Eight House GOP lawmakers bucked party lines and joined Democrats in supporting legislation aimed at strengthening background checks on firearm sales and transfers on Thursday.
The Bipartisan Background Checks Act — spearheaded by Rep. Mike ThompsonCharles (Mike) Michael ThompsonVirginia Democrat introduces tax credit for electric commercial vehicles House Democrats introduce bill to close existing gun loopholes and prevent mass shootings Giffords group unveils gun violence memorial on National Mall MORE (D-Calif.) — ultimately passed in a 227-203 vote, with one Democratic lawmaker, Rep. Jared Golden (Maine), opting to vote against it.
The bill would put new background check requirements in place for gun transfers between private parties.
Currently, unlicensed and private sellers are not required to conduct background checks for transfers on firearms despite licensed dealers being required to do so.
While the majority of Republicans pushed back against the measure, arguing it would be an infringement on Americans’ constitutional rights and argued it could hinder abuse victims from obtaining a gun for protection purposes in a timely fashion, proponents argued the measure would help curb gun violence and prevent firearms from falling in the wrong hands.
Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerJan. 6 committee subpoenas leaders of 'America First' movement Kinzinger welcomes baby boy Clyburn says he's worried about losing House, 'losing this democracy' MORE (R-Ill.), one of the eight who supported the bill, said he is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and feels that the measure adds precautions to help curb gun violence without overreaching on law-abiding citizens ability to obtain a firearm.
“I believe that in order to curb evildoers from having access to firearms, we have to be willing to make some changes for the greater good. This legislation by itself will not stop violence. It will help, but the core of our issues cannot be changed by laws. We cannot detect or deter evil by legislating. Accepting the reality that this evil exists is part of it, as well as holding those who commit these crimes accountable," he said in a statement.
“In the face of the evil that threatens the fabric of what this nation stands for, we must unite and stand against such hatred. It’s why I took this vote today, making a choice to work towards a better tomorrow for our children and the future of this country," he added.
Here are the Republican members that voted in favor of the bill:
Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickRedistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want House GOP members introduce legislation targeting Russia over Ukraine Ukraine president, US lawmakers huddle amid tensions with Russia MORE (Pa.)
Rep. Andrew Garbarino (N.Y.)
Rep. Carlos Gimenez (Fla.)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.)
Rep. Maria Salazar (Fla.)
Rep. Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithLawmakers seek 'assurances' Olympic uniforms not linked to forced labor Biden signs bill punishing China for Uyghur abuses Last living Nuremberg Trials prosecutor deserves Congressional Gold Medal MORE (N.J.)
Rep. Fred UptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen UptonThe fates of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump House Republican, Democrat say political environment on Capitol Hill is 'toxic' Sunday show preview: Omicron surges, and Harris sits for extensive interview MORE (Mich.)
Upton, Smith and Fitzpatrick co-sponsored the legislation, which faces an uphill battle in the upper chamber.
Smith and Fitzpatrick also joined with Democrats in supporting the Enhanced Background Checks Act — led by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) — which looks to close the “Charleston loophole.” The loophole provides that if the national background check system is not immediately able to determine if a purchaser is able to legally buy a weapon, and the FBI does not conduct an investigation within 3 days, the seller of the gun is allowed to proceed with the sale. The bill passed in a 219-210 vote later in the day. Golden and Rep. Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindRedistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want Democrats confront rising retirements as difficult year ends Members of Congress not running for reelection in 2022 MORE (D-Wis.) voted against the measure.