House background check bill won’t advance soon, say sponsors

Updated
File Photo: U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY) last year.
File Photo: U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY) last year.
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, File

The House bill expanding background checks on gun sales that was introduced last month won’t advance in the House anytime soon, according to its sponsors.

The bill, which is identical to the failed Senate version, was introduced by Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican, and Rep. Mike Thompson, a California Democrat.

“I don’t seeing it moving in the short term,” King said on Wednesday’s Morning Joe. “But I wanted to have it there as we slowly bring people on and if it starts to move in the senate, we have a vehicle to work from.”

The bill, which has more than 150 co-sponsors already, expands background checks to include online sales and gun shows, while preventing the implementation of a national registry. King said he will largely defer to the Senate to proceed with gun control, but he hopes his bill will be “something to work off.”

Last month, the Senate rejected expanding the background checks in a 54-46 vote, just shy of the 60 votes needed to pass. West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who crafted the amendment with his fellow NRA “A”-rated Republican colleague, Sen. Pat Toomey, signaled Tuesday that despite the defeat, the Senate version could catch a second wind.

In the House, background check legislation has little Republican support, the bill’s architects said.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to guns, there are Republicans who see any sort of movement at all toward any type of regulation, however minimal, as a severe infringement on the Second Amendment,” King said.

Critics of background check legislation, like Sen. Kelly Ayotte, have continued to suggest that a bill would lead to a national registry, despite the fact that the bill specifically criminalizes and punishes any such effort with up to 15 years in jail.

“This is a pro-Second Amendment, pro-gun violence prevention bill,” Thompson said. “You can’t be against criminals and the dangerously mentally ill getting guns and be against background checks.”

House background check bill won’t advance soon, say sponsors

Updated