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June 12, 2013

Although I do not currently carry a gun, I have twice seriously considered doing so. What I find comforting is that if I choose to own and carry a gun, the Second Amendment ensures that I am able to do so. I find it equally comforting that convicted felons and those who have domestic violence restraining orders against them or who commit certain domestic violence misdemeanors are prohibited from having guns. Having previously examined this issue, Congress wisely passed laws to prohibit these individuals from owning or possessing firearms. What Congress knew back then remains true today—the right to bear arms is too precious to be sullied and misused by bad apples. So Congress designed a federally licensed firearm dealer and background check system to ensure that only responsible people would be able to purchase or possess firearms.

Unfortunately, this is not your parents' gun purchasing marketplace. Today 40% of firearms are purchased via private and internet sales. This new day of extensive private and internet gun sales creates a way for criminals and domestic violence abusers to bypass the protections Congress envisioned. Times have changed, and this current Congress must plug up the huge 40% criminal and abuser loophole to address these new times. To do so Congress must pass laws that require private and internet firearm sales to include the same background checks as all other firearms sales as well as provide adequate funding to ensure that information which identifies prohibited persons is kept up to date. Modern times require modern solutions.

Written by Paulette Sullivan Moore, Vice President of Public Policy for NNEDV. Written in conjunction with MomsRising.org.

Learn more about guns, domestic violence and homicide.

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Call, email and tweet your Members of Congress and tell them to support laws that will reduce firearms violence for victims of domestic violence, including improving the NICS system and expanding background checks to cover all commercial gun sales.

  • Don't know who your Members of Congress are?  Find your Senators and Representatives.
  • Call your Members of Congress by dialing (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senator or Representative.
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