US House Passes Two Gun Control Bills

The US House of Representatives passed two gun control bills on Thursday (03/11/21). Democratic lawmakers claim the legislation would keep Americans safe, but gun owners only see the bill as a way to restrict freedoms and will do little to drive down gun crime.

According to NPR, the Democratic-controlled House passed a series of gun control measures that deal with background checks with the claim that they close loopholes in the system.

The first bill attempts to close the so-called “Gun Show loophole” by expanding background checks to those purchasing weapons over the internet, at gun shows, and through certain private transactions. Eight Republicans joined the Dems in approving the bill 227-203.

The second bill addresses what gun rights activists call the “Charleston Loophole.” Which they claim made it possible for Dylann Roof, to kill nine people at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., back in 2015. He purchased a handgun even though he should have been barred from purchasing one. The bill increases the time the government would have to complete a background check from three days to ten days. This bill passed 219-210 on more partition lines with only two Republicans backing it.

Of course Democrats claim the legislation will make the country safer, but many have their doubts.

The National Rifle Association denounced the House action on Thursday and argued Congress instead should be approving gun rights measures.

“These bills are a transparent attempt by gun control advocates in Congress to restrict the rights of law-abiding Americans under the guise of addressing the violent criminal culture in America,” Jason Ouimet, head of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a written statement.

The bills now face an uncertain future in the narrowly controlled Senate. Bipartisan gun control legislation could not muster the required 60 votes back in 2019 after youth-led activism called for stricter laws after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.