Justice Committee reports gun violence prevention legislation

Fact: In 2017, gun violence caused 20% of deaths among 15-24 year old's. Fact: Since the Parkland school shootings in February, 2018, more than 1200 children have died from guns.

The Interfaith Justice Committee has been tracking current legislation meant to alter these deadly results. In the 2019 U.S. Congress, two major bills have passed the House and been introduced in the Senate: Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 would prohibit a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check.

This has been introduced in the Senate as S.42 and referred to the Judiciary Committee. Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 would close the “Charleston Loophole” - extends to 10 days (rather than 3 days) the time allotted for FBI background check before gun transfer can take place.

A number of bills have been introduced, or are being developed, for the Massachusetts legislature. Although our commonwealth has the second lowest number of gun deaths among the states (Hawaii is lowest), more can be done. Here are two under consideration:

H.2045 / S. 1388 Crime Gun Data Reporting and Analysis (Rep Decker) - It is known that most guns used in MA crimes come from states with weaker laws. This bill calls for establishing a university or non-profit to study sources of all guns used. The specific data points for the reporting include: statistics on firearms crimes, arrests, and prosecutions; aggregate data on the sources of crime guns; purchase and sales patterns as they relate to crime guns; and reporting on the usefulness of the ex-isting requirement to notify law enforcement if guns are lost or stolen.

H.2092 Universal Background Checks for Private Gun Sales -Closes the private gun sales loophole. Would require that any sale or transfer shall take place at the location of a licensed dealer who is required to conduct background checks.

Both of these bills have been referred to the Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.

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The Federated Church
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