RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Nearly 80 survivors and family members of those killed in the Virginia Tech tragedy are throwing their support behind a proposed law that would close the gun show loophole when it comes to background checks.
Congressman Bobby Scott is a co-sponsor of the bill and joined us today on NBC12 First at Four.
Ryan: Let's talk a little bit about your decision to be so active with this law in Washington. Why do you think it's important?
Scott: Well, I think it's important that we have a matrix where people who are not able to buy firearms shouldn't be able to buy firearms. People who have felonies, people who are mentally unstable, who are found not to be entitled to buy firearms, they go into a gun shop, they will be a background check. All we're asking is that the background check requirement also apply to gun shows where lots of weapons are sold. We found and seen videos of people going in to gun shows and not showing any ID at all, and certainly don't have to show anything but the money, and they come out with a firearm. Hand guns, military assault weapons and everything else without any background check at all. And all we're asking is the same requirement for a back ground check applying at gun shows as it applies everywhere else.
Ryan: This argument you just gave me is an argument that's been made for at least the last three or four years here in Virginia, but the General Assembly and the governor's office here has been resistant to that kind of change, even though the people of Virginia have not had the will to get it passed at the stale level. Why do you think it's important it to be advocated at the federal level?
Scott: Well, the Brady Bill is a federal law and the background check is a federal requirement, and the federal government is very much involved in the back ground check. So when you go to a store to buy a firearm, you have to have a background check. If you're dealing with a licensed dealer at a gun show, you will have a background check. It's the people who are without licenses and have a ton of weapons that they're selling, they can sell without the requirement that the people have a background check and I don't think it's asking too much to have the same background check at a gun show that you have anywhere else.
Ryan: Quickly, congressman, before we let you go, what are the chance of you get it passed in the house and then it makes its way through the senate where there's more opposition?
Scott: Well, we don't know. The purpose of the forum yesterday was to develop more public support so we can get more cosponsors of the bill, so we'll have confidence if it comes up, it will pass. We don't want to bring the bill up if it will not pass, so the purpose yesterday to have the law enforcement officials, researchers and victims of crime testify on behalf of the bill. We had that to generate support. We get many more cosponsors and we have confidence that the bill will parks we'll call it for a vote.
Ryan: Congressman Bobby Scott joining us from Washington. Congressman, thank you for being here.
Scott: Thank you.