House Passes Universal Background Checks Bill | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

House Passes Universal Background Checks Bill

With Democrats back in control, the House passed the most significant piece of gun control legislation in more than two decades Wednesday.

By a vote of 240-190, the House approved a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales in the United States. Currently, only licensed firearm dealers have to perform background checks, and unlicensed dealers ? such as those at gun shows ? can sell a gun without going through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Eight Republicans joined all but two Democrats in support of the bill, and the measure will now go to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not committed to bringing the bill up for a vote, and it likely doesn’t have the 60 senators it needs to make it to a final vote.

But the bill passing the House Wednesday marks a significant turn in its own right. The last gun control measure to pass the House was in 1994, the sweeping Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that banned a number of semi-automatic weapons. And though Democrats have repeatedly tried to pass other gun control measures when Republicans controlled the House ? Democrats actually first introduced the legislation as a response to an attack on former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) ? they were unable to get up-or-down votes on a bill in recent years.