Universal Background Checks Proposed by State Lawmakers

With the recent school shootings, gun control has been a huge topic of discussion around the United States. The debate has been ongoing, with politicians fighting over what the best course of action is for the gun issue. Three state lawmakers in Wisconsin think that universal background checks for those interested in buying a gun is the answer.

Rep. Terese Berceau, D-Madison, Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee, and Sen. Nikiya Harris, D-Milwaukee, all co-authored the bill. The state lawmakers said that their bill would close a loophole in the federal law requiring background checks of someone who wants to buy a gun.

Federal law only requires criminal background checks on people who purchase guns from federally licensed firearms dealers. The proposed state law by the Wisconsin politicians would also require gun sellers, such as private groups, gun shows, and flea markets to also perform criminal background checks on people before they sell a gun.

Many people in Wisconsin purchase their guns from unlicensed dealers, so they never go through a background check. The hope is that universal background checks would act as a deterrent to crime. The statement made by the lawmakers about the bill also cited statistics that showed that over a 12 year period, background checks prevented 2 million people from buying guns. They also stated that a study had shown that 80 percent of criminals who used a handgun in a crime bought the firearm from someone who was not a licensed dealer.

The Wisconsin politicians believe that universal background checks could have prevented many deadly shooting across the country. They hope to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands by making everyone who sells guns, federally licensed or not, perform criminal background checks on potential buyers.