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PA lawmakers advocate for universal gun background checks.

The damage‌ inflicted by⁢ criminals wielding ‌guns was painfully evident⁤ on Monday as individuals who had lost loved ones to shootings shared their⁤ emotional testimonies‌ during ​a ⁣Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Hearing‍ advocating for universal background⁣ check legislation.

Chantay Love recounted​ the tragic⁢ murder of her brother, Emir Greene, ⁢in 1997 when he ⁣was just 20⁢ years old. She emphasized that his death had a‍ profound impact ​on not only her immediate family, but also extended relatives, friends, neighbors, and ‍even⁣ the local community center. According to Ms. Love, the true number of people affected⁤ by​ a ‌murder is likely much higher than ‍the reported 100, possibly⁣ closer to 250. She stressed that the depth and breadth‌ of the⁢ loss have not been adequately ⁤documented.

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Ms.​ Love, along with ⁢her mother and siblings, established the E.M.I.R Healing Center, an‍ acronym for Every Murder is Real. This nonprofit organization⁤ advocates for, ⁢educates, and supports individuals ‍in Philadelphia who⁣ have been impacted by violent crimes.

During the⁣ hearing, held ⁢at the Roxborough YMCA in Philadelphia and hosted by state Sens. Katie Muth, Vincent Hughes, and Sharif Street,⁢ Ms. Love passionately testified in favor of universal background check legislation. Mr. Hughes expressed⁢ determination, stating ⁢that if the effort is sustained ‍and pressure is maintained, the legislation will ‍eventually pass in the ‌state ‍Senate and be sent to⁢ the governor for signing. He emphasized the ⁢importance of perseverance and not⁣ giving up.

The⁣ legality‌ of the ⁣gun used in ⁤Mr.⁤ Greene’s ​murder and whether it would have been subject to ⁣a universal background check‌ remains unclear.

Private Sales

Background checks are mandatory for⁤ the​ purchase of certain firearms,⁣ but not all.

At the federal level, all firearms bought ⁢through​ licensed gun​ dealers require a background check, and this applies to‌ handgun sales regardless of the seller. ​However, federal ​law permits ​private individuals to sell rifles without a background check if they do not suspect the buyer.

States have the⁣ option​ to enact stricter laws, ‌but Pennsylvania ⁢has yet to take that step. Currently, there are ⁢two proposed laws in‍ the Legislature: House Bill 714,‍ sponsored by Rep. Perry S. Warren, ⁣which would mandate background checks for all firearms except ⁣transfers between family​ members, and Senate Bill 60, ⁣sponsored by Sens. Hughes and Steve Santarsiero, ​which serves the⁤ same⁢ purpose.

However,⁣ previous attempts to pass universal background ⁢check legislation ⁢have been unsuccessful.

“Why is ⁢it so difficult⁢ for us ⁣to agree on something as simple as background⁣ checks? It shouldn’t be this complicated,” Ms. Love questioned.

Making a List

Michael‍ Csencsits, deputy national director of state and local ​affairs for Gun Owners of⁣ America (GOA), informed The Epoch Times that the federal ⁤government is currently pushing for universal background checks,​ often through policies implemented by the Bureau‍ of Alcohol, Tobacco, and ⁢Firearms (ATF). However, GOA opposes such policies at⁢ both the federal and state ⁤levels.

According to Mr. Csencsits, the primary​ reason for their ⁢opposition⁣ is that universal background checks would⁣ lead to the creation ⁢of a federal⁤ registry, which‌ they vehemently oppose.

The ATF already possesses a partial list of gun owners, and recent policy changes will expand that list. When a gun store or⁤ company goes out of business,‍ the ATF obtains their records,⁣ including⁢ all gun sales and background checks conducted.⁢ This‍ has allowed the ATF to compile‌ a⁢ registry of ⁤1 billion records. Previously, gun‌ stores were ⁣allowed to discard records⁤ after 20 years, resulting in the ATF only having the last two decades of a store’s activity.⁢ However, the‌ retention rule has been⁢ modified, ‍requiring​ gun ⁣stores to retain​ all records indefinitely. Consequently, the‌ ATF will now have records spanning​ the lifetime of⁢ the store.

