HR 8 Bipartisan Background Checks of 2019 Passes House

Thomas DiGennaro | @tom.digennaro

HR 8, a bill greatly expanding federal background checks coasted through a Democrat-controlled house the morning of February 27th, 2019. The bill also had eight Republican signatures on it, five of whom were co-sponsors. Democrats and gun control advocates describe this as a major victory and “the most significant gun control measure in two decades”.

It is unlikely that the bill will pass through the Senate. If the unlikely occurs, President Trump has publicly expressed that a veto would come from his office. 

What Does HR 8 Change?

Currently, federal law only requires licensed firearm dealers to conduct federal background checks. HR 8 would mandate a passed background check for any and all firearm sales or transfers. This would include gifting of firearms between family and friends, as well as privately conducted sales. This extends to online purchases and gun shows.

The Opposition

Opposition to HR 8 views these expanded background checks as unnecessary paperwork to hinder with law-abiding citizens ability to purchase a firearm. Gun rights advocates also say that such legislation would be ineffective in curtailing criminals from purchasing firearms.

Immigration Amendment

HR 8 also has an immigration amendment to it. If an illegal immigrant attempts to purchase a firearm, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System must alert immigration authorities. Some of the Republicans who supported the bill added this amendment, which 26 Democrats surprisingly supported.

HR 1112

HR 1112 is expected to hit the House floor Thursday the 29th. This legislation extends the period of allotment for a background check from three days to ten. Right now, regardless of the status of the background check, the transaction can be made after 72 hours.

Take Action

Firearms Policy Coalition has a Take Action link for contacting legislators to oppose HR 8 and HR 1112. Gun Owners of Americ has a link to contact your representatives as well. Obviously, both groups express their opposition to these bills.


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