Schumer Wants Expanded Background Checks For Guns

NEW YORK (AP / WCBS 880) – U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said Wednesday he will propose legislation requiring all gun buyers to undergo a background check and broadly increasing penalties against states that don’t contribute names to the national background-check system.

The bill, which is still being drafted and doesn’t yet have any co-sponsors in the Republican-controlled House, was modeled after the proposals of Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s national gun-control coalition, said Schumer, a Democrat.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reports

“All we’re talking about here is making sure that certain individuals who demonstrated violent behavior in the past, who have documented mental illness, who could be inclined to terrorism, or who have a history of drug abuse, don’t get a weapon,” Schumer said.

Do you agree with Sen. Schumer? Leave A Comment Below

Schumer and Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, appeared together at Manhattan police headquarters to announce the legislation, which would close the so-called gun-show loophole by requiring even private sellers to perform background checks. Currently, buyers who are prohibited by law from buying a firearm because of a felony conviction or drug addiction can still purchase guns from many gun-show stands with few questions asked.

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The bill would also increase and make mandatory financial consequences against states that don’t comply with the background check system. States that currently can be penalized up to 3 percent of federal justice grants would have to meet higher standards or lose 25 percent of the funds by 2018.

Last week, an Associated Press review found that more than half the states are not complying with a law requiring them to share the names of mentally ill people with the national background-check system.

Rachel Parsons, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, said she couldn’t comment on legislation that she hasn’t seen, but she did accuse Bloomberg of using the issue to draw the spotlight to himself.

He “grandstands in front of the media instead of doing what he was hired to do, which is enforcing the laws and making sure that criminals that commit crimes with firearms go to jail,” she said.

“Individual responsibility is a cornerstone of our law and those who cannot responsibly own a gun shouldn’t have access to a gun its that simple,” said Schumer.

Schumer says he isn’t trying to expand the law of who should and should not have a gun, just to enforce the law that already exists.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Rich Lamb
  • Paul Jenkins

    I’m am totally behind this movement. Too many civilians are allowed to buy guns like it’s candy. There’s no form of controlling it and you inevitably get random public shootings like some years ago. Each gun shop should be forced to hire a private investigator and do background check n.y. on each and every one of their clients and only after these people pass that check, they can sell them their firearm.

  • Tory II

    The 2nd amendment prohibits govt from regulating guns.

  • Tory II

    The 2nd amendment prohibits Nazis like Schumer from regulating guns.

  • Common Sense

    Schumer and Bloomberg are both idiots. They use tragedy to move their agenda forward. There are so many laws now that are not enforced why would another rule or law change anything? Stop paroling dangerous people.
    States have these people in custody, why don’t they keep them?

  • nyc

    How about going after the sources for the tens of thousands of Illegal guns on the streets of New York ? Remember the cash for guns program in N.Y. where six thousand guns were turned in ! Can you believe it ! I believe in being able to own a gun Legally !

  • Devenio

    As what some would label a liberal, I believe that all citizens should be able to carry weapons. The police are useless until after you have been shot, stabbed, rapped, robbed, etc. It is every persons GOD given right to protect themselves. No man made law can tale that away. If you have to carry unlawfully then so be it but no man can or will tell me I can’t protect myself.

  • Cos

    Again, this would only affect the law-abiding… Criminals and mentally ill people will go underground for their weapons. Don’t be fooled by the official comments made by heir Schumer or heir Bloomberg. Wasn’t it Thomas Jefferson who said, “When you take away the rights of the people – even under the guise of safety – you destroy the constitution…”? I probably have the quote wrong, but I know it goes something like that… Just enforce the existing laws and make sure violent criminals serve the time they are given. Don’t let them out early!

    • Devenio

      “”Schumer says he isn’t trying to expand the law of who should and should not have a gun, just to enforce the law that already exists.”” So you need to draft a bill to enforce a law that is already on the books? What will this new bill do to enforce a law thats not being enforced?

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