WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are leading an effort on two gun reform measures to expand background checks, but are facing heavy opposition from Republicans.
“The Democrats are concerned about taking away our Second Amendment rights,” Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican from North Carolina, said Tuesday.
Hudson is pushing back against the effort by Democrats to pass a pair of gun bills aimed at closing loopholes in the background check system. He and other Republican lawmaker say the bills Democrats are proposing, “would have not stopped a single mass shooting.”
Republicans say commercial gun sales already require a background check, but Democrats say that’s not the case if they’re purchasing it from an unlicensed seller.
“It ensures that we are utilizing the law that exists at all points of sale,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., said.
Spanberger said the bills would also give law enforcement more time to process that background check.
“The fact that, that 72-hour time window is so short has caused many people who are, in fact, prohibited buyers to be able to purchase firearms,” she said.
The bills are poised to pass the House and move to the Senate, where the divide on gun reform measures runs deep.
“What they want to do is something I can’t support, and they want to infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said.
Once the COVID relief package is signed, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., expects expanding background checks to get serious attention.
“I don’t know when they’ll come up, but they are a significant priority,” Kaine said.
President Joe Biden has already said he backs the pair of bills.
The House is set to vote on them Wednesday.