Forty-eight senators have moved forward to reintroduce the Background Check Expansion Act. Led by Senator Chris Murphy, the act would expand federal background checks to all gun sales. Under current federal law, unlicensed or private sellers are not required to conduct a background check prior to transferring a firearm.
Research indicates that a quarter of all gun sales in the United States may occur without a background check. U.S. Representatives Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) introduced the companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Background Check Expansion Act will require background checks for the sale or transfer of all firearms. This requirement extends to all unlicensed sellers, whether they do business online, at gun shows or out of their home.
Exceptions to the Background Check Expansion Act include transfers between law enforcement officers, temporarily loaning firearms for hunting and sporting events, providing firearms as gifts to immediate family members, transferring a firearm as part of an inheritance or temporarily transferring a firearm for immediate self-defense.