Prevent Gun Show Vendors from Selling Firearms Without Background Checks

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Target: The United States House of Representatives

Goal: Require background checks be performed on all firearm sales between private sellers and buyers at gun shows.

In the aftermath of the recent shooting tragedies in America many have been calling for stricter gun laws to be enacted. However, simply ensuring that a background check is performed at every sale of a firearm seems to be the logical place to start. As of right now the current federal law allows for the sale of firearms between private parties to take place without the seller performing a background check. Unlicensed vendors at gun shows take advantage of this and are able to sell to anyone they choose so long as the vendor believes the buyer would pass a background check. This means that criminals or those intending to commit a crime can readily obtain firearms by simply going to a gun show and buying from an unlicensed seller. Congress has introduced legislation that would effectively bring an end to private sellers being able to sell to anyone without first issuing a background check. We must act to support this legislation and bring an end to senseless violence that is committed with ‘legally’ obtained firearms.

In 2009 Representatives Michael Castle and Carolyn McCarthy introduced the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act (H.R. 2324), which if passed would effectively end the current practice of unlicensed vendors selling firearms at gun shows without background checks. It is imperative that we rally to support this legislation now as more information is coming to light that details just how much the unlicensed sale of firearms is contributing to crime in America.

In 2000 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) published a report called ‘Following the Gun’ that claimed gun shows were the 2nd largest source of illegally diverted guns in America. During the two-and-a-half year study reportedly over 80 thousand firearms were diverted from legal commerce (gun shows) to illegal commerce, or crime. Also in 2009 the City of New York released a study called ‘Gun Show Undercover: Report on Illegal Sales at Gun Shows.’ wherein undercover investigators attempted to purchase firearms from unlicensed sellers after telling the seller that they ‘probably wouldn’t pass’ a background check. The results were shocking: out of 33 investigators 22 were able to obtain firearms from sellers after specifically telling the seller that they probably would not pass a background check.

By taking action to support the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act we will be one step closer to making every American safer from crimes carried out with firearms. Recent shooting tragedies show a trend of disturbed individuals obtaining firearms legally before they carry out horrific crimes. Let’s put an end to firearm sales without background checks and help eliminate any further tragedy via legally obtained firearms. By signing this petition you can ensure we clamp down on one of the easiest ways for criminals to hurt innocent people.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Members of the House of Representatives,

Recent shooting tragedies in Colorado and elsewhere have demonstrated it is too easy for criminals or those with criminal intent to obtain firearms. Both independent and government studies alike have now repeatedly shown that an alarming number of firearms sold at gun shows are finding their way into criminal activities. With the current federal law governing these sales by unlicensed vendors not requiring background checks be run, there is nothing to stop a person with a criminal record–or someone intending to do other citizens harm–from obtaining the weapons they desire at these shows. We are not asking for sweeping bans on firearm sales, but simply that every sale of these potentially deadly items be screened so as to prevent further tragedy.

I ask you to support the already proposed Gun Show Loophole Closing Act (H.R. 2324) and require that each prospective buyer submit to a background check. This will let criminals and would-be violators of the law know that firearms will no longer be readily available to them at these shows. It will also let our citizens know that we are all committed to safety as well as liberty. It is a small price to pay for one more deterrent to these shootings which are quickly becoming an American epidemic. We all want to be safe as much as we want to be free. Support this bill and help move us one step closer to ensuring that future tragedies like the one in Colorado are avoided.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Michael Glasgow via Flickr.

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