HRC pushes lawmakers to expand background checks, protect LGBTQ community

By : Amanda Espinosa
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, reiterated the request for Congress to advance H.R.8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019. This will enforce a background check for every sale that involves a firearm, and prevent anyone who has a violent criminal history from easy access to firearms.

Under the current federal law, there is a loophole that permits access to non-licensed dealers to sell guns to individuals without a background check. This gap in the law is allowing private gun sales to be done online or at gun shows.

This issue of this dangerous gap has been scheduled for review in the House Judiciary Committee. If it is approved, the gap will be closed by the common-sense legislation, which expands background checks and limits anyone with a violent record to access guns.

The easy access to any deadly firearms or weapons has an effect on the LGBTQ community, after decades of the community being a target for bias-motivated, or hate violence.

Many LGBTQ members were targeted by hate violence in 2016 after the Pulse Nightclub shooting. After the shooting, HRC’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution for the safety of LGBTQ members in the U.S to require common-sense gun violence prevention.

“The LGBTQ community and other communities disproportionately targeted by hate violence cannot wait any longer for common-sense gun safety legislation,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “It’s far past time that Congress take action and help save lives by closing the dangerous loophole in background checks for gun sales. One more death is one too many, and this common-sense, bipartisan measure would be a critical first step in addressing the crisis of gun violence impacting our communities.”

Ninety-seven percent of Americans, including law enforcement officials, Democrats, Republicans and NRA members, have supported the common-sense policy includes the requirement of a background check for every gun sale.

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