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house Bill H.R. 3411

Broadening Background Checks for Gun Sales and Transfers

Argument in favor

Instant background checks and keeping national databases updated are common sense measures that will help ensure guns are kept out of the hands of dangerous people.

AndrewGVN's Opinion
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10/19/2015
Background checks should be MANDATORY for transactions that involve deadly instruments (guns, etc.) Gun stores shouldn't be able to give out guns freely.
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Alis's Opinion
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10/14/2015
Good God. Let's finally act like grown ups & do this!
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12/10/2015
Guns, like all other products with health risks, need to have basic regulations. A system of universal background checks is the most practical way to make a significant dent in keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. And 88% of Americans support this, so let’s do this already!
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Argument opposed

These changes in law will only make it more difficult for people who are law abiding gun owners to sell or transfer their guns, and impose requirements on states that are difficult to implement.

BTSundra's Opinion
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10/19/2015
Criminals will get weapons any way they can. Attempts to add more regulation only harms law abiding America. Criminals are criminals because they don't follow the law. No school shooter decides not to go through with their actions because of background checks, no. They steal their guns. Besides, it's our Second Amendment right to have these things.
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operaman's Opinion
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10/11/2015
The anti 2nd amendment Democrats keep trying to cripple our 2nd Amendment rights granted by the Constitution. The Supreme Court have ruled multiple time in support of freedom to bear arms. But whenever an opportunity pops up (Roseburg, OR gun free school zone) the anti freedom left starts another push. If the 2A is shut down, look out, the 1A is next. You can lead a fool to water, but can't make him drink. Well unless it's Kool-Aid.
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Mart's Opinion
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10/09/2015
Already have laws not enforced! Also, this is not a gun issue! It is a mental health care system issue.
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What is House Bill H.R. 3411?

This bill would require a background check for every gun purchase or transfer. It also outlines steps to ensure that government agencies keep current information in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Within one year, the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) would establish a plan with states to make records available to the NICS over a four-year period. The plan would include benchmarks, and penalties (reduced grant funding) for states that fail or refuse to meet those benchmarks. Every year by July 31, federal agencies would have to submit all records of people prohibited from purchasing firearms to the NICS.

Under current law, anyone judged or proven to be "a mental defective” is prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm. "Mental defective" covers anyone who has required services or medication for mental illness, incompetency, or "marked subnormal intelligence". This bill would enter anyone who fits this classification into the NICS. 

Transferring guns between private citizens without a background check would be illegal, except in the following cases:

  • The gun is transferred to a law enforcement officer, private security professional, or member of the Armed Forces in the course of their duties;

  • The transfer is a gift or loan between spouses, domestic partners, parents and their children, between siblings, or between grandparents and their children;

  • The transfer is to the executor of an estate, or its administrator, trustee, or personal representative;

  • The transfer is temporary and the transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee intends to or will use the firearm in a crime, or is prevented from possessing firearms. This includes transfers while target shooting, hunting, trapping, fishing, or while in the presence of the transferor.

Impact

People who own and would sell or transfer their weapons, people who would be prevented from possessing a weapon, state governments and law enforcement agencies, and the DOJ.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3411

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: This bill has 45 cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Democrats. Sponsoring Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced this legislation because she believes: 

“It’s time to stop letting criminals and people with violent mental illness evade the law and buy firearms, so that innocent people end up dead. We know that the national background check system works, but unfortunately, millions of guns change hands every year in transactions that do not go through the system. Countless lives will be saved if every gun sale requires a background check and we ensure those checks are complete.”

Of Note: According to the New York Times, criminal records and mental health issues did not prevent the gunmen in at least eight of 14 mass shootings examined, and all of the guns purchased were approved by federal background checks.

