House takes action on gun checks

by Cristina Marcos, The Hill  |  published on May 31, 2014

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The House on Thursday approved a funding increase for the national background check system in response to last week’s mass shooting in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Adopted 260-145, the amendment to a 2015 appropriations bill provides an additional $19.5 million in grant funding for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is intended to prevent the sale of guns to criminals and the mentally ill.

The vote represents one of the most significant legislative actions taken by the House on guns since the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Members of the GOP leadership were split on the amendment. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) voted for it despite facing a primary challenge, as did GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.). But House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) voted against it.

Only four Democrats voted against the amendment, including Reps. John Barrow of Georgia and Nick Rahall of West Virginia, who both face tough reelection races this year.

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