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U.S. House Passes 2 New Gun Control Measures

Washington, DC – The U.S. House passed two new gun control measures on Thursday, to include requiring background checks for anyone seeking to purchase a firearm.

The House voted largely along party lines, approving the expansion of background checks with a vote of 227-203 and extending the amount of time the federal government has to vet those flagged by the instant check system with a vote of 219 to 210, The New York Times reported.

“These two pieces of legislation will go a long way in improving gun violence,” Rep. Mike Thompson (D-California), who introduced the universal background legislation, told ABC News shortly before the bill passed on Thursday.

The measure would close the so-called “Charleston loophole” by extending the waiting period for background checks on gun purchases from three days to 20, according to NPR.

The loophole phrase was coined after Charleston church mass shooter Dylann Roof managed to buy a gun in 2015 because the three-day limit on his background check had expired.

“This law would have prevented [Roof] from getting a gun,” said Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), according to ABC News.

“Let’s not add more names to this registry of grief,” Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) said regarding the list of mass shootings that have occurred in recent years, according to The New York Times. “Let’s pass these bills and reduce gun violence the right way.”

Critics argued the universal background checks place additional unfair burdens on law-abiding citizens, ABC News reported.

“Universal background checks on guns are only meant to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals,” Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) said of the measure.

“Is it fair to surround yourself with armed guards, with Capitol police who have guns, with personnel details, bodyguards and ask the people to pay for it while you make it harder for those same people to protect themselves?” asked Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky). “I don’t think that’s fair.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many of her fellow Democrats dressed in orange in anticipation of Thursday’s vote, according to The New York Post.

They erupted into applause after the bills passed.

But the gun control measure may be shut down in the 50-50 Senate, where Democrats would need to win the support of 10 Republicans in order for it to pass, The New York Times reported.

According to the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been inundated with more background checks than ever before due to the surge in gun sales that have taken placed over the past year, The New York Post reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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