Baldwin wants White House to explore options to reduce gun violence

The Wisconsin Gazette

Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin joined Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal in leading a group of 24 senators asking President Barack Obama to investigate and pursue all possible options under his executive authority to reduce gun violence.

In a letter to the president, the senators urged him to eliminate a loophole that allows individuals without a federal license to conduct high volumes of gun sales at gun shows, over the Internet, and elsewhere, all without conducting background checks.

U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson, chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, sent a similar letter signed by 114 of his colleagues in the House.

“We stand with you determined to take action to reduce the terrible epidemic of gun violence plaguing this nation. All across the country, communities are ravaged and lives are senselessly cut short by gun violence. Following yet another horrific mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, it is unthinkable that our country can continue to turn a blind eye to these tragedies,” the senators wrote. “We urge you to address an aspect of the high-volume gun seller loophole that allows guns to be sold without a background check by eliminating the ambiguity surrounding the term ‘engaged in the business’ as it pertains to federally licensed firearms dealers.”

The letter said, “Updating the definition of ‘engaged in the business’ to provide more explicit guidance as to which gun sellers are required to obtain a federal firearms license would…help ensure that individuals are not able to continue to exploit ambiguity in the current regulation and sell guns at a high volume without any oversight by ATF and without conducting background checks… This change would be a positive step forward in achieving universal background checks, a policy change that roughly 90 percent of Americans support. It would help ensure that those clearly holding themselves out as gun dealers are held to the same standard as the thousands of responsible gun dealers already licensed with ATF across the country.”