America has a gun violence crisis — and it’s getting worse. 2020 was the worst year on record for gun violence deaths. Despite overwhelming public support for common sense gun safety measures, Mitch McConnell and Republicans in the Senate refused to take any action to stop the devastating wave of gun violence while they were in power. Chuck Schumer wrote the original bill requiring background checks on gun sales, and now as Senate Majority Leader, he is committed to legislation that will keep guns out of dangerous hands and keep our communities safe. There is no single solution that will end gun violence overnight, but by establishing smart gun safety measures, like background checks and red flag laws, we can keep guns out of the hands of people who could hurt themselves or others.
Universal Background Checks
As a member of the House of Representatives, Chuck Schumer wrote the original bill requiring background checks on gun sales from federally licensed dealers or manufacturers, also known as the Brady Bill. Since it went into effect in 1994, background checks have blocked 3.5 million gun sales because the purchaser was prohibited from owning a gun.
However, dangerous loopholes still allow some guns to be sold without a federal background check, like online or at gun shows. Chuck Schumer supports passing the bipartisan legislation known as H.R. 8, which would require background checks on all gun sales and close the gun show and online loopholes. Universal background checks have widespread public support. 93% of voters support background checks on all gun sales, including 89% of Republicans and gun owners. Chuck also supports reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which would make it harder for people with a history of domestic violence to purchase guns.
New York and communities across the country have seen an alarming rise in ghost guns. Ghost guns are made when people purchase nearly complete guns online and then separately buy the other parts needed to complete the gun. The finished ghost gun has no serial number or way for law enforcement agencies to track its origin, and the sales are not subject to background checks. People who would otherwise be prevented from purchasing a gun are able to get their hands on ghost guns, making them particularly dangerous weapons. Chuck Schumer has called on the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to update their regulations so people purchasing parts of ghost guns will be subject to a federal background check.
Assault Weapons Ban
Chuck Schumer helped write and pass the 1994 assault weapons ban, which outlawed the manufacture and importation of semi-automatic weapons like the AK-47. The original assault weapons ban expired in 2004, and Congress has not renewed it since then. Semi-automatic assault weapons were designed for war and have no place in our communities, our streets or our schools, so Chuck believes the Senate should debate a new assault weapons ban.