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House to vote this week on banning private gun sales as we know it

Used guns for sale. (Julian-G. Albert/Flickr)
February 11, 2019

A new bill restricting private gun sales is expected to move to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this week for a vote.

The bill, H.R. 8, was introduced by Democrats and marks the eighth anniversary of Gabby Giffords’ 2011 attack, Breitbart News reported.

H.R. 8 plans to stop Americans from conducting private gun sales as they have been since 1791. Instead, they will be required to conduct background checks on prospective buyers before they can sell their own property.

Since Giffords’ attacker passed a background check to acquire the gun he used on her, a law like H.R. 8 would have been useless in preventing her attack, according to critics of the bill. The bill wouldn’t have prevented mass shootings for the same reason — almost all the mass shooters get their guns after passing a background check.

The House Judiciary Panel is expected to send the bill to the floor for a vote on Feb. 13.

Democrat Rep. Jerry Nadler, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said, “We will stop the epidemic of gun violence in this country,” according to Role Call. Rep. Mike Thompson and Rep. Pete King have been trying to get a bill requiring background checks on private sales since 2012.

Both sides of the issue were present for a gun violence meeting last Wednesday at the House of Representatives. A meeting such as this has not happened during a Republican-controlled House, but now that Democrats are controlling it, the first meeting in eight years materialized.

Advocates for Youth in March for Our Lives, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Everytown for Gun Safety were present at the meeting.

Andrea Chamblee, whose husband was killed last summer in a “targeted attack” on his newspaper, the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., was also in attendance, according to The Pacific Standard.

She said, “I’m here because I’m going to be looking for a response from our elected representatives.” Chamblee supports a nationwide ban on all “assault rifles” and background checks on all private gun purchases.

Representative Henry Johnson of Georgia said, “Because background checks are not required for sales by unlicensed gun dealers, guns end up in the hands of dangerous people. The failure of Congress to pass universal background check legislation has eroded our sense of safety on the streets, in our schools, and even in our places of worship.”

May Conning, a 17-year-old senior at Walter Johnson High School in Rockville, Maryland, said, “If this passes, I will feel a lot safer.”

Republican Rep. Doug Collins said, “I appreciate the efforts of those who want H.R. 8 and many who have signed on, but similar gun control measures would not have prevented Columbine, San Bernardino, Charleston, or other tragedies. You go to the Bureau of Prisons, when they put out their statistics, most criminals—as you well know—do not get their guns from legal sources.”