Ackerman Bill Closes Loophole To Easy Gun Purchases
Ackerman (D–Queens/L.I.) said his bill, if passed, would close the notorious loophole which allows gun dealers with revoked licenses to sell their firearms to anyone without background checks in unregulated inventory clearance sales.
“After this weekend’s tragedy, it’s clear that Congress must close troubling loopholes in federal gun control laws that let firearms fall into the hands of convicted felons, fugitives, domestic violence perpetrators and severely emotionally disturbed individuals,” Ackerman declared. “Every gun sold should require a background check, period.”
The Queens lawmaker referred to the January 8 massacre in Tucson in which six people were shot dead and 13 others were injured in the one-man rampage by 22 year old Jared Lee Loughner.
Among the wounded was Congressmember Gabrielle Giffords, who was reported to be making a miraculous recovery after a bullet allegedly fired by Loughner passed through her brain. President Barack Obama visited her last Wednesday and afterward she reportedly opened her eyes for the first time in her hospital bed.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) was present in Giffords’ room when she opened her eyes.
In a speech delivered by Obama afterwards, at a memorial service, he called on all Americans to honor those slain or wounded in the shooting and to become better people and to talk and communicate with each other in a way that heals.
Ackerman explained that under the fire sale loophole, gun dealers whose licenses have been revoked for violating federal law are permitted to convert their inventory into a personal collection. They are then allowed to sell the weapons without interference from gun control laws, including requirements to conduct FBI background checks or keep proper records.
According to Ackerman some of those guns were found to have been used in criminal activity later on.
Among those who support Ackerman’s bill are New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and leading gun control organizations.
The mayor pleaded, “We need common sense, effective policies to close gaps in the background check system and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people.” He said the fire sale loophole is one of those dangerous gaps.
Making a comparison, Bloomberg said, “Pharmacists who lose their licenses can’t sell prescription drugs to people without prescriptions, yet gun dealers who lose their licenses can sell off their inventory without even conducting background checks. Along with more than 550 members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, I support Representative Ackerman’s bill to fix this glaring gap in the federal background check system.”
The Grady Center to Prevent Gun Violence also issued a strong supporting endorsement.
However, House Speaker John Boehner (R–Ohio) said through a spokesperson he would reject gun control legislation.