U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, whose 8th District of Virginia includes the City of Falls Church, introduced the Keeping Guns from Criminals Act yesterday to close a loophole in federal law that allows straw purchasers and gun traffickers to funnel firearms to felons, juveniles, and other restricted purchasers with little to no risk of being prosecuted.
“This is not a complicated issue: No one wants guns in the hands of dangerous criminals,” said Rep. Beyer said in a press release. “Time and again Congress fails to make meaningful progress to prevent gun violence in the face of overwhelming national demand to do so. The Keeping Guns from Criminals Act will ensure that only responsible gun owners are able to purchase a firearm. There is no reason for us to wait for another tragedy to make this common sense idea a reality to protect our families.” In addition, according to the release, “This common-sense bill encourages every gun seller – including unlicensed sellers doing business online or at gun shows – to do a Brady background check before selling a gun,” said Brian Malte, Senior National Policy Director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington, D.C. “The consequences of providing a gun to a felon, fugitive, domestic abuser, or drug addict are deadly, and this common-sense bill will hold unlicensed sellers responsible for putting a gun into dangerous hands without doing a Brady background check.”
The Keeping Guns from Criminals Act would streamline law enforcement efforts to ensure safe firearms transfers between lawful owners. The Act would make it easier to prosecute private sellers who make irresponsible sales by requiring them to prove that the purchase was approved by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System or that the purchaser held a concealed weapons permit in the state of transfer.