That a pair of new bills are even getting a vote reflects a confluence of events, including a newly empowered House Democratic majority, the apparently diminishing clout of the National Rifle Association, and the activism of a generation of young Americans following years of deadly school shootings.
Democratic leaders say they have the votes to pass a bill requiring background checks on all commercial gun sales, including those at gun shows and over the internet. The bill also has five Republican co-sponsors, led by New York Rep. Peter King, who had tried — and failed — for several years to advance the bill while his party controlled the chamber.
Democrats taking control of the House has “really given it momentum. Hate to admit that, but that’s the reality,” King said in an interview with NBC News.