The U.S. House of Representatives changed dramatically during the 2018 mid-term elections, leaving the Democrats as the majority. With this shift in power, Democrats are expected to push laws for causes they are passionate about. One of those causes is gun control.
A new law introduced recently by Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi, Mike Thompson and Gabby Giffords would greatly expand background checks for gun sales, according to reports.
Federal Laws Regarding Background Checks for Gun Sales
Under current federal law, background checks are required for firearm sales conducted by federally licensed dealers. That means you will be subject to a background check if you attempt to purchase a gun at a sporting goods store. You will not qualify to purchase a firearm if you:
- Were convicted of a felony offense or a misdemeanor crime that carried a sentence of more than two years
- Were convicted of a domestic violence crime
- Have a warrant out for your arrest
- Have a restraining order issued against you
- Are diagnosed mentally ill or are considered an addict
- Have renounced your U.S. citizenship or are in the country illegally; OR
- Were dishonorably discharged from the military
However, you do not have to submit to a background check if you purchase a firearm at a gun show or through a private seller – and these types of sellers are easy to find online.
Each state also has its own laws regarding gun sales.
Universal Background Checks for Gun Sales
The proposed law introduced by Pelosi, Thompson and Giffords would expand federal background checks to nearly all gun sales.
If this legislation were to pass into law, it would require that all persons attempting to own a firearm – whether through commercial or private sale or transfer – be subject to a background check.
According to the lawmakers who are proposing universal background checks for gun sales, the goal of this new law would be to keep the community safe. Instituting universal background checks would help identify any persons with criminal backgrounds or mental health issues and disqualify those persons from owning or possessing a gun.
What Happens Next?
According to reports, the proposed law is likely to pass through the House. Despite a small amount of Republican support, most assume the bill will hit a snag at the Republican-controlled Senate.
Republicans largely oppose attempts to tighten gun laws in the United States, so it remains to be seen whether these proposed changes would gain enough support to pass into law.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one has been accused of violating California’s strict gun laws, you should speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending clients facing serious firearms charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Call our office today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.