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house Bill H.R. 8

Should Gun Sellers Have to Wait for a Completed Background Check to Transfer a Firearm?

Argument in favor

If a background check is a required step in the process for an unlicensed buyer, there shouldn’t be an exception that allows the buyer to take possession of the gun when a background check takes more than three business days.

Shirley's Opinion
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02/24/2019
It's not unreasonable to want information re the criminal history of the person purchasing a weapon. When did common sense lose its potency?
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RjGoodman's Opinion
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02/27/2019
Well, yes! What good is a background check if you don’t wait for the results?
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Robert 's Opinion
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02/27/2019
Just as I have to wait until the light turns from red to green before I go forward, gun dealers need to wait for the results of a background check before they can sell/transfer a firearm.
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Argument opposed

It shouldn’t take more than three business days to complete a background check on an unlicensed prospective gun buyer, and if it does the business owner should be able to transfer the gun at their discretion.

Russ's Opinion
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02/24/2019
Just another way for the left to track firearms for their confiscation and bringing socialism, or worse to the U.S. The recent shooting in northern Illinois proves these checks do NOT work!
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Mark's Opinion
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02/27/2019
Thank you in advance for your strong opposition to H.R.8 The bill is a wolf in sheep‘s clothing. This bill would allow for AN UNLIMITED PERIOD OF TIME TO PERFORM A BACKGROUND CHECK AND THEREFORE AN UNLIMITED PERIOD OF TIME TO DENY A PURCHASE! Legitimate lawful purchases would easily be denied in this bill. Denied by bureaucrats simply strangling the resources required to perform the background checks. The resulting backlog of background checks would effectively eliminate the ability to purchase a firearm. This bill is clearly unconstitutional and in direct violation of our 2nd Amendment rights.
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ProudAmerican's Opinion
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02/27/2019
This would literally accomplish nothing except make it a little more difficult for Americans to peacefully own guns.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed February 27th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 240 Yea / 190 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 8th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 8?

This bill would amend the federal criminal code to prohibit a licensed gun dealer from transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person before a background check has been completed. Under current law, licensed gun dealers may allow firearms to be transferred to an unlicensed person if a background check remains incomplete three business days after it was submitted.

The bill would provide a number of exemptions to the background check requirement, including gifts to family members and transfers for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.

Impact

Unlicensed gun buyers and licensed gun dealers; people and entities administering background checks.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 8

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to require background checks on all firearm sales:

“Since the inception of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force after the shooting at Sandy Hook, we have been working across the aisle to help prevent gun violence. Today we take a decisive step forward to help save lives right away. As a gun owner, hunter and supporter of the Second Amendment, I am honored to join with Democratic and Republican colleagues to introduce my universal background checks bill that will help keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. From the public polling to the ballot box, the American people have spoken up and demanded action to help end the tragedy of gun violence that far too many in our country face every day. We will continue our fight and we will deliver.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Pete King (R-NY) added:

"There is no single law that can put an end to mass shootings or gun violence, but there are certainly proactive steps we can take to keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill. When background checks are used, they keep guns out of the hands of people we all agree shouldn’t have guns. As government officials it is our responsibility to protect our citizens, and when it comes to gun violence we must do more. The overwhelming majority of Americans want to see action, and we owe it to the victims and their families to prevent such tragedies from occurring again.”

In the previous Congress, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) introduced this legislation to close the procedural loophole that allowed the Charleston shooter to murder nine people in June 2015:

“The Background Check Completion Act will guarantee that no gun is sold by a licensed dealer until a background check is completed. Tragically, the Charleston shooter was allowed to purchase a gun even though the FBI had not completed his background check. This should never be acceptable. My bill is a commonsense fix to our nation’s gun laws, and I call on my colleagues in Congress to move it immediately towards passage.”

Opponents of this legislation have pointed out that under current law even if the unlicensed buyer takes possession of the gun after three days, the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to resolve the background check for up to 90 days. If it turns out that the buyer should’ve been prohibited by the background check and the gun was transferred, the ATF is notified and steps are taken to confiscate the weapon and potentially prosecute the buyer.

In the current Congress, this bill has the support of 232 bipartisan cosponsors, including 227 Democrats and five Republicans. The House Judiciary Committee passed this bill on a 23-15 vote that was mostly along party-lines. 

