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Update: On February 27, 2019, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8 by a vote of 240-190. An ugly amendment was added to the bill via Motion to Recommit by Republican Doug Collins of Georgia, however. It would require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be notified whenever an undocumented immigrant attempts to buy a gun from a federally licensed dealer. The xenophobic Collins Amendment was supported by 26 Democrats who were released to vote YES by House Democratic leaders.
It was an emotional scene when the House Judiciary Committee concluded its mark-up of universal background checks legislation, H.R. 8, on February 13, 2019. The marathon hearing, which started at 10:00 AM, did not conclude until after 8:00 PM because of delaying tactics employed by Republicans on the committee. When the hearing concluded after a successful vote to report H.R. 8 to the House floor for a vote, the room erupted with applause and tears of joy.
H.R. 8 is the first gun control bill of significance to go to the House floor in decades. Hearings on the legislation were marred by the behavior of Republicans, who used outrageous arguments in a pathetic attempt to block this modest effort to save lives. They knew that many victims and survivors of gun violence were attending the hearings.
The bill would require background checks for all private sales of firearms save those between immediate family members. Private sellers would conduct the checks through federally licensed firearms dealers, who can access the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System (NICS) to learn about a buyer’s criminal and mental health background. Criminal penalties would apply to sellers who fail to conduct the checks.
Please contact House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gun Violence Prevention Task Force chair Rep. Mike Thompson (the primary sponsor of H.R. 8) through the channels below and give them the following message:
Thank you so much for your leadership role in advancing H.R. 8 (universal background checks) to the floor of the House for a vote. I appreciate your dogged determination to see this process through despite some truly ugly (and heartless) opposition by Republicans during the two hearings on H.R. 8. Gun control is SUCH an important issue for me and I’m so happy to see this important first bill to disarm violent Americans moving forward. Please hold a floor vote on H.R. 8 as soon as possible and send it to the Senate so we can direct our attention there to build support. Then I hope you will move quickly to mark up and report other gun control bills in the House, including Rep. Cicilline’s Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 and Rep. Clyburn’s bill to close the “Charleston Loophole.” Keep pushing! I am 100% behind you and know so many other voters who are as well. Lay out a strong agenda on gun control and we will work together to one day make it law and save countless lives.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Phone: (202) 225-0100
Email via webform: https://www.democraticleader.gov/contact-us/
GVP Task Force chair Rep. Mike Thompson
Phone: (202) 225-3311
Email via webform (use zip code 94590): https://mikethompsonforms.house.gov/contact/
If your Representative is a Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, you can contact them instead/as well via the U.S. Capitol Hotline at (202) 224-3121 and thank them for voting YES to report H.R. 8 to the floor. The Democrats on House Judiciary are:
Jerrold Nadler, New York
Mary Gay Scanlon, Pennsylvania
Zoe Lofgren, California
Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas
Steve Cohen. Tennessee
Henry C. “Hank” Johnson , Georgia
Ted Deutch. Florida
Karen Bass, California
Cedric Richmond, Louisiana
Hakeem Jeffries, New York
David Cicilline, Rhode Island
Eric Swalwell, California
Ted Lieu, California
Jamie Raskin, Maryland
Pramila Jayapal, Washington
Val Demings, Florida
J. Luis Correa, California
Sylvia Garcia, Texas
Joe Neguse, Colorado
Lucy McBath, Georgia
Greg Stanton, Arizona
Madeleine Dean, Pennsylvania
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Florida
Veronica Escobar, Texas
Once you have contacted one or more Democratic leaders, fill in the three fields below and click the orange banner to report taking action!