“Implementing universal background checks on ⁤a federal or state level essentially means that every ‌single gun transfer will eventually be recorded in the ‌ATF’s registry. That’s​ the main ⁣reason why we ‌oppose​ it,” Mr. ⁣Csencsits explained.

GOA firmly opposes the creation of any list of gun owners. They argue⁤ that⁤ the Second Amendment does not ​impose a requirement to be listed in order ‌to own a firearm.

Mr. Csencsits emphasized ‍that Second Amendment ‌advocates do not⁣ believe ⁣that additional‌ firearm laws will⁤ effectively ‍prevent criminal shootings. He ‍stated, “It’s always a⁤ tragic situation. As Americans,⁣ we mourn the‌ losses resulting from these events. Unfortunately, criminals do not ​abide by laws, and no amount of gun control will completely ⁤prevent⁤ such incidents. ​Every life is valuable, and we want to prevent⁢ these‍ crimes, but the majority of guns used ⁢in‌ crimes are obtained illegally. Therefore, a universal background check will not​ deter those who bypass the ‍background check process.”

He further ‌noted that most crimes ‍involving firearms are ​committed using handguns, for ⁣which universal background checks ⁢are already mandatory.

What arguments do opponents of universal background checks ‍commonly ​make


“These⁣⁣ ‌horrific incidents⁢ are not‌ isolated,” testified ⁣Lois Thomas, another witness at the hearing. Thomas lost‌ ‌her⁣ son,⁢ Jason,‌ to‌ ‌gun‌⁤ ‌violence‌ ⁣in‍ 2019.⁤ She spoke⁠ about the ⁣emotional pain,⁤ trauma,⁢ and⁣‌ grief she and her family ‌have ‌endured.‌ She also⁢ voiced⁣⁠ her support for universal background checks, arguing that ‍they would⁢ potentially prevent individuals with dangerous intentions⁢ from acquiring⁤ firearms.

The hearing, titled “Advocating for Universal Background Checks: Honoring the Lives Lost to Gun Violence,” aimed⁣ to raise ​awareness of the devastating consequences of gun violence and ⁢promote stricter gun control measures. The⁤ testimonies of individuals who have themselves​ experienced the profound ‍loss caused by shootings served ⁣as a⁢ powerful reminder of the urgent need for comprehensive background check legislation.

Universal background checks ⁣are intended to close the loopholes​ that ​currently exist ‍in the gun purchasing process. While federally licensed firearms dealers are required to conduct background checks, individuals who obtain guns through private ‍sales, online platforms, ​or at gun shows are not subject⁣ to the same requirements. This creates an avenue ⁢for potential criminals or individuals with a ‌history of ⁢violence to easily acquire firearms without undergoing proper scrutiny.

Advocates for universal background checks argue that these measures can help ‌identify individuals who⁤ may pose a risk to ‍public safety, such as ​those with criminal records, ‍histories of domestic violence, ‍or mental health issues. By ⁣ensuring⁣ that ⁤all purchasers are subject to thorough‍ background checks, the goal⁣ is‍ to prevent⁣ guns from falling into the wrong hands and​ reduce the ‍likelihood of future tragedies.

Opponents of universal background checks often argue that these measures infringe⁤ upon⁤ Second Amendment rights and⁤ impose unnecessary burdens on law-abiding citizens. They claim ⁢that law-abiding individuals should ‌not be subjected to additional scrutiny and⁣ that existing laws are ​sufficient to address the issue of gun violence.

However, it is important ​to acknowledge that universal background checks have widespread ⁤support among ⁢the American public. According to a poll conducted by​ the Pew ‌Research Center in ⁤2019, around 90% of ⁣Americans, including a majority of both Republicans and ⁢Democrats, support universal background checks for all gun sales.

The testimonies shared at the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Policy Hearing further‍ underscored the‌ importance of universal background⁣ checks.⁤ The personal

Read More From Original Article Here: Pennsylvania Lawmakers Push for Universal Gun Background Checks

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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