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House Representatives Unveil Universal Background Check Bill

Less than a week into the 116th session of the United States Congress, Representatives Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY) have introduced the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8). The bill was unveiled earlier today in a press conference with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and former Representative Gabby Giffords.

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The bill, if passed and signed into law, would “require a background check on every gun sale.” Currently, most states allow for individuals to sell firearms without having to use an FFL to conduct a transfer if they have no reason to believe the other individual is a prohibited person. There is nothing in federal law that prohibits such a transaction from occurring. As the name implies, the bill would generally ban the sale of firearms from one individual to another without utilizing an FFL to conduct a transfer and NICS check.

There are some exceptions contained in the bill to the general rule that every transfer must go through an FFL. Those include transfers between members of law enforcement, armed private security and the military, if acting in their official capacity. Exceptions also apply for immediate family members (spouses, parent to child, siblings, grandparents, etc.), transfers to executors or administrators of wills and trusts, temporary transfers to “prevent imminent death or great bodily harm,” and temporary transfers for hunting and fishing when the individual has no reason to believe any game law would be broken.

While it is likely the bill will pass the House of Representatives, it is probable that it will encounter rough seas in the Senate. Readers should take a few moments to contact their Representative and demand they vote NO on this bill.



Adam Kraut is a firearms law attorney practicing in southeastern PA and across the country federally. He hosts The Legal Brief, a show dedicated to crushing the various myths and misinformation around various areas of the gun world and The Gun Collective Podcast. He was also the general manager of a gun store in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

Instagram: @theadamkraut
Twitter: @theadamkraut

Feature photo courtesy of  Carol M. Highsmith

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