The House Judiciary Committee passed a measure Wednesday that would require background checks for all gun sales and most gun transfers within the United States, the most significant gun-control legislation to advance this far in Congress in years.
The committee spent more than nine hours debating the bill before voting 21 to 14 to advance it Wednesday night. Next, it will face a vote on the House floor. The measure was among the first actions taken by the newly elected Democratic majority, which pledged to make gun control a top issue. The bill also has the support of at least five Republicans, a rare feat given the issue often has cleaved along party lines.
The committee also voted 23 to 15 to advance a bill that would close a loophole in the current background-check law that allows a gun purchase if a check is not completed in three days, Washington Post reports.
The measure, which underwent nine hours of deliberation in the committee before being passed by a 21-14 vote, would require federal background checks for private gun purchases in the U.S.
“The Department of Justice and the FBI will have primary responsibility for enforcing the requirements that we hope will be enacted into law consistent with the values of the overwhelming majority of the American people,” ~ Democrat Hakeem Jeffries
— Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) February 14, 2019
A national gun registry, afforded by the powers authorized to the Attorney General and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in order to track recorded owners of a gun.
“That sounds to me like a registry is a possibility if you have an Attorney General that wants one,” said Republican Rep. Richard Hudson.
Democrat Sen. Cedric Richmond, who is on the House Judiciary Committee, said he would like to see a federal gun registry.
“I would not mind seeing a gun registry. I really wouldn’t. I think I filed that bill when I was in the Louisiana legislature. I think I filed a registry. I think I filed ballistic fingerprints and assault weapons ban. So, I’m at the other end of the spectrum. I don’t mind,” he said.
The Democrats don't want to end at "universal" background checks. Rep. @GReschenthaler (R-PA) is right – #HR8 will lead to a national gun registry, which always leads to confiscation. NRA members and gun owners see through their sneaky agenda. @AWRHawkins https://t.co/PQekbNE3Ge
— NRA (@NRA) February 14, 2019
Members also introduced a separate bill that would prohibit high-capacity gun magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA) is a United States federal lawthat revised many provisions of the Gun Control Act of 1968. As such, FOPA makes it illegal for the national government or any state in the country to keep any sort of database or registry that ties firearms directly to their owner.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.