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ENA Lends Support to Firearms Background Check Legislation

The Emergency Nurses Association recently supported new legislation, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8), which would seek to reduce injuries and violence associated with firearms by closing loopholes in federal law which currently allow for the intrastate transfer of firearms between individuals without a background check on the purchaser. This gap in current law allows individuals who are otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm to obtain one. ENA's support for H.R. 8 is in line with action taken by the Board of Directors in 2018 to support universal background checks for firearms purchases.

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act closes this current loophole and requires most transfers of firearms between private individuals to be supported by a background check conducted through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), a database maintained by the FBI. H.R. 8 allows for limited exceptions to the requirement, such as transfers between family members.