ABA supports universal background checks, other proposals to curb gun violence, lawmakers told

ABA supports universal background checks, other proposals to curb gun violence, lawmakers told

Image from Shutterstock.com. ABA President Patricia Lee Refo is urging leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee to consider the association’s proposals to curb “the scourge of gun violence in America.” “About 40,000 Americans a year die from gun violence—including homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings—but this staggering death toll is not inevitable,” Refo said in the March 29 letter . Refo commended the committee for hosting a March 23 hearing on constitutional and commonsense steps to avoid gun violence. She offered these recommendations, based on ABA policy, “as a meaningful starting point”: • Require universal background checks. Current law requires background checks only for those buying guns from a federally licensed dealer. But a significant percentage of firearms are obtained through private, unlicensed sales. “Research suggests that firearms obtained through private sales are disproportionately used in criminal activity,” Refo said in the letter. “With an investment in a more robust National Instant Background Check System, and the closing of the Charleston loophole, these unlicensed sales and transfers would not be permitted to proceed without the benefit of background checks.” The Charleston loophole allows gun dealers to sell a firearm if the background check has not been completed within three days. Convicted Charleston, South Carolina, church shooter Dylann Roof was said to have obtained a gun , despite an admission to police that he possessed drugs , because his background check was not completed within that time frame. • Repeal the federal law granting broad immunity to gun dealers and gun-makers, […]

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