Senators running for president: This gun bill is your first test



March 4, 2019 - 10:00 AM

Gun enthusiasts check out semi-automatic rifle parts at a 2015 gun show in California run by Crossroads of the West. Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

It goes without saying that the House passage of measures that would strengthen our nation’s background check system and expand background checks to every single gun purchase is a major step toward building safer American schools and communities. It’s a significant win for the millions of Americans who took to the streets last year to demand congressional action to help solve our national gun crisis.

Background checks, after all, have stopped 3.5 million gun sales and saved hundreds of thousands of lives. States that require background checks for all handgun sales have lower rates of intimate partner gun homicides of women, law enforcement officers killed with handguns and gun-related suicides.

This legislation will provide a critical foundation for raising the federal floor for firearm ownership in America and ensuring that only people who can prove that they’re able to own and store a gun responsibly can own one. That’s precisely why every single senator who supports background checks should immediately begin discussing the bold policies we need to build a future with fewer guns — and not stop until the Senate holds a vote on the first step toward that goal: universal background checks.

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