House Democrats Push Forward On Universal Gun Background Checks

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Rep. Gabby Giffords introduced new legislation that would expand background checks on gun sales.
Posted at 7:11 PM, Jan 08, 2019

Democratic congressional leaders are taking action on gun reform, unveiling a universal gun background check bill Tuesday. 

"We say 'enough is enough' by finally bringing common-sense bipartisan background check legislation to the floor of the House," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. 

The legislation, crafted by Rep. Mike Thompson, would expand background check requirements to almost all firearm sales, including online and gun show transactions. There are some exceptions for law enforcement members and private family sales. 

Current federal regulations only require the checks for sales from licensed dealers, and some states add their own stipulations. 

Also on hand to present the bill was former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords. The bill's introduction falls on the eighth anniversary of the fatal Tuscon, Arizona, shooting that seriously wounded the congresswoman. 

"Now is the time to come together, be responsible. Democrats, Republicans, everyone. We must never stop fighting. Fight, fight, fight! Be bold. Be courageous. The nation's counting on you," Giffords said.

Recent mass shootings have pushed gun control into the national spotlight, prompting some state and federal responses. 

For example, Ohio has moved to strengthen its gun background check laws and California raised the legal gun purchase age. 

And last month, the Trump administration issued a ban on bump stocks, devices that allow semiautomatic weapons to fire faster. 

But gun rights advocates say legislative solutions don't effectively tackle the core issue of violent crime. 

The bipartisan proposal is backed by some House Republicans, but it appears to be more of a symbolic move. It's not likely to advance in the Republican-controlled Senate

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN