On Thursday, the House of Representatives approved two new gun control bills as Democrats look to take advantage of their majority in the house.
The first legislation passed in the Democratic-led House 227-203, and would close a loophole in gun laws by expanding background checks to those buying firearms over the internet and through certain private purchases. Only eight Republicans joined with the Democrats in backing the bill.
The second legislation passed 219-210 with only two Republicans backing it.The new bill would give officials 10 days for federal background checks to be finished before a gun sale can be licensed. Currently, similar sales can continue if the government cannot complete the background checks of gun buyers within three days.
The new bills are part of a concerted effort by Democrats to make progress on several major legislative priorities while they hold majorities in both chambers of Congress. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Thursday that the Republican “legislative graveyard is over” and that the new bill concerning background checks on all firearm sales will continue to a vote in the Senate.
“A vote is what we need,” Schumer said, and they will find out which side Republicans are on.
“Maybe we’ll get the votes,” he said. “And if we don’t, we’ll come together as a caucus and figure it out how we are going to get this done. But we have to get it done.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who has worked on gun legislation with Schumer since the 1990s, said, “The gun violence crisis in America is a challenge to the conscience of our country – one that demands that we act,” Pelosi said during the chamber debate on the bills Wednesday. “These solutions will save lives.”