News Department

Sens. Menendez, Feinstein, Booker and Reps. Scanlon, Ryan introduce bicameral bill to stop fraudulent gun sales

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and U.S. Representatives Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.-05) and Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.-18) introduced the Stopping the Fraudulent Sales of Firearms Act, a bill to prevent gun sellers from circumventing technology companies’ terms of service by making it illegal to fraudulently sell firearms and ammunition online.

“Gun sellers and their buyers continue to find new ways to circumvent tech companies’ efforts to end the illegal sales of firearms on their platforms, putting the lives of millions of Americans and their families at risk,” Menendez said. “With this common-sense bill, gun sellers who illegally sell, distribute or move their weapons and jeopardize public safety will pay the price for their actions. Legislation like this is necessary to protect our communities from the illegal use of firearms and semiautomatic assault weapons.”

“The major tech companies have banned the sale of firearms on their sites but that hasn’t stopped dishonest individuals from selling guns online using deceptive methods,” Feinstein said. “Our bill would make it illegal to circumvent a websites’ terms of service to sell a gun online. This is a commonsense approach keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals who want to avoid a background check by secretly buying weapons online.”

“We must make sure that law-breaking gun sellers cannot work around existing laws to traffic firearms to potentially dangerous individuals who seek to avoid background checks and introduce more firearms into our communities,” Booker said. “Congress must work to reform our country’s broken gun safety laws and address the epidemic of gun violence that continues to grip every community in our nation. I am proud to introduce this commonsense legislation that will close this dangerous loophole and make us all safer.”

Some technology companies have banned the sale of firearms and ammunition on their platforms. However, sellers often will misrepresent guns as other items to circumvent such restrictions.

Sellers on platforms like Facebook Marketplace will claim to be selling “stickers” alongside images of gun maker logos. Sellers will ask interested parties to send a private message where buyers learn the posting is actually for a gun sale and receive details and pricing. Facebook reported in 2020 that it had removed 1.3 million posts related to firearms between April and June from its platforms.

“Background checks work, and everyone who tries to buy a gun should have to pass one,” Scanlon said. “It’s time to crack down on deceptive online sales practices that give dangerous people unchecked access to guns and make our communities less safe. I’m proud to lead this commonsense legislation that would make these misleading practices illegal – one solution of many that we know will reduce gun violence and save lives.”

“Misrepresentations that allow illegally trafficked guns into our schools and on our streets must end now,” Ryan said. “I’m proud to join Congresswoman Scanlon in fighting to keep our children and communities safe and curbing the epidemic of gun violence.”

In the Senate, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is a cosponsor of the bill.

In September, Sens. Menendez and Booker, co-founders of the Senate Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, joined a broad democratic coalition of nearly 70 lawmakers in urging President Joe Biden to take further executive action to combat gun violence and limit the sale of assault weapons. These executive actions to prevent gun violence were endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, and Brady: United Against Gun Violence.

In June, both Sens. Menendez and Booker cosponsored the Resources for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which would ensure that all survivors of gun violence, including their loved ones, coworkers and classmates, have access to and can identify resources available to them to help meet medical, legal, financial, and other needs. On National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Sen. Menendez and several of his colleagues announced a package of gun violence prevention bills that would significantly decrease the pervasive threat of gun violence across the United States, including the reintroduction of the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act that would eliminate the 3D printing and distribution of ghost guns.

In May, Sens. Menendez and Booker cosponsored the Responsible Firearms Marketing Act, directing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to study the dangers posed by unfair and deceptive marketing and advertising practices conducted by the gun industry. This year, Sens. Menendez and Booker joined several of his colleagues in forming the first Senate Gun Violence Prevention Caucus to coordinate common-sense solutions to battle the epidemic of gun violence in America. Also in May, Sen. Menendez joined with Newark officials, community violence intervention leaders and gun safety advocates to call on the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to implement rules to help close the background check loophole.

In February, Sen. Menendez led his colleagues in the reintroduction of the Keep Americans Safe Act, which would ban the importation, sale, manufacturing, transfer, or possession of high-capacity magazines. He also reintroduced the Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act, which would require the ATF and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to collect, preserve, and disclose gun records and gun tracing data. Sens. Menendez and Booker also joined several of their colleagues this year in reintroducing legislation to ban assault weapons, close the Charleston Loophole, and require gun owners secure their firearms in a secure gun storage.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button