Background Checks for All Firearms Act

Summary: The Background Checks for All Firearms Act requires that no firearm shall be transferred by anyone other than a federally licensed gun dealer, manufacturer or importer to a person not so licensed unless the State Police performs a criminal background check, with limited exceptions.

[NOTE: Although this model is based in part on H.R. 8, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019, it is different from other such bills because it sets up a version of a “permit to purchase” system for transfers that do not go through a licensed gun dealer. A permit is both more practical and easier for the gun purchaser.]

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

This Act shall be called the “Background Check for All Firearms Act.”

SECTION 2. PURPOSE

This law is enacted to enforce existing federal and state law that prohibits certain persons from possessing firearms, and therefore protecting residents from gun crimes.

SECTION 3. NO FIREARMS TRANSFERS WITHOUT BACKGROUND CHECK

After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:

(A) BACKGROUND CHECK REQUIRED

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a federally licensed firearms importer, manufacturer, or dealer to transfer a firearm to any other person who is not so licensed, unless the transferee presents a document from the State Police certifying that the transferee is not prohibited under State or Federal law from possessing a firearm.

(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply when the transferor has no reason to believe the transferee will use or intends to use the firearm in a crime or is prohibited from possessing firearms under State or Federal law, and:

(a) the transfer is a loan or bona fide gift between spouses, between domestic partners, between parents and their children, including stepparents and their stepchildren, between siblings, between aunts or uncles and their nieces or nephews, or between grandparents and their grandchildren; or

(b) the transfer is to an executor, administrator, trustee, or personal representative of an estate or a trust that occurs by operation of law upon the death of another person; or

(c) the transfer is temporary and is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm, including harm to self, family, household members, or others, if the possession by the transferee lasts only as long as immediately necessary to prevent the imminent death or great bodily harm, including the harm of domestic violence, dating partner violence, sexual assault, stalking, and domestic abuse; or

(d) the transfer is temporary and the transferee’s possession of the firearm is exclusively while in the presence of the transferor.

(B) ENFORCEMENT

(1) The [Attorney General] shall promulgate regulations to implement this section, including:

(a) the process for obtaining the certified document from the State Police;

(b) an expiration date for such a State Police document;

(c) the provision of a reasonable fee for obtaining such a document; and

(d) rules specifying when and how the State Police shall make such documents available at gun shows.

(2) It shall be a [Class 1 misdemeanor] to transfer a firearm in violation of this section and a [Class 4 felony] to make more than two such transfers.

SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE

This law shall become effective on July 1, 20XX.

 

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