Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) has introduced H.R. 8, to require a background check for every firearm sale. This legislation aims to extend existing background check requirements to almost all gun sales and most gun transfers, including Internet sales, at gun shows and person-to-person transactions, with certain exemptions for immediate family.
“There is no single law that can put an end to mass shootings or gun violence, but there are certainly proactive steps we can take to keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill. When background checks are used, they keep guns out of the hands of people we all agree shouldn’t have guns. As government officials it is our responsibility to protect our citizens, and when it comes to gun violence we must do more. The overwhelming majority of Americans want to see action, and we owe it to the victims and their families to prevent such tragedies from occurring again. I am proud to be the lead Republican sponsor of this legislation.” - Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Those against argue background checks don’t stop criminals from getting firearms so expanding them is moot. They point out that federal studies have repeatedly found that persons imprisoned for firearm crimes get their firearms mostly through theft, the black market, or family members and friends. Opponents also argue that these people will find a way around passing a background check by having someone else, with no criminal record, purchase the gun for them. Many feel because of these reasons there is no reason to deprive individuals of due process of law. Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights, said, “Weak Republicans always push gun control laws under the guise of ‘enforcing the laws we have,’ but only end up pushing the Democrat agenda, giving gun owners more reasons to worry.”