NEW YORK—Everytown for Gun Safety today released the below statement from President John Feinblatt on Senator John Cornyn’s new gun bill, S.2002. Everytown’s analysis of the dangerous provisions of the legislation is available here.
STATEMENT FROM JOHN FEINBLATT, PRESIDENT OF EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY:
“In the midst of a summer of high-profile shootings in Charleston, Chattanooga and Lafayette – and the gun violence that kills 88 Americans every day – and after weeks of silence from the National Rifle Association, this bill is the gun lobby’s insufficient answer to the mental health piece of our country’s gun violence puzzle. But make no mistake, it’s nothing more than sleight of hand, which would actually weaken our laws and make it easier for people with dangerous mental illness to get guns.
“The NRA has window-dressed this legislation as a ‘background check bill’ – and some media accounts have taken their word for it – but when you take a closer look, provisions in the legislation would actually make it easier for the dangerously mentally ill to get guns by narrowing the universe of people who are prohibited from gun ownership. This bill would have the net effect of invalidating many records currently in the system, and it would allow people who have been involuntarily committed to buy a gun immediately after leaving a psychiatric hospital – a particularly dangerous time, according to mental health experts.
“It’s true that there’s a glaring need to report more mental health records to the background check system – and incentivizing states to report those records is a step in the right direction. But any proposal to do so shouldn’t have the effect of robbing Peter to pay Paul. The cost of adding records to the system shouldn’t be more loopholes for potentially dangerous people to buy guns.
“This so-called ‘background check bill’ isn’t a solution to the country’s gun violence problem. In fact, it would put more American lives at risk, when we should be talking about serious proposals to close the loopholes that allow mentally ill people to skip background checks entirely and buy guns online or at gun shows.”