On Monday, a national coalition of police agencies and officials called for expanded background checks for all firearm purchases, including private and gun show sales.
“We must close off all avenues for dangerous people to acquire firearms,” said Orlando Police Chief John Mina during a press conference for the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence. Mina and other officials cited statistics stating that gun violence is an increasing problem.
Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said that gun deaths per day increased nationally from 82 in 2002 to 91 in 2012. “Active shooter” incidents, including the Newtown and Aurora shootings, are also becoming more common, he said.
“According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, gunfire has been the leading cause of death for officers killed in the line of duty in the U.S. this year. So far, 41 officers have been gunned down this year, up 64 percent from last year, according to the data,” writes The Orlando Sentinel‘s Jeff Weiner.
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, passed in 1994, requires federally licensed dealers to conduct background checks for all purchases. Police Chief Terry Cunningham, of Wellsley, Massachussetts, said that over two million purchases have been blocked as a result of background checks since the act took effect.
“’It stands to reason that we could block millions of other dangerous purchases’ by expanding checks, he said.”