Today, Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-24) applauded comments made by President Obama at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut about the importance of universal background checks for domestic violence perpetrators. In March, Capps introduced legislation, the Domestic Violence Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 1177), which would strengthen existing background check laws as they pertain to domestic violence perpetrators.
We know there is a clear link between domestic violence and gun violence. One-third of women homicide victims are killed by a gun at the hands of an intimate partner. Any legislation to enact a universal background check system should address loopholes that currently leave women unprotected from domestic abusers. I'm pleased President Obama highlighted this egregious shortfall in our current background check system and stand willing and ready to work with him and the approximately ninety percent of Americans who agree that we need universal background checks now," said Congresswoman Capps.
Text of President Obama's remarks pertaining to background is included below:
"Consider background checks. Over the past 20 years, background checks have kept more than 2 million dangerous people from getting their hands on a gun. A group of police officers in Colorado told me last week that, thanks to background checks, they've been able to stop convicted murderers, folks under restraining orders for committing violent domestic abuse from buying a gun. In some cases, they've actually arrested the person as they were coming to purchase the gun.
"So we know that background checks can work. But the problem is loopholes in the current law let so many people avoid background checks altogether. That's not safe. It doesn't make sense. If you're a law-abiding citizen and you go through a background check to buy a gun, wouldn't you expect other people to play by the same rules?
"If you're a law-abiding gun seller, wouldn't you want to know you're not selling your gun to someone who's likely to commit a crime? Shouldn't we make it harder, not easier for somebody who is convicted of domestic abuse to get his hands on a gun?"