The House of Representatives has passed gun control legislation focused on expanding background checks, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer vowed would be brought to a vote in the upper chamber.
The legislation was passed as two separate bills, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act which passed 227-203 and the Enhanced Background Checks Act which passed 219-210.
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act, led by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), would expand background check requirements on those seeking to purchase or transfer firearms between private parties.
Currently, unlicensed arms dealers are not required to hold a background check, which is not the case for licensed gun sellers. If passed, the new legislation would have “a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer” take possession of the firearm as the background check went through.
The Enhanced Background Checks Act is backed by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), the No. 3 House Democrat.
The bill would close the “Charleston loophole,” a reference to how Dylann Roof was able to obtain his firearms for the 2015 mass shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
The loophole allows gun sales to proceed without a background check if three days have passed.
Clyburn, whose district includes where the mass shooting took place, has ardently defended the legislation, claiming that “this law would have prevented that gentleman from getting a gun.”
For his part, Schumer (D-NY) has vowed to take the legislation up in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
“In the past, when they sent it over to us last time, it went into [fomer Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard. The legislative graveyard is over.
“H.R. 8 will be on the floor of the Senate, and we will see where everybody stands. No more hopes and prayers, thoughts and prayers. A vote is what we need, a vote, not thoughts and prayers,” he said, referencing the well wishes many offer in response to mass shootings.
With Post wires