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US House okays historic gun-control law

The US House of Representatives passed a legislation to expand background check for gun buyers to include online transactions and at gun shows and fairs, in the first attempt at reforming firearms laws in a generation.

world Updated: Mar 01, 2019 00:31 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
The bill proposes to expand federal background checks to online buyers firearms and at gun shows, that are currently not covered.
The bill proposes to expand federal background checks to online buyers firearms and at gun shows, that are currently not covered. (AFP/Picture for representation)
         

The US House of Representatives passed a legislation to expand background check for gun buyers to include online transactions and at gun shows and fairs, in the first attempt at reforming firearms laws in a generation.

The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 was passed on Wednesday in a 240-190 vote along party lines, with Democrats all in favour and Republicans against it. The bill proposes to expand federal background checks to online buyers firearms and at gun shows, that are currently not covered. In a second measure also passed on Wednesday, the time given to FBI to complete the background check was increased from three to 10 days.

In a small but significant victory for Republicans, an amendment passed with the first bill that enjoins law enforcement to alert immigration and customs enforcement agencies to background checks yielding undocumented immigrants.

The basic outlines of the legislation go back to the last attempt at legislating gun reforms after the 2012 massacre at an elementary school. A bill passed by the House expanding background checks was defeated in the Senate.

The Republican-led Senate is unlikely to take up the legislation passed by the House. Even if it does and voted it through, President Donald Trump will veto it.

First Published: Mar 01, 2019 00:31 IST

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