Pennsylvania Lawmakers Introduces 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.

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.”

Warren serves as vice chairman of the House PA SAFE Caucus, a group of state lawmakers and firearm safety advocates. The group strongly supports “sensible” and “common sense” gun safety legislation.

Warren said, “As a representative and vice-chairman of the House PA SAFE Caucus, I have always been — and will continue to be — an advocate for legislative initiatives that respect the Second Amendment while promoting gun safety.

“It’s past time for the state legislature to not only hold hearings on this long overdue legislation, but also to take action to protect our citizens. I encourage my colleagues to join me in making sure that we don’t find ourselves having to introduce this important bill yet again next session.”