On Wednesday, February 27, 2019, the Democrat-led House passed H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 which would require all gun sales go through a NICS background check, with few exceptions, such as transfers between family members or letting a friend or family member borrow a firearm at the range or for hunting or to prevent “imminent death or great bodily harm.”

To see the Gun Owners of America’s fact sheet on the exemptions click here.

The bill passed 240-190. Out of the 197 House Republicans, 8 voted yes (1 abstained,) while two Democrats voted against the proposed law.

President Trump’s administration has already penned a letter in opposition with the suggestion for President Trump to veto if H.R.8 were to pass the Senate.

The Universal Background Checks Act is co-sponsored by both a Republican and Democrat—Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY.) Ammoland points out what King said about the bill, “This is not going to affect more than probably less than 1% of the American people and the ones it will affect either suffer from mental illness or are criminals. So, to me, it’s a phony issue being raised by some of the gun groups.”

This is absolutely not true. Extending background checks as they stand currently to ALL gun sales will not affect those suffering from mental illness, because it IS voluntary for states to report their mental health records to the National Instant Criminal System.

What’s phony is what those who support this law the promise what it will do. GunLove has pointed out why universal background checks won’t work in this post.

The greatest thing we want you to get out of that post is this:

The thing is, NICS only pulls up information which is reported to the system. Currently, that is only federal convictions. State-level convictions and mental health adjudications are voluntarily submitted. States are NOT forced to send in their records. So, any unreported mental health record of an individual would STILL NOT SHOW UP ON A NICS report, regardless of a universal background check or not.

The list of Republicans who voted for the measure are:

  • Mike Thompson (D-Calif.)
  •  Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.)
  • Brian Mast (Fla.)
  • Fred Upton (Mich.)
  • Chris Smith (N.J.).
  •  Vern Buchanan (Fla.)
  • Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.)
  • Will Hurd (Texas)

One of the biggest surprises about the bill is that 26 Democrats added language that requires undocumented immigrants be reported to ICE if they try to buy a gun.

“This extreme gun- control bill will make criminals out of law-abiding Americans. It will also make it harder for good people to defend themselves and their families,” added Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the legislative arm of the group. “Criminals, on the other hand, will continue to get their firearms the way they always have — through the black market, theft and straw purchases. Forcing more government paperwork and additional fees on good people trying to exercise a constitutional right will do nothing to make Americans safer.”

A universal background check would burden legal firearm owners with fees, delays and possibly lead to the creation of an illegal gun registry. Further, it has been pointed out that exemptions do NOT include allowing a family member who is a victim of domestic abuse to borrow a firearm without having to perform a background check.

What do you think about universal background checks? Tell us in the comment section.