Support Comprehensive Background Checks - PA State Legislature
HB235 Background Checks for Firearms
In Pennsylvania, a background check is required for all commercial firearms sales (handguns and long guns) and for private sales of handguns. Private sales of long guns (whether that is grandpa's old hunting rifle or an AR-15 destined for the next mass shooting) are exempt. HB235 closes this loophole.
The ACTION: Call or write your State Representative's office and express your support for HB235.
Sample call script
Hi, my name is [name ]. I am a constituent of Representative [name] and my zip code is [ zip ]. I am calling today to ask Representative [name] to co-sponsor HB235, the comprehensive background check bill and begin to reduce gun violence in this country. Background checks have broad support among all groups of Americans and in the legislature. Especially in the wake of tragedies like the Tree of Life shooting and all of the many many shootings we barely hear about, disproportionately affecting communities of color, it is time for effective legislation. If you are a member of one of the three TOL congregations or the Squirrel Hill community, or if you have personally been impacted by gun violence, tell your story. Will Representative [name] cosponsor this bill? I will be watching for their co-sponsorship. Thank you.
Note: If your representative IS a co-sponsor it is still extremely important to call them and thank them. You can also ask them to do MORE - host an educational event for constituents, write an Op Ed on the importance of background checks, lobby their colleagues. Remember, they are getting calls from groups which oppose any sensible gun legislation.
Current federal law requires background checks to purchase firearms ONLY for guns purchased through a licensed firearms dealer. Between 22 and 40% of recent firearms transfers occurred WITHOUT a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. In Pennsylvania, private handgun sales require a background check, but private long gun sales (such as for the AR-15) do not.
Background checks WORK. According to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System has prevented over two million felons and other prohibited persons from purchasing firearms.
Americans overwhelmingly support background checks. This includes Republicans and Democrats, gun owners and non-gun owners. Background checks are simply common sense.