Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 Reintroduced

March 2, 2021 Updated: March 2, 2021

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 was reintroduced on Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced on his Twitter account.

“It’s simple: background checks keep guns out of dangerous hands,” Nadler wrote. “More than 90% of Americans want this bill signed into law. Let’s get it passed and save lives.”

Original cosponsors for the federal expansion of background checks on all gun sales include Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Christopher Smith (R-N.J.),  and Lucy McBath (D-Ga.).

“I am proud to support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act to extend the firearms background check requirement so that we can help keep guns out of the hands of felons and others who are legally prohibited from possessing them. No longer should those who are prohibited from owning a gun use gaps in the law like the online sale loophole and the gun show loophole to obtain these weapons,” Nadler wrote on his official website, asserting that the legislation has the “overwhelming support of the American people.”

Additionally, legislation that would grant extra time to federal officials to do background checks was reintroduced by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.). It aims to end the “Charleston loophole,” which permits gun sales to go ahead even if a background check hasn’t been finalized in three days.

“A large majority of Americans, including gun owners, support universal background checks. This legislation is needed to keep weapons out of the hands of those who should not have them and save lives,” Clyburn said according to The Hill.

The FBI stated last month that it processed a record 39.7 million firearm background checks in 2020, which bested the previous high of 10 million. Reports said that as many as 8.5 million purchased their first firearm in 2020, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Meanwhile, a number of gun and ammunition manufacturers reported shortages amid the surge in demand.

Biden earlier this month said that he would push Congress to enact more gun control measures, including allowing gun manufacturers to face lawsuits, banning “assault weapons,” and placing bans on high-capacity magazines. His pick for Attorney General, Merrick Garland, told lawmakers on Monday that he would support the White House’s stance on gun control.

“This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer. Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets,” Biden said earlier this month.

Jack Phillips contributed to this report.