Press Releases

Rose Votes to Pass Universal Background Checks to Keep Guns out of the Hands of Dangerous People

Congressman was co-sponsor of Bipartisan Background Checks Act, the first measure to increase gun safety to pass the House in more than 20 years

Washington, February 27, 2019

Congressman Max Rose, an Army combat veteran, today voted to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, a long-overdue, commonsense gun violence prevention measure which will save lives.

“We cannot continue to share our thoughts and prayers after every mass shooting and call our work done—we need action, and this is a huge first step towards keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” Rose said. “This is not partisan, this is not controversial—this is commonsense. It’s long past time we do the right thing and close this background check loophole.”

This is the first gun safety legislation to pass the House of Representatives since the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1994 mandated federal background checks on firearms purchases in the U.S. Since then, more than 3.5 million sales have been blocked to violent criminals and other prohibited people.

The problem with the current background check system is that there is a big loophole: people don’t get a background check if they are purchasing a gun from an unlicensed gun seller—such as buying a gun at a gun show, online, or person-to-person. Studies shows that, due to this large loophole, millions of guns change hands each year without a background check—through sales by unlicensed sellers. In fact, a recent study found that about 22 percent of gun owners got their most recent firearm without a background check. Another study found that up to 80 percent of firearms used for criminal purposes are obtained without a background check.

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act would close the background check loophole and require a background check for every gun sale or transfer, to ensure that individuals already prohibited from gun possession under federal law are not able to obtain firearms. The plan includes some reasonable and explicit exceptions that, for example, allow a person: to give a gun as a gift to a close family member; loan a gun for hunting or target shooting; or provide a gun in the moment of self-defense.

Keeping his pledge to fight for commonsense gun safety reforms, Rose is also supporting legislation to ban the sale, manufacture, or possession of new military-style assault weapons to civilians.