US House passes follow-up bill to increase background checks for gun sales
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US House passes follow-up bill to increase background checks for gun sales

The US House of Representatives on Thursday approved further legislation to broaden federal gun control measures.

The new bill, titled Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019, attempts to address the “Charleston loophole” in the Brady Bill. Currently, this loophole permits automatic clearance for the sale of guns when the FBI fails to complete requisite background checks within three days. The loophole was abused by Dylann Roof, who managed to buy the gun he used in the Charleston church massacre despite two preceding arrests. Several thousand unlawful gun purchases are made annually because of current legislation.

The proposed bill suggests an amendment to chapter 44 to increase the stringency of background checks. This includes lengthening the background check period to ten days, changing mental illness language to be more explicit and expansive, and authorizing the license of sale for approximately one month after the check.

Following a vote of 228-198, the House now sends the bill to the Senate for consideration alongside the Bipartisan Background Check Act. The two bills are likely to face increased opposition before the Republican-led Senate. White House advisors have already recommended President Trump to veto both bills if they are approved by the Senate, citing “burdensome requirements on certain firearm transactions.”