House Move On Gun Show Bill Draws Fire From Control Groups

By Ben Anderson | July 7, 2008 | 8:24 PM EDT

(CNS) – Fearful of repeating the Senate GOP's mistakes during the gun show debate two weeks ago, Republican House leaders will allow a similar proposal to bypass committee scrutiny, sending it directly to the floor for full debate this week.

The House version, like its Senate companion bill, includes provisions for mandatory background checks. But the Republican written measure differs on what constitutes a gun show and addresses interstate commerce issues.

Under the House version, a gun show is defined as having ten or more separate vendors. The Senate version, however, defines a gun show as an event where 50 or more guns are sold.

Pro-gun advocates contend that limitations like those which passed in the Senate version two weeks ago place undue restrictions on single transactions between two independent individuals.

Democrats and gun control advocates have targeted the House version, labeling it a pet proposal of the National Rifle Association.

The House version allows for some interstate commerce of firearms under certain provisions, relaxing a long-standing federal prohibition.

Unlike the Senate bill's provisions for mandatory background checks, the House proposal mandates background checks just before the sale of a firearm is completed at the gun show.

Such a provision would allow for initial discussions between buyers and sellers while at the gun show, to complete the transaction at a later time and location, without conducting a background check.