Jonathan Ernst / REUTERS
On Wednesday, the House passed the largest gun control measure in more than two decades when it approved the first of two bills aimed at strengthening the federal system of background checks on firearms. 39, purchase of firearms. The bill will probably stop in the House, however – the Senate will probably not take the measure and, even if it does, the Speaker probably will not sign it.
The vote on the first bill entitled "2019 Act on Bipartite Background Checks" was widely adopted according to party lines 240 to 190 with the Democrats who control the cheers of the House while they were carrying the bill through the finish line.
A second bill increases the number of days a firearms dealer must wait for the completion of the federal background checks. Currently, the waiting time is three working days. The bill, which should be considered on Thursday, would extend it to 10 working days.
Democrats in the House hope that the swift passage of these bills will prompt the Senate to act. The National Rifle Association opposes the bill and faces major headwinds in the Republican-controlled Senate. In the unlikely event that the Senate would have approved the measure, it would still face the strong possibility of President Trump's veto.
As its name suggests, the first bill garnered modest support from the GOP, even going as far as attracting five Republican co-sponsors. In the end, only eight Republicans crossed the lines of the parties to support the bill.
Legislation requires to check the track record of all firearm sales, including private firearm purchases, whether online or at exhibitions. ;fire arms. Under current legislation, only licensed firearms dealers are required to carry out a background check of anyone seeking to procure a firearm.
There are exceptions.
Background checks do not apply to transfers between close relatives. A firearm may also be loaned to someone who uses it on a firing range or for hunting and trapping purposes, unless there is reason to believe that the firearm may be used. weapon will be used in a crime. Or, federal or state law prohibits the person who receives the weapon from possessing it.
A temporary transfer of a firearm may also take place in situations where "it is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm".
At a press conference ahead of its adoption, the representative of the sponsor of the bill, Mike Thompson, of D-Calif., Called it "historic time," adding that a thorough background check would help "save lives". He also pointed out the difficulty of obtaining a gun control vote over the past eight years, the chamber was controlled by a Republican majority.
"We have not been able to hold a single hearing or a single vote in the House at the last majority – it's a new day," Thompson said.
Gabby Giffords, a former congressman turned gun control attorney, nearly died from injuries sustained when an armed gunman opened fire at a constituent meeting in Tucson, Arizona in 2011 .
She said that stopping armed violence takes "courage".
"I had a lot of courage when my life was at stake. The time has come to get together, be responsible. Democrats, Republicans and everyone," Giffords said.
Critics of the bill, including many Republicans, say the law on background checks would have done nothing to stop the recent large-scale shootings, including the one in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and teachers were killed in a high school. They also argue that if the law were passed, it would prevent law-abiding citizens from having access to a firearm.
Representative Steve Scalise, R-La., Whip of the House, is a prominent opponent of the background bills. He was seriously injured during a shootout at a baseball training session at the Virginia Congress in 2017. He appeared in a video tweeted by the NRA Wednesday before the vote.
"I am proud to be working with the NRA to oppose the gun control bills that she submits to Capitol – HR 8 and HR 1112," said Scalise, referring to the official names of the bipartisan background checking law and to close the "Charleston loophole."
"These two bills will strongly impinge on law-abiding citizens' right to buy and share their own weapons," he said.
SR 1112, sponsored by the majority whip in the House, James Clyburn, D-S.C., Would give the FBI more time to conduct a background check.
Supporters say that because of the flaws of the current system, a white supremacist in 2015 was able to buy a firearm and kill nine worshipers in Charleston despite a drug arrest that should have happened. prevent getting his weapon. Under current law, a gun dealer can transfer firearms if he or she has not received a notice within three business days.
Opinion polls reveal that a large majority of US auditors' support histories are verified by gun buyers.
A survey conducted by Quinnipiac last month found that 92% of respondents were in favor of background checks on all buyers.
The survey found strong support, even considering the political affiliation of respondents: 95% of Democrats, 94% of independents and 89% of Republicans were in favor of background checks.