The Text Of HR 8 – The “Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019” (Updated)

The text of the Democrat’s universal background check bill has been released. The bill will be HR 8 which has been reserved for the Speaker and which number was chosen to represent the day that then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot. I think Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) will be the official sponsor of the bill and I presume most Democrats will be on board as co-sponsors. Gotta get that Bloomberg money, ya know.

As to the “Bipartisan” part of the title, I presume that is because Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and maybe a few others will be co-sponsors of the bill. One Republican or 20 really doesn’t make it “bipartisan” any more than a Republican bill that has one or two Democrats as sponsors.

Here is the text of the bill:


Mr. THOMPSON of California introduced the following bill; which was referred
to the Committee on January 8, 2019.


To require a background check for every firearm sale.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019’’.


The purpose of this Act is to utilize the current background checks process in the United States to ensure individuals prohibited from gun possession are not able to obtain firearms.


Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is

(1) by striking subsection (s);
(2) by redesignating subsection (t) as subsection (s); and
(3) by inserting after subsection (s), as redesignated, the following:

‘‘(t)(1)(A) It shall be unlawful for any person who
is not a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to transfer a firearm to any other person
who is not so licensed, unless a licensed importer, licensed
manufacturer, or licensed dealer has first taken possession
of the firearm for the purpose of complying with subsection (s).

‘‘(B) Upon taking possession of a firearm under subparagraph (A), a licensee shall comply with all requirements of this chapter as if the licensee were transferring
the firearm from the inventory of the licensee to the unlicensed transferee.

‘‘(C) If a transfer of a firearm described in subparagraph (A) will not be completed for any reason after a
licensee takes possession of the firearm (including because
the transfer of the firearm to, or receipt of the firearm
by, the transferee would violate this chapter), the return
of the firearm to the transferor by the licensee shall not
constitute the transfer of a firearm for purposes of this chapter.

‘‘(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to—

‘‘(A) a law enforcement agency or any law enforcement officer, armed private security professional, or member of the armed forces, to the extent
the officer, professional, or member is acting within
the course and scope of employment and official duties;

‘‘(B) a transfer that is a loan or bona fide gift
between spouses, between domestic partners, between parents and their children, between siblings,
between aunts or uncles and their nieces or nephews,
1or between grandparents and their grandchildren;

‘‘(C) a transfer to an executor, administrator,
trustee, or personal representative of an estate or a
trust that occurs by operation of law upon the death
of another person;

‘‘(D) a temporary transfer that is necessary to
prevent imminent death or great bodily harm, if the
possession by the transferee lasts only as long as immediately necessary to prevent the imminent death
or great bodily harm;

‘‘(E) a transfer that is approved by the Attorney General under section 5812 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
‘‘(F) a temporary transfer if the transferor has
no reason to believe that the transferee will use or
intends to use the firearm in a crime or is prohibited
from possessing firearms under State or Federal
law, and the transfer takes place and the transferee’s possession of the firearm is exclusively— 

‘‘(i) at a shooting range or in a shooting
gallery or other area designated for the purpose
of target shooting;

‘‘(ii) while reasonably necessary for the
purposes of hunting, trapping, or fishing, if the

‘‘(I) has no reason to believe that the
transferee intends to use the firearm in a
place where it is illegal; and

‘‘(II) has reason to believe that the
transferee will comply with all licensing
and permit requirements for such hunting,
trapping, or fishing; or

‘‘(iii) while in the presence of the transferor.

‘‘(3)(A) Notwithstanding any other provision of this
chapter, the Attorney General may implement this subsection with regulations.

‘‘(B) Regulations promulgated under this paragraph
may not include any provision requiring licensees to facilitate transfers in accordance with paragraph (1).

‘‘(C) Regulations promulgated under this paragraph
may not include any provision requiring persons not licensed under this chapter to keep records of background
checks or firearms transfers.

‘‘(D) Regulations promulgated under this paragraph
may not include any provision placing a cap on the fee
licensees may charge to facilitate transfers in accordance
with paragraph (1).

‘‘(4) It shall be unlawful for a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to transfer possession of, or title to, a firearm to another person who is
not so licensed unless the importer, manufacturer, or dealer has provided such other person with a notice of the
prohibition under paragraph (1), and such other person
has certified that such other person has been provided
with this notice on a form prescribed by the Attorney General.’’.


(a) SECTION 922.—Section 922(y)(2) of title 18,
United States Code, is amended in the matter preceding
subparagraph (A) by striking ‘‘, (g)(5)(B), and
(s)(3)(B)(v)(II)’’ and inserting ‘‘and (g)(5)(B)’’.

(b) CONSOLIDATED AND FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2012.—Section 511 of title V of division B of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012 (18 U.S.C. 922 note) is amended by
striking ‘‘subsection 922(t)’’ each place it appears and inserting ‘‘subsection (s) or (t) of section 922’’.

Nothing in this Act, or any amendment made by this
Act, shall be construed to—

(1) authorize the establishment, directly or indirectly, of a national firearms registry; or
(2) interfere with the authority of a State,
under section 927 of title 18, United States Code,
to enact a law on the same subject matter as this


The amendments made by this Act shall take effect
180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

UPDATE: Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned notes that those of us who have Curios & Relics licenses would have to go through a licensed dealer for our transfers. Notice that the wording in the bill makes no mention of “licensed collectors” but only importers, manufacturers, and dealers.

