Message from Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick:
I am proud to stand in solidarity with the Citizens for a Safer Community who are asking for commonsense action to prevent gun violence.
They are calling on the Southwest Fair Commission to require that all vendors at gun shows in County facilities conduct background checks for all gun purchases.
I support their efforts.
There is abundant research showing that, when background checks are used, we are able to keep guns away from people who, by law, are prohibited from owning a firearm.
Current background check laws have prevented more than 3 million people who are in the prohibited groups from buying a firearm.
Prohibited people include those who have been convicted of domestic violence, individuals who have been court-ordered into involuntary treatment in a mental health facility and people who are under a restraining order because of threats or harm to another. There are 6 other groups that are prohibited.
Wouldn’t we want them to go through a background check for the safety of the community?
The answer has to be yes. Comprehensive background checks could play a major role in reducing gun violence.
When gun shows allow private sellers to set up shop, they are allowing people who buy from them to avoid a background check.
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We have examples of how easy it is to buy a firearm from a private seller. Often the buyer is only asked for their zip code and then they are able to walk away with their newly purchased firearm.
This makes no sense. Why would we want anyone who by law is not permitted to buy a gun to purchase one at a gun show on County property?
I was proud to vote yes when the House of Representatives recently passed legislation that would require background checks on all gun buyers. This is a step in the right direction to address gun violence in our country.
I commend the good people who are assembled to protest the continued use of County facilities to host gun shows where universal background checks are not required.
I call on the Commission to listen to them and take action in the interest of making our community a safer place to live.