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Rep. Foster Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation To Strengthen Background Checks, Protect Rights Of Lawful Gun Owners

May 15, 2013
Press Release

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) became a cosponsor of H.R. 1565, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013.  The bipartisan legislation, a mirror of the Manchin-Toomey bill which received a majority of votes in the Senate (but failed to get 60), would strengthen background checks for gun purchases by expanding the system to include all commercial firearm sales, blocking criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from lawfully purchasing firearms.  The legislation also strengthens the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners by banning the government from creating a federal registry and making the misuse of records a felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

“We cannot simply sit idle while tragedy after tragedy demonstrates all too clearly that we are not doing enough to keep guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Foster.  “We need to take a comprehensive approach to this problem that protects the rights of lawful gun owners while keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.”

Currently, there are many loopholes allowing anyone to purchase firearms without a background check, including buying firearms in the parking lot of a gun show, over the internet, or through a newspaper ad.  The bill closes these loopholes by requiring the same background checks that federally licensed dealers have conducted for more than 40 years.

The bill also strengthens the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by incentivizing states to improve reporting of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill and by directing funding for better record-sharing systems.