Valley forum: Time for Senate to move on background check for gun sales

By Rep. Mike Thompson

(Editor’s note: Rep. Mike Thompson, D – St. Helena, released the following statement Thursday on the one-year anniversary of the Senate’s failure to pass bipartisan legislation that would require criminal background checks for all commercial gun sales.)

One year ago today, a minority of Senators voted to block bipartisan legislation that would help keep criminals, domestic abusers, terrorists and the dangerously mentally ill from getting guns by requiring a simple background check for all commercial firearm sales.

Every day, at licensed gun stores where background checks are required, more than 170 felons, nearly 50 domestic abusers, and nearly 20 fugitives are prevented from buying a gun. But because background checks aren’t required for all commercial sales, these same dangerous purchasers can turn right around and buy a gun at a gun show or over the Internet with no questions asked.

My bipartisan bill, and the bipartisan bill blocked one year ago in the Senate, will close this loophole, keep guns from dangerous people, strengthen the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens and save lives. It took six years and seven votes until we passed the original Brady law that established the requirement for background checks at licensed dealers. We didn’t give up then, we won’t give up now. We’re going to finish the job.

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