WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) joined 43 Senators, led by Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), in introducing 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 percent 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. U.S. Representative Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Expanding background checks for all sales and transfers of firearms is simple, popular, and commonsense,” Senator Padilla said. “The Background Check Expansion Act will help prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, and combat senseless gun violence. This is a matter of life and death, and Congress must act.”
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 Background Check Expansion Act 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.
In addition to Padilla and Murphy, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) co-sponsored the bill.
Full text of the bill can be found here.