Six days after a gunman's rampage in California, the Republican-run House yesterday took what likely will be the only step by the current Congress to address gun violence, reports the New York Daily News. The House voted 260 to 145 to add $19.5 million to the federal budget for improving the system of background checks for gun purchases, which would make the total $78.5 million for the year beginning October 1. The Senate still must act on the bill, which provides funding for the Justice Department.
Prospective gun buyers are required to be checked against the database for felony convictions, domestic violence and certain mental illnesses, all flags that are supposed to disqualify them from owning firearms. Many states fail to submit all the necesssary records to the system. The measure would provide grants to states to make sure the records are submitted. The funding will help “keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them and possibly prevent the senseless attacks we have seen in our communities and throughout the nation,” said Rep. Pete King (R-NY). The proposal to raise federal aid was introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force,