McConnell has blocked bill on gun background checks for a full year

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'It's very sad that the Grim Reaper has decided more people will die,' Nancy Pelosi said of McConnell's inaction on the House's background check bill.

Exactly one year ago, the House passed H.R. 8 — a gun safety bill that would mandate universal background checks for gun sales.

However, the legislation is still languishing in the Senate, thanks to Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) refusal to bring it up for a vote — a move House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called him out for on Thursday at her weekly news conference.

"It was one year ago today that we passed HR 8, and sent it over to the Senate. H.R. 8 is our legislation as you know for common sense background checks, and it's very sad that the Grim Reaper has decided more people will die because he is the Grim Reaper," Pelosi (D-CA) said, referring to the nickname McConnell has given himself for his refusal to pass any of the House's bills.

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The passage of H.R. 8 was a historic move by the House, which had not passed a gun safety bill for 25 years.

The bill would require a background check for every firearm purchase. Currently, only guns purchased from licensed dealers require background checks, a loophole gun safety advocates have been fighting to close.

And despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans support this kind of legislation, McConnell has sat on the bill — thwarting its passage.

Since the bill's passage, thousands of people have died from gun violence. According to the Gun Violence Archive, 6,155 people have died from gun violence less than two months into 2020.

At her press conference, Pelosi acknowledged that this background check bill wouldn't prevent every single gun death. But she said it's a good start.

"Here we are. Ninety-seven percent of the public support common-sense background checks: Democrats, Republicans, gun owners — because most of them have engaged in background checks," Pelosi said.

"This would only be a simple matter of expanding them to sales on the internet, gun shows ... So this is only an expansion of all of that and we would hope that we could save lives," Pelosi added.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.