UPDATE II: Attorney and scholar David Kopel has a textual analysis of the bill on the Volokh Conspiracy. Dave notes that it would also ban the transfer of a handgun to those 18-20 years old which is now legal in many states in private sales. You can’t have a FFL transfer a handgun to you unless you are 21 years of age or older.

Democrats Love Symbolism…When Abridging Your Rights

Tuesday, January 8th is the eight anniversary of when then-Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot at an event in Tucson. The killer obtained his Glock at a licensed gun shop after going through a FBI-run NICS check. Keep that in mind for later. At the time, the shootings were blamed on “insurrectionist ideology“, “weak” gun laws, and the lack of a permanent BATFE director among other things. Just like with the Parkland murders, the failure of school officials and the local sheriff contributed to the shootings and not the lack of a background check.

Thus, it should be no surprise that on Tuesday, a bill will be introduced by House Democrats that will mandate universal background checks. Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly have been pushing universal background checks for years. They sent this out earlier today – along with the requisite beg for money to abridge your rights.

Here’s some news I think you’ll be quite happy to hear:

This Tuesday, January 8, Democrats in the House of Representatives will introduce bipartisan universal background checks legislation.

We fought to elect this Congress — one that will stand up to the gun lobby — and right away, they are delivering. The bill is H.R. 8, a symbolic action that will mark the 8th anniversary of the shooting in Tucson. It is also testament to all of our work moving the needle on this issue.

Gabby will be there for the announcement and we’ll be ready to fight to get this thing passed.

But you know the gun lobby, they won’t go down without a fight, especially on this issue. So we have to ask:

Can you make a $3 donation to Giffords PAC? We’ll put it right to work in the fight to pass universal background checks.

This is a big deal, and we’ll have a lot more soon. But right now, we’re gearing up for what’s sure to be a tough fight on this issue. So thanks for chipping in.

All my best,

Mark Kelly

My guess that the only thing bipartisan about this bill will be one or two RINOs like Rep. Peter King (R-NY) as a co-sponsor.

According to Politico, the bill will be number H.R. 8 to commemorate the date. The bill will be introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

“Since the shooting at Sandy Hook, the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force has been fighting for a chance to pass legislation that will help save lives,” Thompson said in a statement. “Finally, with our new majority that ran on helping to prevent gun violence, we will introduce a bipartisan, universal background checks bill. We will hold hearings, we will have a vote, and this legislation will finally pass the House.”

“In communities across America, courageous survivors, families and young advocates are showing outstanding courage and persistence in demanding an end to the horrific scourge of gun violence in our nation,” Pelosi said in a statement. “It is an honor to join Congressman Mike Thompson and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords to answer their call by taking the first step to pass commonsense background checks – which 97 percent of the American people support.”

Notice those supposed poll numbers in support of “commonsense background checks”. According to Pelosi, it is 97%. Was this supposed to be a gift to Threepers as the stalwart 3% that oppose this legislation? Why it was only yesterday it seems that Bloomberg, Giffords, and the rest of the gun control industry were saying it was a mere 90%.

So-called universal background checks are a solution in search of a problem. Criminals will continue to obtain firearms and the expectation that they will go through a NICS check is ludicrous. Moreover, as we have seen in the mass shootings which the news media and the gun control industry seem to feed on, the firearms were obtained from legitimate sources after a background check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation was completed. Finally, a law such as this is unenforceable absent a total registration of the 300-600 million firearms thought to exist in the United States.

Peter King And Mike Thompson To Introduce Toomey-Manchin In The House

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA) have announced they will be introducing the House version of the Toomey-Manchin amendment on Monday.

“I will be introducing, along with Mike Thompson [D-Calif.], basically the House version of the Manchin-Toomey bill on Monday or Tuesday at the latest,” the New York Republican said, referencing the bipartisan agreement on background checks reached this week between Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).

He said the legislation will “replicate” what was agreed to by those senators, a bipartisan deal that expands background checks for commercial gun purchases, including those made at gun shows.

King noted that Toomey’s conservative credentials make it easier for House Republicans to vote for background checks.

In my opinion, Peter King is and has always been a big government statist type. Seeing him introduce a gun control bill is not a surprise as he has supported them many times in the past.

Thompson is a self-described Blue Dog Democrat and gun owner. Thompson says he is familiar with assault rifles as he carried one in Vietnam – over 40 years ago. While I thank him for his service, that was a long time ago.

He issued a statement yesterday hinting towards this House bill and applauding the Senate for passing the motion to process on S. 649.

“Today Senate Republicans and Democrats voted overwhelmingly to reject the shameful filibuster that attempted to deny Americans a vote on legislation that will reduce and prevent gun violence.

“Background checks are the first line of defense against criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from getting guns. That’s why the American people, gun owners, NRA members, and even many House Republicans support background checks.

“The bipartisan background check legislation that I will introduce and will be voted on in the Senate is enforceable, will save lives, and respects the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Americans. It’s time for Congress to act. The American people are getting a vote in the Senate. They deserve one in the House.”