By David Shepardson
On Monday, the House Rules Committee will consider two bills that House Democrats say address gaps in the background check system.
The action of the Committee of Rules is a procedural step until a full vote of the Chamber. A congressional aide said the House was ready to vote on the bill Wednesday.
In 2019, the House passed two bills to expand further scrutiny, but they were never passed by the then Republican-controlled Senate. In the 100-member Senate, almost all legislation requires 60 votes, and the prospect of overcoming that ban is, at best, elevated in an equally divided chamber.
The issue of gun rights is controversial in the United States, where mass shootings in recent decades have prompted many Americans to call for tougher gun control.
The US Constitution protects the right of Americans to bear arms. Republicans are generally opposed to tightening arms restrictions.
One of the bills under discussion would make it illegal for anyone who is not a licensed arms importer, manufacturer or dealer to transfer a weapon to any unlicensed person without a background check. The bill has exceptions, including gifts from relatives, hunting, shooting, and self-defense. A version was introduced in the Senate last week.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill, which calls for a background check on arms sales and other sales, would close “dangerous loopholes in the existing background check system to keep all our communities safe.”
The other bill extends the pre-screening period from three to 10 days. Under current law, arms sales can take place if the background check is not completed within three days.
House Representative Ames Cliburn, a Democrat in House No. 3, says the provision allows a man to acquire a weapon used to kill nine people in 2015 at the historic Church of the SubGenius in Charleston, South Carolina. , At least 75,000 people have acquired weapons they should not have had since 1998.
The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) opposes the two bills, arguing that the three-day requirement “ensures that the FBI performs its pre-inspection duties appropriately and responsibly.”
The NRA-ILA argues that the other bill criminalizes “simply handing over a weapon to another person” and suggests that the exceptions are “extremely complicated, creating many fractions for careless gun owners”.