This Wednesday, The Democratic-controlled House passed a bill which requires universal background checks for all sales and transfers of guns. The move is considered to be the first major gun bill to be considered by Congress in 25 years.
Democrats are hailing the event as a major step in the fight for more sensible gun laws, which comes in the wake of multiple high-profile mass shootings in the U.S. The bill passed in a 240-190 vote.
Democrats plan to bring a second bill to the House floor which would extend the review period for background checks from 3 days to 1o days.
The bill’s future faces uncertain prospects in the Republican-controlled Senate, not to mention a potential veto by President Trump. According to the Star Tribune, the White House’s argument against the bill is that it could “block someone from borrowing a firearm for self-defense or allowing a neighbor to take care of a gun while traveling.”
“People who are felons or are dangerously mentally ill shouldn’t have guns,” said Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), a key sponsor of the bill, adding that for six-and-a-half years, Democrats “couldn’t get a hearing on the bill.”
“We couldn’t get a vote,” he continued. “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.”
From the Star Tribune:
Democrats said the bill includes exceptions allowing temporary transfers for anyone who feels threatened by a domestic partner or other person. The bill also allows a gun owner to loan their weapon and 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.
The Thousand Oaks shooting, which took place on November 7, 2018 at a country music dance bar in California, was the 307th shooting in the U.S. last year. It was also the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. since 17 students and teachers were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Florida a few months before. Both weapons used by each of the shooters were obtained legally.
Featured image via Flickr