The incoming presumptive Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised “bold and decisive” action on gun control when Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in January.
“The new Democratic majority will act boldly and decisively to pass commonsense, life-saving background checks that are overwhelmingly supported by the American people,” Pelosi said in a statement on Monday.
Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA) plans to introduce a “universal background check” bill soon during the new Congress.
“It will be strong legislation to expand background checks, and I will have a very respectful show of [co-sponsors],” Thompson, who heads a “gun violence prevention task force” among Democrats, told Politico. “I think you will see it happen in the first 100 days.”
Politico reports that Thompson’s bill will require federal background checks on all gun sales including private sales with possible exemptions for family member transfers and temporary use for hunting.
Pelosi accused Republicans of stonewalling. On Friday, marking the sixth anniversary of the Sandy Hook, CT school shooting, she said, “Since that unspeakable tragedy, too many families in too many places have been impacted by the deadly epidemic of gun violence. Yet, at every opportunity, Republicans refuse to lift a finger to stop the bloodshed. Enough is enough.”
It is questionable whether expanded background checks would do anything to curb gun violence.
For instance, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 77 percent of criminals in state prison for firearm crimes get firearms through theft, on the black market, from a drug dealer or “on the street,” or from family members and friends, while less than one percent get firearms from dealers or non-dealers at gun shows.
In fact, no school shooting would have been prevented by requiring background checks on private sales either the shooter passed a background check, received a firearm from a “straw purchaser” who can pass a background check, or they stole/acquired a weapon from a family member or friend.
A universal background check is an attempt to solve a problem that does not exist but instead will just place an unnecessary federal restriction on law-abiding citizens.
It will also fail in the Senate, but this just a nod to their extreme base not a real attempt to actually curb violence.