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Pennsylvania Republican Introduces Bill To Expand Background Checks On Private Gun Sales

May 30, 2017

Three bipartisan lawmakers introduced a bill on May 18 in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives expanding background check requirements.

The main sponsor, Republican Rep. Jamie Santora, said the new bill, House Bill 1400, would require background checks for the sale of every firearm in Pennsylvania.

“We’re not trying to take away Second Amendment rights,” Santora told the Delaware County News Network last week. “Anyone who has a gun should have a background check. If it saves one life, I did my job.”

The introduced legislation would “remove this applicability provision and require all firearm sales, regardless of the barrel length, be conducted in front of a licensed importer, manufacturer, dealer, or county sheriff,” the memo read. “Ultimately, this legislation would require background checks be conducted for each firearm purchase, which will ensure that individuals attempting to obtain a firearm are authorized to possess such weapons.”

“Familial transfers will still be excluded from the background check requirement as in current law,” the memo added.

The bill creates a background check approval valid for 72 hours that can be used at a gun show.

Along with Santora, two Democratic representatives, Dom Costa and Madeleine Dean, co-sponsored the bill.

“While there is no single solution to this terrible problem, there are measures that can and must be taken,” a spokesperson for Dean told the Delaware County News Network. “HB 1400 would accomplish one of those measures by closing Pennsylvania’s background check loophole in firearms purchases by requiring universal background checks on all gun sales. This step is common sense; it is what 90 percent of the public wants, and it will save lives.”