One day after passing its first gun control legislation in almost a decade, the House of Representatives voted 228-298 to pass another, H.R. 1112, which would affect how people buy guns from licensed gun dealers, on Thursday.
Titled the “Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019,” the bill was introduced by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and it claims to “strengthen the background check procedures to be followed before a Federal firearms licensee may transfer a firearm to a person who is not such a licensee.” Basically, where H.R. 8 aimed to increase the obstacles to private gun sales, this affects retail transactions.
Gun control advocates claim that the bill is an effort to close the so-called “Charleston loophole,” which is the gun-control term for the part of federal law that allows a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to sell to a buyer if the FBI takes longer than three days to do the background check. This is how Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof was able to buy a gun despite a previous arrest that should have prevented him from doing so.
Under the proposed legislation, the FBI would have 10 business days instead of three. Furthermore, after those 10 days, the legislation would require the prospective buyer to petition the Department of Justice, which then has another 10 days to make the determination.
If you’re already familiar with the process of buying a gun from an FFL, the proposal might raise an eyebrow or two for you. It did for House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., who pointed out that the new procedures could be used to create a never-ending, bureaucratic wild goose chase for prospective buyers because of the different time limits based on calendar and business days.
If you're familiar with the process of buying a gun from an FFL, that might raise an eyebrow.
— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) February 28, 2019
“Now, I’m not sure if HR 1112 was written this way out of incompetence or malice,” Collins remarked. “I’ll let the American people decide on that.”
Three Republicans voted for final passage of the bill: Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Peter King, R-N.Y. Seven Democrats voted against it. Like H.R. 8, the bill has little to no chance of getting a vote in the Senate, much less passing.