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Senator Schumer Says New Principles Amy Schumer Supports Will Address Gun Violence & Will Be Brought To The Floor Early Next Year BUT Citizens Must Make Their Voices Heard; Amy Schumer Leads The Charge 

Bill Will Focus On Making Current Background Checks Stronger, Closing Loopholes & Shutting Down The Pipeline Of Illegal Guns 

Schumer & Schumer: We Have A Real Plan But It Requires The American People To Pick Up Phone, Tweet, Facebook—Rise Up—To See It Through 


U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, alongside actress, comedian, and cousin, Amy Schumer, today continued their public campaign aimed at bringing forth a vote on common-sense gun legislation. Specifically, the Schumers are attempting to create a nation groundswell that will enable the principles democrats announced last month to actually become law. The principles would fix background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and dangerous people, all while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners. 

In August, the Schumers launched their effort following a mass shooting, in Louisiana that tragically took the lives of two innocent young women, and injured at least nine others. Amy Schumer has always felt passionate about rational laws on guns. When she learned that a tragic shooting had occurred at her movie, ‘Trainwreck’ in Louisiana, it redoubled her concern. Today, the Schumers are doubling down on their commitment to change gun laws and are calling on the

 American people to rally in support of these principles.

The two Schumers agree we need people to make their voices heard so that when legislation comes to the floor it will pass. Senator Schumer said there has not been a concerted public groundswell focusing on specific principles. Now that the Senate has unveiled these principles and Senate Democratic leaders have said they will require a vote, Amy is leading the charge to create the groundswell. Schumer says this will hopefully bring forth a successful vote for the first time in a long time.

"My cousin Amy and I are here to say that we are not letting up on this fight and in fact, we are doubling down on our efforts to address gun violence. My colleagues and I have crafted a real plan and while Amy and I can help spread the word, we need the American people to help carry the message," said Senator Schumer. "We are asking the American people to raise their voices from coast to coast. Once that groundswell is heard, Congress should hold a vote on common-sense gun legislation.”

“It’s time for Congress to finally do something on gun violence. This plan should be the next vote,” said Amy Schumer. “It is simply stunning that the American people have to fight against the rich and powerful gun lobby to save lives, but today is not about who we are fighting against—it is about what we are fighting for. We can end gun violence.”

Senator Schumer authored the 1993 Brady Bill, which amended the Gun Control Act of 1968 to require background checks before a licensed gun dealer makes a sale. After the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Senator Schumer worked with his colleagues in Congress to pass the National Incident Criminal Background Check System Improvement Act, which improved the system through which states provided the names of people who were adjudicated mentally ill or who had committed violent crimes. Simply put, states report these names to a federal database that licensed gun dealers then check before selling a weapon. However, many states are not living up to their responsibilities under this law.

Specifically, the legislative principles the Schumers are supporting seek to:

Close Background Check Loopholes: Senate Democrats called for ending the loopholes that allow people to purchase guns without having first passed a background check.

  • Under current law, guns can be sold over the internet and at gun shows without any background checks at all.
  • Millions of guns are sold through these loopholes every year, and according to one study, nearly 70 percent of prison inmates obtained the guns used in crimes through transactions that did not require a background check.  [CAP, 2/15]
  • The plan the Schumers are pushing would close those loopholes by requiring a background check before a gun can be sold online or at gun shows.

Make Background Checks Better: Even for gun sales that are subject to a background check, there are still too many holes in the background check database. Senate Democrats called for making sure that all domestic abusers are prohibited from purchasing guns, that states submit all prohibitive records to the federal database, and that people are not allowed to buy guns without a completed background check.

  • Today, convicted domestic abusers are not submitted to the NICS system unless they are married to or living with their victims; stalkers and other abusers can still legally purchase a gun to harm a dating partner. In 2008, nearly half of all domestic violence murders were committed by a dating partner. [CAP, 6/14] 
  • Under current law, stores are allowed to sell a gun after 3 days even if the buyer’s background check isn’t completed, regardless if more time would have uncovered the fact that the purchaser was legally prohibited from buying the gun. This is what allowed the Charleston shooter to purchase a weapon even though a completed background check would have uncovered that his criminal record should have prohibited him from buying. [New York Times, 7/10/15]
  • The plan the Schumers are pushing would tighten up the background check system by eliminating these gaps, ensuring that when a background check is done, it will effectively uncover dangerous individuals that should not get weapons.

Shut Down the Illegal Pipeline of Guns: Senate Democrats called for making gun trafficking and  “straw purchasing” -- in which one person buys a gun for someone else who is not legally allowed to have one -- federal crimes to give law enforcement the tools it needs to stop the flood of illegal weapons across state lines.

  • Today, straw purchasing and gun trafficking are not federal crimes, violators are prosecuted under arcane laws such as “lying on the federal form.”
  • In 2009, just 10 states supplied 49% of the guns that crossed state lines before being recovered in crimes. Together, these states accounted for nearly 21,000 recovered crime guns. [Everytown, 9/12/10]
  • Nine of 10 crime guns are wielded by someone other than the original purchaser, and 1 in 3 have crossed state lines. [Third Way, 3/19/13]
  • The Schumers support clearly defining the crimes of straw purchasing and gun trafficking – giving law enforcement the tools they need to punish violent criminals and deter these dangerous practices.