In a sign of the significance of the Democratic victory in the midterms and a fulfillment of a key campaign promise by the party, the House is set this week to pass a bill that requires federal background checks on all gun sales, including private transactions, Politico reported on Monday.
House Democrats also will vote to extend the deadline for federal background checks from three business days to as many as 20, legislation designed to close a loophole which allowed white supremacist Dylann Roof, who shot to death nine blacks at a church in Charleston in 2015, to purchase a gun despite pending felony drug charges against him.
The legislation comes as gun deaths in the U.S. have reached their highest level in nearly 40 years, according to CNN.
But in the most high-profile congressional vote on gun control in years, the bills are likely to run into a major roadblock in the GOP-controlled Senate, because both the National Rifle Association and President Donald Trump oppose them, Politico reported.
The NRA said the universal background checks bill “criminalizes the private transfer of firearms and targets law-abiding gun owners for persecution,” adding that it would be unenforceable without establishing a federal gun registration.
Regarding the other bill, GOP Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia said “The 20-day waiting period is excessive [and]… an onerous process that unduly burdens potential firearms purchasers.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi countered by saying, “Too many families in too many places have endured the heartbreak of gun violence — and for far too long, the Congress has failed to take action to end this senseless pain. “This long-overdue bill respects the will of the American people.”
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