In the previous Congress, this bill had 103 cosponsors in the House, all of whom were Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / K_E_N)

AKA

Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019

Official Title

To require a background check for every firearm sale.

    It's not unreasonable to want information re the criminal history of the person purchasing a weapon. When did common sense lose its potency?
    Like (252)
    Follow
    Share
    Just another way for the left to track firearms for their confiscation and bringing socialism, or worse to the U.S. The recent shooting in northern Illinois proves these checks do NOT work!
    Like (112)
    Follow
    Share
    Well, yes! What good is a background check if you don’t wait for the results?
    Like (167)
    Follow
    Share
    Just as I have to wait until the light turns from red to green before I go forward, gun dealers need to wait for the results of a background check before they can sell/transfer a firearm.
    Like (144)
    Follow
    Share
    Thank you in advance for your strong opposition to H.R.8 The bill is a wolf in sheep‘s clothing. This bill would allow for AN UNLIMITED PERIOD OF TIME TO PERFORM A BACKGROUND CHECK AND THEREFORE AN UNLIMITED PERIOD OF TIME TO DENY A PURCHASE! Legitimate lawful purchases would easily be denied in this bill. Denied by bureaucrats simply strangling the resources required to perform the background checks. The resulting backlog of background checks would effectively eliminate the ability to purchase a firearm. This bill is clearly unconstitutional and in direct violation of our 2nd Amendment rights.
    Like (78)
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    We cannot let guns get into the hands of dangerous terrorists, criminals, and domestic abusers. These guns should only be obtained by law enforcement, hunters, and law abiding citizens.
    Like (58)
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    If you can’t pass a background check then you shouldn’t be allowed to purchase a firearm. The Brady Bill was created after Reagan was shot, all this Bill is doing is closing the loophole. The fact that dealers can sell a firearm to you after 3 days without a background check is absurd and completely defeats the purpose of the Brady Bill
    Like (57)
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    It only makes sense to wait for a background check to be complete. So obvious.
    Like (46)
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    This would literally accomplish nothing except make it a little more difficult for Americans to peacefully own guns.
    Like (44)
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    Hi, if there is nothing wrong with the person trying to buy a gun, then waiting to do a background check wouldn’t hurt. Please vote to make a law for the person selling a gun to have to wait for the background check. Thanks, Bob
    Like (38)
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    This is common sense legislation. Let’s get the country out of the NRA grip and start protecting our citizens. I see a lot of gun people quoting “shall not be infringed.” How about this quote from the very beginning of second amendment: “A well regulated militia...”. Last I looked, a lone person at a gun show is not a militia, and the gun laws in the US right now are certainly not well regulated.
    Like (32)
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    One safety step that would keep our country safe.
    Like (30)
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    Absolutely not, and stop trying to find backdoor means to infringe on our 2nd amendment, all of them actually. Stay away from OUR Constitution!!!
    Like (30)
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    Hmmmm..... Should we allow Engineers and Architects to sign off on designs before they receive their professional license? Should we hand out diplomas and degrees before someone graduates? Should we release patients from a mental hospital before they have been given proper clearance for discharge? Of course the transfer of firearms should be held until the background check has been performed and cleared.
    Like (27)
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    The reason for background checks is to determine past problems. Three days are too short. How about 10 days--- for each separate purchase.
    Like (26)
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    Background checks are the least that we can do to try and keep firearms "legally" away from the mentally disturbed and known felons.
    Like (24)
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    I don’t see any harm in providing accurate information and checking the information for accuracy before guns are handed over to a purchaser. And if you can’t wait for a few days before you get your hands on the gun you are purchasing, perhaps you should have to adjust your reasoning and think about our country and people’s safety. You may not have any nefarious thoughts but someone else might.
    Like (21)
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    To the best of my knowledge most mass shootings occured with legally obtained firearms. So how would this bill benefit the public and why do we need another layer of bureaucracy.
    Like (21)
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    What’s the point of a background check if you just hand them the gun after. Checking to see if a gun buyer is a felon is not an unreasonable ask
    Like (19)
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    A dishonest future administration could conceivably hold up all background checks thereby stopping all gun sales. No enumerated right should be at the mercy of government functionaries, we would not allow it for free speech or freedom of worship why would we allow despots to deny us the right to self defense.
    Like (19)
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