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.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
- The house has not voted
Committee on the JudiciaryIntroducedJanuary 8th, 2019
- house Committees
What is House Bill H.R. 8?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 8
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.”
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 178 bipartisan cosponsors, including 173 Democrats and five Republicans. In the previous Congress, this bill had 103 cosponsors in the House, all of whom were Democrats.
- Sponsoring Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) Press Release (116th Congress)
- Sponsoring Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) Press Release (115th Congress)
- Business Insider (Previous Version)
- Fox 57 (Previous Version)
- Guns.com (Previous Version)
- U.S. LawShield (Previous Version)
- Hot Air (Opposed)
- Los Angeles Times (Op-Ed In Favor)
- New York Times
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