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Just a few months in, 2019 is on its way to being remembered as the year of background checks.
Last month, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak signed into law a bill requiring a background check on all gun sales in the state. Just last week, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed similar legislation. Twenty-one states now require a background check on all handgun sales.
Nevada and New Mexico aren’t alone: Other states have taken up the charge to require a criminal background check on all gun sales.
In Minnesota, two House committees advanced a background checks bill that voters across the state are urging the Senate to hold a hearing on. In Maryland, survivors of the Capital Gazette shooting successfully lobbied lawmakers to consider a bill requiring background checks on all rifle and shotgun sales. And, in Florida lawmakers are hoping to build on the gun violence prevention legislation they passed following the Parkland shooting by passing a background checks bill this session.
Now it’s time for the U.S. Senate to step up and pass a background checks law, too.
Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 240-190 in favor of H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require background checks on all gun sales, including unlicensed sales online and at gun shows. Momentum in the states offers further proof that this is a policy voters are demanding, and a policy that deserves a vote in the Senate.
Did you know?
The U.S. gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than that of other high-income countries.
Grinshteyn, E. and Hemenway, D. “Violent Death Rates in the US Compared to Those of the Other High-income Countries, 2015.” Preventive Medicine. (2019). https://bit.ly/3kyfsSs