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House Democrats plan new background check bill for all gun purchases, transfers

Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Greg Walden (R-OR), John T. Doolittle, (R-CA), and Wally Herger (R-CA) testify before the House Natural Resources Committee Tuesday, July 31, 2007 in Washington DC. The House Natural Resources Committee met in July to discuss whether Vice President Dick Cheney had improperly interfered in the battle over Klamath River water. (Chuck Kennedy/TNS)
December 20, 2018

House Democrat Rep. Mike Thompson from California will soon bring forth a bill that will mandate universal background checks for every gun purchase and all transfers conducted in the U.S.

The bill will be introduced in January after the Democrats are sworn in and take the majority of the House, The Hill reported.

Any gun control bill will have to overcome the hurdle of the Senate. While the Republicans have Senate control, Thompson remains hopeful that the bill will still get some Republican support.

In the past, however, Thompson has not had much luck getting his bills passed in the Republican-majority House.

Thompson, of course, has support from fellow Democrat, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to Politico. He is also counting on support from Republican Rep. Pete King, who has co-sponsored gun control laws in the past.

“It will be strong legislation to expand background checks, and I will have a very respectful show of [co-sponsors]. I think you will see it happen in the first 100 days,” Thompson said.

Pelosi said, “The new Democratic majority will act boldly and decisively to pass commonsense, life-saving background checks that are overwhelmingly supported by the American people.”

Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler, who will be taking over as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in January, said, “It’s very important to us; it’s one of our top priorities. We told the American voters that we do mean to do this, and we do mean to do it.”

Under the current laws, background checks must be conducted on all gun purchases by the retailer selling the firearms.

The new bill would permit some minor exceptions to the rule with guns transferred between family members, or for those who only require a provisional gun for sport.

Some states do want background checks even through private sales, while in other states it is only legal for private sales to be conducted by those who already are in possession of a license or a permit.

“The American people want this. They’re way ahead of the Congress; they’re way ahead of the White House,” Thompson said.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the topic as some think a bill, such as the one Thompson proposes will thwart random mass shootings.

Opponents argue it won’t do a thing to stop these types of shootings, citing that most of the mass shootings have been carried out by individuals who previously had passed background checks.