Close the Gun Show Loophole

Target: United States Congress

Goal: Call on Congress to pass legislation closing the gun show loophole, which allows people to purchase guns without any background check or filling out any paperwork.

The new 113th Congress is officially in term and took to task right away the issue of gun violence. Several pieces of gun-related legislation were introduced by the Congress, largely as a response to the December 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The Democrats have proposed eight bills related to gun safety laws and the Republicans have proposed two bills that outline plans for expanded gun access, putting a total of ten new gun legislation bills on the table.

Representative Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-NY) H.R. 131 requires that all gun purchasers be subjected to a full background check. The bill would close the notorious “gun show loophole.” Currently, the private sales of firearms and the sale of guns at gun shows are exempt from the background check requirements that are standard for other gun sales. That loophole is a fool-proof easy way for criminals or the mentally ill to access a gun undetected. A loophole in the law allows individuals not “engaged in the business” of selling firearms to sell guns without a license. That means that an alarming two out of every five guns sold in the United States change hands without a background check.

There are approximately 5,000 gun shows every year across the United States. According to federal data, gun shows are the second leading source of crime guns. Although 17 states have taken action to partially or completely close this loophole, 33 states have not taken any such action.

Call on Congress to take an important step in stopping gun violence and close the gun show loophole once and for all.


Dear Congress,

The senseless gun tragedies in this country sadden and frighten us all. It’s high time to take concrete action to fix this American problem. The fact that anyone can buy a gun at a gun show without any sort of background check or processing of paperwork is absolutely ludicrous. Forcing more gun sales to become public and regulated would undoubtedly make it harder for a deranged killer to legally purchase a weapon.

We recognize that closing the gun show loophole will not stop all gun violence. But that is no excuse to not act. If we can prevent even one innocent life from being taken by requiring more restrictions on gun purchases, we have an obligation to do so. We have an obligation to answer to gun violence. We must honor the people in this country who are shot down by guns every day, the grieving families of victims, and each other. It’s not only compassionate, it’s common sense.

Pass H.R. 131 and close the gunshow loophole now.


[Your Name Here]

photo credit: flickr via Edward

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