Schneider Votes for Lifesaving, Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention Bills
WASHINGTON – Today Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) helped pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, two commonsense gun violence prevention measures to require background checks on all gun sales and close the Charleston Loophole that allowed the hate crime at Mother Emanuel AME Church. Schneider also helped pass versions of these two bills in a strong, bipartisan way in the 116th Congress.
“Every gun sale must include a background check. It should concern all of us that hundreds of thousands of guns are sold annually without a federal background check. Americans are justifiably outraged our laws are riddled with absurd loopholes,” said Brad Schneider. “Today’s vote should draw a line in the sand: are you for protecting the 90% of Americans who support background checks or are you for the gun lobby.”
These two pieces of legislation include commonsense measures to end gun violence and make background checks universal:
- H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act – which requires a background check for every gun sale or transfer to ensure that individuals already prohibited from gun possession under federal law, such as felons, domestic abusers and those who are considered a danger to themselves or others, are not able to obtain firearms.
- H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act – which would end the Charleston Loophole that enabled the horrific hate crime at Mother Emanuel AME Church that killed nine innocent people. The Charleston Loophole currently allows the sale of a firearm to proceed if a background check is not completed within three business days.
H.R. 1446 included an amendment cosponsored by Schneider that requires the FBI director to issue an annual, public report providing new information on background check denials to increase the transparency surrounding the process. Schneider previously introduced this provision as part of the Default Proceed Sale Transparency Act in the 116th Congress.
These bills have the support of an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of Americans. Indeed, well over 90 percent of Americans support universal background checks – including 85 percent of gun-owning households, as well as dozens of leading law enforcement, veterans, local government, public health and other groups such as Major Cities Chiefs Association, VoteVets, Police Executive Research Forum, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the Hispanic American Police Commanders Association and the American Medical Association.
This bipartisan support is because background checks work. Since 1994, when background checks were first implemented, they have stopped more than 3 million dangerous people from getting guns. In 2017 alone, due to background checks, over 170,000 sales were denied – 39 percent of them to convicted felons. Every day where background checks are used they stop more than 160 felons and some 50 domestic abusers from buying a gun.
Yet, due to existing loopholes that allow unlicensed gun sellers to sell guns without a background check, the background check system is not working as well as it should, with up to 80 percent of firearms used for criminal purposes currently sold without background checks. The Charleston Loophole alone allows the sale of hundreds of thousands of guns to potentially dangerous individuals each year. Cases of the Charleston Loophole exception are particularly common in domestic violence cases.