By Amy Cherry 2:03pm, April 17, 2013 - Updated 4:05pm, April 17, 2013
Mark Kelly, former astronaut and husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords testifies in support of background checks on private gun sales.Complete with testimony from former astronaut and husband to ex-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a measure that expands background checks to private gun sales clears a Senate committee and is up for a vote by the full Senate Thursday.
WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.
People have a right to own a gun, but Mark Kelly says criminals and people who are dangerously mentally ill don't deserve that right.
"The most common sense thing we can do is to make sure that people get a background check before they buy a gun. It works at the gun store," Kelly says.
Kelly says 1.7 million criminals have been denied guns at federally licensed gun dealers.
This bill covers private gun sales including those at gun shows and on the Internet.
"Why do we give them another option to go to down the street to the gun show or go on the Internet? How many crimes would have been prevented if we had the gun show loophole closed since 1999? I bet there would be thousands," says Kelly.
Kelly's wife Gabby Giffords still has trouble walking and suffers from partial blindness from a 2011 shooting in Tuscon that left six people dead. But it's unclear whether this bill would have prevented that shooter from getting a gun.
"He passed a background check. With a better background check system, he would have failed," Kelly says.
The 9-12 Patriots rallied against the background checks bill, calling the measure a slippery slope that prevents people from protecting themselves. Critics also say the measure won't stop criminals from selling guns to fellow criminals.
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