Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation to prevent guns from getting into the hands of sex offenders who prey on children. Federal law prohibits persons convicted of a felony from buying, selling, or possessing guns or ammunition, yet it is perfectly legal for someone convicted a misdemeanor sex crime against a minor to acquire a firearm. The Keep Kids Safe Act of 2016 would close this safety gap, making it illegal under federal law for someone convicted of a misdemeanor sex crime against a child to transfer, acquire or possess firearms or ammunition.
“Guns in the possession of those who are unstable or unfit to use them can have devastating consequences, which is why it is so important for us to be proactive in ensuring that people who may do others harm do not have access to firearms,” said Congressman Nadler. “Keeping guns out of the hands of those convicted of sex crimes against a child should be the easiest place to start. The Keep Kids Safe Act ensures that predators who have been convicted of offenses against children are not able to buy firearms. Allowing sex offenders who already have shown a propensity to target children access to guns is too great a risk. It is irresponsible to simply wait until the next tragedy happens before we act.”
The Keep Kids Safe Act covers misdemeanor sex offenders against children and is modeled after the firearms ban that applies to those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence crimes. In addition to making it illegal under federal law for someone convicted of a misdemeanor sex crime against a minor to transfer, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition, it would also be a crime for anyone to provide such an offender with firearms or ammunition. The legislation is supported by Everytown for Gun Safety, the Violence Policy Center, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence united with the Million Mom March.
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