New York Senator Chuck Schumer announced the introduction of legislation that would require all gun sales, even ones sold by private sellers and at gun shows, be subject to background checks.
Schumer, who was joined by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, also announced that the legislation would increase the penalty for states that fail to adequately turn over the records for those who are barred from owning a gun.
States provide reporting on individuals with mental illnesses, domestic violence records and drug abusers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), preventing these individuals from owning a gun. States that do not reach a certain threshold of reporting face a cut in their Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funding. The legislation would increase the penalties already imposed.
Schumer and Bloomberg noted two examples, Tucson shooter Jared Lee Loughner and Virginia Tech Shooter Seung Hoi-Cho, who were not in the NICS database though Loughner was rejected by the Army for excessive drug use and Hoi-Cho was prohibited from owning a gun because of mental illness.
“Americans want their government to take basic, common sense steps to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” said Bloomberg.
The legislation is based on a proposal put forward by the coalition of Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns, a coalition Bloomberg helped found.