Share

House Approves First Major Gun Control Legislation Considered by Congress in 25 Years

Share

The Democrat-controlled House approved a measure on Wednesday requiring federal background checks for all firearms sales and transfers, the first major gun control legislation considered by Congress in nearly 25 years.

Democrats called the 240-190 vote a major step to end the gun lobby’s grip on Washington and begin to address an epidemic of gun violence, including 17 people who were killed at a Florida high school last year.

The bill is the first of two that Democrats are bringing to the House floor this week as part of an effort to tighten gun laws following eight years of Republican control. The other bill would extend the review period for background checks from three to 10 days.

Both bills face dim prospects in the Republican-controlled Senate and veto threats from President Donald Trump, who both said they would impose unreasonable requirements on gun owners.

The White House said in a veto message that the background-checks bill could block someone from borrowing a firearm for self-defense or allowing a neighbor to take care of a gun while traveling.

Trending:
Expecting Legal Trouble? Biden Hires Top-Rated White-Collar Crime Lawyer Ahead of Possible 2022 Red Wave

Democrats called those arguments misleading and said gun owners have a responsibility to ensure firearms are properly handled. The bill includes exceptions allowing temporary transfers to prevent imminent harm or for use at a target range.

The long-delayed bill would merely close loopholes to ensure that background checks are extended to private and online sales that often go undetected, Democrats said.

“People who are felons or are dangerously mentally ill shouldn’t have guns,” regardless of whether they buy them from a federally licensed dealer or their next-door neighbor, said Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., a key sponsor who has pushed for expanded background checks since the 2012 killing of 20 elementary school students in Newtown, Connecticut.

“For six-and-a-half years, we had no cooperation from the past majority” in the House, Thompson said. “We couldn’t get a hearing on the bill. We couldn’t get a vote. Today, we’re here to tell you it’s a new day. With this (Democratic) majority, we have made a commitment to address the issue of gun violence.”

Do you think this bill is good for society?

To demonstrate their support for the bill, Thompson and other Democrats wore orange ties, while others wore orange scarves, the color used by the movement against gun violence.

Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., said she hopes the symbolism will soon become obsolete.

“I long for the day when orange scarves are a fashion statement, not a cry for help,” said Dean, who was wearing a bright orange scarf.

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was gravely wounded in a 2017 shooting at a congressional baseball practice, said stricter background checks would not have prevented his shooting or other tragedies.

“What it would do is make criminals out of law-abiding citizens,” Scalise said. “If you go hunting with a friend and your friend wants to borrow your rifle, you better bring your attorney with you because depending on what you do with that gun you may be a felon if you loan it to him.”

Related:
Expecting Legal Trouble? Biden Hires Top-Rated White-Collar Crime Lawyer Ahead of Possible 2022 Red Wave

Democrats said the bill includes exceptions allowing temporary transfers for anyone who feels threatened by a domestic partner or another person. The bill also allows a gun owner to loan their weapon for use at a target range.

The bill includes a Republican amendment requiring that gun sellers notify Immigration and Customs Enforcement when an illegal immigrant tries to buy a gun. Twenty-six Democrats joined with Republicans to support the amendment, offered by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga.

Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, opposed the overall bill, saying it “foolishly presumes criminals who flout existing laws will suddenly submit themselves to background checks.”

Democrats and other bill supporters are “delusional” if they think “a criminal trading cocaine to another criminal for a firearm will reconsider due to” the background checks bill, Collins said.

But Kris Brown, president of Brady, a gun control group formerly known as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the bill will save lives.

Brown called the House vote “a monumental step forward for gun violence prevention in our country” and hailed Thompson and other lawmakers who pushed for the measure.

“On to the Senate!” she said.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation