The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would require a federal background check for all firearms purchases, including those between private citizens, according to NPR.
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 passed 240-190. It is referred to as "bipartisan" because it has five Republican co-sponsors, and eight Republicans voted in favor of the bill in total.
Other Republicans, including Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, said the law would not be effective in preventing illegal gun violence.
"This is fundamentally about whether we make policy that feels good, or actually does good," Crenshaw said in an interview posted on the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action Twitter. "This new law makes some people feel good, but it's not going to do any good. ... This would only make it harder for law-abiding Americans to actually protect and defend themselves."
We had a great conversation today with @RepDanCrenshaw about how #HR8 and #HR1112 exist to limit our constitutional… https://t.co/BVU0RxFseC— NRA (@NRA) 1551296330.0
NRA-ILA executive director Chris Cox called the bill "extreme."
"It will also make it harder for good people to defend themselves and their families," Cox said in a statement. "Criminals, on the other hand, will continue to get their firearms the way they always have—through the black market, theft, and straw purchases."
President Donald Trump has publicly stated that he will veto the bill even if it passes the Republican-controlled Senate, which in itself is unlikely.
What's in the bill?
Currently, only licensed gun dealers have to run a background check on a customer who wants to buy a gun. This bill would prohibit any gun sale from taking place without a federal background check being completed. This includes private gun sales between friends or strangers, online purchases, and gun show purchases.
The law would not apply to gun transfers between close relatives (parents/children, siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, spouses, domestic partners, grandparents/grandchildren).
Gun owners would be able to loan their gun to someone at a shooting range or for hunting/trapping/fishing as long as there is no reason to suspect the gun will be used in a crime and the person is legally able to possess a gun under state and federal law.
Guns could still be given to someone else in a "temporary transfer that is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm, if the possession by the transferee lasts only as long as immediately necessary to prevent the imminent death or great bodily harm," according to the bill.