Support Comprehensive Background Checks
The Background Check Expansion Act (S.529/H.R.8)
The Background Check Expansion Act is a comprehensive background check bill which was re- introduced on March 2, 2021 by Senator Chris Murphy, the Senator whose district includes Newtown, CT. The bill requires background checks for almost all firearms purchases and closes the private sale and gun show ‘loophole’. It is co-sponsored by 41 senators. The House passed its version of the bill on March 11. It is now time for the Senate to move forward!
The ACTION: Call or virtually visit your Senator’s office and express your support for the Background Check Expansion Act (S.529/HR8).
Sample call script
Hi, my name is [name ]. I am a constituent of Senator [name] and my zip code is [ zip ]. I am calling today to ask Senator [name] to co-sponsor S.529, the Background Check Expansion Act and begin to reduce gun violence in this country. Background checks have broad support among all groups of Americans and in Congress. 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 Senator [name] cosponsor this bill? I will be watching for their co-sponsorship. Thank you.
** If you are calling Senator Toomey - we have a bigger ask. We are urging Sen. Toomey to LOBBY his Republican colleagues in support of the bill. **
Note: Even if your Senators are co-sponsors it is still extremely important to call them and thank them. 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 occur 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.