The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act requires criminal background checks of those purchasing guns through federally licensed gun dealers. However, unlicensed sellers (persons who are not in the day-to-day business of selling guns) are not required to do background checks. This loophole causes particular problems at gun shows. In most states convicted felons, domestic violence offenders, and those who are mentally ill and dangerous can walk into any gun show and buy weapons from unlicensed sellers without being stopped and with no questions asked. This is particularly concerning considering the popularity of gun shows. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimates that more than 4,000 gun shows are held in the United States each year. To prevent guns from ending up in the hands of criminals or terrorists, I have cosponsored the Gun Show Loophole Closing Act (HR 591), which would close this outrageous loophole. This legislation would require criminal background checks on all gun sales that occur at gun shows. The bill is currently being considered by the Judiciary Committee. I will work with my colleagues to make sure that this
important legislation becomes law.