On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to approve two bills that would implement strict new gun control measures on the entire country, expanding the background check process and cracking down on private gun sales, as reported by ABC News.
The first bill, H.R. 8, is the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, introduced by Congressman Mike Thompson (D-Calif.). The bill would force all commercial gun sales to undergo background checks, and would criminalize all unlicensed gun sales. Thompson had introduced the same bill back in 2019 but failed to gain enough support to pass it.
The second bill was introduced by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), and would expand the background check waiting period from three days to ten, with an added caveat that reviewers who conduct such background checks can request even more time if they are “unsatisfied” with their initial findings. Clyburn claims that this bill would close the so-called “Charleston loophole,” which allowed mass shooter Dylann Roof to buy a gun that he used to carry out a deadly shooting at a church in Charleston in 2015, although Clyburn provided no specifics as to how this would work.
“I get a little emotional when I think about the Charleston loophole,” Clyburn said, a term that has never been used until very recently. “Because there’s nothing more sacred in the lives of most people than their church.”
Thompson’s bill was supported by eight Republicans in the House of Representatives, while Clyburn’s bill passed along much narrower lines. The bills now head to the Senate, where several more Republicans may turn against their own voters and support the bills. Joe Biden voiced his support for both bills, using the same talking points he had used in the past to support gun control legislation, referring to the bills as “common-sense gun safety reforms.”