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Kerry Cosponsors Legislation to Strengthen Gun Safety and Protect Americans Across the Country

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Today, Senator John Kerry cosponsored legislation that would ban the possession or sale of high-capacity magazines and close a loophole that allows criminals to buy weapons at gun shows without a background check.

"As a lifelong hunter, I know that no one is going to mess with the constitutional right to bear arms, but rights come with responsibilities, and criminals and the mentally unstable do not have a right to avoid background checks or carry military style assault weapons," Senator Kerry said. "There is no legitimate reason not to close a loophole that allows criminals to get a gun with no background check or to allow dangerous individuals access to military style assault weapons. I look forward to working with Senator Lautenberg to ensure that these sensible measures to keep our families safe are signed into law."

The Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act:

* Bans the possession, import, or sale of any high-capacity magazine that has the capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition;

* Makes an exception for the possession of any high-capacity magazine that was lawfully possessed on or before the date of enactment;

* Makes an exception for the possession of high-capacity magazines by law enforcement officers, both active and retired; and

* Requires identification markings on any high-capacity magazines manufactured after the date of enactment.

At thousands of gun shows every year, people are able to purchase firearms without going through a background check. A seller does not need a federal firearms license if the person is not "engaged in the business" of selling firearms under federal law. These non-licensees make up one quarter or more of the sellers of firearms at gun shows. Consequently, felons, the severely mentally ill and other prohibited persons who want to avoid Brady Act checks and records of their purchases are able to buy firearms at gun shows.

The Gun Show Background Check Act:

* Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to require registration of gun show promoters and to set forth the responsibilities of promoters, licensees, and other transferors;

* Provides that if any part of a firearm transaction takes place at a gun show, each licensed importer, manufacturer, and dealer who transfers one or more firearms to a person who is not licensed shall, within 10 days after the transfer, submit a report of the transfer to the Attorney General;

* Sets forth penalties for violations;

* Grants the Attorney General authority to enter the place of business of any gun show promoter and any place where a gun show is held, during business hours and without a showing of reasonable cause or a warrant, for purposes of examining records and the inventory of licensees conducting business to determine compliance with this Act;

* Increases penalties for: (1) serious record-keeping violations by licensees; and (2) violations of criminal background check requirements.

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