After 26 mass shootings since Sandy Hook school massacre in Newton, Connecticut, it is way past time to act on gun control. The 14th of this month marked the anniversary of the Sandy Hook school massacre. Yet, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and national Republicans continue to block the simplest measures that a vast majority of Americans support including universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Even though, 40% of gun transfers take place without a licensed dealer, using the many online and gun show loopholes. Adding up to about, 6.6 million guns sold without any background checks, meaning that even people who are legally prohibited from buying weapons can do so by using these loopholes.
Currently, the internet has become marketplace for guns and weapons to be bought without needing a licensed seller and in almost complete anonymity. Thus, creating great opportunities for criminals and other legally prohibited person to buy guns and exploit these loopholes.
Congress can and should pass a background check bill HR 137/S 649 and require a criminal background check for every gun sale. This kind of measure is already supported by 88% of gun owners, including 86% of NRA members (the Douglas Schoen 2012 survey).
As many of us are already aware, military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazine have no place in the hands of civilians and on our streets, especially when these weapons were created and meant for usage in war. These weapons were designed and created to kill large numbers of people very quickly. Nevertheless, at this time anyone can go online or at a gun show can buy one or more of these weapons and high-capacity magazines without ever passing a background check.
We (the United States) had a federal ban on assault weapons but that ban expired in 2004, and Congress has yet to renew that ban. It is clear to most Americans that these kinds of weapons have no place on our streets and Congress can act by passing the Assault Weapons Ban (S. 150), would would create a clear enforceable standard for taking these kinds of weapons off our streets.
Forward Equality stands with President Obama, progressives, and the families of victims of gun violence in calling on Congress to pass common sense gun violence prevention measures including background checks, a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, a bill making gun trafficking a federal crime, and call for adequate mental healthcare funding.
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Please take a couple minutes of silence for all the victims of gun violence locally and nationally.