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Everytown, Moms Demand Action Statement on House Markup of Bipartisan Background Checks Legislation

Tomorrow Marks One Year Since Parkland Mass Shooting in Which 17 Students and Educators Were Killed and 17 More Were Wounded

H.R. 8 Would Require Background Checks on All Gun Sales; H.R. 1112 Would Address the Charleston Loophole

WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, today released the following statements after the House Judiciary Committee favorably reported out H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which would require background checks on all gun sales and H.R. 1112, which would address the “Charleston loophole” that allows licensed dealers to sell a gun after three business days even if a background check has not been completed. These bipartisan bills, led by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Peter King (R-NY), James Clyburn (D-SC) and Joe Cunningham (D-SC), are common-sense measures that would help keep guns away from people who are legally prohibited from possessing them.

“A day before the one-year mark of the Parkland shooting, the House is honoring all victims and survivors of gun violence with action,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “The American people want background checks on all gun sales — and now they are one step closer to getting it.”

“I’m so grateful to see gun violence prevention legislation moving so quickly through the House,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “House leaders are following through on their promise to act to end our nation’s gun violence crisis. Requiring background checks on all gun sales is the first step towards creating a safer future for our children.”

Last week, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund released a new report, “Unchecked,” which details a yearlong investigation into the online sales loophole. The investigation focused on activity on Armslist.com, the self-described “largest free gun classifieds on the web,” which allows prospective gun buyers to find guns being sold by unlicensed sellers who are not legally required to conduct a background check on the sale. The investigation uncovered nearly 1.2 million ads on Armslist for firearm sales that don’t require a background check. The investigation also found that, across several states, one in nine people seeking to buy a gun from an unlicensed seller were legally prohibited from buying or possessing a gun — and would have failed a background check at a licensed gun dealer.

Everytown also released hidden camera footage in which an investigator licensed in Ohio responded to firearm ads on Armlist and was able to complete multiple firearm purchases without a background check. The private investigator purchased a handgun and an assault-style rifle. The investigation found that passing background check laws matters, as 84 percent of unlicensed sellers in states with background check laws told investigators that a background check would be needed to complete the sale.