• Press Release

Universal Background Checks Are Critical to Addressing Human Rights Crisis of Gun Violence

January 8, 2019

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 12: Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) waits for the start of a press conference after joining with anti-gun violence activists and victims' families to discuss the impact of gun violence on August 12, 2016 in Miami, Florida. They used the opportunity to also discuss why they support Hillary Clinton's plans to combat gun violence. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Legislation introduced today requiring universal background checks for firearm sales presents an important opportunity to address the human rights crisis of gun violence, Amnesty International USA said today.

“The failure to require background checks on all sales and transfers of firearms in the United States creates dangerous loopholes, and people are paying with their lives. The purchase, acquisition or transfer of a firearm should be accompanied by critical safeguards and measures aimed at protecting public safety,” said Jasmeet Sidhu, researcher with Amnesty International USA. “This legislation, if passed, would be a historic step in protecting people from the human rights crisis of gun violence in this country.”

“It’s not too much to ask to account for criteria like a buyer’s previous criminal record, history of domestic violence, or heightened risk of harm to themselves or others before allowing them to walk out the door with a weapon that may be used to kill human beings. The laws as they are now are riddled with loopholes and failures that put everyone at risk. Universal background checks for all firearms is a common sense measure to protect everyone’s right to live in safety.”