WASHINGTON - The House of Representatives passed the H.R.8, gun control legislation that expands background checks on individuals seeking to purchase or transfer firearms.

"This bill is a critical step toward preventing gun violence and saving lives," Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., who sponsored the bill, said ahead of its passage. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., introduced the companion bill in the Senate.

The bill, titled the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, passed 227-203. It received a handful of Republican votes — eight — and had one Democrat vote against. In 2019, the bill was passed with eight Republican votes, five of whom co-sponsored the package.

H.R. 8, a clean background checks package meant to enhance reviews of those seeking to acquire firearms, does not create a firearms registry or other federal mechanisms for review.

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