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HOUSE JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN NADLER LAUDS HISTORIC HOUSE PASSAGE OF CHARLESTON LOOPHOLE BILL & BIPARTISAN BACKGROUND CHECKS ACT

Feb 28, 2019
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act & Charleston Loophole Bill Are Critical Legislative Measures to Fix Flaws in Current Law

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House passed H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019. Yesterday, the House passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released the following statement:

“After years of inaction and delay, the new House Democratic majority has acted quickly to introduce legislation, hold both a Judiciary Committee hearing and markup, and bring to the floor, and, actually, pass historic gun violence prevention legislation.  It has been an honor, as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to advance and support House passage of both H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 to enhance background checks. I commend Reps. Mike Thompson and Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn for this historic victory. These critical bills to update our background check system are long-overdue and now are one step closer to becoming law.  I call on my colleagues in the Senate to pass these bipartisan bills without delay.  As Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I will continue our efforts to strengthen firearms laws and protect our citizens from gun violence.”

BACKGROUND: Under current law, background checks are conducted by licensed gun dealers only. Unlicensed sellers do not have to conduct a background check, even if the seller sells a large number of guns. 

H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, would make it illegal for any person who is not a licensed firearm importer, manufacturer, or dealer to transfer a firearm to any other person who is not licensed, without a background check. The bill also provides a number of exemptions to this requirement, including gifts to family members and transfers for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense. 

H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act, addresses a loophole that contributed to the tragic hate-crime murder of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. The shooter was not legally allowed to possess a firearm as a result of drug charges, but he still was able to purchase his gun from a licensed dealer, who made the decision to transfer after three business days had elapsed, despite not having received a definitive response from the background check system.

On February 6, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee held a historic gun violence prevention hearing. Watch here.

On February 13, 2019, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 by a vote of 23-15 and H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 by a vote of 21-14.

Read Chairman Nadler’s full statement on H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 here.

Read Chairman Nadler’s full statement on H.R. 1112, the Enhanced Background Checks Act here.

Issues: 
116th Congress