“These people who were practicing their faith, their faith that taught them to welcome in a stranger, a stranger came to their door and they welcomed into their Bible study, he sat with them for an hour,” Clyburn said on the House floor Wednesday. “The stranger that they had welcomed in had opened fire and killed nine of them, one of who was the pastor, a former intern of mine.”
“This law would have prevented that gentleman from getting a gun,” Clyburn added.
The bills are expected to pass the House but will face an uphill climb in the Senate as Democrats hold a slim 50-50 majority and would need significant Republican support to overcome a legislative filibuster. Still, the legislation remains a priority for the Biden administration.
While introducing the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, Democratic Rep. Mike Thompson of California said on the House floor he hopes his colleagues support the legislation.
“What the bill does do is close the private gun sale loophole which has made it easy for felons and other prohibited purchasers to buy a gun online at gun shows or other person to person sales,” Thompson, the chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force in the House, said.
But despite three Republicans cosponsoring the legislation, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise urged all members of his party to vote against the legislation on Thursday.
The Louisiana Republican argued GOP members should vote against the two bills because H.R. 1446 would create “arbitrary delays on background checks that will infringe upon millions of Americans’ Second Amendment right to defend themselves and their families,” and — in regard to H.R. 8 — that “federal law already strictly prohibits transferring firearms in certain situations to ensure firearms are not transferred to prohibited individuals.”
Brian Lemek — the executive director of Brady PAC, the sister organization of gun violence prevention group the Brady Campaign — told CNN he hopes the House votes to pass the legislation, which he called “commonsense solution to save lives and keep guns out of the hands of people who we all can agree should not have them.”
CNN’s Ali Zaslav contributed to this report.