March 02, 2021

Cortez Masto, Colleagues Reintroduce Background Check Expansion Act to Reduce Gun Violence

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today joined Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) in leading 39 of their colleagues in reintroducing the Background Check Expansion Act to expand federal background checks to all gun sales. Under current federal law, unlicensed or private sellers are not required to conduct a background check prior to transferring a firearm. 97% of Americans support comprehensive background checks. 

“In the state of Nevada, we’ve closed the loophole that lets private sellers skip background checks before they hand over a gun. But we need to make sure that loophole is closed across the country. Criminals should not have easy access to guns, but for far too long that’s been the norm. That is why I’m proud to rejoin Senator Murphy in introducing this bill to close loopholes that allow the purchase or transfer of guns without a background check. We can take action to save lives in the future by passing this bill in the Senate today.” 

In addition to Murphy, Schumer, Durbin, Blumenthal, and Cortez Masto, U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) co-sponsored the bill.

Full text of the bill can be found HERE.


The Background Checks Expansion Act will require background checks for the sale or transfer of all firearms. This requirement extends to all unlicensed sellers, whether they do business online, at gun shows, or out of their home. Exceptions to the Background Check Expansion Act include transfers between law enforcement officers, temporarily loaning firearms for hunting and sporting events, providing firearms as gifts to immediate family members, transferring a firearm as part of an inheritance, or temporarily transferring a firearm for immediate self-defense.