgun sales:
• Women are 46 percent less likely to be shot to death by intimate partners than in states that do not. (More information on guns and domestic violence)
• Controlling for population, there are 48 percent fewer gun suicides than in states that do not. (More information on guns and suicide)
• Law enforcement officers are 48 percent less likely to be killed with handguns than in states that do not. (More information on guns and law enforcement homicide.)
Today’s background check bill introduction follows the introduction of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2015 last week by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Representative Peter King (R-NY), supported by Everytown, that is aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists by closing the “terror gap” that allows individuals on the terror watch lists to pass a background check and buy firearms. The National Rifle Association has consistently blocked efforts to keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists, opposing numerous bills seeking to close the terror gap.