Background Check Expansion – Short, Simple, Commonsense

Stand Up for Background Checks

Contact your State Representative and ask him or her to cosponsor the next background check expansion Bill!


Current PA background check law requires:

  • Background checks for any gun purchased at a federally licensed dealer.
  • Background checks for private sales of handguns.

What is missing from the current PA law?

  • A requirement that private sales of long guns — including shot guns, rifles and semi-automatic assault-style rifles — undergo a background check.  This means felons, domestic abusers, and people who are dangerously mentally ill can avoid background checks when buying long guns from private sellers.

Why Does Background Checks Expansion Make Sense?

Pennsylvania’s background check system should not distinguish between the type of seller or type of gun. Simply put, there should be a background check every time a gun is sold: every gun, every time.  Although long guns are used less frequently in crimes than are handguns, they are used disproportionately by domestic abusers against their intimate partners and by criminals against law enforcement officers. Private sales of long guns should be subject to background checks.

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