Pennsylvania Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Expand Background Checks for Gun Buyers

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A Pennsylvania state representative introduced a legislation to expand background checks for gun buyers to prevent violence.

Since April, Gov. Tom Wolf has been encouraging the state legislature to pass “common sense” gun safety legislation. He requested that lawmakers close a loophole in the state law to prevent individuals from possessing high-powered long guns and weapons of war.

On Wednesday, Democratic State Rep. Perry Warren proposed House Bill 2621, which requires a near-universal background check for people purchasing guns.

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The legislation eliminates all exceptions to the background check requirement except for family transfers. It requires all firearm sales, regardless of the barrel length, to be conducted in front of a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer or county sheriff.

At present, the Pennsylvania Crimes Code requires federally licensed dealers to conduct background checks for persons buying handguns. The law does not require background checks for individuals purchasing long guns such as the AR-15 in a private sale. However, the shooters in some of the deadliest mass shootings in the United States have used the AR-15.

‘Ensuring the Safety’ of Pennsylvania Residents

In a statement, Warren said House Bill 2621 will help ensure the safety of Pennsylvanians.  The legislation’s aim is to prevent “unauthorized people from purchasing firearms.”