Gun violence has been an epidemic in America for years now and mass school shootings have been on the rise since at least 2000. People have been begging Congress to do something for the longest time, only to hear their pleas fall on deaf ears, especially those who have lost loved ones in totally preventable shooting incidents.
Now, finally, on Wednesday, the House passed a bipartisan bill to boost gun background checks, starting the most significant push Congress has taken to increase firearm regulations in years.
The approved bill would require background checks for all firearm sales, including transactions on the internet and at gun shows. It is unlikely to pass the Senate, but the House also plans to pass another measure this week that would extend the background check review period to 10 days from three days.
According to CNBC:
‘Despite some GOP support for the proposals, many Republicans have decried the Democratic push to strengthen gun control laws. Trump has pledged to veto both plans. The White House argues the bills would put an unnecessary burden on gun owners.’
Public opinion though has moved in favor of tighter gun laws in recent years due to the increase in high-profile shootings. Last February, 17 students and staff members were gunned down at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in a tragic mass shooting.
According to a Gallup Survey:
‘In March 2018, 92 percent of Americans said they favor background checks for all gun sales.’
According to USA Today:
‘Still, gun-control advocates believe momentum is on their side. They say voters in the midterm elections replaced House members who had perfect ratings from the National Rifle Association with lawmakers who support expanding gun-control laws. And they argue that trend will continue.’
Patricia Maisch, who was removed from the Senate spectators’ gallery in 2013 for yelling “Shame on you!” after senators failed to pass similar legislation, said:
‘If we can’t change their minds about how to prevent gun violence, then we’ll change their titles.’
Maisch helped take down the shooter during the 2011 Tucson, Arizona, shooting that killed six people and injured 13 others, including former Rep. Gabrielle “Gabby” Giffords.
House Democrats still hope that the swift passage of companion bills will put pressure on the Senate to act. The National Rifle Association opposes the bill. According to NPR:
‘In the unlikely event the Senate approves the measure, it would still face the strong possibility of a veto by President Trump.’
Republicans were able to amend Wednesday’s bill to require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement be notified if someone fails a background check because he’s in the country illegally.
Democrats called it a “red herring” issue as Republicans were trying to mix up the immigration issue with the gun issue. USA Today reported:
‘If the person’s illegal status is in the background check system, they said, the government is already aware of it.’
According to NPR:
‘The legislation mandates background checks be performed on all gun sales, including firearm purchases made privately, whether it be online or at gun shows. Under current law, only licensed gun dealers are required to conduct a background check for someone seeking to obtain a gun.’
Here’s what Twitter had to say:
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube