Mr. MORAN. Mr. Speaker, throughout the United States, in red and blue States alike, we have speed limits for travel on public roads. These laws are good public policy because they prohibit behavior that can endanger the lives of others. But imagine if we blocked our police from using speed detection devices so they could never prove that you were speeding or if we only allowed the use of those devices on certain roads. Such a policy would make speed limits mere suggestions with no consequences for those who would violate the law.
It sounds ridiculous, but this is exactly the strategy we currently use to prohibit the purchase of firearms by criminals and those with serious mental illness. Federal law bans the purchase of guns by dangerous people, but massive loopholes in our background check system permit at least 40 percent of purchases to evade the law without detection by law enforcement.
The NRA and its supporters often claim that we need to enforce the laws on the books. Agreed. Universal background checks are designed to do just that--to provide an actual enforcement mechanism. That's what the Congress should require because 90 percent of the American public wants us to do at least that.