Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s Bill on Universal Background Checks Passes First Committee on Bipartisan Vote

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Today, Assembly Joint Resolution 4, authored by Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee with a bipartisan, 7-1 vote. The bill will next go to the Assembly Floor for a vote of the full State Assembly. Passing AJR 4 will put California’s Legislature on record demanding U.S. Congressional passage of and a Presidential signature on House Resolution 8, by Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), the “Bipartisan Background Checks Act.”

“This success is particularly meaningful today, because the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 will be considered for a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives tomorrow.  I will do everything I can to support Congressman Thompson’s efforts,” said Aguiar-Curry. “Nearly 1200 children have been killed by guns in our country since the Parkland Shootings in Florida last year.  I simply cannot understand why Congress has not acted to pass a measure which prevents criminals and the mentally ill from bypassing checks on their ability to obtain weapons, especially ones meant for no other purpose than to hurt or kill human beings.” 

Introduced by Congressman Mike Thompson (D-St. Helena), H.R. 8 requires uniform and universal background checks on all gun purchases and transfers. The law would obligate unlicensed gun sellers to perform background checks on gun purchasers and transferees by requiring them to utilize licensed dealers to sell and transfer firearms.

Current federal law includes a loophole that allows unlicensed firearm dealers to sell at gun shows, online, and in person without performing background checks on purchasers. This is a significant omission, as gun offenders overwhelmingly obtain their guns without a background check through private sales. The bipartisan group of federal coauthors to this federal legislation shows that confronting gun violence and protecting our communities is important to both sides of the political aisle. The vote in Assembly Public Safety Committee today makes the State Legislature’s effort to support H.R. 8 a bipartisan endeavor as well.

“This is not about keeping guns away from law-abiding people, hunters, recreational shooters, or people seeking to defend their homes, businesses, and properties.  I am disappointed by the weak excuses provided during the committee hearing by the small number of opponents of today’s action,” said Aguiar-Curry. “Any claim that background checks don’t stop crimes is aiding and abetting criminals’ unchecked access to firearms being used on our nation’s innocent bystanders and children.”

Aguiar-Curry represents the 4th Assembly District, which includes all of Lake and Napa Counties, parts of Colusa, Solano and Sonoma Counties, and all of Yolo County except West Sacramento.

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