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Foster: 'We are not doing enough to keep guns out of the hands of criminals'

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, issued the following news release:

Congressman Bill Foster met with members of the Newtown Action Alliance and other families impacted by gun violence. The group is calling on Congress to support background checks to prevent gun violence.

“Their stories are a tragic but important reminder of the need to take action. 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.”

Foster is a cosponsor of H.R. 1565, the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013. The bipartisan legislation 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.

Currently, there are many loopholes allowing criminals 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 by incentivizing states to improve reporting of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill and by directing funding for better record-sharing systems.

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