House Passes Bill Requiring Background Checks on Prospective Gun Owners

Students protest for gun control measures following a mass shooting

Lorie Shaull via Wikimedia Commons

Students protest for gun control measures following a mass shooting

On February 27, the House of Representatives passed the first of two new gun control bills with a 240-190 vote. These two bills will broaden the federal background check system for firearm purchases.

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act requires all prospective gun owners to undergo background checks before purchasing a weapon.  This bill also effectively closes a loophole that allowed buyers to purchase weapons at gun shows and online without background checks.  Since taking control of the House in November, the Democrats have considered passing this bill a mandatory action.

This legislation has made history in being the first gun control bill to pass in the House of Representatives since 1994.  The bill will soon be delivered to the Senate, where it will face the daunting task of passing in a Republican-majority chamber.

“This bill will help keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them in the first place,” said Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO 1st District), a cosponsor of the bill.  “And it’s just the first in a long series of gun safety measures we hope to get passed this year.”

The Florida Chamber of Commerce is another board on the state level that has made several strides to prevent future mass shootings.  The chamber recently launched the Institute for a Safer Florida, a group designed to sheds light on the interaction between mental health, gun control, and public safety.  The coalition came about after recent tragedies, such as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Fort Lauderdale airport mass shootings.

Constituents are hopeful that these two gun reform initiatives will bring reassurance for a safer future nationwide, especially for victims of mass shootings and their families.

 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi explained, “I hope that all of us will have the courage to save lives, remembering no one’s political survival here is more important than the survival of the American people, especially our children.”


Sources: New York Times, National Review, NPR, NBC, Cleveland News, ABC News, Institute for a Safer Florida,

Photo Source: Lorie Shaull via Wikimedia Commons