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Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would require universal background checks on the sale or transfer of all firearms. Universal background checks are widely supported by Americans but have not gained popularity in Congress.

Murphy’s bill, the Expanded Background Check Act, would extend a background check requirement to unauthorized and private gun sellers before selling a gun. Current federal law does not require unauthorized sellers to check their background before transferring firearms.

A poll by gun reform advocacy groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords finds 93% of Americans support a background check for all gun sales. In 2019, the House passed a comprehensive background check bill, but he died in the Republican-controlled Senate. Democratic Congressman Mike Thompson of California will introduce the House version of the Senate bill on Tuesday.

Democrats hoping to pass gun safety laws have a champion in the White House, and President Joe Biden called Congress last month enact gun control legislation, including background checks. However, the legislation still requires 10 Republican senators to vote with Democrats to move the bill forward, a significant obstacle to its passage.

Murphy said in a statement that Democrats have the flexibility to change the law because they control the Senate, the House and the White House.

“Joe Biden and hundreds of congressional candidates from both parties have come forward on the issue of background checks, “Murphy said in a statement.” This is the year to pass this bill. “

For now, Mr Biden’s first priority is to adopt his COVID-19 economic stimulus package aimed at helping Americans and businesses that have been battling the pandemic for a year. The House passed the bill in a very slim 219-217 vote early Saturday morning, and Democrats need each of their senators to vote “yes” to get it through. Negotiations are still ongoing, but it seems unlikely that she will gain Republican support.

After his narrow but long-awaited passage, the President will move on to the next item on his legislative agenda, but exactly what remains to be seen. As a presidential candidate, Biden has advocated for gun safety and its ability to fight the National Rifle Association (NRA), which opposes most efforts to expand gun control to fire.

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