The H.R.8 - Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 cleared the house with some, albeit small, bipartisan support and earned the ire of progressive democrats. The bill started out as, it appears, a simple closure of "the gun show loophole" - essentially forcing any firearms transfer of ownership to utilize the existing background check system (Democrat proposal). The Republicans added language such that ICE (Immigrations and Customs) would need to be notified by NICS (the background check system) if the person attempting to purchase the gun was illegally in the country. (The bill text for this amendment is not online and so, I'm unsure if this section applies to all non-citizens or only those in the States illegally)
I don't understand two parts of this situation:
- Why would the bill not gather more bipartisan support in the first place? I understand that democrats lean more toward the notion that illegal immigrants have a right to be in the US but surely that platform doesn't extend rights all the way to the purchase of firearms?
- What are the political motivations for avoiding bipartisanship on this bill? Would it not be better, in this case, to expand background checks in an effort to continue moving toward larger gun reforms, even if it means working with "the enemy?" (Though the ends of the political spectrum have grown more extreme, I'm under the notion that America, as a whole, remains fairly central and thus expects politicians to play together in the sandbox, so to speak).