House Approves Bill to Expand Background Checks for Gun Sales and Transfers

Rifles are for sale at a gun shop in Merrimack, New Hampshire, in this Nov. 5, 2016 file photo. (Credit: DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

Rifles are for sale at a gun shop in Merrimack, New Hampshire, in this Nov. 5, 2016 file photo. (Credit: DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)

The House has approved a measure requiring federal background checks for all firearms sales and transfers, the first major gun control legislation considered by Congress in nearly 25 years.

The bill was approved Wednesday, 240-190. Democrats call the vote a major step to end the gun lobby’s grip on Washington and begin to address an epidemic of gun violence, including 17 people killed at a Florida high school last year.

The bill is the first of two Democrats are bringing to the House floor this week as part of an effort to tighten gun laws following eight years of Republican control. The other bill would extend the review period for a background check.

Both bills face dim prospects in the Republican-controlled Senate and veto threats from President Donald Trump.

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