WASHINGTON (AP) — A key House committee has approved a bill to require background checks for all sales and transfers of firearms, a first step by majority Democrats to tighten gun laws after eight years of Republican rule.
The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill Wednesday night, 23-15, sending it to the House floor.
Democrats have pledged additional gun legislation, including restrictions on high-capacity magazines and a measure to allow temporary removal of guns from people deemed an imminent risk to themselves or others.
Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Judiciary panel's chairman, calls the background checks bill long overdue to address a "national crisis of gun violence" that claimed nearly 40,000 lives in 2017.
Nadler says the country "is awash in guns, and we have the shameful death toll to show for it."