Menendez, Booker, Colleagues Introduce Background Check Expansion Act to Reduce Gun Violence

Menendez, Booker, Colleagues Introduce Background Check Expansion Act to Reduce Gun Violence

   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker today joined 39 of their Democratic colleagues in reintroducing the Background Check Expansion Act to expand federal background checks to all gun sales. Under current federal law, unlicensed or private sellers are not required to conduct a background check prior to transferring a firearm. 97% of Americans support comprehensive background checks. Research indicates that as many as a quarter of all gun sales in the United States may occur without a background check.

“Far too many lives have been lost at the hands of individuals who have no business owning a firearm,” said Sen. Menendez. “We need more than vigils and flowers, we need commonsense proposals. It’s about time we start implementing stronger background checks and I hope my Republican colleagues join us in our efforts.”

The Background Checks Expansion Act will require background checks for the sale or transfer of all firearms. This requirement extends to all unlicensed sellers, whether they do business online, at gun shows or out of their home. Exceptions to the legislation include transfers between law enforcement officers, temporarily loaning firearms for hunting and sporting events, providing firearms as gifts to immediate family members, transferring a firearm as part of an inheritance, or temporarily transferring a firearm for immediate self-defense.

Sen. Menendez has been one of the leading voices in Congress for commonsense gun safety.

Sen. Menendez, who voted for the original Assault Weapons Ban in 1994 as a member of the House of Representatives, has cosponsored legislation to reinstate the assault weapons ban. He has also sponsored legislation to expand background checks and close the gun show loophole, outlaw “bump stocks” and other devices that make semiautomatic weapons fully automatic, prevent those on the Terror Watch List from purchasing guns, and improve access to mental health and addiction treatment.

In addition to Sens. Menendez and Booker, U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Timothy Kaine (D-Va.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) cosponsored the bill.

Press Contact

Chris_Flores@menendez.senate.gov