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Lawmakers, safety groups lobby for vote on gun checks - abc27 WHTM

Lawmakers, safety groups lobby for vote on gun checks

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

Pennsylvania lawmakers, Attorney General Kathleen Kane, and gun safety groups lobbied at the state Capitol Wednesday for a vote in favor of universal background check legislation for gun purchases.

The legislation, House Bill 1010, would require background checks on buyers for all gun sales and transfers in Pennsylvania, including sales by non-licensed sellers, although exceptions would be made for family gun transfers.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D-Bucks), said the current state law allows private, non-licensed sellers to sell long-barrel guns without conducting a background check on the buyer.

"Right now in Pennsylvania, criminals may lawfully purchase an assault rifle even though it is illegal for that same criminal to purchase a handgun," Santarsiero said. "I and the people standing here with me today are among the 95 percent of Pennsylvanians who believe that is something that needs to be fixed."

Santarsiero said his legislation would make for a more consistent system for conducting gun sales by requiring them to occur through a gun dealer with a Federal Firearms License. He said this process includes the background check, preserves the effectiveness of the laws in place, and protects responsible gun owners.

The bill is currently awaiting action before the House Judiciary Committee.

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