Congressman Cline joined other Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday to oppose a bill to bolster background checks for firearms purchases.
The main bill [H.R. 8] was approved, 23-15, along party lines, sending it to the House floor. It would expand required background checks to all firearm sales, aimed at covering sales at gun shows, online or in other private settings.
During the vote, several Democratic members went to hug Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath, whose son was killed in gun violence, as she wiped away tears. Democratic Reps. Mary Gay Scanlon and Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania also had tears in their eyes during the vote.
Democrats are expected to have enough support to pass both measures in the House, but Senate Republicans are likely to let the legislation stall.
By opposing universal background checks, Cline and other Republicans are defying the vast majority of Americans, including those of their own party and gun owners.
The Pew Research Center found in October that 91 percent of Democrats and 79 percent of Republicans favor background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows.
Another poll last year found:
Among NRA members, 69% support comprehensive background checks. Slightly, but not significantly, more gun owners who are not NRA members support required background checks for all firearms purchasers (78%).
Nonetheless the NRA opposes the background check bill. And Cline– a recipient of NRA campaign contributions as a candidate for House of Delegates and for Congress— was pleased to record a spot for the NRA toeing their line.