The U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday passed the most significant gun control bill in years, expanding background checks to include gun shows and internet sales.
The vote was 240 to 190, with Congressman Mike Thompson of California calling it a "new day" in Congress, with Democrats in control and making a "commitment to address the issue of gun violence."
Maryland Democrat Stenny Hoyer said a background check bill was never allowed to come to a vote when Republicans controlled the House.
"The carnage that we've seen perpetrated by gun violence over the last decade has heightened the American people's concern," adding that he believes 90 percent of Americans support the bill.
Loopholes would be closed
Wednesday's bill would close the loopholes that allow people in most states to buy guns from other gun owners at shows and over the internet without the usual backgrounds checks licensed gun stores are required to carry out.
The House plans to vote on a second bill Thursday to expand the time allowed to conduct a background check from just a few minutes, in some cases, to at least 10 days.
The two bills are likely to face stronger opposition in the Republican-controlled Senate, where opponents say it will do nothing from stopping a criminal from getting a weapon.
President Donald Trump has said he supports expanding background checks for gun buyers. But the White House says his advisors would recommend a veto, claiming the bills would infringe on Second Amendment rights and place a burden on legitimate buyers.