Under the 1994 Brady Law, citizens who buy firearms must pass a background check if they purchase their guns from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder. Since the Brady Law’s enactment, such background checks have denied guns to 1.4 million illegal buyers. However, sales made at gun shows by unlicensed private individuals are exempt from such checks. This loophole has allowed thousands of felons, domestic abusers, minors and people with mental illnesses to purchase guns without a background check.
The Gun Show Loophole Closing Act of 2009 (H.R. 2324), introduced by Rep. Michael Castle (R-DE), and the Gun Show Background Check Act of 2009 (S. 843), introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), would require background checks by licensed dealers on all firearms purchases at gun shows. To improve traceability records, the legislation would require that all gun show dealers keep records of their firearms transactions. These provisions would apply to all events where a significant number of firearms are offered for sale, including flea markets and swap meets.
Jewish Values and Gun Control
Jewish tradition emphasizes the sanctity and value of human life. The Torah commands us “Thou shalt not murder.” The Talmud teaches us that “he who takes one life it is as though he has destroyed the universe and he who saves one life it is as though he has saved the universe.” The dehumanizing of the human being and the carelessness with which human life is taken by guns stands in direct violation of these affirmations of our tradition.
Urge your Senators and Representative to close the “gun show loophole” by supporting S.843 and H.R. 2324. The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202.224.3121, or you can also send an e-mail by entering your zip code below. For more information, contact Legislative Assistant Rebecca Katz at 202.387.2800.