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House Dems balk when Republicans try to make universal background checks for firearms purchases apply to illegal immigrants

The proposal would have notified ICE if an illegal immigrant bought a firearm

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats were pushing through legislation for universal background checks on all firearms purchases — but they objected to a Republican amendment that would make these same background checks alert federal authorities when an illegal immigrant tried to illegally purchase a firearm.

Here's what we know

Before the House voted on "The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019," Republicans insisted on adding an amendment that would notify federal authorities "when an individual attempting to purchase a firearm fails a federal background check."

On the floor of the House on Wednesday, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) explained that "the motion to recommit will notify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, commonly known as ICE, when an illegal alien who is prohibited from possessing a firearm attempts to purchase a firearm by going through the process of application."

Democrats objected to this wording, and tried to kill the amendment in committee. However, Republicans had one more chance to force a vote on their changes.

While the main bill passed with a vote of 240 to 190, Republicans used what's known as a "motion to recommit" in order to hold a vote on whether or not the House would have to consider their amendment. This motion passed by a vote of 220 to 209, with 26 Democrats crossing party lines to vote with Republicans.

The gun control legislation, with or without the Republicans' amendment, is not expected to pass the Republican-controlled Senate. President Donald Trump has also indicated that he would veto the bill if it ever reached his desk.

"Clearly, the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee don't care about preventing gun violence, they simply are playing politics with Americans' Second Amendment rights," Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) said in a press release. . "The fact that Democrats do not want law enforcement notified if an individual attempting to purchase a firearm fails a background check is truly troubling."

One last thing…
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