The federal government’s NICS system processed about 21 million background checks in 2013 and 2014.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Julian G. Albert)

AKA

Fix Gun Checks Act of 2015

Official Title

To ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedJuly 29th, 2015
    Background checks should be MANDATORY for transactions that involve deadly instruments (guns, etc.) Gun stores shouldn't be able to give out guns freely.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    Criminals will get weapons any way they can. Attempts to add more regulation only harms law abiding America. Criminals are criminals because they don't follow the law. No school shooter decides not to go through with their actions because of background checks, no. They steal their guns. Besides, it's our Second Amendment right to have these things.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Good God. Let's finally act like grown ups & do this!
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    Guns, like all other products with health risks, need to have basic regulations. A system of universal background checks is the most practical way to make a significant dent in keeping guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. And 88% of Americans support this, so let’s do this already!
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    The anti 2nd amendment Democrats keep trying to cripple our 2nd Amendment rights granted by the Constitution. The Supreme Court have ruled multiple time in support of freedom to bear arms. But whenever an opportunity pops up (Roseburg, OR gun free school zone) the anti freedom left starts another push. If the 2A is shut down, look out, the 1A is next. You can lead a fool to water, but can't make him drink. Well unless it's Kool-Aid.
    Like (7)
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    Share
    The vast majority of gun owners support this type of bill and the only ones who don't are the ones brain washed by the NRA who's only job is to protect the gun makers not the owners.
    Like (7)
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    Not only do we need to expand background checks, but we also need to close the gun show loophole. If you cannot pass a background check (or if you knowingly sell a gun to someone who can't,) then you are not a law-abiding citizen. It's literally that simple. People who ask why we even have gun laws when criminals won't obey the law don't understand how the law works. Using ammosexual logic, why have any laws at all if criminals won't obey them? Let's repeal the laws agains theft, rape, and murder, purely on the basis that criminals just haven't learned to obey the law.
    Like (6)
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    I'll give up my any firearms I own, when the EPA, Department of Education, The Forestry Servive, and all the other federal agencies, accountable to no one, gives up theirs. Obama doesn't want to get rid of guns, he wants to get rid of OUR guns. And if I need to pass a background check to exercise my constitutional right, shouldn't the President also have to go through at least a similar level background check to hold his office? He just sealed up all his records and promises he is an American.
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    Already have laws not enforced! Also, this is not a gun issue! It is a mental health care system issue.
    Like (4)
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    I am for gun rights and I think this is reasonable
    Like (3)
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    A beginning to begin to structure common sense rules for the safe acquisition of dangerous weapons
    Like (3)
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    Heroin and cocaine have been outlawed for years yet readily available anywhere in this nation. Do you really believe outlawing guns will solve the problem? Convicted felons and criminals do not purchase firearms through legal suppliers. They purchase them from other criminal types or steal them. Case in point, the "undocumented democratic voter" that stole the gun in San Francisco and murdered Kate Steinle. Once again the anti-gun crowd are trying to kill the second amendment. What about the 3 million registered gun owners who will commit no crimes day after day? Apply the same liberal logic to auto mobiles. There will be deaths caused by drunk drivers so we can conclude that cars are bad and only the police and government officials should have them. There is no need for average citizens to own cars!
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    We do background checks for everything from jobs to credit cards, if people want guns they should comply with strict laws. They're buying an item that's sole purpose is to kill people. Even if they're responsible they should absolutely be checked out.
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    Although it may be true that much of the crime done with guns are illegally obtained, it does seem like common sense to make it less than a walk in the park to obtain a lethal weapon. And besides what does anyone who actually deserves to get a gun have to worry about if they can pass some checks to make sure they are mentally stable.
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    We don't need to ban guns. We just need to stop those who would use them for ill intent.
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    No brainer. Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people will only help the public as a whole. Too many people have forgotten the wording of the 2nd Amendment: " A WELL REGULATED militia..."
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    We need to do more to prevent gun violence
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    Any way that slows down the proliferation of ALL weapons i worthwhile.
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    This is way past due.
    Like (2)
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    The guns typically used in violent crimes are not sold by licensed dealers and don't go through background checks. Take criminals off the streets, not firearms away from law abiding citizens.
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