U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat, debuted a bill to help require private gun sellers to verify transfers through a Federal Firearms Licensee before completion of the sale.
Terming the legislation the Keeping Guns from Criminals Act, Beyer painted it as a means to close a loophole in federal gun laws.
“This is not a complicated issue: No one wants guns in the hands of dangerous criminals,” said Beyer in a statement. “Time and again Congress fails to make meaningful progress to prevent gun violence in the face of overwhelming national demand to do so. The Keeping Guns from Criminals Act will ensure that only responsible gun owners are able to purchase a firearm. There is no reason for us to wait for another tragedy to make this commonsense idea a reality to protect our families.”
The bill, according to Beyer’s office, would make it easier to prosecute private sellers who cannot prove the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) approved a gun purchase through an FFL or that the purchaser held a valid concealed weapons permit.
It has already gained the support of gun control groups such as the Brady Campaign.
The move comes the same week lawmakers in the Senate openly discussed a return of the failed 2013 Manchin-Toomey amendment, which would have mandated expanding background checks on a nationwide basis.