Illinois GOP survivor of congressional baseball shooting still opposes background check bill

A Republican congressman and survivor of the 2017 baseball practice shooting is standing by his opposition to a House background check bill in the wake of the two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, saying the measure was a “partisan show bill.”

The bill, which passed the House earlier this year by a vote of 240-190 but stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate, gained renewed attention this week following the shootings.

“I would not consider changing the vote that I made because that bill was nothing but a partisan show bill. That bill wouldn’t have addressed the problems that we see with fixing what Democrats even call a loophole,” Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”

The bill, HR 8, would require background checks on all firearm sales in the country. Currently, only licensed gun dealers must perform background checks for anyone seeking to purchase a firearm, but most unlicensed sellers do not. There are exemptions to the law like “gifts to family members and transfers for hunting, target shooting, and self-defense,” according to the House Judiciary Committee website.

Davis, however, told Berman that the bill would instead need to set up a “full registry” to close the loophole.

“What we have to get to the point of is in this country, federal firearms dealers have to provide a background check for anybody who’s purchasing a gun. You cannot go online and purchase a firearm without having that gun shipped through a federal firearms licensee, and they will run a background check,” Davis said. “Now, what many Democrats call the ‘gun show loophole’ is actually a loophole that allows private sales. Now, to fix that they would require — it would require a full gun registry. If I were to sell a 12-gauge shotgun to my nephew, that wouldn’t be registered through a federal firearms licensee. It would take a full gun registry.”

In his interview, the congressman also expressed an openness to limiting high-capacity magazines, like the 100-round drum magazine police say the Ohio shooter used.

“Why should there be legal protections for people to own this?” Berman asked Davis.

“Well, I certainly don’t know the answer to that. I certainly could be one that would be in favor of making sure we limit capacities when you see something like that,” he replied, adding that he’s “willing to discuss” the issue with Democrats.

“Let’s make sure we do do it in a bipartisan way and not just turn this into a debate about (President Donald Trump) and somehow him being at fault for what we saw in El Paso and what we saw in Dayton,” Davis said.

By Devan Cole, CNN

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